Over Moisturized Tattoo? What to Know & How to Prevent One

Over Moisturized Tattoo? What to Know & How to Prevent One

Jul 08, 2022 | Bridget Reed

Healing a new tattoo is an art that’s important to get right. No practice rounds with a healing tattoo. Part of healing a new tattoo is making sure it’s properly moisturized. And it’s not as simple a task as you may think.

Moisturizing a tattoo, especially a healing one, is like being Goldilocks in the three bears' house. There’s too little, too much, and then there’s a juuuuust right amount of moisturizer. We’ve got you and your new tattoo covered with moisturizer (no pun intended) and how much you’ll need.

What Happens When a Tattoo Is Over Moisturized?

Yes, it is possible to over-moisturize a new tattoo. How is this possible, and what are the effects of an over-moisturized tattoo?

If you have a new tattoo, chances are you have heard that moisturizing it during the healing process is crucial. It’s not as simple as slathering on some lotion, though. In fact, please don’t do that! 

When you moisturize a new tattoo, you must use a wound-safe ointment and only a thin layer of it. Then reapply only when the previous layer is fully absorbed or washed away.

When you apply a thick layer of moisturizer or a “moisturizer” that isn’t good for wounds, you can suffocate your healing tattoo. A suffocated tattoo can’t scar—the scarring that gets your wound to close up and heal properly. 

It can also result in longer healing times. The longer your wound takes to heal, the longer you are exposed to bacterial intruders—gross. Using too much moisturizer can trap bacteria in your wound. 

If you apply a thin, breathable layer of moisturizer, your wound can reject bacteria it doesn’t want inside while keeping the hydration it desperately needs. If you have a thick layer of non-breathable ointment, you are stopping your immune system from doing its job, and that bacteria will stay put.

How To Moisturize Your New Tattoo

Over Moisturized Tattoo? What to Know & How to Prevent One

A new tattoo is a healing wound, and wounds require extra special care. If you have ever looked into wound care, you know there is an ongoing debate between letting your injury dry heal or wet heal. Like, should you slather it with an ointment, or should you let it dry out? What’s the best option? Well, neither. 

You should consistently but not obsessively apply a thin layer of a healing ointment to your healing tattoo. We already talked about what over-moisturizing does, but what happens if you don’t use it at all? 

Without moisture, it can dry out and start cracking and bleeding, potentially leading to some ugly scarring and wound reopening. So dry healing is also not the answer.

Put a thin layer of lightweight, breathable healing ointment on your new tattoo. Only reapply after washing or once your tattoo starts to feel super dry again. 

A thin layer means just enough to make sure the entire tattooed area is covered, but nothing more. If that moisturizer stays on the surface and is not absorbing, it’s probably too thick.

You don’t need a deep layer of ointment. It’s better to reapply more frequently than accidentally suffocate your new tattoo.

Certain ointments, especially petroleum jelly-based ointment, can suffocate your tattoo no matter how little you put on. Petroleum jelly is not a breathable ingredient. Stick with a naturals-based ointment for best results.

How To Moisturize Your Old Tattoo

Older tattoos are less sensitive than new, healing tattoos. Since they are no longer a wound, they can be treated more like normal skin. 

That being said, how have you been treating your skin? With all the treatments your shower water goes through and how often we shower in our modern-day world—moisturizing your skin is more important than ever, whether you have tattoos or not.

Right after a shower is the best time to moisturize. Your skin is clean of its natural oils, and you want to replenish your skin’s moisture levels immediately. Your pores are also more open to receiving an extra dose of moisture after a hot shower.

You can also use different products to moisturize an older tattoo. A healing tattoo will need some would-healing specific ointments. Your older tattoo is healed, and you can use an exfoliator and a moisturizer to keep your old tattoo looking young and vibrant. No scabs to look out for this time!

So, find a skin-safe, dermatologist-approved exfoliator to use while you are in the shower. Shed those dead skin cells! Then after your shower, layer on a healthy moisturizer to trap in the hydration and replace oils lost in the shower.

Treating your skin well is the best way to keep old tattoos looking good. That means giving your body the same attention you give your face. Many people like to spend big money on face moisturizers and leave the body with low-quality, chemical-ridden moisturizers. 

We are going to suggest against that. Avoid the acne and invest in a quality body moisturizer—maybe even add on a tattoo balm that can dig deep and keep your tattoo ink healthy too.

Again, thin layers of whatever moisturizer you choose are the way to go. Even after you’ve healed, you can still suffocate your pores by applying thick layers of moisturizer.

Bottom Line

Over Moisturized Tattoo? What to Know & How to Prevent One

It is possible to over-moisturize your tattoos, especially your new ones. Over-moisturization is caused by using too much of a product or a product with suffocating ingredients. 

If you over-moisturize a healing tattoo, it can impede the healing process leading to longer healing times and possible infection. That’s a hard no.

When it’s time to moisturize your tattoo, just use a thin layer of a natural, wound-safe healing ointment after cleaning the wound.

You can moisturize older tattoos with skin-safe lotions and tattoo balms after showering. But again, don’t run the risk of clogging pores by over-applying your moisturizer! Whether your tattoo is fresh or years-healed, too much is too much.

Use HUSH CBD Healing Balm for amazing healing results and natural soothing. Our CBD Healing Balm is great for new and old tattoos. Now, get to it!



Clinical Impact Upon Wound Healing and Inflammation in Moist, Wet, and Dry Environments | PMC

Vaseline and Burns | PMC

Phytochemicals and Naturally Derived Substances for Wound Healing | PMC

Moisturizers | StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review | PMC

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