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Tattoo Aftercare Lotion

Posted by Drew Plotkin | Chief Dude Officer on

Tattoo Aftercare and longevity is a definite must if you want your body art to last as long as you do. Tattoos are big investments and permanent ones at that. The ever-evolving tattoo industry is continuously showcasing new design expertise, emerging artist talent, breakthrough techniques, and innovations in style and creativity. But it seems like one area still has some outdated ways of thinking and desperately needs a re-fresher. Some of the very common aftercare practices to help heal and preserve tattoos have been around way too long and may be hurting your tattoos.

Which is why we are seeing so many new products becoming readily available to consumers and setting a new standard for how we care for tattoos.

Just because something has been done a certain way for what seems like generations, doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Nowadays, we know so much more, we have a ton of new information at our fingertips, more expert insight, ground-breaking scientific data and innovations in skincare.

So, is there a fresher way to heal your tattoos and keep them looking like new?  

OLD TATTOO AFTERCARE METHODS

Two of the most antiquated schools of thought when it comes to tattoo aftercare are wrapping tattoos immediately after getting a new tattoo and using petroleum-based ointments or watered-down lotions for healing.

Today, many tattoo experts will say these are both bad moves. Here’s why.

Old Method #1: Wrapping New Tattoos

Pumpkin Snow-Man Tattoo

This has been the old school practice for so long that countless artists still do it (eh hem, OVERDO it). And people who are new to tattoos just don’t know any better. Simply put, save the Saran Wrap (cellophane wrap, plastic wrap – whatever you want to call it) for your sandwich and Wednesday night leftovers. This very concept of wrapping up food with saran wrap to keep the air out so food can remain pure and fresh is a great idea! But it only works for food preservation. Doing it to a new tattoo for any prolonged window of time is literally like suffocating or choking your new tattoos (which reminder, are open wounds) without any fresh oxygen. Blocking air flow to the new tattoo will prevent it from healing properly. Hospitals don’t wrap your cuts and wounds with plastic wrap. So why on Earth would we ever wrap our new tattoos, which are open wounds on the skin? It defies logic. But I’ll tell you why – because we are sheep and we follow old and uninformed sheep the majority of the time.

The only practical purposes to ‘wrap’ any tattoos with plastic wrap after a tattoo session is to…

Provide you with an initial protective cover to get you home from the tattoo shop and into a safe, hygienic space without damage from outside elements like dirt, pollution, rain (dirty), smoke, smog, and street debit that flies up in the air…or from someone spilling coffee or booze by mistake on your exposed wound. It gives you a short term limited protective, albeit cheap cover just to get you home. 

As anyone with tattoos knows, any type of direct pressure usually helps slow down the oozing from the open wounds, so ultimately there is some benefit to the initial pressure of wrapping it in plastic. But the more pressure applied to the new tattoo, the more you cut off the air supply. No bueno!

Avoid staining your clothing right after a new tattoo (or your white couch, or white dog or whatever you may touch w new tattoo that you otherwise don’t want to get plasma, blood or fluids on.

A lot of tattoo artists in the past would literally recommend wraps for DAYS, and guess what? It still happens today. Many suggest wrapping the tattoo for “many hours until the oozing stops completely.” Many tattoo experts believe this is absurd because it’s unhealthy for the skin. You must remember, the skin is an organ, the largest one of our body, and can also impact the healing outcome and look of the new tattoo. Not to mention the fact that it can also quite literally cause an infection versus preventing one because the tight plastic wrap gets hot and affected area into a germ and bacteria bath under the plastic wrap adhered to your new tattoo.

Wrapping your tattoo in plastic wrap also can potentially damage the look of your rad new tattoo because the skin can become stuck to the plastic and inevitably peel off some of the ink when you peel off the plastic wrap stuck to your skin. Many times, artists will never wrap hand, finger or neck tattoos because the skin is so sensitive that wrapping them would get stuck to it and literally pull out the unsettled ink.

The Better Method

The only wraps at all that myself and many people I know would ever do is a very (very) loose, dangling wrap that doesn’t even touch the new tattoo itself – i.e. just a loose piece of wrap that’s almost like a bubble or parachute ‘cover’ with tape on the corners of skin where there is NO tattoo ink. So, it’s basically more of a cheap fast ‘over the tattoo shield’ to get you safely home.

Once home, you can remove “over the tattoo shield or tent” the moment you get home, then rinse gently with warm water, and pat dry very gently. A few hours later, you can take a fast, warm shower and rise the tattoo (do not soak it). Then when you’re ready for bed, wear only loose-fitting clothing and try to avoid rolling onto or pressing on the new tattoo against the sheets.

I personally, and I know of many other high-profile tattoo artists and experts, would never go to sleep with any part of my newly tattooed body tightly wrapped and cut off from oxygen.

Old Method #2: Using Petroleum Based Products

Vaseline Tattoo

Tattoos are expensive - Don't use cheap, inadequate products to protect it. It doesn’t matter if it’s Vaseline, Aquaphor, or AD Ointment, these products have one common purpose – to help baby diaper rash. Or burns. The reason they are used and recommended for burns and diaper rash is because they provide a protective shield against the environment. Tattoo aftercare is neither of those. These products with petroleum jelly trap moisture and bacteria, two things that can lead to infections and scarring if your tattoo doesn’t get enough air while it’s healing. They are very heavy and gooey and (side note: the only time in my life I got a bad tattoo infection was using Aquaphor because it choked off the air. There, enough said).

People use these petroleum-based products, and some artists still recommend them for new tattoo aftercare more than every other tattoo product combined. And that’s bad. People need to understand the risks of using petroleum on the skin, especially wounded skin.

Let’s break it down further.

Not only are petroleum-based products not a healthy or smart choice for your new tattoo aftercare, using a traditional lotion to moisturize is another wrong direction to go with a fresh new tattoo. Yes, lotions are hydrating, but remember – tattoos are open wounds in the skin that need to heal. Lotions can be used after the tattoo heals. Skincare or skincare products, like lotions, are recipes. All lotions contain active and inactive ingredients. Most lotions, even fragrance-free lotions, contain many artificial ingredients that can further irritate your skin or cause allergic reactions that will interfere with the healing process. They very often contain active ingredients (ingredients or chemical substances that perform a function) like alcohol, petroleum, lanolin, mineral oil (like Vitamin A & D), parabens, phthalates, fragrances, glycerin and carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) which pose potential risks, irritations and potential links to other health related issues. You don’t want any of those ingredients getting into your skin. The more ingredients in a lotion, the more potential risk you have for irritation and allergic reactions. And using a lotion with a fragrance can also cause an excruciating burning sensation when applied to the tattoo. Ouch!

Lotions are created by combining oils and water with emulsifiers. Many times, they more than likely contain synthetic chemicals and additional ingredients such as glycerin, thickeners, fragrance and color. Lotions are very often watered-down and won’t hydrate for an extended period of time. Over moisturizing a new tattoo with a lotion can also crack your skin. That’s why many tattoo artists recommend you hold off on using ‘lotions’ specifically until you pass the initial few days of healing and after the tattoo has healed – and even then, they recommend fragrance-free lotions to limit or reduce potential risk of irritation.

Moisturizers have more oil in their formulations and less water, which is why they are more often thicker than lotions. They have a thicker viscosity and again, should not be used until after the tattoo has healed. Some of the most common lotions and moisturizers recommended by tattoo artists include active ingredients that can irritate skin and cause severe reactions and roadblocks to proper healing.

A Different, Smarter Way

The better route to go with new tattoos is to use a natural tattoo balm (which is both a non-carcinogenic and non-comedogenic product, meaning a product that won’t clog pores and allow air to flow). Using a natural tattoo balm that is made with naturally hydrating minerals, oils and skin-soothing ingredients will be a better healing property for your tattoo. They are safe and effective to use on skin (open wound) in the initial stages of healing immediately after getting the tattoo, and they can be used after the tattoo heals for continued hydration and protection. Natural tattoo balms have a thicker consistency and are more emollient on skin, meaning they will soak into skin better and provide longer-lasting hydration.

Balms are able to provide the necessary hydration and protective properties without running the risk of too many irritants to the skin. Your tattoos, and skin, will thank you.

SKIN INGREDIENT PROS AND CONS

Skin Care Ingredients

Most of us have no clue what types of ingredients are in the products we use on a daily basis, nor do we understand the potential benefits, or risks, they pose to our skin. It’s important to have a general knowledge of the most commonly used ingredients found in lotions that you may use on your healing tattoos – especially since your skin is the largest organ on your body and tattoos are wounds. We can’t forget that! So, when it comes to tattoo aftercare and you’re considering the best possible way to heal your tattoos, consider a natural tattoo balm with healthy ingredients that offer real benefits to your skin. And if you do use lotion at some point, stick to ones that contain skin-friendly ingredients.

Here’s a breakdown of common ingredients found in tattoo aftercare products so you can make the best choice for your tattoo and your skin.

 

COMMON INGREDIENTS LIST [1]

ALMOND OIL

INACTIVE
TYPE: Moisturizer & emollient
PROS: Relieves itching + dryness. Provides hydration and smooths skin. Helps reduce scarring.
CONS: May post potential risk to anyone with nut allergies. Can block pores and cause breakouts.

ALOE

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (can be both)
TYPE: Plant humectant. Can be active + inactive.
PROS: Hydrating, moisturizing, calming and soothing to skin, burns, abrasions, etc.
CONS: May cause slight itching or burning to significant wounds. May decrease natural ability to heal deep wounds.

ALPHA-HYDROXY ACIDS (AHAS)

ACTIVE
TYPE: Plant and animal-derived acids, Exfoliant / Peeling Agent
PROS: Helps promote collagen and blood flow, improves discoloration from scars and age spots, increases product absorption.
CONS: Can cause mild to severe irritation if used in high concentrations or if used on dry or sensitive skin. Will disrupt cohesion of skin barrier. Can cause burning, rash, swelling, blisters, skin peeling, irritation or increased risk of sunburn.

BABASSU OIL

INACTIVE
TYPE: Natural Emollient, Humectant and Moisturizer. All-natural, tropical plant oil.
PROS: Rich in medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties, healthy fatty acids, antioxidants, antibacterial and wound-healing properties. Provides high moisturization to skin. Can reduce swelling and slow blood clotting.
CONS: If ingested, can increase bruising with anyone with blood disorders.

BEESWAX

INACTIVE
TYPE: Natural Emollient. Considered a wax ester (made up of fatty acids)
PROS: Helps heal, hydrate, soothe dry skin and reduces discomfort. Creates protective barrier over and around skin retaining moisture. Helps keep skin clean and relieve itching.
CONS: Side effects only if allergy to bees.

BETA-HYDROXY ACID (BHAS) – LIKE SALICYLIC ACID

ACTIVE
TYPE: Exfoliant / Peeling Agent
PROS: Skin peeling and antibacterial agent. Stronger antibacterial properties than AHAs.
CONS: Causes some irritation but less than AHAs.

BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA)

ACTIVE
TYPE: Preservative & Stabilizer derived from Petroleum
PROS: Acts as antioxidant to help maintain properties as it is exposed to air.
CONS: Human carcinogen. Can lower testosterone levels, thyroxin levels and adversely affect sperm quality.

CALENDULA

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (Can be both)
TYPE: Emollient & Humectant
PROS: Anti-inflammatory. Antifungal and anti-bacterial properties. Helps promote healing of minor burns, wounds and infections, and helps reduce scarring.
CONS: Not recommended to be used over large areas of skin if allergies to ragweed and plants.

CERAMIDES (NP, AP, EOP)

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (Can be both)
TYPE: Phytols, Waxy Lipids (fat molecules) & Emollients
PROS: A natural emollient that can help treat, moisturize and soften damaged skin. Forms a barrier that keeps toxins out and nutrients in.
CONS: Can cause some allergic reactions depending on source of ceramides.

CITRIC ACID

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (Can be both)
TYPE: Type of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and chemical. Also known as a buffer of ingredients.
PROS: Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Can help support skin health, promote skin peeling and regrowth.
CONS: May cause burning, itching, blisters and dermatitis (eczema). Often made with GMO ingredients.

COCOA BUTTER

INACTIVE
TYPE: Occlusive (acts as barrier)
PROS: Boosts skin health and moisturizes skin. Can help hydrate dry skin, soothes burns, rashes, and dermatitis. Helps heal and fade scars and chapped skin. Acts as barrier to slow water loss, locks in moisture.
CONS: Potential side effects can be rash, irritation and itching.

DIMETHICONE

INACTIVE
TYPE: Occlusive (acts as barrier) & Emollient. Silicon-based polymer used as a lubricant.
PROS: Helps form barrier to minimize water loss. Helps condition skin.
CONS: Can clog pores.

DMDM HYDANTOIN

ACTIVE
TYPE: Formaldehyde[2] releasing preservative and antimicrobial agent
PROS: Helps slow down growth of potentially harmful fungi, yeast and bacteria.
CONS: Potential/probable carcinogen. Irritating to eyes and skin. Can cause allergic dermatitis. Poorly absorbed by skin.

EMULSIFIERS

INACTIVE
TYPE: Agents that mix water with oil
PROS: Helps maintain integrity of lotion formulation.
CONS: High rate of irritating skin, can weaken skin’s natural barrier against outside elements.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (Can be both)
TYPE: Polyunsaturated fats / oils.
PROS: Can help soften rough, dry skin and soothe irritated skin and dermatitis. Improves look and feel of skin. Helps produce the skin’s natural oils barrier, critical in keeping skin hydrated. Helps diminish inflammation.
CONS: None noted.

FRAGRANCE + PARFUM

INACTIVE
TYPE: Synthetic and/or natural mix of chemicals and aromatic extracts
PROS: No known benefits.
CONS: Emits harmful COGs that cause allergies, asthma and immunotoxicity. Can trigger or cause allergic dermatitis, irritation, rashes, asthma, headaches and photosensitivity.

GLYCERIN

ACTIVE
TYPE: Humectant (draws water in) sourced from plants
PROS: Helps keep outer layer of skin hydrated and moisturized.
CONS: In humid temperatures, can reduce moisture levels from inner layer of skin causing dehydration of skin. Linked to allergic reactions if used in high quantities.

GLYCOLIC ACID

ACTIVE
TYPE: Type of Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Humectant & Natural Chemical Exfoliant
PROS: Helps improve complexion, reduction of scars and is considered a natural exfoliant to help remove top layer of dead skin cells.
CONS: May cause burning, itching, irritation upon application and result in blisters and dermatitis (eczema). Not to be used on open wounds.

GRAPE SEED OIL

INACTIVE
TYPE: Natural Oil, Emollient
PROS: Moisturizes dull, dehydrated skin. Helps retain moisture, restore elasticity and protects from environmental damage. Rich in antioxidants and moisturizing properties. Fades scars and prevents sun damage. Non-comedogenic.
CONS: None known, unless allergy to grapes.

HYALURONIC ACID

ACTIVE
TYPE: Naturally occurring chemical, Humectant
PROS: Helps soothe, hydrate and moisturize skin.
CONS: May cause skin irritation.

JOJOBA OIL

ACTIVE
TYPE: Mono-ester Fatty Acid Natural Compound derived from Simmondsia Chinesis Seed
PROS: Provides long-lasting moisturization and antibacterial benefits. Rich antioxidant that is typically hypoallergenic. Helps speed up wound healing, non-comedogenic and helps control sebum production. Ultra-nutritional for skin. Helps soothe sunburn and dry skin.
CONS: Can cause allergic reaction including rash, itching or skin redness if sensitive skin types.

LACTIC ACID

ACTIVE
TYPE: Type of Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Humectant & Exfoliant
PROS: Helps exfoliate, speed up cell turnover and cell renewal. Helps stimulate collagen and helps soothe eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
CONS: Very potent. May cause skin burning, itching, irritation, peeling, swelling, blisters and dermatitis (eczema)

LANOLIN

INACTIVE
TYPE: Occlusive moisturizer. Derived from sebaceous glands of sheep.
PROS: Reduces water loss from skin, prevents evaporation from skin by 20-30%. Helps with raw, chapped skin, diaper rashes and irritation from breastfeeding.
CONS: Not as heavy as petroleum but can cause skin rashes, redness and swelling, and risk of lanolin poisoning can be severe if ingested.

L-ASORBIC ACID

ACTIVE
TYPE: Most potent form of Vitamin C
PROS: Helps heal skin conditions like dryness and inflammation. A natural anti-inflammatory and can keep skin hydrated.
CONS: A powerful ingredient that should not be overused. Can cause irritation if not applied/used gradually.

MALIC ACID

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (Can be both)
TYPE: Type of Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA). Chemical found in fruits.
PROS: Used to adjust the acidity of skincare and cosmetics. Helps clear away dead skin cells.
CONS: May cause skin and eye irritation, slight burning, itching, blisters and dermatitis (eczema).

MINERAL OIL

INACTIVE
TYPE: Occlusive Moisturizer & Petrolatum Derivative
PROS: Can protect skin by its natural occlusive, barrier-creating tendencies and helps lock moisture to skin. Can help dry, sensitive skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and diaper rash.
CONS: May clog pores, suffocate skin and trap other ingredients on top layer of skin.

NIACINIMIDE

ACTIVE
TYPE:
A form of Vitamin B3.
PROS: Helps improve skin lipid barrier function in skin to retain moisture. Helps manage acne, rosacea, and pigmentation issues as well as other inflammatory skin conditions. Helps protect skin from inflammation. Contains antioxidant properties.
CONS: May cause burning, itching or redness when applied to skin.

OATMEAL / OATS

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Humectant & Lipid
PROS: An effective dry-skin quencher, relieves dry, itchy skin. Helps locks in moisture, protects skin from harsh pollutants, gently exfoliates, reduces redness and irritation, soothes skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, strong reparative qualities and gentle on all skin types.
CONS: Should not be used on serious burns or deep puncture wounds. cases may experience redness or itching.

PANTHENOL

ACTIVE
TYPE:
Chemical substance and moisturizing compound made from pantothenic acid (Vitamin b5). Derived from both animal and plant sources.
PROS: Stimulates wound healing, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps improve skin’s hydration and helps soothe redness, inflammation and wound healing.
CONS: May cause dermatitis

PARABENS

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Chemical Preservatives
PROS: Antibacterial properties help protect against infection, and rare allergies (hypo-allergenic).
CONS: Toxins – connected to hormone disruption and tumor growth, cancer, especially reproductive problems. Increased health concerns associated with them. Can cause allergic reactions in rare cases. Linked to premature aging, interference with endocrine system function and prenatal concerns. One of the top harmful skin care chemicals.

PARAFFIN

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Mineral Oil derived from petroleum.
PROS: Helps form protective barrier to skin to pollutants, blocks moisture and supports skin’s natural barrier.
CONS: Not suitable for all skin types. Can trap moisture and prevent skin from breathing. Does not moisturize. Derived from petroleum, WHO and EPA lists it as carcinogenic.

PEPTIDES

ACTIVE
TYPE:
Amino acid chains.
PROS: Powerful anti-aging ingredients, help activate different biological pathways resulting in higher anti-aging effects.
CONS: Can cause mild irritation on some skin types.

PETROLEUM (PETROLATUM)

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (Can be both)
TYPE: Occlusive
PROS: Traditionally used to seal in moisture, blocking airflow and pollutants from cuts and abrasions. Can help accelerate the healing process. Helps treat diaper rash and eczema.
CONS: Carcinogenic with PAHs (contaminants). Linked to lipid pneumonia – infections caused by inhalation of fats. Can aggravate oily, acne-prone skin. Suffocates wounds from airflow.

PHENOXYETHANOL

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Preservative used to stabilize ingredients.
PROS: Helps prevent fungi, bacteria and yeast growth and keep products lasting longer.
CONS: Considered dangerous and linked to reactions that may be life-threatening, especially around infants. Recommended use lower than 1% concentration. Can cause allergic reactions of hives, rashes and anaphylaxis. Can aggravate eczema and other skin irritations.

PHTHALATES

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Industrial chemicals used as lubricants.
PROS: None
CONS: Endocrine disruptors & toxic to organs – linked to breast cancer, reproductive birth defects. Can cause possible effects on hormones. Linked to cancer – carcinogenic.

POLYHYDROXY ACIDS

ACTIVE
TYPE:
Humectant & Exfoliant
PROS: Has gentle exfoliating effects, allows for increased moisturization, improves skin elasticity. Helps skin barrier function locking in moisture.
CONS: Cannot penetrate skin cells as deeply as AHAs and BHAs. Can cause irritation when exposed to sunlight, can cause redness, irritation and rashes.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Synthetic Humectant, Emollient & Penetration enhancer.
PROS: It helps bind water and hydration to outer layer of skin, helps boost other active ingredients and lightly moisturizes and prevents water loss.
CONS: Derived from petroleum and can be carcinogenic and toxic. Can cause allergic irritations, especially those prone to eczema.

RETINOIDS

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Chemical compounds that are vitamers of Vitamin A.
PROS: Speed cell turnover, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and fade dark spots.
CONS: Causes increased redness, irritation, flaking and chronic inflammation.

RETINYL PALMITATE

ACTIVE
TYPE:
Form of Vitamin A Derivative. Combination of Palmitic Acid with Retinol.
PROS: Anti-aging benefits to treat wrinkles and encourage new cell growth.
CONS: Linked to development of tumors if exposed to sunlight.

ROSEMARY LEAF EXTRACT

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Essential Oil
PROS: High antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. High in medicinal properties – relieves pain, repels bugs, reduces inflammation, can increase efficacy of antibiotics, reducing side effects.
CONS: Using too much may cause increased sun sensitivity, redness or allergic reactions.

SAFFLOWER OIL

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Emollient. Carrier Oil / a Linoleic Acid.
PROS: A natural emollient that hydrates and helps maintain integrity of outer layer of skin by preventing flaking. Rich in antioxidant vitamins. Hydrating. Anti-fungal. Helps relieve burning, redness and irritation. Helps prevent moisture loss.
CONS: Can cause mild irritation if allergic.

SALICYLIC ACID

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Best known BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid).
PROS: Helps exfoliation, bactericidal and antiseptic properties. Inhibits pathogenic bacteria on skin surface and combats inflammation. Considered an essential medicine by WHO. Accelerates healing of blemishes and minimizes appearance of pores.
CONS: Can cause allergic reactions if hypersensitive to compounds. Can cause chemical burns at high concentrations and cause severe discomfort on dry skin.

SHEA BUTTER

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Occlusive fat extracted from nuts of shea tree. Includes fats, vitamins and phenolic compounds.
PROS: Ultra hydrating and rapidly absorbs into skin. Helps restore barrier between skin and outside environment. Holds in moisture. Anti-inflammatory. Rich in antioxidants. Nourishes and helps regenerate skin. Antibacterial and antifungal. Promotes wound healing and cell regeneration. Offers sun protection. Soothes skin irritations and itching – especially eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Safe for all skin types.
CONS: Possible reactions to those with nut allergies.

SODIUM PCA

ACTIVE
TYPE:
Humectant. Salt form of PCA.
PROS: Hydrates by attracting and trapping water in skin. Helps restore protective skin barrier. Anti-inflammatory properties.
CONS: Can cause mild irritation if known allergy to coconut oil or soybean.

SQUALANE

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Emollient – hydrogenated form of Squalene derived from plants like olives and sugar cane.
PROS: Calms inflammation, supports outer skin barrier. Great for skin issues like inflammatory acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea. Softens and soothes skin. Non-comedogenic. Works well with active ingredients and on all skin types.
CONS: Rare, but mild itching redness and swelling can occur if allergic

SUNFLOWER SEED OIL

INACTIVE
TYPE:
Emollient – derived from sunflower seeds.
PROS: Reduces inflammation, replenishes skin’s barrier, hydrates and improves texture.
CONS: Can pose allergic reactions due to being plant-derived.

TOCOPHERYL

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (Can be both)
TYPE: Natural fat-soluble nutrient.
PROS: Antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory and hydrating benefits. Helps minimize appearance of scars, redness and helps strengthen skin’s barrier.
CONS: Potential gluten allergy if not sourced from rice bran.

TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (ATA)

ACTIVE, INACTIVE (Can be both)
TYPE: Synthetic organic compound – a form of Vitamin E.
PROS: Rich in antioxidant properties, protects from damaging compounds, helps prevent UV damage to skin. Helps promote healthy skin, moisturizes, helps wound healing and reduces inflammation.
CONS: Can cause rash when applied topically.

TRIETHANOLAMINE

ACTIVE
TYPE: Emulsion amino compound that stabilizes and increases pH levels in products.
PROS: Benefits restricted to product only. Balances pH levels of formulations to eliminate irritations to skin. Emulsifies ingredients and performs as a thickening agent.
CONS: Provides no benefit to skin. Skin & respiratory irritant. Toxic to immune system. Links to cancers. Long-term use moderately dangerous. Contains ammonia.

UREA

ACTIVE
TYPE: Carbamide – an organic compound with chemical formula produced by protein metabolism found in mammalian urine.
PROS: Helps moisturize and exfoliate skin. Helps increase the penetration of other ingredients through skin. Helps heal dry, itchy skin, and multiple forms of dermatitis.
CONS: Considered relatively safe and effective, mild skin irritations like stinging, burning and itching may occur if highly sensitive.

VITAMINS (A, B3, C, E)

ACTIVE
TYPE:
Natural minerals. Vitamins A, E – fat soluble vitamins. Vitamins B3, C – water soluble vitamins.
PROS: Vitamin B3 helps reduce redness. Vitamin C helps brighten the appearance of dull skin. Vitamin E helps soothe and smooth skin, plus help protect skin from sun damage. Vitamin A (retinoid) helps speed up healing and supports the skin’s immune system. These minerals help enhance moisturization, help treat dry, itchy skin and minor skin irritations. Strengthen skin’s barrier.
CONS: Some burning, stinging, redness, flaking or irritation may occur to sensitive skin types and if overused

ZINC / ZINC OXIDE

INACTIVE
TYPE: Emollient / Mineral
PROS: Protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Helps protect skin from wetness and irritation. Works immediately upon contact. Helps heal skin and performs as antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory for common inflammatory skin diseases, and is healthy nutrient for skin.
CONS: Can cause allergic reaction in rare cases.

FOOTNOTES / SOURCES

[1] According to studies published by the Environmental Working Group, National Toxicology Program, FDA, Drugs.com and The Dermatology Review

[2] Formaldehyde releasers are used in 20% of all cosmetics and personal care products, according to the Environmental Working Group. Source: Prevention.com

https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/fragrances-cosmetics

https://www.drugs.com/inactive/

http://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives/generally-recognized-as-safe-but-is-it

Holy crap, dude! That was a detailed post. I may have gotten a bit carried away there but this stuff is important. And making informed decisions is a safety protocol we should all adhere to.

Stay safe out there dudes!

-Drew Plotkin (Chief Dude Officer)

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