The Art of Lubrication: What Lubricant to Use While Tattooing?

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Introducing “The Art of Lubrication: What Lubricant to Use While Tattooing?” – a blog post that investigates the vital role that lubrication plays in the interesting realm of tattooing. Discover the secrets behind choosing the right lubricant to ensure a smooth and successful tattooing experience.

Join lubricationfaqs as we delve into the artistry and technique of tattooing, and how the right lubricant can make all the difference. Are you ready to uncover the secrets of this essential aspect of the tattooing process? Let’s get started!

What Happens to My Skin During Tattooing

Your body reacts badly to both the ink and the needle when they are both pierced into the second top layer of your skin by a needle used to create a work of art. As a result, the artist takes great care to prepare everything before beginning, including the areas around your body and their tools. Making sure the needles are clean, having the artist wear gloves, shaving off your body hair in advance—there are numerous procedures involved in this process.

The tattoo artist first sterilizes the needle, which is then used to puncture the dermis outside of the cuticle and deliver the ink that will last the rest of your life. It’s easy to understand why the pigments remain permanently; simply put, they are too big for the white blood cells to remove.

Following that, it’s crucial to apply some ointment to the skin to lubricate and heal it. Without it, you can actually observe how slowly the tattoo heals, the ink bleeds, and how the tattoo may be harmed.

What Lubricant to Use While Tattooing?

Water-based, oil-based, and mixed lubricants are the three different types. All ink colors, including those using silver as an ingredient, can be used with water-based lubricants. Without refrigeration, oil-based lubricants have a longer shelf life, but they cannot be applied to skin that is sensitive. For a solid, risk-free solution that works with all skin types and ink colors, hybrid combines water and oil.

Water-based Lubricant

Because it doesn’t leave any residue on the skin or the supplies used during the tattooing process, water-based lubricant can be used instead of gloves while tattooing. The fact that it does not irritate skin or affect the color of the ink when exposed to moisture makes it also safe to use on sensitive skin. Additionally, this kind of solution has a long shelf life, doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and works with all skin tones and ink colors.

Oil-based Lubricant

Thicker materials known as oil-based lubricants can be used in place of gloves or as a barrier between a client’s t-shirt and their skin. The benefit of oil-based lubricants is that they work with people of all skin tones and energy levels.

The shelf life of oil-based lubricants is up to seven days when kept at room temperature in an airtight container. It works well for red ink tattoos since it doesn’t react poorly with blood, which reduces the likelihood that it may smudge throughout the laborious tattooing procedure.


Although there are numerous advantages to using Vaseline when tattooing, there is only one justification for doing so. Your skin gets harmed when you get a tattoo because needles are continuously inserted into it. The surface of the skin dries out as a result of this continuous penetration, which also depletes the skin of moisture. You apply a coating of Vaseline to the skin to protect it from harm.

To replace vaseline, many tattoo artists advise using a lubricant. Vaseline contains mineral oil, making the skin too slippery and causing friction that isn’t necessary. Baby oil, body lotion, olive oil, and coconut oil are a few of the greatest substitutes for ink for tattooing. When paired with the color of the ink and the skin’s energy levels, they perform effectively since they last longer than vaseline and cause less friction.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a terrific option if you’re seeking for a lubricant that will last for a long time. Without refrigeration, coconut oil can be maintained for up to 96 hours. Since coconut oil is primarily made of oil, not all ink colors and skin energy levels will mix well with it. This makes it a suitable option for people with sensitive skin or those who use toners of inferior quality.


Although there are many various kinds of ointments that can be applied on the skin when tattooing, Lubricant and Aquaphor are the two that are most frequently utilized. For sensitive skin, petroleum jelly is frequently used, although Aquaphor works well for dry skin. Both creams are affordable and simple to apply.


One of the items made specifically for tattoo artists to use while tattooing is called Saniglide. You may be confident that it is one of the greatest lubricants because it was specifically created for tattoos. It calms the skin so that neither you nor your customer experience any discomfort during the tattooing process. Additionally, it offers the required lubrication, allowing you to work on your tattoo without being concerned about making a mistake.


Lanolin, glycerin, panthenol, and gasoline are used to make Aquaphor. While gasoline forms a barrier to protect, lanolin provides lubrication. Glycerin and panthenol moisturize skin and stop moisture loss, respectively. It does, however, soak quickly, so you might not be able to keep the protection on for very long while tattooing. For the first few days after the tattoo is completed, the majority of tattoo artists advise utilizing it.

How to Use Lubricant

When applying the oil to the skin, use a fresh cotton pad or gauze pad. Applying the lubricant evenly is one thing to keep in mind. Not just on the tattoo, but all around it, your client should be covered in lubricant. Paper towels can be used as an alternative to gauze. Make sure the lubricant is completely soaked with water once you’ve applied it. After application, the area should feel slightly sticky but not slimy or sticky.

How to Use Lubricant

What Should I Do After Tattooing?

Vaseline can be used by the tattoo artist to speed up the tattooing procedure, but you must heed their advice if you want to keep your new tattoo looking nice as it heals. If your tattoo artist instructs you to use vaseline, follow their instructions carefully because it’s not usually the ideal thing to use once you’ve left the studio. Utilizing some of it will aid in retaining moisture and encourage skin healing and repair. Using too much, though, can trap bacteria and cause an infection.

Vaseline used in excess can also have an adverse effect on the ink, causing your tattoo to begin to fade. Vaseline should only be applied sparingly if you wish to use it for post-tattoo maintenance. To aid in the healing of your tattoo without raising the risk of infection, apply additional moisturizing and aftercare products as advised by the tattoo artist.


In conclusion, choosing the right lubricant is crucial for a successful tattooing experience. From ensuring smooth needle movement to minimizing discomfort for the client, the art of lubrication plays a vital role in the tattooing process. It is important to consider factors such as skin sensitivity, tattooing technique, and the specific needs of the client when selecting a lubricant. Ultimately, by using the appropriate lubricant, tattoo artists can enhance the overall quality of their work and provide a comfortable and safe experience for their clients.

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