Can You Use Essential Oils For Tattoo Aftercare?

Getting a new tattoo is always a fun and exciting journey. Picking the design, and the tattoo shop and the artists are all super important things to look at – but one very important thing that people often neglect to think about when getting a tattoo is the proper aftercare. There are many ways you could choose to look after your new, healing tattoo, and you may be wondering, can you use essential oils for tattoo aftercare?

Yes, you definitely can use essential oils for tattoo aftercare. Essential oils are a great choice when it comes to tattoo aftercare, as they are a natural product that promotes healing with no added chemicals, colorants, or fragrances that can lead to infection in a healing tattoo.

There are a number of things that a new tattoo needs in order to heal correctly, and there are different essential oils that can help assist in those different aspects; let us have a look at what proper tattoo aftercare looks like when using essential oils.

Can You Use Essential Oils For Tattoo Aftercare

A New Tattoo Needs To Be Kept Clean

When it comes to your new tattoo’s aftercare, experts recommend washing your tattoo twice a day with a bar of gentle antibacterial soap and then patting it dry immediately to keep your new tattoo clean.

It is not a recommended practice to take a bath with a new tattoo and to rather take a shower, as it should not be wet for longer than a minute at a time while healing.

Another step that you can add to your cleaning process would be adding a drop (or two, or three, depending on the actual size of your tattoo) of peppermint essential oil directly onto your tattoo and spreading it on thinly as a layer of antibacterial and antifungal protection.

Peppermint essential oil is particularly well known for its antibacterial properties. It has been shown to completely stop and kill skin bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, which is a bacterium that can cause nasty skin infections and more.

By adding peppermint essential oil to your cleaning routine, you are giving your tattoo a great barrier of protection against infection.

A New Tattoo Needs To Breathe

Your new tattoo needs to always be kept dry to prevent bacteria growth and to promote quick healing. Many tattoo artists recommend that after you have washed and cleaned your tattoo, that you pat it dry immediately with a towel and then using an antibacterial cream on your tattoo that will be absorbed easily and that has very few chemicals in them in order to avoid any adverse reactions in the tattoo.

Using a product that is not thick or pasty is also important to ensure that the skin is open and can breathe without being coated by a thick layer of cream that may act as a barrier from fresh air, thus keeping the skin “wet.”

An essential oil that works as a great substitute for an antibacterial cream, and is good for keeping a wound dry without drying it out, is lavender essential oil.

Lavender essential oil has incredible healing properties and is used in wound care as it is known for its antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties that assist in wound healing far quicker.

Lavender essential oil will help keep your tattoo open and dry while still easily allowing the skin to breathe while it is healing.

A New Tattoo Needs To Be Moisturized

As important as keeping your tattoo dry is and avoiding your tattoo being wet, it is also very important in your tattoo’s healing process to keep it moisturized to prevent your tattoo from drying out.

If you do not keep your tattoo sufficiently moisturized, it can dry out and become cracked and flakey, which can cause scarring and may damage your tattoo and even change its appearance.

A great solution to keep the skin moist, but to also keep it dry without drying it out, is to use tea tree essential oil, as it helps add and retain moisture in the skin without causing any barrier between the skin and air – thus allowing your skin to breathe without drying out.

A new tattoo is essentially a large open wound and needs to be treated as such. Tea tree oil has a proven natural ability to heal open wounds faster than if they were treated with alternative antiseptic or antibacterial creams that may keep the wound “wet.”

Tea tree essential oil has also been used to treat skin wounds that have been directly caused by bacteria, as it has very strong antibacterial properties. So, chances are, even if you do get a minor bacterial infection in your tattoo while it is healing, if you are using tea tree essential oil on your tattoo daily, it will be healing before you even know it was there, to begin with.

A New Tattoo Must Not Be Scratched.

As your new tattoo heals, scabs are often formed as a part of one of the final stages of healing. These scabs can often become uncomfortable and become quite itchy.

It is important to know that you must not, under any circumstances, scratch these scabs, though, as they can cause damage to your tattoo and can create bad scaring that may even ruin your tattoo permanently.

As difficult as it can often seem to be to resist scratching your skin when it is itchy, scratching your healing tattoo will come at a much higher cost than scratching that little mosquito bite on your leg.

There is good news, though, because there are a number of essential oils that you can use that will help soothe that itching.

  1. Chamomile essential oil – chamomile essential oil is known to help soothe itchy or painful skin. It has been used on eczema, bug bites, and even diaper rash to help ease any irritation that your skin may be feeling.
  2. Peppermint essential oil – peppermint essential oil helps ease that itching with its cooling properties. When peppermint essential oil is put on your skin, it often feels like your skin gets slightly cold in that area, which may help reduce your itching! It also helps with inflammation in your skin, which will significantly help reduce the irritation of the area around your tattoo.
  3. Rose geranium essential oil – rose geranium essential oil is another essential oil that is often used to help ease the itching of dry or inflamed and irritated skin. It helps decrease inflammation while also easing any burning or itching of the skin.

Choosing to use any of these three essential oils on your itching skin will make a significant difference and will help you not be driven crazy by the irritation of a constant itchy spot.


When it comes to tattoo aftercare, using essential oils may help reduce a lot of the symptoms caused during the healing process, such as pain, inflammation, and itching, as well as significantly speeding up your tattoo’s healing time. Most essential oils will also help prevent or heal any infections in your new tattoo as it heals.

When you are out and on the hunt shopping for your essential oils, make sure that the essential oil you intend buying is pure and not an essential oil that has been diluted to reduce its cost, as you do not know what might have been added to a diluted oil, and if you purchase an essential oil that is not pure, it may contain chemicals that could potentially hurt your skin and be painful on your new tattoo.

If you have read all about these essential oils and are happy with the benefits of all of them and have decided that you would like to use them all, it could be worthwhile for you to buy an essential oil roller. That way, you can put a few drops of every oil in the roller and simply roll the mixed oils onto your tattoo in one easy go, as appose to putting them all on one by one.

Otherwise, try choosing just one or two of the oils that stand out to you the most, maybe oils that will help with multiple aspects of the healing process, and start using it on your tattoo from day one.

Essential oils are not only a natural way of taking care of your tattoo; they are actually a really great way of taking care of your tattoo. Just because you choose to use more natural methods with your tattoo aftercare does not by any means mean that you are settling for less.

Essential oils are great. Tattoos are great. Let them be great together.

Read More: Can Essential Oils Fade Tattoos

Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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