Best tattoo aftercare lotion: Lubriderm vs. Hustle Butter vs. After Inked

See which of these three tattoo aftercare lotions my dad liked best. Plus, why tattoo skin care is so important.

I never even knew that tattoo-focused skincare existed until I happened to come across Lubriderm Tattoo Daily Care Lotion while shopping on Amazon one day. But once I stopped to think about it, it made perfect sense—I just never noticed them before because I’m not the target demographic!

On my 18th birthday, I celebrated by buying a lottery ticket and getting my ears pierced—but I didn’t even consider getting a tattoo. My eczema makes it more likely for the pigments to irritate my skin, so to me, it’s just not worth the risk. Interestingly, some tattoo pigments may be more likely to trigger an allergic reaction than others (according to this article, red pigments are more likely to cause problems). And, according to the FDA, you can get an allergic reaction not just to the pigments, but also to the substances used to dilute the pigments.

Even if you don’t have a reaction to the tattoo itself, it’s important to take care of your skin after getting a tattoo. Caring for your tattoo is important for aesthetic reasons (reducing the potential for scarring and preserving the pigments), but also for health reasons. Tattoos actually penetrate your skin, so you need to moisturize the area even more carefully than usual, and protect the skin barrier from infection and damage. My friend mentioned that her skin got very itchy and started scarring right after she got a tattoo, so moisturizing the area (without causing further irritation) can help relieve itchiness and reduce the likelihood of scarring.

What do experts recommend for tattoo aftercare?

My friend’s tattoo artist recommended applying a certain diaper rash cream to her tattoo. I wonder how much the recommendations for tattoo aftercare lotions vary from one tattoo artist to the next.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends opting for water-based creams/lotions that don’t contain petrolatum, since that ingredient can cause fading.

What’s the best tattoo lotion? Lubriderm vs. Hustle Butter vs. After Inked comparison

I thought it would be interesting to compare three products that are specifically targeted to treat and moisturize tattoos: Lubriderm Tattoo Daily Care Lotion, Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Butter, and After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion.

Lubriderm Tattoo Daily Care Lotion ingredients

water, mineral oil, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, cetearyl alcohol, dimethicone, carbomer, ceteareth-20, sodium hydroxide, sodium citrate, methylparaben, propylparaben, citric acid, ethylparaben, panthenol

Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Butter ingredients

shea butter, mango butter, and aloe butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil, rosemary oleoresin, green tea, vitamin e complex, mint arvenis essential oil, essence of papaya, essence of coconut

After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion ingredients

water, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, glycerin, stearic acid, shea butter, synthetic beeswax, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, cetyl alcohol, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid

After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion and Lubriderm Tattoo Daily Care Lotion are water-based, and list water as the first ingredient. Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Butter might contain water, but the website doesn’t list water as an ingredient. At first glance, it looks like the richest out of the three, with the most types of oils/butters. Lubriderm seems like the most lightweight formula.

I sent my dad these three ingredient lists (in the order listed above), and asked him if he had ever heard of tattoo lotions in the past. I also asked him which of these three lotions he thought would do the best job of soothing/moisturizing your skin after getting a tattoo. The last thing I asked him was if he thought that these tattoo aftercare lotions would work for regular (non-tattooed) skin like mine. Here’s what he had to say.

My Dad the Chemist’s review of these three tattoo aftercare lotions

Dear Emily, no, I haven’t heard of the application targeting tattoo, interesting! I wonder what’s the particular benefits claimed?

All three formulas will moisturize skin, but for soothing purpose, the second and the third will work effectively, I like the second one the most because I think it will do the best soothing job hopefully it doesn’t fell too oily or greasy.

Yes, if it soothes the tattooed skin, it will work for normal skin.

Love,
Dad

My dad picked Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Butter as his favorite out of the three, because he thinks it will deliver the most soothing benefits without being overly greasy. He also liked After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion, though.

It’s interesting that Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Butter includes rice bran oil, an ingredient I just researched the other day because I noticed it in Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. This ingredient may help soothe eczema.

The Lubriderm lotion contains mineral oil, which closely related to petrolatum (the ingredient that AAD recommended avoiding since it tends to fade the pigments in your tattoo). To me, this seems like yet another reason to choose Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Butter or After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion over Lubriderm’s Tattoo Daily Care Lotion.

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