petroleum jelly vaseline for tattoo

The Benefits of Using Petroleum Jelly for Tattoo Aftercare

Using petroleum jelly for tattoo aftercare offers several benefits:

  1. Moisturization: Petroleum jelly provides a protective barrier over the tattooed area, sealing in moisture and preventing excessive dryness. This helps to alleviate itchiness and discomfort during the healing process.

  2. Protection: Petroleum jelly creates a protective layer that shields the tattoo from environmental irritants and bacteria, reducing the risk of infection. It acts as a barrier against dirt, dust, and other external elements that may interfere with the healing process.

  3. Reduced Scabbing and Cracking: By keeping the tattooed skin hydrated, Vaseline helps to minimize scabbing and cracking. This promotes faster healing and reduces the chances of scarring.

  4. Preserving Color and Vibrancy: Proper moisturization provided by petroleum jelly helps to preserve the color and vibrancy of your tattoo. It prevents the tattooed area from drying out, which can lead to color fading or a dull appearance over time.

How to Apply Vaseline for Tattoo Aftercare

When applying petroleum jelly for tattoo aftercare, follow these steps:

  1. Clean Hands and Tattoo: Before applying petroleum jelly, ensure your hands are clean to prevent any contamination. Gently wash the tattooed area with mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water. Pat dry with a clean towel or allow it to air dry.

  2. Apply a Thin Layer: Take a small amount of Vaseline on your fingertips and apply a thin, even layer over the tattoo. Massage the jelly into the skin gently, making sure not to rub too harshly or irritate the tattooed area.

  3. Repeat as Needed: Apply PJ 2-3 times a day or as recommended by your tattoo artist or healthcare professional. Avoid applying excessive amounts as it may clog the pores and delay the healing process.

  4. Follow Additional Aftercare Instructions: Remember that PJ is just one component of a comprehensive tattoo aftercare routine. Follow any additional instructions provided by your tattoo artist, such as using specialized tattoo creams, avoiding direct sunlight, or refraining from swimming or soaking the tattooed area.

Important Considerations of using Vaseline in  Tattoo

While petroleum jelly can be beneficial for tattoo aftercare, it’s important to consider the following points:

  1. Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to petroleum jelly. Before applying it to your tattoo, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to check for any adverse reactions. If you experience redness, itching, or any other signs of an allergic reaction, discontinue use immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

  2. Avoid Overapplication: Applying too much Vaseline can hinder the healing process by preventing proper airflow to the tattooed area. This can create a moist environment that promotes bacterial growth. Use a thin layer and reapply as needed, but avoid excessive use.

  3. Follow Professional Advice: While PJ is generally safe for tattoo aftercare, it’s always best to follow the instructions and recommendations provided by your tattoo artist or healthcare professional. They may have specific guidelines based on the size, location, and intricacy of your tattoo.

  4. Keep the Tattoo Clean: Petroleum jelly should be applied to a clean and dry tattoo. Ensure proper hygiene by gently washing the tattooed area with mild soap and water before each application of PJ.


Is Vaseline safe for tattoos? 

Yes, Vaseline is generally safe for tattoos when used as directed. However, it’s important to perform a patch test before full application to check for any allergic reactions.

When should I start using petroleum jelly on my new tattoo? 

You can start using petroleum jelly on your new tattoo once the initial healing phase is complete and the tattooed area begins to peel or feel dry. This is typically around 2-3 days after getting the tattoo.

How often should I apply petroleum jelly to my tattoo?

Apply petroleum jelly 2-3 times a day or as recommended by your tattoo artist or healthcare professional. Avoid excessive application as it may hinder the healing process.

Can petroleum jelly cause an allergic reaction on tattoos?

While rare, some individuals may be allergic to petroleum jelly. Perform a patch test before full application to check for any allergic reactions. If you experience any adverse symptoms, discontinue use and seek medical advice.

Are there any alternatives to vaseline for tattoo aftercare?

Yes, there are alternative products specifically designed for tattoo aftercare, such as tattoo-specific moisturizers or ointments. These products often contain ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, or specialized tattoo care formulas. Consult your tattoo artist or healthcare professional for recommendations.

Can petroleum jelly fade the color of my tattoo?

When used as directed and in moderation, petroleum jelly is unlikely to fade the color of your tattoo. Proper aftercare, including moisturization, helps to preserve the color and vibrancy of your tattoo over time.


Vaseline can be a useful tool in your tattoo aftercare routine, providing moisturization, protection, and preservation of color. When used properly and in conjunction with other aftercare practices, it can contribute to a healthy and well-healed tattoo. Remember to follow the guidance of your tattoo artist and healthcare professional, and always prioritize cleanliness and hygiene during the healing process. Enjoy your new tattoo and cherish it for years to come!