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Tattoo Healing Products, Potions, and Myths

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I have never used any of these tattoo pain relief, tattoo healing creams, and/or others though know people who have used various ones and hear mixed reviews. Here's an article that was sent to me. What are your thoughts and experiences on these potions?

Bright Idea winner helps heal tattoos

CLAIRE ROGERS Last updated 05:00 07/11/2011

Wellington businesswoman Gillian Parkinson has quite literally got the good oil.

As an aromatologist she uses essential oils to treat a range of conditions including stress and depression and – as of a year ago – to help tattoos heal.

Her Tinkture Tattoo After Care product won the consumer product category of this year's Grow Wellington Bright Ideas Challenge, which recognises the capital's best new business ideas.

The product is a secret combination of therapeutic-grade essential and carrier oils which helps prevent infection and reduces the pain, bruising and swelling that can accompany new tattoos, Parkinson says, helping them to heal faster.

It is sold in 10 tattoo studios in New Zealand and one in Australia.

Parkinson developed the Tinkture solution after finding existing aftercare products ineffective.

"I had a tattoo done on my arm and used an aftercare product. A week later my arm was still swollen and bruised right down to my wrist."

After her next tattoo she tried her own concoction.

"The initial swelling was gone overnight and there was no bruising. It completely healed within 10 days. The tattoo artist was amazed at how quickly it healed."

Working with Cuba St tattoo parlour ALC Headquarters, she tested Tinkture on a range of people before deciding it was ready for the marketplace.

"We were getting rave reviews," she said.

Parkinson estimates she has sold 600 bottles. She plans to increase stockists overseas and in New Zealand where she says tattoos are especially popular, in part because of the traditions of Maori and Pacific Islanders.

"In America there are 20,000-plus tattoo studios and there are 152 in New Zealand that I know of. Within three years I'd like to have 500 stockists worldwide. I know it's going to be a bit of a slow process, as I need to attend lots of expos and tattoo shows to be seen and to do a little bit of education around tattoo aftercare," Parkinson said.

Char Hillerby, who works at ALC, is a Tinkture convert.

"Unlike other cream-based products it spreads quite lightly, so it doesn't feel like you're scratching sunburn when you put it on. It's vegan as well, and there's a huge market for people wanting vegan tattoos and vegan aftercare."

Tattoos used to be something drunken sailors got just for the sake of it, but they now have much more meaning, says Hillerby.

"People today getting them want a piece of art on their body. They go to a tattoo artist they really admire and say, `Hey, can you design me something?"'.

Stuff.co.nz

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A few years ago I ended up with free bottle of a product called 'Mama Haze's Tattoo Tonic'. It was from the sort of operation described above, containing mainly natural oils. I believe the company producing it was run by the girlfriend of my then tattooist. It came in a small bottle, like an essential oil.

I don't think it did me any major harm (in fact it was probably as if I had used nothing at all) for the one time I tried to use it, but I abandoned it because I was pretty sure it was inferior to alternatives like Bepanthen.

For me personally if I apply a product like Bepanthen for the first few days (lightly) then I don't any heavy drying of the skin or scabbing - just some light peeling. When I applied the oil to the skin it just didn't seem to have the same firepower - the skin would be dry and cracking ten minutes after it was applied.

I googled Mama Haze to see if they were still in business ... It appears not.

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I use a product called After Ink, which I believe is also from NZ. It's mostly essential oils, in a sort of paste form. I've tried other stuff that worked too, but I do note that the scabbing stage is on the whole much less dramatic - I get some tiny black flakey (haven't tried on colour yet) stuff falling off during application, and that's it. Never goes dry, never peels etc. and everything comes out looking nice.

Plus it smells good :D

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after ink makes me go really really spotty. I use Bep for a few days and then my wifes expensive kiehls creme du corps moisturiser.... I think taking iron and zinc suppliment makes a huge difference to how i heal too.

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I use a product called "Bag Balm." Might sound a bit strange, but farmers have been using it on their cows udders for years. And havent we all seen our share of heffers with ink on a titty? It keeps the skin area from drying out, and protects the area from outside bacteria. I use it for 3-4 days after ink. Works great.

- - - Updated - - -

I use a product called "Bag Balm." Might sound a bit strange, but farmers have been using it on their cows udders for years. And havent we all seen our share of heffers with ink on a titty? It keeps the skin area from drying out, and protects the area from outside bacteria. I use it for 3-4 days after ink. Works great.

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I use a product called "Bag Balm." Might sound a bit strange, but farmers have been using it on their cows udders for years. And havent we all seen our share of heffers with ink on a titty? It keeps the skin area from drying out, and protects the area from outside bacteria. I use it for 3-4 days after ink. Works great.

In Spanish we call it "crema de ordeñe", which means literally "milking balm". I didn´t know it was good to protect against bacterias too.

I prefer to use as few pharmaceutical products as I can, and I´m looking for a natural alternative to Bepanthen for when I get tattooed again, preferably something I can make myself. I´m not sure of what bag balm has in it, and if it´s all that natural.

I already use a homemade sunscreen, made with beeswax, chamomile and marigold. I still have to use it on my tattoo (I got it just three weeks ago and Spring is not that warm yet), but it does wonders keeping my face free of rosacea I would get when exposed to the sun (even when using 60 or 90 SPF).

Does anyone know what essential oils After Ink has? Citronella oil is a very good bactericide. I may experiment with that.

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You might want to check out this blog post to make your own salve: DIY: Herbal Salves « The Mountain Rose Blog

Salve making is super super easy. I make my own healing salve, and had great results with it helping my last tattoo heal really well, and it's great for cuts/burns/scrapes/etc. I think the big thing is: if you are going to use essential oils, use a high quality brand (not an "aromatherapy" type), use only 4-5 drops for an entire batch of salve (ie a 3" tin), and combine with herbal oils. I use Aquaphor and the herbal salve for the first 2 days, then switch to the herbal salve for the rest of the time, and then to lotion.

Lavender is also an anti-bacterial herb, and is commonly used in salves to lengthen the shelf-life, and reduce mold growth. If you keep the salve in the fridge, and use Lavender essential oil, your salve will keep for 3 years.

After Inked ingredient list: Tattoo Moisturizer and Tattoo Aftercare Lotion: AFTER INKED vegan body art cream tribal designs natural cruelty free PETA tatoo tatto tatuaje tattoos tatuage twig sparks buddha buda permanent make up cosmetics laser removal skincare after care

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Citronella Essential Oil - personally, based on this info, I would not use citronella essential oil either. You are not supposed to use essential oils neat/straight applied to the skin - they can burn you - always use a "carrier" oil (dilute the essential oil into another oil like coconut, olive, grapeseed, almond, etc.) You'd be better off to get the dried herbs themselves, and make oils directly, then blend with beeswax to make your own salve.

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@Fermin, please do not use citronella on your skin. Don't use it on your dog, either, some dogs can have a very bad reaction. There are many, many, many essential oils that can be used neat, but most would be too harsh for a fresh tattoo. The only oil to ever put on a tattoo is lavender, and that's mixed with a carrier oil. And do make sure it's actually lavender, from a reputable company like Oshadii or Simplers or Young Living. There's 70% more products on the market that say "lavender oil" than there is lavender grown in the world. I have used this to heal a tattoo, but dryer always seems to be better for me. There's a reason everyone hates the word "moist."

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@Fala, thanks for the links. That´s some very useful information.

@dari, I never use any essential oil directly on the skin without any type of vehicle.

Depending on the application, I´ve used them suspended in water, or diluted in a neutral oil (like rice, jojoba, or coconut) or in a cream.

I´ve been using a few drops of citronella oil in about 30mL of water as a mosquito repellent for a couple of years now, and my skin is fine. I´ve also used it to clean my hands after massaging someone´s feet, or to disinfect an open, but shallow, wound. Always in low concentration.

And luckily I can get lavender directly from the plant. Next time I get a tattoo I´ll prepare a lavender cream or balm and use that instead of Bepanthen. Thanks!

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@Fermin, please do not use citronella on your skin. Don't use it on your dog, either, some dogs can have a very bad reaction. There are many, many, many essential oils that can be used neat, but most would be too harsh for a fresh tattoo. The only oil to ever put on a tattoo is lavender, and that's mixed with a carrier oil. And do make sure it's actually lavender, from a reputable company like Oshadii or Simplers or Young Living. There's 70% more products on the market that say "lavender oil" than there is lavender grown in the world. I have used this to heal a tattoo, but dryer always seems to be better for me. There's a reason everyone hates the word "moist."

Dry healing always works the best for me. Also I agree the word moist is terrible

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I mentioned lavender because it's an herb everyone is familiar with. There are plenty of other herbs to choose from (which was why I linked to a salve making article.) I think that using whole herb is vastly preferable to essential oils, and even more preferable in combination with other herbs for an optimal synergistic effect. I'd be more apt to use a combination of calendula, comfrey, echinacea and plantain than singly using lavender. If you are going to use essential oils, Snow Lotus is the best brand that I know of.

Yeah, I don't keep my healing tattoos "moist" (damp, boggy, haha) but I don't like the cracking/tight feeling. That's when the ultra-thin coat of healing salve works for me - it's breathable, and the herbal combination makes for speedier (and less itchy) healing.

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I've found that I heal the best when I do as little as possible to my tattoo, but I do take arnica tablets before, during, and after getting tattooed to mitigate the worst of the bruising and swelling. I still swell and maybe bruise a bit depending on the spot, but it seems to be better than when I didn't take the arnica.

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After my tattoo bonanza recently at the London Convention I was really worried about two tattoos I'd gotten. They're both around my right knee so when the second tattoo was done the tattooer creamed in both the new tattoo and the tattoo from yesterday and wrapped it in cling film. I've heard you shouldn't use any cream when you do re-wraps so I was a bit worried there all ready. When I got home that evening the cling film had fallen off, leaving my two tattoos rubbing against my unwashed and well used 5 month old jeans. I jumped into the shower and got cleaned as thoroughly as I could, no soap, no hot water.

I didn't have any additional cling film so I slept in the bed without (usually always keep the wrap on until the next morning) and then got cleaned again. Proceeded with my usual after care method: bephanten and cold water cleaning 4-5 times a day.

For the coming 10 days these two tattoos looked like SHIT. The first 5 days I had been eating aspirin as to not get an infection or something that would make it worse. Yet I had super thick scabs, lines underneath that seemed to be blurred, the solid black was all spotty with grays. I said to myself that I will need severe touch ups on these two. Even a week after these first 10 days my skin was so dry and scaly it felt like I was becoming a lizard.

But they both came out nice. Might have to do a small touch up on one of them, but nothing major. And I thought they were both f.u.c.k.e.d. Moral to the story: keep it simple, hygiene routine above everything, don't panic, don't get tricked into buying some Tatz Magick Kream 2000, eat well, sleep well, don't get sick. I think there is a lot more contributing to how well/fast you heal than if your cream has this and that in it. If your tattooer made a solid tattoo, it's going to stick. Just think of it as an open wound for the first 4 days, add some bephanten and you're safe. Some times the process takes longer, don't sweat it.

/healing guru with only black n gray tattoos, signing out :cool:

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A perfect Tattoo Aftercare solution is a Myth.

Everyone's body is different, ie different PH, different state of health, and different environment.

There is not Magical after care solution that will heal everybody all the time

Fact: Your body will heal your skin (fresh Tattoo), no matter what you put on it.

Fact: the better your immune system, the better you will heal your tattoo, so sleep well, eat well and hydrate with water.

Fact: anything with perfumes and alcohol in it (soaps included) will negatively effect your Tattoo healing.

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