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Is it safe to use coconut oil on a tattoo?

Take advantage of this chemical-free moisturizer to heal your tattoo
coconut oil on a tattoo
Unsplash

Coconut oil is becoming more and more popular for being an effective and natural solution to nourish the skin and protect it. It is then to be expected that people wonder if they can take advantage of its benefits and apply coconut oil on a tattoo to support its safe healing.

Can I use coconut oil on a tattoo?

Provided you tested it first in another area of your skin to check if you’re allergic to it, it’s completely safe to apply coconut oil on a tattoo, at every stage of its healing. Many tattoo artists even recommend it!

Since this is a natural solution, it doesn’t contain chemicals or other ingredients, such as perfumes, that can potentially irritate the skin when it is still so sensitive after the procedure.

This oil also moisturizes and nourishes the skin to keep it healthy, and can even increase the turnover of collagen in the affected area to speed its healing.

Furthermore, early researches seem to indicate that acid lauric, one of the components of this oil, has an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect. This would mean that coconut oil could help prevent and treat possible infections and inflammation on the tattoo too.

How can I use it?

coconut oil on a tattoo safe
Pxhere

All you need do to is clean the area carefully with water first so the pores won’t be blocked. Try to avoid using soap as it can strip the natural oils of the skin and weaken it. You can then apply the coconut oil on the tattoo normally.

Since it is oily, you only need a small quantity to spread. Just make sure your hands are thoroughly clean, rub your pinky on the flaky oil and apply it to the skin.

To test if you are allergic to coconut oil first, clean the skin on your forearm and apply a bit of the oil. Cover it with a bandage to simulate the tattoo conditions and leave it on for 24h. If there is no change to your skin or irritation, it’s safe to proceed and apply the coconut oil on a tattoo.

Tattoo aftercare tips

Besides applying a lotion or coconut oil on a tattoo, there are also other factors you should consider for a proper aftercare. If you don’t have them into consideration, you can ruin the design you love so much or even incur in skin problems.

Moisturize several times a day…

It is very important that you keep moisturizing and nourishing your skin to keep it healthy and flexible, thus reducing the chances of peeling, for instance, which can change or ruin the tattoo design.

…But don’t overdo it

coconut oil on a tattoo moisturizing too much
Source: Authority Tattoo

Avoid plastering the tattoo with too much oil or any other lotion, especially if it is a fatty and emollient one like petroleum jelly. It would take longer for the skin to absorb them and in the meanwhile, it would be moist and its pores blocked, which can affect the tattoo coloring.

Protect it from the UV rays

Once the tattoo has fully healed, keep it always protected from the UV rays by applying a fairly strong sunscreen over it and avoiding sunbeds. If you have tattoos on your fingers, you should also be careful when doing your nails using UV lights.

These rays can fade the tattoo colors and blur their lines and details. Likewise, you don’t want to risk a sunburn on it.

Don’t scratch it

The body assumes that the tattoo is a wound and will heal it as such. During this process, it will create a coarse layer over it, just like a regular scab. This is temporary and it eventually goes away on its own as you keep moisturizing and treating the skin.

Don’t scratch it or peel it as it will delay the healing, it can trigger infections and it can damage the tattoo.

Avoid tight clothes during the healing

avoid tight clothes coconut oil on a tattoo
Pixabay

While fresh, a tattoo will be very sensitive and it can release fluids and the ink surplus.

Avoid wearing tight clothes that keep rubbing on it and can leave it even more sensitive. If possible, avoid sleeping over it too.

How not to care for your new tattoo

The tattoo artist will bandage the tattoo after doing it and will tell you how long you should wait until you can remove it. Don’t do it before the indicated time, even if you really want to show it to your friends.

A fresh tattoo will be just like an open wound, releasing fluids and blood, and you should wait until it settles down. After removing the bandage and clean the area with water and an antibacterial soap, don’t apply a new one again. Always pat dry the tattoo softly and avoid rubbing it.

Shaving should also be postponed until the tattoo has fully healed.

If you suspect it is not healing properly or that it might be infected, visit a doctor to have it checked. Don’t apply any medicinal ointment or home remedies unless indicated by the doctor.

Enjoy your body art

It is your own choice, whether you choose to use coconut oil on a tattoo or not, but regardless, you should take care of your skin. The tattoo doesn’t become permanent until the healing process is completed and during that period many factors can affect the quality of the design and your skin strength.

Check out the video below for more tips and the do’s and don’ts of a tattoo aftercare.

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