Getting a tattoo is a big deal for you and your skin. Any good tattoo artist is going to spend some time telling you how to take care of your tattoo after you leave their shop. I peppered my artist with all sorts of questions and left with her standard full sheet of specific instructions. I have a large snake tattoo and I was nervous about taking care of it properly.
Many of the tattoo care products out there are petroleum or PABA based and I definitely hesitated to put that gunk on my skin just to help my tattoo heal. But I did because I didn't want to do the "wrong" thing for my tattoo. It did heal, but the tattoo was really itchy, peeled a lot and after a few weeks, needed another hour of touch up work, so frustrating. I felt like I had failed my skin.
After the touch up work , I reconsidered my approach. I followed all the cleanliness instructions and for the first week I substituted cocoa butter for the petroleum gunk. I warmed a few pieces of cocoa butter in my fingers until it was soft enough to apply easily.
For the second through third weeks I used my own Calendula Cream. The result? It never got itchy and there was no more peeling or fading of lines. In fact, it looked and felt great the entire time and still does 9 years later!
It's important to follow those instructions on cleanliness, wrapping and more, but some cocoa butter and Calendula Cream works even better than petroleum.
I am still careful with my tattoo. I apply my mineral sunscreen when I am out in the warm weather and apply Calendula Cream everyday to keep the skin it's on, moisturized and healthy.