Tattoo healing with coconut oil

I’m often asked how I go about healing my tattoos, and the simple answer is that I keep it clean and moisturised.
Recently I’ve seen the rise of coconut oil in the beauty and skincare world, and seen a number of people recommend it as a natural moisturiser for healing tattoos too. Having been given a pot of coconut oil from a friend I decided it was the perfect time to try it out and add it to my tattoo experimentation list.

Previously I’ve been a cocoa butter fan for healing my tattoos having moved away from the usual Bepanthen some years ago. I changed my healing routine from the recommendation of a tattooist, and this time again, my tattooist said it was a good idea too.

So the pros…. 
It’s a really versatile product, so unlike bepanthen and cocoa butter which has the sole purpose of skincare, coconut oil can be used for all sorts. It’s advertised as skincare, hair care and a cooking product (coconut oil pancakes are pretty yum by the way) so even if you don’t like the formulation for your tattoo it isn’t wasted!

It also lasts ages. You only need a small amount as it sort of melts into your skin to become an oil so it spreads really far. Using it for two weeks daily, plus we used it for cooking too, we only got halfway down the pot.

It smells so so good. Well so long as you like the smell of coconut, which fortunately I do!

It isn’t greasy. It absorbs pretty fast and doesn’t stain clothing, though it will go through fabrics if sill went as I learnt with my midi denim skirt, but once dry it was fine.

It’s completely natural. It is just pure compressed coconut oil. That is it! No hidden nasties (can you tell I’m weaning with that little sentence?!). Which also means it’s veggie and vegan friendly!

The cons…
It isn’t the cheapest option. Pricing-wise you’re looking at similar to Bepanthen, which makes cocoa butter the more affordable option (Tesco do Vita Coco at £4.99 however they also do their own brand version for just £3.00 which does place it only about £1 more than cocoa butter.)

The healing process is a little slower. But only marginally. However this could also be linked to the tattoo location, rather than the products used. I found the healing process took about a week longer, in that I still had some dry patches at the end of week two which I wouldn’t normally have, however, I found that overall the healing was nicer, the was less dry skin in general, and it was less uncomfortable throughout. So I’ll take longer any day!

So I’m definitely converted! The colour has held beautifully in my tattoo, my skin feels fab and I smell great (even if I do say so myself!) Plus being all natural I feel more confident with what I’m putting on my skin!

Will you be converting to coconut oil for your tattoo healing?


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17 Comments

  1. B
    April 13, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Because you can use it for other things, it kinda helps with the price! If you're using it for cooking too, you're really getting your monies worth. Unlike lotion which is just like you said, lotion!

  2. peachesandbear
    May 6, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    Brilliant post! I've been using coconut oil because that's what my tattooist recommended. I also got myself a tub of Ultrabalm which I've used on my most recent tattoo and it has come out beatufullyTamsyn Elizabeth | Peaches and Bear

  3. Unknown
    May 24, 2017 / 5:56 am

    I use 100% coconut oil on my tattoo's it helps to keep infections away really moisturizes and helps with the insane itchiness. I personally find the worst part of getting a tattoo is that horrible itching.

  4. historypak
    May 24, 2017 / 9:25 am

    Great post yet I was thinking about whether you could compose a litte more on this subject? I'd be extremely grateful on the off chance that you could expound a smidgen further. Welcome it! Organic Tattoo aftercare

  5. Unknown
    July 10, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    Got a rather large tattoo five days ago and have been using coconut oil on it. So far, so good. Not an ounce of itching. Maybe I'm a little premature on that though. Here's hoping!

  6. Chantelle Chubon
    September 24, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    I got an all color tattoo which happens to be my first one. My tattoo artist wasn't too sold on me using coconut oil. What do you think?

    • Rachel Bradford
      September 24, 2017 / 7:23 pm

      I would really recommend. And I've had several tattooists agree and recommend too. All natural, no alcohol or irritants and multi-use! You can't say fairer than that!

  7. James walker
    October 11, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    Coconut oil is very novel in light of the fact that not at all like different sorts of cooking oil (palm oil, sunflower oil), its advantages reach out to more than cooking.coconut oil

  8. Virginia
    January 22, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    I have 8 tattoos and I use coconut oil and tea tree oil I mix myself as a spray and rub it in to the tattoos 4 hours later I put olive oil on them and after my shower I put coconut oil on them and lightly rub it in and give them about an hour so the coconut oil can moisturize properly and rub any excess in before I get dressed.

  9. Virginia
    January 22, 2018 / 6:38 pm

    When I get home from work I spray my tattoos with cocnut oil and tea tree oil, before bed I put on olive oil and after my shower I put on coconut oil (if it itches from being new I add a little lavender oil)

  10. Anonymous
    January 24, 2018 / 7:39 am

    I remember always using bepanthans and cling film… So bepanthan is no longer the standard – do you use cling film over the fresh tat still?

  11. Unknown Person
    April 11, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    Remember to ask your tattoo artist for a detailed instruction for the tattoo aftercare since he might be able to give you some unique instructions, based on the kind of ink he uses.Primitive Outpost

  12. clyde escolano
    July 10, 2018 / 4:55 am

    Yeah, This is great! I've been using coconut oils too for my tattoo. It is natural and has no side effect to our skin. My skin became smoother. -coconutoils.com

  13. Pooka
    August 4, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    Yes, I’m using coconut oil on my tattoo and so far, so good 🙂 My only problem is making sure the dog doesn’t lick my leg

  14. Louise
    August 22, 2018 / 12:17 pm

    I have read soooo any mixed reviews on aftercare.. It’s confusing to say the least!! I have just had a small piece done on my wrist and the tattoo guy recommend an ointment but it’s like an antibiotic which I then read a mix of pros and cons about!! I was going to try organic coconut oil on it as I use that for everything and also read a lot of people saying how great it is. But I just read a review and some one was saying they thought it made the ink bleed 🙈
    HELP 😂 All advice welcome

    • illustratedteacup
      Author
      August 22, 2018 / 12:23 pm

      Hi Louise,
      I find it highly unlikely that coconut oil would make the ink in a tattoo bleed as it’s reasonably far into the skin’s dermis. It’s more likely that they’re tattooist didn’t put the ink in very well. I don’t know anyone who’s used coconut oil and had that problem. I certainly haven’t and I’ve used it on at least four tattoos. It’s completely natural, so no chemicals etc, which is always going to be an advantage.

      • Louise
        August 22, 2018 / 12:56 pm

        Thanks so much for your reply. I had a few tattoos when I was younger and used bepathan but I really want to use something cruelty free and as natural as possible.. Even though the tattoo guy was great I was dubious to follow his advice. It’s so difficult when there is so much information out there. Google doesn’t always help 😂

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