The better care you take of your tattoos when they’re fresh, the better they’ll heal and look when they’ve finished healing over. While it’s popular to simply go to the store and use something like Aquaphor, you can actually get potentially better results from using something more natural that contains pure plant oils that soothe and help the skin to heal itself better. And what’s more, you can make it yourself! With just a couple ingredients you can have a seriously fantastic and effective skin and tattoo healing and protective balm for use any and every time you need it.

You will need:

  • ¼ cup raw African Shea butter

  • ¼ cup coconut oil

  • 1/8 cup tamanu oil

  • bowl for mixing

  • spoon for mixing

  • container to store finished product (wide mouth glass jars work great)

First, make sure that your Shea butter and coconut oil are soft enough to easily mix. If not, you can place them in a warm place or even put them in a double boiler over low heat until they soften (they don’t need to be melted). Then, measure out your Shea butter, coconut oil and tamanu oil into your mixing bowl and mix and mash with your spoon until evenly and thoroughly incorporated. The texture should be rich, smooth and easy to spread on the skin. Transfer to your container and keep it stored in a cool, dry place.

You can use this tattoo balm every day, multiple times a day for tattoo protection and healing. Coconut oil soaks easily into the skin and goes on without a fight, making it the perfect plant oil for applying to recently broken skin. It also has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to prevent infection and aid in faster healing. Tamanu oil is richly hydrating and, like coconut oil, possesses natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components that make it excellent for tattoo healing and maintenance. Raw Shea butter is not only extremely moisturizing and healing, it also leaves a light yet effective protective layer on the skin that is perfect for protecting tattoos from the elements.

Whether you have a lot or a little, one small one or a giant one, you want your tattoos to come out looking clean and well done. Aside from picking a quality artist, making sure you take excellent care of your tattoo while it’s healing is the best way to ensure it comes out with clean lines and bright colors.