When you have a new tattoo, it’s crucial to keep it clean and moisturized to prevent infection and scarring. To that end, there are many tattoo aftercare balms, lotions, and ointments clamoring for your attention.
But you know what else helps heal tattoos fast?
The best essential oils for tattoo healing ward off inflammation and keep the skin moisturized. You can even make homemade tattoo ointment with them.
Let’s talk about which essential oils are best for tattoo aftercare.
What essential oils are good for healing tattoos?
You have several options if you prefer natural tattoo aftercare. Here’s a partial list:
- Melaleuca, also known as tea tree
- Ylang Ylang
- Rosehip seed
If you’re familiar with essential oils, you’ll recognize that there are both aromatic botanicals as well as carrier oils listed above. That’s because the aromatics should always be diluted with a carrier, just like tattoo pigment needs a diluent.
How to dilute essential oils to care for a tattoo
When you blend lavender or tea tree with coconut oil, you’re not weakening them. You’re only making them safe to use on the skin. Undiluted essential oil may cause allergic reactions and permanent sensitivity (1).
Moreover, a tattoo is an open wound. It needs to be treated with care.
For a 5% dilution, add 5 drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil. For example, place 5 drops of frankincense in a teaspoon of argan oil. Blend well before applying it to the skin.
If you have sensitive skin, stick to 2 or 3 drops per teaspoon instead.
You can scale it up and premix a larger batch. Use a clean, preferably sterile container, and keep the mixture away from direct sunlight and heat.
Do essential oils really help heal the skin?
Scientific studies show that essential oils can accelerate wound healing (2).
Several plants like lavender, rosemary, and ylang ylang have a chemical called beta-caryophyllene, which speeds up cellular regeneration. The results are quicker recovery and less chance of scar formation.
Best Essential Oils for Tattoo Healing in 2023
Now, let’s look at the best essential oils for tattoo aftercare.
Urban Nomads Tattoo Aftercare Oil
Save time and try this shortcut. Artisans in Barcelona, Spain, handcraft this tattoo aftercare product. It contains no chemicals like parabens, silicone, or dyes.
It features a healing blend of argan, sunflower, sweet almond, bergamot orange, calendula, chamomile, lemon, rosemary, and vitamins E and C. Smooth on a few drops each time you wash your tattoo. Even though it’s an oil, it’s not greasy. It absorbs in seconds.
Once the skin is healed, the oil is good for keeping the colors vibrant and the skin soft. Guys like to use it as beard oil, too.
Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil Pre-Diluted Roll-On
Since lavender is on the list of healing plants, here’s a roll-on that’s ready to use on your new tattoo. The lavender is diluted with non-greasy fractionated coconut oil. It’s safe to use directly on the skin right out of the bottle.
Lavender has a calming fragrance. It’s naturally antimicrobial and can reduce itchiness and inflammation.
Since the oil is in a roll-on, you don’t have to use your hands to apply it. That’s handy if you aren’t able to wash them before treating the tattoo.
The manufacturer is Plant Therapy. Unlike multi-level marketers that distribute essential oils, they sell directly to the public. Therefore, their prices are affordable.
Plus, the company has certified aromatherapists available to answer questions about essential oils. The website has batch-specific test results on each oil as well. You can see for yourself that what they sell is 100% pure.
Each essential oil undergoes gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and organoleptic exams. Some tests happen in-house, and others are done by third-party laboratories for verification.
GuruNanda Essential Oil, Lavender
If you’re blending a DIY tattoo balm, get uncut lavender essential oil like this. It comes from a brand that tests each bottle for purity and quality.
You can put leftover lavender oil in a diffuser to relieve a headache and help you sleep at night. Also, use it to treat bug bites and minor wounds. Just be sure to dilute it properly before putting it on the skin.
Plant Therapy Frankincense Carterii Essential Oil Roll-On
There are three types of frankincense essential oil: serrata, carteri, and frereana. The latter two are best for healing wounds. That’s what makes them suitable for treating tattoos.
In this roll-on, the frankincense has been pre-diluted with fractionated coconut oil. It’s ready to soothe itchy, inflamed skin and ward off infection.
Frankincense is excellent for helping the mind relax and focus, too.
Plant Therapy Myrrh Essential Oil
In the story, the Wise Men bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Myrrh is another healing herb that rejuvenates the skin.
Blend it with a carrier oil like coconut or grapeseed before putting it on the tattoo.
Frankincense and Myrrh Essential Oil Blend Roll-On
Get the best two healing oils pre-diluted with fractionated coconut oil. Everything is 100% pure, therapeutic-grade. There are no additives or fillers.
The roll-on contains Boswellia Carteri (frankincense) and Commiphora Myrrha, which are both excellent for helping the skin heal. Moreover, they have an attractive balsamic fragrance.
Rocky Mountain Oils Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree is also on the list of healing oils for tattoos. It smells earthy and minty, and it feels cool to the skin.
Tea tree, also known as Melaleuca alternifolia, is antibacterial and astringent. Not only does it reduce inflammation, but it also treats acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions.
Rocky Mountain Oils uses only USDA-certified organic melaleuca. They have a strict testing process to make sure each oil is pure and high-quality. Plus, they sell directly to the public.
Rocky Mountain Oils First Aid Essential Oil Blend
Whether it’s a new tattoo, a cut, or a bruise, you can use this oil to accelerate healing. It contains tea tree, rosemary, clove bud, and helichrysum italicum oils.
What’s nice is that the blend numbs pain and stops the itching.
Please dilute the oil before applying it to prevent allergic reactions. In a teaspoon of carrier oil (like sweet almond or jojoba), add two drops of the blend. Stir well, then smooth it on. It should absorb quickly.
You can also add a couple of drops to your favorite fragrance-free lotion. By diluting it, you can make the 15mL bottle last much longer.
NOW Essential Oils: Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender
Save your hard-earned cash with this three-pack of oils. Each bottle holds one ounce or 30mL. That’s twice what the typical essential oil bottle contains.
NOW is a North American brand that manufactures supplements and essential oils in the USA and Canada. They’ve been in business since 1968. All of their oils are extensively tested in-house and by third-party laboratories.
Fabulous Frannie Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum is prized for rejuvenating the skin and calming the mind. It’s often found in beauty products and perfumes. Sometimes it’s called “immortelle” because it makes the complexion look younger.
It comes packaged in an amber glass bottle with a Euro dropper cap. It’s not an eyedropper but rather a plastic insert in the neck that limits the flow to one drop at a time.
Be sure to dilute it with a suitable carrier oil, or try the next option below.
NOW Essential Oils, Helichrysum Oil Blend
NOW blends 10% helichrysum with jojoba oil to make it ready to use. It comes in a one-ounce bottle that you won’t need to dilute before using.
Typically, helichrysum is an expensive essential oil, but it’s affordable in this format. As we mentioned before, dilution does not weaken the essential oil.
Furthermore, jojoba oil is healthy for the skin, too. It’s similar to sebum and helpful for moisturizing.
NOW Solutions, Organic Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is a byproduct of making wine. It’s packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that’s essential for repairing damage to the skin. It also has beneficial fatty acids.
The oil doesn’t have a strong odor, and it absorbs quickly. Therefore, it’s often used as a carrier for other essential oils.
If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, use grapeseed as a moisturizer. It won’t clog pores, and it will leave the skin silky soft.
The grapeseed oil here is certified organic by QAI. It was produced and packaged in a GMP-certified facility.
Majestic Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil
Fractionated coconut oil is odorless and non-greasy. It’s rich in polyphenols and fatty acids that promote skin repair.
It doesn’t turn solid when it cools as regular coconut oil does. Plus, it has a very long shelf life.
Use it by itself to moisturize a new tattoo, or blend it with fragrant essential oils like lavender, rosemary, frankincense, or helichrysum.
Cliganic Organic Argan Oil
Argan oil comes from trees that grow in Morocco. It’s excellent for the skin and hair as it’s full of fatty acids and vitamins A and E. If it’s properly prepared, it’s also edible.
If you treat your tattoo with argan, you’ll keep it hydrated and help it heal faster. You can also add a couple of drops of another essential oil to a teaspoon of argan oil and boost the effects.
Cliganic’s oil is certified organic and has no fillers or additives. It’s bottled in the USA and comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Ancient Greek Remedy Organic Blend
This natural moisturizer features sweet almond, grapeseed, extra virgin olive, and lavender essential oil with vitamin E.
Once your tattoo has healed, this aftercare product doesn’t need to go to waste. It’s also designed to serve as an anti-aging treatment, and it can help hair and nails grow stronger and longer.
We’ve already discussed the benefits of lavender and grapeseed oil for healing tattoos. This blend also has olive oil with plant sterols and fatty acids that keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
NZ Country 100% Manuka Essential Oil
Manuka grows in New Zealand. It has outstanding medicinal qualities. It makes for a potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic oil with characteristics similar to tea tree.
But happily, manuka is kind to sensitive skin. It’s soothing where tea tree sometimes makes the skin sting.
This oil was steam-distilled using pure spring water. It’s packaged with a no-mess dropper.
SVA Organics Moringa Oil
This oil is USDA-certified organic. It’s cold-pressed from Moringa oleifera seeds and bottled in the USA.
Moringa oil is rich in fatty acids and vitamins A, B, and C that restore the skin’s structure when it’s damaged. It’s perfect for healing wounds, improving the complexion, and for massages.
PURA D’OR Organic Vitamin E Oil
Is vitamin E an oil? Not exactly – it appears here in a blend of sweet almond, jojoba, apricot, argan, rosehip, avocado, and sunflower oils.
Vitamin E is crucial for healthy skin. It fights premature aging and moisturizes. A powerful blend of oils like this one should alleviate the inflammation, redness, and itching of a new tattoo.
Hustle Butter Deluxe
After reading this article, you’ll understand why Hustle Butter contains the ingredients it has. The label lists vitamin E, rosemary, coconut, and sunflower oil, as well as other botanicals. It’s rich in vitamins, fatty acids, and nutrients that the skin needs to repair itself.
If you want a tried and true cure for tattoo healing, try this product. Not only does it soothes new tattoos, but it’s also useful during the tattooing process. It can serve as a petroleum-free glide to lubricate the skin. Then, long after the tattoo has healed, Hustle Butter keeps the ink bright.
Ora’s Amazing Herbal Salve
This tattoo ointment features grapeseed oil with various organic herbs, including comfrey, thyme, and calendula. It also has tea tree and rosemary essential oil.
The formula is slow-infused for maximum potency. It has no irritants like parabens, petroleum, lanolin, gluten, or dyes. The fragrance is all-natural from the ingredients.
Use it for new tattoos, and keep it in the first-aid kit for bumps and bruises.
When you read the labels of tattoo balms, you’ll see that many of them incorporate essential oils. The oils accelerate curing and prevent infection and scarring.
We hope our reviews guided you to the best tattoo aftercare products for your needs. If you found a healing solution today, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.healthline.com/health/carrier-oil#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1 by Annette McDermott, published August 15, 2017, accessed January 13, 2021
2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191218153447.htm Chemical compound found in essential oils improves wound healing, Indiana University, published December 18, 2019, accessed January 13, 2021
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17722522/ The influence of essential oils on the process of wound healing: a review of the current evidence, by A C Woollard, K C Tatham, S Barker, in Journal of Wound Care, published 2007 Jun;16(6):255-7.