Can You Over-moisturize A Tattoo? [Consequences & Solution]

A tattoo is a big decision that can affect your daily lifestyle. To have a healthy and pretty tattoo, you must take good care of it. You have to clean it and moisturize it thoroughly.

But, can you over-moisturize your tattoo?

No, over-moisturizing tattoos is a bad practice. It ruins your tattoo and makes it deformed. It can also bring adverse health effects (irritation, inflammation, infection) to the tattooed area. Use an unscented moisturizer at least 1-2 times daily for the best results.

If you have already over-moisturized your tattoo or are looking for ways to care for your tattoo, then you are at the right spot. In the next sections, we will discuss how to prevent over-moisturizing it, what to do if you’ve already over-moisturized the tattoo and some more related information. Let’s dive into it.

Can You Over-moisturize A Tattoo

What Is Over-Moisturizing a Tattoo? Is It Bad?

What Is Over Moisturizing a Tattoo - Tattoo Strategies
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Over-moisturizing a tattoo happens when you apply a thick layer of lotion that prevents the tattoo from breathing. It can have drastic effects.

Moisturizing a tattoo is an essential step in tattoo grooming. When you apply lotion or ointment, your tattoo gets its vital nutrients and hydration.

But, your tattoo also needs air circulation to heal. If you put large amounts of lotion or ointment, you are cutting off the necessary air circulation. This makes the tattoo wet and increases the chance of getting an infection.

Consequences Of Over-moisturized Tattoos

Consequences Of Over moisturized Tattoos - Tattoo Strategies
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For new tattoo clients, over-moisturizing a tattoo is a common problem.

So, what happens if you over-moisturize a tattoo?

Well, here are some common consequences you might face after using too much moisturizer on a tattoo.

  • It slows down the healing process and the drying process. Thick layers of ointment and lotion cause the tattoo to become wet and somewhat sticky.
  • It causes the tattoo to be a hotbed for all kinds of bacteria. This can lead to a tattoo infection or even a skin infection.
  • It makes skin pores clogged up and might cause inflammation
  • It makes the tattoo more susceptible to infections
  • It causes the tattooed skin to break down and become red.

How Often Should You Moisturize Your New Tattoo?

How Often Should You Moisturize Your New Tattoo - Tattoo Strategies
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The answer may vary from person to person. Generally, it’s normal to use a moisturizer on a new tattoo 3-4 times daily. Still, the frequency of moisturizing depends on the tattoo size. If the tattoo is small, then once or twice is enough. If the tattoo is large, then you should moisturize it 3-6 times a day. One thing to remember is that the tattoo needs air circulation to heal.

What If Your Tattoo Doesn’t Get Enough Moisturization?

What If Your Tattoo Doesnt Get Enough Moisturization - Tattoo Strategies
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Some people might not moisturize a tattoo frequently, which is equally harmful as over-moisturizing.

Lack of moisturization might cause:

  • The tattoo to crack and peel away.
  • The tattooed area may become dry and flaky
  • The tattooed area becomes itchy and inflamed
  • The tattoo might lose its color and design
  • Lack of moisturizing might cause tattoo infection

What Does An Over-moisturized Tattoo Looks Like?

Over-moisturizing a tattoo can ruin its appearance. It can make the tattoo look blotchy. It also ruins the shape and the design of the tattoo. It causes the tattoo to have a wet appearance. Sometimes, it can ruin the color pattern.

over-moisturized tattoo

By over-moisturizing a tattoo, you can clog up your pores. It can lead to swelling, inflammation, and other skin problems. It makes the tattoo spot red and itchy.

Does My Old Tattoo Need Moisturizer?

Does My Old Tattoo Need Moisturizer - Tattoo Strategies
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Once you get a tattoo, it becomes a part of your body. Like any part of your body, old tattoos also need some grooming. You need to moisturize your old tattoo to protect it.

When your tattoo ages, the chance of the ink fading away increases. The more you moisturize, the more likely the ink will not age or fade away.

Daily moisturizing old tattoos protect your tattoo from sun damage and ensures hydration. It also reduces the risk of infection.

How Much Moisturizer Does Your Tattoo Need?

How Much Moisturizer Does Your Tattoo Need - Tattoo Strategies
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This is where all the differences are made. To ensure proper healing, a tattoo needs enough oxygen, hampered by the multiple layers of moisturizer. It will dry and become cracked if you put too little lotion on it.

A thin layer of lotion or ointment can help your tattoo to heal properly. First, you need to clean the area thoroughly.  Let it dry. Never put moisturizer on a wet tattoo. It can ruin the spot.

Apply a thin layer of dermatologically tested lotion or ointment. The lotion or the ointment has to be fragrance-free.  Apply it in small quantities. This way, you can prevent over-moisturization.

Consult your tattoo artist on what type of and how much lotion or ointment you need for your tattoo to heal properly.

What Moisturizer Should You Use on Your Tattoo?

What Moisturizer Should You Use on Your Tattoo - Tattoo Strategies
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You can’t just use any old moisturizer from a nearby store. It’s a must to avoid moisturizers that damage your tattoo and cause adverse health effects.

The lotion or ointment has to be dermatologically tested. It has to be scent-free. Using a fragranced lotion will irritate your skin and damage your tattoo.

The lotion has to be gentle and suitable for all skin types. The lack of fragrance and artificial ingredients makes organic moisturizers the go-to option.

Look for the ingredients below as they help in the healing process:

  • Shea Butter
  • Glycerin
  • Hemp
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B5

These ingredients will add much-needed nutrients to your skin. They will also keep your tattoo hydrated for up to 24 hours.

Additional Read: Can you use tea tree oil over new tattoos

What Moisturizer Should You Avoid Using on a Tattoo?

What Moisturizer Should You Avoid Using on a Tattoo
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Generally, you can use any non-scented moisturizer or lotion on a tattoo. But, there are certain types of creams or ointments you should avoid using. Professional Tattoo artists advise avoiding any petroleum-based lotion or ointment. Other than petroleum-based lotions, you should avoid using any creams that contain:

  • Fragrance
  • Ethanol
  • Parabens
  • Alcohol
  • Mineral oil such as vitamin A and vitamin D
  • Paraffin
  • Coconut oil

These compounds can have adverse effects on the healing process. They can irritate the skin, which damages the tattoo and increase the chance of infection.

How To Fix An Over-moisturized Tattoo

Now, you know that over-moisturizing a tattoo is not good for your tattoo or your skin. Now, let’s discuss the solution to it.

Over-moisturizing is a common problem, and it’s pretty easy to fix. To fix an over-moisturized tattoo, you can follow these steps:

  • Take a paper towel or cotton towel. Make sure to wipe away the excess lotion or ointment. Don’t do it sternly or hastily. Take your time and clean it properly.
  • Wait for the tattoo to dry and soak in the excess moisture. Using a fan to blow cool air on it takes a long time. But be careful when using a fan. Keep the fan at least 30-50 cm away from the tattoo.
  • Take a shower if you feel the ointment needs to be washed off. Don’t scrub the tattoo or apply soap directly to it.
  • Do not apply any more lotion or ointment to the tattoo for the rest of the day. Let it dry off.
  • Continue the lotioning process the next day.


Now, you know that over-moisturizing is a huge problem. It might cause your tattoo to become wet and lose its beauty. It can also have adverse health effects, such as inflammation and infection.

We hope that now you know how to prevent over-moisturization and how to fix it. Now, get your dream tattoo and enjoy the results!

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