Things To Never Use On Your Tattoo

Written by: Jason White

When getting a new tattoo, it is so important to take care of it during its healing process. This will ensure that the end result will remain vibrant, clear, and attractive to look at!

In this article, we will be looking at 6 products that you should avoid using on your healing tattoo, even if they are recommended to you by others.

So, let’s get into it.


Before we get into the exact products to avoid, there are a few ingredients you should look for in each product before applying it to your healing tattoo.

Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum)

Mineral oil has no moisturizing properties, and does not infuse moisture; instead, it holds moisture that is already present on the surface, preventing additional loss. 

This implies that, if the skin is already dehydrated to begin with, the mineral oil will simply inhibit the skin from absorbing needed moisture from its surrounding environment and organically rehydrating itself to fully operate as it should.

When a tattoo is healing, it completely dries out as it scabs over. During this time, it is important to add moisturizer to keep it healthy. This is why mineral oil is, essentially, useless for a healing tattoo.

Petrolatum (Petroleum)

Petroleum, like mineral oil, does not add moisture to a healing tattoo; instead, it traps moisture that already exists beneath the skin. This provides additional opportunities for bacteria to reproduce, increasing the risk of infection.

Additionally, petroleum-based products can actually cause the ink on a fresh tattoo to fade! Not only does this ingredient not help a tattoo to heal, but it can also negatively affect the healing process.

Petrolatum has also been known to have a number of side effects, including premature aging of the skin, acne, and even cancer.

Liquid Paraffin/Paraffin Oil

Paraffin can be found in a variety of medicines, both prescription and non-prescription, marketed to those who suffer from eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. This substance, however, can be detrimental for these disorders.

It is used in these products because it is a relatively inexpensive ingredient that gives the immediate impression of restoring moisture to dry skin. 

However, once again, paraffin does not provide moisture: it locks the already-existing moisture into the skin!


Here are 6 ‘moisturizing’ products that you should definitely avoid applying to your brand-new tattoo.

1. A+D Ointment

a and d ointment for tattoos

A+D Ointment is a product that is often marketed towards those with fresh tattoos. It is thought to accelerate the healing process, although the substances involved in the ointment could achieve the opposite effect.

Not only does it include petrolatum, mineral oiland paraffin, but it also includes fragrances, which is the ultimate no-no when it comes to healing wounds. In most cases, unnatural fragrances can, and will, irritate a healing tattoo.

Also, A+D ointment contains cod liver oil, which can cause a fresh tattoo to fade due to its lightening attributes.

2. Aquaphor

Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy – Best Price.

While this product should be okay to use for the initial stage of the healing process – the first 2-3 days following the tattooing procedure – you will want to avoid using it any longer than this period.

Aquaphor is a type of petroleum jelly, and is far too thick to use on a healing tattoo. Your tattoo needs to breathe, and while it may seem ideal that this product prevents scabbing and dryness, the tattoo needsto scab over in order to fully heal!

Due to the thickness of the product, it can also cause bumps and irritation to your skin and tattoo.

3. Bacitracin

bacitracin ointment

While Bacitracin may be one of the safer, more preferred products to use on this list, you would still be better off avoiding it altogether.

Several consumers have reported having allergic reactions to this product, which is a red flag already. Bacitracin is an antibiotic ointment that is primarily used to treat staph infections, and is incredibly thick for this reason. 

Bacitracin can also cause your tattoo to weep, meaning that the ink will continue to leak during the healing process. This may cause fading over time, meaning your tattoo will not appear as vibrant as you would like it to.

4. Bepanthen

Bepanthen for tattoos

Bepanthen is another product that is renowned for its moisturizing properties, which is why it is sometimes recommended for healing tattoos.

However, Bepanthen includes mineral oil and petroleum, so you already know that it’s not 100% suitable to use on a healing tattoo. The ointment is too thick, and can prevent your tattoo from breathing while healing.

Bepanthen also contains lanolin, which, if used too frequently, can induce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic reactions, contact dermatitis, and skin lightening.

5. Neosporin

Can You Use Neosporin On A Tattoo

Neosporin is a bacterial barrier that is designed to operate as an extremely thick barrier between your skin and its external environment. It is commonly used in medical settings. 

Neosporin, however, be avoided while a tattoo is healing.

The antibiotic properties of this ointment can cause allergic reactions for certain people to use it on their skin. This can be particularly dangerous if you blindly apply it to a healing tattoo without knowing how your skin will react beforehand!

6. Vaseline

Vaseline On Tattoo

Lastly, we have the world’s favorite petroleum jelly. While this is a great product for certain medical conditions, healing tattoos is not one of them. You want to avoid putting Vaseline on your tattoos

Again, the thick, moisture-trapping properties of this ointment can prevent your new tattoo wound from receiving air throughout the process of healing, causing it to take longer in the long run. 

If you want to avoid infections and/or nasty skin conditions during the healing process, we suggest you also avoid using Vaseline on your new tattoo.


So, there you have it: those were the 6 products that you should never use on your tattoos. 

Additionally, remember to avoid any products that include mineral oil, petrolatum, and/or paraffin in its ingredients. 

We hope you found this article useful.

Copyright © 2023 Tattify. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy & Cookie Disclaimer.

The information contained on Tattify is intended for informational and educational purposes only. None of the statements made on this website are intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease, infection or illness. Please consult a healthcare practitioner before using tattoo/skincare products that may interfere with medications or known conditions. This article is provided with the understanding that it does not constitute medical or professional advice or services. If you are looking for help with your condition, please seek out a qualified medical practitioner.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.