vitamin e oil for tattoos

Should I Use Vitamin E Oil for My Tattoo Aftercare?

When it comes to tattoo aftercare, it is safe to say that we’re getting pretty overwhelmed with all the do’s and don’ts, especially when it comes to products we use for skin care. Sure, as an investment that will last you a lifetime, it is important to pay attention to your tattoo and the products one uses for the aftercare; but, aren’t we getting a bit too obsessed with all these skincare products?

Or, to be more specific, aren’t we simply overwhelmed with all these ‘you must use this or that in order for your tattoo to stay fresh and vibrant. We all fall for these claims and promises, at least once.

One of the latest installments of the skin and beauty community is the need for tattoo owners to use vitamin E oil. Allegedly, vitamin E oil is supposed to keep your tattooed skin hydrated, irritation-free, and overall protect the skin from external pollutants and UV light. But, does it really work, or is this just another money-grab idea to promote vitamin E oil? Let’s find out!

Vitamin E For Tattoo Aftercare

Claimed Benefits and Tattoos

Vitamin E oil is a natural oil praised for its numerous benefits. When used in products, it comes in different formulas, but claims of its amazing effects are basically all the same; it will moisturize your skin, reduce redness and scars, and provide free radical damage protection. Let’s be honest; vitamin E oil does provide all of these benefits. But, it is easy to get blinded by them and forget about all of the possible negative effects of vitamin E oil use.

You will find tons of online articles claiming vitamin E is amazing for the skin, including tattooed skin. Because it acts as an antioxidant, it supposedly accelerated the tattoo healing process and ensures everything heals nicely and quickly. Some even claim vitamin E oil can slow down aging and keep your skin young looking.

To keep the story short, in the following paragraphs we’ll solely focus on the relationship between vitamin E oil and tattooed skin. Because tattoed skin is quite sensitive and prone to irritation and even after it fully heals can cause some discrepancies in your ‘skin behavior’, it is important to pay special attention to the vitamin E oil pros and cons. So, let’s do that!

Vitamin E Oil Pros and Cons

To really see how vitamin E oil interacts with your tattooed skin, we need to take a deeper dive into its pros and cons, benefits, and adverse effects people can experience. This way you can weigh the pros and cons, see if one outweighs the other, and choose to use it or not.


  • Highly moisturizing – Vitamin E oil does provide the necessary moisturization to the skin, no doubt about that. However, we recommend you use vitamin E oil, or oil-containing products, only when your tattoos are long healed.
  • Scar-reducing and skin-recovering – If you’ve experienced complications with your tattoo healing, and you’re left with scars or marks of any kind, you can use vitamin E oil to reduce their appearance. Vitamin E oil helps the skin regenerate and bring back its former appearance. Nevertheless, we have to point out that you should only use vitamin E oil for this purpose once the tattoo is fully healed and mattified (or to be even safer, approximately 2 to 4 months after the tattoo has healed).
  • Excellent for skin protection – Because tattooed skin is always slightly more sensitive, even if you have sensitive skin in general, it can be beneficial to use vitamin E oil to strengthen its barrier. Vitamin E oil helps protects the skin from external irritants as well as UV damage, so make sure to keep this in mind if you live in sunny, humid, or polluted areas.


  • Pore-clogging – Despite being a big part of dermatological skincare, vitamin E oil is highly comedogenic when it comes to tattooed skin care. Unless you specifically look for the ‘non-comedogenic’ vitamin E oil products, you’ll more-or-less clog your pores when using vitamin E oil. This is never a good idea; your skin needs to breathe in order to be healthy and not become a growth paradise for bacteria.
  • Might not be scar-reducing for everyone – Studies have shown that in some case vitamin E oil doesn’t really work when it comes to scar-reduction. Because the proof of vitamin E oil having scar reduction properties varies from one study to the other or is purely anecdotal, we strongly recommend you check these claims with your dermatologist or a medical professional before trying the oil out.
  • Might cause skin rash – This surely doesn’t apply to everyone, but rumor has it that vitamin E oil can cause a skin rash. Studies have shown that vitamin E oil can cause irritant contact dermatitis, including generalized eczema. Before using vitamin E oil, make sure to see a dermatologist for a consult. This especially applies to people with eczema, sensitive skin, or other skin conditions. Keeping in mind that tattooed skin is generally more sensitive than the rest of the skin, it is really important to pay attention to the way your skin reacts to a product.
  • Additives in the oil – Let’s be honest; the majority of the vitamin E oils or oil-containing products contain additives; active or inactive ingredients that can damage not only your tattoo but your skin as well. Make sure to check the ingredient list of a product, and if it contains any additives, like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. The additives generally make the vitamin E oil even more pore-clogging, so make sure to keep this in mind.

So, Should I Use Vitamin E Oil for My Tattoo Aftercare?

In our humble opinion; no, you definitely shouldn’t use vitamin E oil as a part of your tattoo aftercare (especially if the tattoo hasn’t healed yet or has healed only recently). As we mentioned in the previous paragraphs, vitamin E can be a great moisturizer and skin protection product. However, the cons simply outweigh the pros when it comes to using this oil on tattooed skin.

Sure enough, if your skin can handle vitamin E oil (and this is confirmed by a dermatologist), then in that case go for it; there are definitely some excellent body skincare products out there containing vitamin E oil. Otherwise, you should probably stay away from vitamin oils of any kind and try to find a suitable alternative. For us, good-quality hydrating, non-comedogenic, light lotions do wonders for tattooed skin. So, why not make your life a bit more simple and simply use an ointment or a lotion for tattoo aftercare?

Should I Use Other Oils for My Tattooed Skin?

Some of the most Google oils out there, apart from vitamin E oil, are grapeseed, coconut, and tea tree oils. You may wonder if you can use any of these oils as an alternative to vitamin E oil, so let’s take a closer look;

  • Grapeseed oil – This oil offers some exceptional benefits for the skin; it is anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial and provides an exceptional hydrating effect. However, it slows down blood clotting and wound healing, including redness and itchiness the oil can use when in touch with sensitive skin. Should you use it for your tattoo aftercare? Probably not!
  • Tea tree oil – this oil is also known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, in some people, the oil can cause skin irritation and swelling. On tattoos, tea tree oil causes ink fading and can potentially irritate the skin. Should you use it on a tattoo? A big nope for this one as well!
  • Coconut oil – just like the previous ones, this oil has anti-inflammatory properties and a plethora of other benefits (including it being a natural disinfectant or moisturizer). However, coconut oil is super comedogenic, meaning it will clog your skin pores and probably cause breakouts, irritation or rashing. Coconut oil creates a barrier between the skin and the air/water, meaning your skin will be trapped under it. As a result, it will start losing natural moisture, and eventually act like it’s suffocating. Avoid coconut oil for tattoo aftercare at all costs.

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Final Thoughts

It can be rather hard to find the right tattoo aftercare product, especially when we’re being bombarded with all these false claims that things like vitamin E oil products, or anything similar, will do wonders for our tattoed skin. In reality, all you need for a good aftercare routine is a nice-quality, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic lotion. However, before you decide to use any products, make sure to have your skin checked by a dermatologist. This way you will avoid any potential unpleasantness that can come with the use of a new product. Good luck and happy tattooing!

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