When you undergo the strenuous procedure of getting a tattoo, it becomes crucial that you get desired results. Otherwise, all of the burdensome and investment goes in vain. Hence, you require an aftercare routine to protect your skin and keep the tattoos in shape. Since the advent of tattooing in the 1800s, ayurvedic medicines have been employing coconut oil as a tattoos aftercare product. Why?
If you have got a fresh tattoo or removed the old one, coconut oil works best for both. The great moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties of coconut oil protect your tattooed skin against infections, itchiness, and inflammation.
At SkinVeteran, we are a team of experts who believe in ensuring our readers a healthy skin. This article will take a closer look at what studies say of the benefits and risks of applying coconut oil on new tattoos.
Why It Is Best To Apply Coconut Oil On New Tattoo?
Coconut oil extracted from white fleshy content inside fresh coconuts can be a useful option in tattoo aftercare. From vital vitamins to crucial fatty acids, this masterpiece of nature offers unmatched bounties for your skin. So how can it help you take care of your tattoos?
It contains high fatty acid content that can do wonders for your tattoos—especially the lauric and capric acid, which are an inevitable part of various skin products.
In addition, vitamin E and K are also plenty in coconut oil that act as antioxidants. Following are the ways—supported by a growing body of studies, through which coconut oil can help your tattooed skin.
1. Minimizes The Chances of Infection
New tattoos are susceptible to infections (acne, cellulitis, folliculitis) because your skin is temporarily punctured. Coconut oil is one of the best sources of the following medium-chain fatty acids that can protect your skin:
- Lauric Acid
- Caprylic Acid
- Myristic Acid
- Linolenic Acid
- Stearic Acid
According to studies, these fatty acids have strong antimicrobial properties that can help protect your tattooed skin from infections.
Another study done to check the ability of fatty acids to kill bacteria showed that lauric acid is the most effective out of 30 fatty acids. So, applying coconut oil directly to your tattoo can minimize the chances of bacterial growth.
2. Moisturizes Your Tattooed Skin
It is a mild exfoliator, locks natural moisture in, keeps your skin soft, and prevents cracks and dryness in your lately treated skin. As a result, you can stop worrying about itchiness and eczema caused by your new tattoo.
A study comparing coconut oil with other moisturizing mineral oils showed that coconut oil is a good moisturizer as some of the other best commercial products.
Moisturizing also catalyzes the healing process without clogging skin pores. However, along with it, you should still use the moisturizer that your tattoo expert or dermatologist prescribes as a best practice.
In addition, scabs might develop on new tattoos sometimes; the best solution is to use coconut oil to make them soft and then gently remove them off your skin.
3. Helps Fast Tattoo Recovery
Coconut oil contains fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin K and vitamin E abundantly. Vitamin K plays a significant role in blood clotting by making 4 of 13 proteins required for the action. So, coconut oil can help in wound healing and speedy recovery of your tattooed skin.
According to one animal study, virgin coconut oil accelerate tattoo recovery with the help of antioxidants and the manufacturing of collagen protein, critical in wound healing.
Therefore, as a study confirmed, using coconut oil with prescribed antibiotics on your tattoo wounds will support healing.
Vitamin E protects your skin against sunburn by blocking ultraviolet rays striking the tattoo. In addition, other components like L-arginine and Lauric acid also help speed up skin recovery after tattooing.
4. Enhances Tattoo Luster
You may already know that moisturized skin gleams more than rough and dry skin. Unfortunately, tattooing causes extra dryness and roughness on your skin for the first few weeks. Therefore, your tattoo might look a bit dull.
Coconut oil has got you covered because, along with deep moisturization of your tattooed skin, it reduces oxidative stress. It also enhances the overall appearance and offers longevity, so your tattoo looks sparkling for longer.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Studies have shown that lauric and capric acid can reduce inflammation and acne more efficiently than the famous benzoyl peroxide. Itching, swelling, and burning sensation are common aftereffects of tattooing.
Therefore, gentle coconut oil use helps relieve these issues quite remarkably and promotes tattoo recovery. In addition, its multiple anti-inflammatory composites, such as Lauric acid, give it analgesic properties to relive pain.
Virgin or Refined: Which Coconut Oil Is Best For Tattoo?
There are two types of coconut oils available on the market—virgin and refined. So, how can you decide which one is better for your tattoos?
Refined coconut oil is obtained when white kernels of dry coconut go through a lot of processing. As a result, the producers remove the natural scent of this oil. Due to the neutral odor and extensive processing, refined coconut oil is good for cooking instead of skin.
The virgin coconut oil is obtained from raw coconuts and does not go through any processing. Therefore, more of its nutritional content remains active and makes it best suited for your tattoos.
A study comparing the anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties of refined and virgin coconut oil showed that virgin coconut oil is far better for your skin.
How To Use Coconut Oil On a New Tattoo?
Although it is safe, using coconut oil on tattoos has to be very carefully administered. Below are some key aspects you should always consider while employing coconut oil in tattoo aftercare.
1. Less is enough
A minimal quantity of coconut oil should be applied on tattoos because it locks the skin surface. Too much oil would stop oxygen from reaching your skin cells which can significantly delay healing.
Your skin should feel smooth after using a small amount; too much oil will feel sticky and greasy. Massage with coconut oil every time you wash the tattooed area to rehydrate your skin.
2. Use virgin or extra virgin coconut oil
Organic cold press oil with no added preservatives, colorings, and fragrances is best applied to tattoos. Additives may cause allergies to the punctured skin.
3. Do a patch test first
Here is how to do it:
- Wash the test area of your skin. The test area can be any region of your body except the tattooed one.
- Dip a finger into coconut oil, apply it gently to your test area and massage it well.
- Leave it on your kin if you do not feel any irritation; you’re not allergic to coconut oil and can use it on your tattoo.
- If any allergic symptoms, like redness, swelling, or scratchiness, appear, wash the test area off with sufficient water.
- If such symptoms persist, immediately seek the advice of your tattoo expert or a dermatologist.
Does Coconut Oil Fade Tattoos?
You no longer have to worry about the premature fading of your body art because coconut oil does not fade the tattoos. Instead, apply it once daily to maintain the original ink and shine. Regular application will ensure vibrant tattoos that stand out!
The Natural Medicine Journal has reported slight allergies to coconut oil from some people. Since each skin type is different, it is always recommended to ensure that you’re not allergic by doing a patch test.
Redness and itchy skin are the typical reaction symptoms that may occur. And, these complications due to coconut oil might make your tattoo look dull.
Coconut oil is nature’s all-in-one package for taking care of a fresh tattoo and keeping it look vibrant for years. Due to its popularity for these well-known advantages, you can easily find it in any supermarket or online store. The key is to use it well so you can utilize all of its potential benefits for new and old tattoos.