Essential oils are packed with different properties, many of which can be beneficial for healing tattoos and keeping them looking their best in the long-term. They’re also a natural product, which is why so many people are drawn to them as they don’t contain harmful substances that could damage your beautiful new piece of body art. Here are some of the best essential oils for tattoos, some of which can fight off bacteria and others can block UV rays that will fade ink.

Helichrysum oil

Helichrysum oil is great for healing tattoos as it has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and antiseptic properties, so it will help to fight off bacteria that could lead to an infection. It’s also known to be an anti-inflammatory, which is helpful for new tattoos that tend to cause the skin to swell and become irritated and itchy. Helichrysum is one of the few essential oils to contain diketones, which a 2001 study found to be exceptionally high in helichrysum oil. These diketones stimulate new skin tissue to grow, aiding healing.

Frankincense oil

Frankincense is believed to speed up the tattoo healing process and reduces that chance of infections as it boosts the immune system. It’s also known to combat pain and inflammation, making this another great essential oil for the healing process. However, some people believe that because Frankincense is so good at helping skin that it may actually pull ink out of new tattoos, so it’s recommended to use it with caution. It can still be used once your tattoo has healed to keep ink looking fresh.

Lavender oil

Many people will ask for the skin to be numbed before a tattoo, but a lot of artists are against doing this for various reasons. Lavender oil can be applied to a fresh tattoo so that you benefit from its natural pain relieving and soothing properties. Not only will lavender oil help with physical pain and discomfort, it has a calming effect to relieve anxiety and help you to relax. It also contains SPF, making it a good option for the long-term care of tattoos as the sun is well known for fading tattoo ink.

Myrrh oil

Myrrh oil is another antiseptic essential oil, making it ideal for fresh, healing tattoos. It’s sometimes used to help stop bleeding, so if you’re a ‘bleeder’ when getting a tattoo it can be a good oil for you to use before covering the tattoo in a protective wrap, but be sure that your artist is happy to use it on a fresh tattoo. Myrrh is known to support the skin’s natural ability to heal, replenish and generally care for itself, helping the healing process.

Essential oil products for tattoos

Professional Blends is a new tattoo aftercare product that utilizes the benefits of essential oils. Ingredients are completely natural and they promise to be vegan-friendly too. There are three different products available, one for each stage of the healing and aftercare process. Step one is formulated to help with the initial healing of a tattoo where skin will be inflamed, peeling and itchy. Step two focuses on healing the tattoo in the following three months and step three is a long-term product to keep tattoos looking their best.

Essential oils may work differently for different people and even from one tattoo to the next, depending on placement. Do your research to find what will work best for you, your skin and your tattoo. You should speak to your artist too, as they may be able to advise what has worked well for them or other clients and what won’t mix well with the inks they’re using.