Online Exclusives

Tattoo You

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | July 29, 2010

Companies are targeting ink-stained skin with products that treat new body art and offer long-term care.

Nearly 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo, according to statistics from U.S. Food and Drug Administration—and they range from teens to 60-year old Army vets to that mother-of-three who drives a beige minivan and is highly involved in the TA.

While they are all seemingly different customers in terms of personal care regimens, they share common skin care needs that stem from their tattoos. A number of companies are addressing this niche with products that help in the healing process and protect and preserve their “investments” long-term.

According to the New York-based company, during a tattoo, the skin's collagen matrix is disrupted, leaving freshly tattooed skin susceptible to scabbing, scarring, color loss and infection.


Flux Aftercare is a medical-grade treatment designed specifically to protect the ink pigments deposited in the skin and dramatically improve the overall tattoo process and recovery time, according to the company. It has an all-lipid formula designed to accelerate the healing and is scientifically proven to replace the skin's vital occlusive barrier to prevent scarring, scabbing and infection. Furthermore, extensive research has shown that the skin-identical phytosphingosine, ceramide 3 and vitamin E in the formulation create a barrier on the skin that significantly reduces pain, inflammation and scar tissue and speeds up healing by more than 50%.


tattoo inkguard

“We saw a need for a medical-grade healing product for piercings and tattoos,” Matthew Nicolo, president of Tattoo Inkguard, told Happi, “Most of the other products that address tattoos are basic moisturizers, Inkguard Flux was developed originally for chemical peels and laser treatments that can cause significant damage to the layers of the skin similar to a tattoo or tattoo removal process.”

Nicolo’s firm—which also offers Tattoo Inkguard Defender, Tattoo Inkguard Enhancer and Purge, a post-tattooing and piercing antimicrobial formula—is targeting Flux Aftercare for professional use, with many “high-profile tattoo artists currently using the product.”

Tattoo Inkguard isn’t alone targeting those parlors—so is Tattoo Goo, which has been selling body art aftercare products for more than a decade. Sporting tattoo-focused soaps, salves and lotions as well as piercing care products, Tattoo Goo expanded its roster in April by obtaining exclusive marketing rights to Tattoo Armor Precision Sunscreen Application.


Dr. Bronner’s organic body balms are suited for tattooed skin.

According to the Kinnelon, NJ-based firm, tattoo enthusiasts often use tape or apply creams and lotions to their skin when exposing it to the sun, which in turns can lead to an unsightly border or "halo effect” around their body art. Instead, Tattoo Armor has a brush that provides precise hands-free application of the product. The tip allows a precise amount to be applied only where the tattoo appears.

Patent-pending Tattoo Armor combines the power of an SPF 30 blend of UVA and UVB protectants with skin humectants and vitamins in an exclusive fast drying formula, the company said.

And Dr. Bronner’s also has products geared for tattooed skin, such as its certified organic body balms. Organic jojoba oil, organic beeswax, avocado and hemp oils are used to soothe dry skin and are also great to protect and brighten new and old tattoos, according to the company.

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