The aftercare of a new tattoo is supposed to include lotion or moisturizer to help keep the skin from drying too much. Many people are recommending coconut oil be used instead of over-the-counter lotions that may contain dyes, chemicals, and perfumes that can cause allergic reactions.
We wanted to explore coconut oil and see if it is actually safe to use on open wounds of this type. We went to a group of tattoo artists and dermatologists to learn as much as we could about this oil before we recommended it to you. Our goal is to inform and educate our readers so they can make better decisions about everything related to tattoos.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut is classified as being a drupe. A drupe is a fruit that has only one seed like a peach or an olive. The coconut can however be loosely referred to as a fruit, a nut, or a seed.
Coconut oil is derived from natural coconut meat. The meat inside a coconut is called copra. The copra is pressed to extract the oils.
The virgin oils are generally made from the freshest copra. It can be produced by a wet or dry process. The dry process requires the copra to be quickly dried using a small amount of heat. The copra is then placed in a machine that presses it and extracts the oil. This creates coconut milk and oil that is all-natural.
Refined oil is steamed or heated to the point that the smell of the fresh copra is removed and all impurities and possible contaminants in the oil. Once refined the oil is rendered odorless and tasteless.
Fractionated oil is virgin oil that is distilled. The distilling of the oil causes fatty acids in the oil to be separated so they can be removed from the oil. The oil then stays in a liquid form instead of solidifying. This oil is the most recommended oil for use on skin because it does not have a tendency to clog pores. Your skin can absorb this type of oil more completely and it is deeply moisturizing and nourishing to your skin.
Advantages of Using Coconut Oil for Tattoo Healing
The oil from coconut has natural antiseptic properties that promote healing and give protection from skin damages.
The oil from coconut does not contain anything that can be considered a toxin. Nothing is added to the oil that could be harmful to human health. It is safe to use around children and pets. You cannot overdose on the oil but you can put too much oil on your skin and that would create overly moist or greasy skin conditions.
The oil contains capric, lauric, and caprylic acids. These components are what make the oil from coconut have antiseptic qualities that help prevent infection and other skin diseases.
Easier to Remove
The oil from the coconut is easier to wash off than most ointments and lotions. Thick layers of lotion and ointment can stop your skin from being able to breathe. This results in more complications and problems. The oil from the coconut is light and can be rinsed away without harsh soaps or vigorous scrubbing.
Coconut oil contains powerful nutrients like vitamins E and K. These vitamins help hasten wound healing by encouraging clotting. When consumed these nutrients are heart-healthy substances that strengthen your cardiovascular system and your skeletal system. They promote bone strength and they help you to have smoother skin and a flawless complexion.
The coconut oil does not have a color that is going to bleed onto your clothing and possibly ruin something. Once refined the coconut oil also loses the odor it naturally has. No dyes or perfumes are added to this type of oil.
Disadvantages of Using Coconut Oil for Tattoo Healing
Everything that we use has both good points and bad points. Coconut oil does have some things that you may want to consider before you begin to use it.
This oil is known to clog pores easily. Fractionated oil is less prone to causing clogged pores, but people who have acne-prone or extremely oily skin might want to use this oil sparingly or avoid it altogether.
Remember that small amounts of oil are all you need to moisturize. Wash the oil away prior to applying additional amounts.
Breaks down make-up
Using the oil may cause the make-up you wear to break down and run. It is recommended that you do not apply the oil to your face if you wear foundation make-up.
How to Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is natural and is usually not associated with any kind of allergic reaction. It is still best for you to try the oil on a small area of your skin to make certain you are not going to have an adverse reaction. Use the oil on a small area that does NOT have an open wound prior to applying it to a new tattoo.
Wait 24 hours after applying the test portion of the oil to make sure that your skin reacts favorably to the substance.
Clean the tattoo area with a mild antibacterial soap. Pat it dry and do not rub. Then apply a small amount of coconut oil. You probably do not need an amount any larger than a dime.
Do not vigorously rub the oil into the skin. Gently massage the oil using the tips of your fingers.
How Often to Apply the Oil?
When you get a new tattoo, it is recommended that you clean the area with an antibacterial soap two or three times each day. Antibacterial soap can cause your skin to dry out quickly.
To keep your skin properly hydrated and moisturized you should apply a thin layer of the oil each time that you clean it. This would be two or three applications per day during the healing time.
After the wound is completely healed you do not need to apply the oil as frequently. It is best if you apply a small amount of the oil to your skin after you bathe, Use the oil all over your body to promote healthy skin and help fight dryness and irritation.
What can Coconut Oil Do?
The use of this oil is recommended because the oil can provide benefits like:
- Calming that relieves itching and the pulling feeling that wounds have when scabs start to form and they start to dry out.
- Reduce the possibility of some infections and bacterial complications during the healing time.
- Moisturize the skin without causing the ink in your tattoo to fade.
Coconut oil is one of the newest recommendations for skincare by tattoo artists, but this oil is not a new invention. This oil has been produced for many years, and people who live in areas rich with this one-seeded drupe.
This oil is beneficial in skincare and in dietary changes. Whenever you choose to use an all-natural product rather than a refined, man-made product formulated from things you cannot pronounce and do not know where they come from then you are improving the way you care for your body.