Coconut oil is believed to moisturize your skin and can be used on a fresh tattoo as a potent aftercare. However, coconut oil as a tattoo aftercare may be new, but its use dates back to ancient Ayurvedic medicine. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can protect your skin from bacteria and viruses. When you get a fresh tattoo, your skin is punctured with a mechanized needle to inject ink into the second layer of your skin. This way you will experience redness, pain, and swelling on the affected area. Here are 10 reasons you should use coconut oil on your fresh tattoo.
1. Antimicrobial Properties
Whether you’re getting a fresh tattoo or removing an old one, it is important to treat the affected area of the skin to prevent infection. Using coconut oil on the tattoo may prevent the growth of microorganisms. This is because of its high lauric acid content, which accounts for roughly half of the fatty acids in coconut oil and can fight harmful germs. One study tested the anti-bacterial properties of lauric acid with 30 different fatty acids. They concluded that the lauric acid in coconut oil is the most effective in fighting bacteria. (1)
Summary: Coconut oil has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria while used on the skin. This is because of its high lauric acid concentration, which accounts for about half of the fatty acids in coconut oil.
2. It May Heal Wounds
Historically, coconut oil has been used as an alternative wound healing medicine. The reason behind using coconut oil on tattoo is its pain-relieving and wound healing abilities, which can help relieve post tattoo pain. Several studies have shown that coconut oil may heal small scars and wounds. In theory, this is because of the antioxidant vitamin E in coconut oil, which can increase the level of collagen. Collagen is a type of protein that plays a crucial role in wound healing.
According to one animal study, scientists applied virgin coconut oil to the affected skin area of rats. They found that virgin coconut oil can boost the healing process by increasing collagen. In another study, the combination of coconut oil and antibiotic effectively healed burn wound. This may be because of the antibacterial properties of coconut oil, which can speed up the healing process. Most of the time, infection can delay healing process. (2, 3)
Summary: Coconut oil is a natural wound healing agent. Using coconut oil on tattoos can heal post tattoo wound by increasing collagen levels.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and its function is to protect you from outside invaders. After getting a tattoo, the needle penetrates the skin’s barrier, and the skin gets inflamed (swollen) as a natural reaction. Applying coconut oil to your tattooed area of the skin can reduce pain and inflammation. Not only that, people have been using coconut oil as an anti-inflammatory agent for many types of skin disorders, including psoriasis, contact dermatitis and eczema. In one animal study, scientists used virgin coconut oil on the inflamed ears of rats. They found that coconut oil can act as an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agent. (4)
Summary: According to animal studies, coconut oil has a high potential for reducing inflammation when applied to the skin affected area.
4. It is Safe For Skin
Unless you are not allergic to coconut, applying it to your tattoo is safe. However, doing a tiny patch test is always an excellent idea. This is because coconuts are classified as a tree nut, so if you are already allergic to nuts, coconut oil may trigger an allergic reaction when applied topically. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, coconut allergy is very rare, with only a few reported cases. The polyphenols and fatty acids in coconut oil may contribute to its beneficial effects. It also includes antioxidants, which can protect the skin to and improve its appearance. (5)
Summary: Coconut oil is safe for your skin. It contains antioxidants, which can both protect and improve the appearance of the skin. Before applying coconut oil on your tattoo, perform a small patch test.
5. Can Be Used at Any Stage
You can use coconut oil at any stage of tattoo process. You can apply it to fresh tattoos, old ones, or even removal or retouching tattoos. The best way to protect your new tattoo and guarantee proper healing, wash the region of the tattoo 2-3 times each day and apply a thin layer of coconut oil. Although coconut oil will eventually expire, you can safely store it for up to two years for skin usage. Because of its stability, the oil does not need to be refrigerated.
Summary: You can use coconut oil at any stage during the tattooing process. It can be used on new or old tattoos, as well as for tattoo removal or retouching.
6. The Best Skin Moisturizer
The fatty acid in coconut oil gives the skin an elevated amount of moisture. This makes the oil famous for eczema and dry skin. In addition, coconut oil can help protect the tattoo art from looking dull while maintaining your skin healthy. Therefore, applying coconut oil to your tattooed skin will prevent dryness. According to one study, people with dry skin compared coconut oil to other mineral oil, which is made from petroleum jelly. Over two weeks, they found that coconut oil improved skin hydration effectively, and the result was like mineral oil. Many people suffer from dry skin during the winter, therefore, coconut oil is the best moisturizer. (6)
Summary: Coconut oil’s fatty acid content provides additional hydration to the skin. This makes the oil well-known for treating eczema and dry skin, as well as keeping tattooed skin from looking dull.
7. It is Natural and Effective
Tattoo aftercare should be straightforward and easy. Coconut oil is a natural source of fatty acid, which can be used as an effective tattoo aftercare lotion. The good thing about coconut oil is that it does not contain preservatives compare to other products. While some coconut oil products contain other ingredients, buy pure virgin coconut oil to reap the maximal skin care benefits.
Summary: As it’s all-natural, coconut oil can be a nice product to use as a dynamic tattoo aftercare.
8. It’s Easy to Find
Coconut oil remains one of the most accessible beauty products. However, coconut trees are growing outside the tropical environments to which they are native. People usually call the coconut tree the tree of life. Therefore, each part of the palm tree is useful because of its application in cooking oil, food ingredient, skin, and hair care. This makes coconut oil very popular and can be accessible easily online or at a department store.
Summary: Coconut oil is incredibly popular and widely available, whether online or in a grocery.
9. Can Block Free Radicals
The presence of an antioxidant such as vitamin E in coconut oil can play a crucial rule in protecting your skin. It keeps your skin smooth, prevents dryness and cracking, but it also blocks free radicals, making your skin look young. That’s said, coconut oil is resistant to oxidation and the formation of free radicals, so it is the healthiest oil to use on the skin.
Summary: Coconut oil moisturises and protects your skin from free radicals, which can make the skin appear younger.
10. A little is Too Much
Coconut oil might save you money compared to lotions and moisturizers because you don’t have to use much. If you pour too much accidentally, just use the extra oil to moisturize other skin areas. While it is the best moisturizer, you can use it on your face, hands, and feet.
Summary: Coconut oil is cost effective because it doesn’t require as much application as lotions and other moisturisers.
Side effects and risks
Some reports show the possibility of mild allergic response. This can be linked to the lauric acid in coconut oil. If you have an allergic response to coconut oil, such as redness or itchy rash, avoid using coconut oil on your tattoo. Even if you believe that coconut oil is safe for your skin, the best way is to do a skin patch test before use. Tattoo artists frequently suggest cream aftercare. Some prefer coconut oil, and some don’t prefer. Health professionals are calling for tattoo aftercare procedures that are more coherent and based on research to prevent complications. (7, 8)
Coconut oil helps protect the skin from invader such as germs and viruses by trapping moisture inside and keeping skin supple and hydrated. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties in coconut oil can reduce pain and inflammation while increases collagen production. However, using coconut oil on your tattoo is usually safe, but the only way to know for sure is a skin patch test. Check with your tattoo artist. They can either offer you a better option. Stop using coconut oil on your tattoo, if you experience irritation. If your symptoms continue, see your dermatologist.
- Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil. 2009.
- Treatment of Dermal Infections With Topical Coconut Oil. A review of efficacy and safety of Cocos nucifera L. in treating skin infections.
- Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.: Arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention. Asian Pacific journal of tropical medicine. 2011.
- The Need for Greater Regulation, Guidelines, and a Consensus Statement for Tattoo Aftercare. JAMA Dermatol. 2016.