Tattoos are a very popular form of self-expression. Some estimates claim that as many as one in five Americans have at least one. Considering they are permanent, it is not the kind of thing one should do without careful preparation. Many people believe that Vaseline can be beneficial to the tattoo process, but is this true?
Vaseline to Prepare Skin for Tattoos
Many people spend hours agonizing over the design of their tattoo and its placement but do not consider how to get their skin ready for it. Thoroughly moisturizing the skin prior to the tattooing process can help your skin heal quickly. Vaseline is a great way to lock in moisture, ensuring the skin stays hydrated.
Vaseline on Tattoo During Healing Phase
For a long time, people believed putting Vaseline on their tattoo immediately after getting it would help it to heal and look its best. This is typically not true. A fresh tattoo needs plenty of air in order to heal properly. Vaseline creates a barrier which is great for keeping moisture in, but unfortunately also keeps air out. People should avoid placing Vaseline on their tattoo during the healing phase unless otherwise instructed by their tattoo artist or their dermatologist.
What are Alternatives to Vaseline on a New Tattoo?
A reputable and responsible tattoo shop should give clients an aftercare instruction list. Most of the time, they recommend thick lotions or skin butters to help with healing. They are typically more breathable because they do not create a barrier the way ointments, such as Vaseline, do. Most tattoo artists will recommend going with something organic or natural and avoiding heavy scents or dyes.
Vaseline on Tattoo After Healing is Completed
Once the healing process is done, Vaseline can become useful once again. The skin in the area around the new ink often becomes very dry. Applying a good lotion or moisturizer and then Vaseline can help to heal this skin quickly. Moving forward, regular application of both Vaseline and a good sunblock can keep both the skin and the tattoo looking and feeling great.
What Else Helps with Tattoo Healing?
Usually, people interested in using Vaseline on their tattoo are simply wanting to help their new artwork heal as efficiently as possible. While using petroleum jelly may not be a great idea, there are some tried and true things to keep in mind, including:
- Refraining from picking at any scabs
- Wearing loose feeling clothing over the new tattoo
- Avoiding sleeping on the tattoo until fully healed
- Avoiding submerging the tattoo for the first few weeks
- Wear sunscreen if sun exposure cannot be avoided
- Wash hands when cleaning and moisturizing the tattoo
Vaseline on Tattoo: The Final Verdict
While petroleum jelly can certainly be a part of the tattoo-healing arsenal, it should be used carefully and only in certain situations. The most important thing is following the advice of professionals and keeping the new ink clean during the process.