The Healing Properties of Emu Oil for Tattoo Care
Whether it's your first tattoo or an addition to a growing collection — getting new ink is an exciting statement of self-expression.
But the entire journey should be taken seriously. Take it from professional tattoo artist, Megan Massacre:
“Aftercare for your tattoo is just as important as getting the tattoo itself. Tattoos are not permanent until they’re healed. As the artist, I can give you a beautiful tattoo but when you walk out of the door, it’s your responsibility to take care of it.”
Before getting your tattoo, you should first consider the following:
- Location of the piece
- The tattoo artist
- The critical period of aftercare
It’s the critical period of aftercare that we want to inform you about today.
Professional Tattoo Artist Recommendations for Tattoo Care
Tattoo artists are a great resource for instructions on how to take care of your new ink effectively.
After all, they've worked hard on your piece — and no artist wants to see their work ruined by poor aftercare practices.
“I put a lot of effort into giving you something beautiful so I want you to cherish and take care of it.” - Megan Massacre
These days, more tattoo artists are recommending lighter aftercare products like pure emu oil.
In fact, Megan Massacre from NY Ink warns that a thick ointment such as A&D or Aquaphor can actually suffocate your skin — especially when you apply copious amounts throughout the day without washing it off.
Do you know what that spells?
You guessed right. Infection. Every tattoo client’s worst nightmare.
To that end, Megan also suggests avoiding any aftercare products containing fragrance because they can irritate the tattooed area.
And now you’re probably thinking, “What am I supposed to use then?”
Look no further than emu oil. Here are some essential facts about it:
- Non-comedogenic, so it won't clog your pores
- Lets your skin breathe
- Contains no added fragrance, so say goodbye to irritability
- Quickly absorbs into the skin
Source: Customer Review
Here’s Why Emu Oil Is Perfect for the Tattoo Healing Process
There are several significant benefits to using emu oil as part of your aftercare:
- Unlike conventional moisturizers and salves, such as Vaseline, emu oil contains no synthetic or potentially harmful ingredients.
- Many people notice that emu oil promotes faster recovery and less itching and dryness. This is because it contains essential fatty acids that deeply penetrate all seven layers of the skin, including the depth of your new art piece. Furthermore, since emu oil doesn’t clog your pores, it ensures optimal oxygenation and cellular repair.
- The naturally-occurring antioxidants found in emu oil promote powerful anti-inflammation — reducing tenderness, redness, and swelling.
- Emu oil is also anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, which helps to prevent infections.
- The healing properties of emu oil help the design to retain maximum color and definition as it heals. This prevents scabbing and scarring, thus reducing the need for future touch-ups.
"I've been applying emu oil to my new tattoo for over a month now, well after the healing process has ended. I couldn't be happier with how clean the lines look and how bright and colorful the tattoo has remained, not to mention how soft and healthy my skin feels."
Now that you know why emu oil is your safest bet during the healing process, let’s dig into the nitty-gritty of caring for your new tattoo.
How Do You Take Care of a New Tattoo?
Here’s a timeline of what to expect once you get your tattoo, including aftercare instructions.
- Remember: your skin will probably be very sore for a couple of days. It may look red and feel warm to the touch due to increased blood flow. Remember, your body recognizes your new piece as a wound. So it rushes to provide healing by sending in larger amounts of oxygenated blood and nutrients.
- Remove the plastic wrap about two hours after you get inked. Lather mild anti-bacterial soap and warm water between your clean hands, then gently wash the tattoo for about thirty seconds. Afterward, rinse with cold water to close the pores.
- Use a disposable dry, clean paper to gently blot your design, then let it air dry completely. When fully dry, apply a small amount of aftercare ointment like emu oil.
- You’ll need to repeat this process at least twice a day.
- At this point, you may notice thin scabs beginning to form — but don’t pick them. Even if you spot a loose scab, ignore it.
- Alternatively, your design may appear not to be scabbing at all, and that’s okay too. It may look like nothing’s happening, but it’s still healing. This is especially true for ink with a very light color pallet, like white ink tattoos.
- As you continue to wash your tattoo twice a day using anti-bacterial soap, you may notice some ink washing off your skin; that’s normal.
- As you approach day six, the light scabbing should be well-formed and covering the whole area.
- As the scabs and old pieces of skin age, they’ll begin to peel and flake away.
- Expect dehydrated skin, which in most cases triggers the itching that bothers a lot of people.
- Moisturizing is the name of the game here. Since your tattoo may still look a little dull, an ointment emu oil will be your BFF for a while longer.
Long-Term Tattoo Aftercare
- At this point, your tattoo should be done peeling, apart from the odd small areas of flaky/dry skin. Keep up the hydration routine until your skin is fully healed and supple again.
- It should also no longer be red or sore. And when you run your fingers over it, you shouldn’t be able to feel the difference between the tattoo and the uninked area around it.
- Do you notice less definition? A fragile layer of dead skin covering the inked area is the responsible culprit. Not to worry; it should gradually flake away over the following 4-8 weeks. This time, expect extremely light flaking.
- Keep washing your tattoo every day until the 1-month mark. Yes, it may not be as prone to infection, but better safe than sorry.
What to Avoid After Getting a Tattoo?
- Keep your tattoo out of the sun because the rays may cause it to fade, crack, blister, or peel. This is how it happens: when UV rays from the sun are absorbed into the skin, they break up the pigment particles in the inked area.
Sun lotion is also a no-no until your piece has completely healed because the chemicals or minerals therein could irritate your exposed skin.
- Don’t pick, scratch, or rub your tattoo because this can delay healing, cause fading, and increase infection chances. Some people go as far as putting on gloves at night to prevent them from picking at their tattoos as they sleep.
- Don’t sleep on your tattoo. For instance, if the tattoo is on your stomach, sleep on your back. If you wake up with your shirt stuck to the tattoo — don’t rip it away, or you’ll risk ripping your scabs off along with it. Instead, wet the area of clothing attached to the tattoo with water to loosen it. We also recommend you use old sheets in case there’s any staining.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing that rubs against your new piece, or you may experience scabbing and loss of ink.
Can I Shower After Getting a Tattoo?
Go ahead and shower, as long as you don't completely soak your new tattoo. If you get soap or shampoo on it, just remove it quickly with water.
Next, avoid swimming in any water bodies and immersing your tattoo in a bath for two to three weeks. The inherent chemicals and bacteria may lead to infections.
Now that you know how to take care of your new tattoo, here’s why Emu Joy’s emu oil is the perfect ointment for you.
Why Choose Emu Joy’s Emu Oil for Tattoo Aftercare?
"A friend of mine recommended that I try emu oil for my next tattoo. I had used Aquaphor for all my previous pieces without issue, so I was skeptical at first, but I gave it a shot.
I was impressed at how much faster my new (big!) tattoo healed compared to all the previous work I've gotten done.
Using emu oil not only sped up the healing process, but it reduced most of the normal post-tattooing redness and tenderness practically overnight. I'm definitely going to be using emu oil for all my future tattoos."
Optimize your new tattoo’s look and save yourself time, money, and pain by using pure, refined emu oil for your post-tattoo care.