Is Bag Balm Good For Tattoos? Know in details

People, especially those about to get their first-ever tattoos, are often concerned about the healing process. And that is rightly so because apart from negligence, using the wrong products can cause severe repercussions.

For example, what about applying bag balm? Is big balm good for tattoos?

Let’s discuss that.

Is Bag Balm Good For Tattoos?

It is not bad when used in an appropriate amount, but there are better alternatives.

The bag balm is not used at the very first stage of tattoo recovery when you undo the bandage, wash and dry your tattoo for the first time, and put some ointment on it. The product will be that ointment to begin your tattoo healing journey.

Now, why is it not the best option? Because it has a base of petroleum that does not allow oxygen to reach your tattoo because of its thickness.

There are other ingredients too. I will discuss them in the next section.

What Are The Ingredients Of Bag Balm?


Petrolatum, more popularly known as Vaseline or petroleum jelly, is Bag Balm’s highest concentration component. As an occlusive agent, it reinforces the skin to restrict water absorption.

Applying it to a part of your body makes it soft and builds a water-resistant film around it.

When that film is formed, it keeps the skin better hydrated by preventing the evaporation of the skin’s usual moisture level and creating a water buildup in the upper skin layer.


Lanolin is a yellow-waxy substance that wool-bearing animals secret through their oil or sebaceous glands. It contains cholesterol, much similar to human skin’s chemical structure of producing oil.

It is another occlusive agent found in Bag Balm with substantial lipid content, indicating its properties of stopping water evaporation from your skin. Consequently, the skin will stay moisturized and heal.

Paraffin Wax:

It is a derivative of petroleum, a soft and colorless solid consisting of multiple hydrocarbon molecules. When formulated in Bag Balm, its job is to bind the components together.

8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate:

It is the last ingredient and has antiseptic characteristics. Its role in the product is as preservatory content.

How Does It Affect My Tattoo?

So, you see, most of Bag Balm is either petroleum or petroleum-related. While with its healing properties, it can help with many skin issues, it may not do the job for your tattooed skin.

When you put it on, and your skin cannot absorb it, it will make the tattoo sticky and prone to catching dirt and inviting bacteria.

As a result, it might start oozing a lot and taking out some tattoo color as well.

And about lanolin, it may be unsafe for you. Generally designed to work on wounded skin to help it heal from burns, scrapes, cuts, eczema, etc., it can cause you to experience allergic reactions when entering your bloodstream through your healing skin.

Unfortunately, the issue has become more serious now, as a medical study in 2017 found that many children suffering from eczema had an allergic reaction to lanolin products.

So, if you also have it, steer clear of Bag Balm and look for alternatives.

What Other Alternatives Can I Use?

There are many products in the market exclusively designed to apply for healing tattoos. You can buy one of them. If they are unavailable, look for any product without lanolin and petroleum. Any water-based ointment will be the best option. Even if it has petroleum, make sure it is white or refined petroleum.

If you are not allergic, apply a very small amount and spread it as thinly as possible so that your skin can take it in.

What To Consider When Buying A Tattoo Aftercare Product?

Organic Ingredients:

An effective way to indicate a good tattoo aftercare product is to check its ingredients.

If they are organic, i.e., coconut oil, shea butter oil, rice bran oil, aloe vera, buckthorn oil, and almond oil, they will provide desired results for your tattoo healing.

Only Tattoo Aftercare Products:

Sometimes people use other lotions and moisturizers for their tattooed skin. They think it will be beneficial for recovery since it is generally good for the skin.

But they might not have the necessary properties to heal a tattoo. So, choose only tattoo aftercare products.

Dermatologically Tested:

Look for the label that says the product is dermatologically tested so that you know it is a reliable and safe product.

Final Words:

So now you know that even though you CAN use Bag Balm for your tattoo, you should not. Bag Balm is not specifically made to take care of tattooed skin.

However, do not worry about that. You can use Bag Balm for other skin problems and get good results.

As for tattoo recovery, you can purchase aftercare products particularly designed for tattoo healing purposes.

Related to this post: Vaseline vs Bag balm


My name is Maria and I am a beauty blogger and writer. I am passionate about all things beauty, from skincare to makeup. On my blog, I share product reviews, tips, and tricks to help others feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. I strive to create a positive and inclusive space for everyone. Join me on my journey as I discover my unique beauty brand and share it with you.