If you’ve ever gotten a tattoo before, then you know how important it is to protect that tattoo while it’s healing. You’ll want only the best product possible to ensure that your tattoo heals without a problem and looks beautiful for a long time.

If you’re new to tattoos, you may be wondering what the best thing is to use a healing tattoo. Or, if you already have several tattoos, maybe you just want to switch to a more natural aftercare product. Whichever the case may be, castor oil is a great option.

Below, I cover whether castor oil is good for tattoos, the benefits of using castor oil on tattoos and exactly how to use castor oil on your tattoo.

What Is Castor Oil?

You may have heard of castor oil before, but you may not know exactly what it is. Castor oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the seed of the castor bean plant. Naturally, the plants are found across parts of Eastern Africa, parts of Asia, and in the Mediterranean Basin. To extract the viscous, yellow fluid, the seed is cold pressed.

Castor oil is not a new discovery or invention. In fact, the oil has been used across the world for at least 6,000 years. Although there have not been many studies done on the product, people have sworn by the oil for years, claiming that it works wonders.

Castor oil and seeds
Castor oil and seeds

The most common thing that castor oil is known for is relieving occasional constipation. It’s wonderful for this, although you need to be careful about ingesting too much of the product.

Besides helping with digestive issues, we embrace that castor oil can work wonders on the skin. Today, we’re going to dive into just why castor oil is so great for the skin, and why its properties make it the perfect product for taking care of healing tattoos.

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Is Castor Oil Good For Tattoos?

Everyone that is deciding what aftercare product to use on their tattoo wants to be cautious. A new tattoo is essentially an open wound, so you need to be careful not to irritate it more than it already is, and you want to avoid infection.

There has also been some fear around whether or not castor oil may cause a tattoo to fade. However, there is not any evidence to suggest that the oil may cause fading of your ink. Quite to the contrary, in fact, castor oil is thought to speed up the process of tattoo healing.

Benefits Of Castor Oil For Tattoos

There are many reasons why castor oil is great for healing tattoos. When it comes down to the bottom line, the fact is that castor oil will keep your skin healthy, promoting moisturization and the growth of new cells. When your skin stays healthy, your tattoo will stay healthy.

It’s Incredibly Moisturizing

Castor oil is one of the most moisturizing kinds of oils available which is one reason why it’s so great to use for tattoos. The oil is naturally moisturizing in itself because of its viscosity. It is an incredibly thick substance that easily penetrates the surface of the skin, sinking deep into your cells. Because it penetrates the skin so easily, it will also stay inside the skin for a longer period of time, allowing your skin to stay moisturized for longer.

Not only that, but castor oil will draw moisture from the surrounding air. It is moisturizing in and of itself, but it grabs extra moisture from the atmosphere around you and brings it into your skin. These properties are what makes castor oil one of the best products for moisturizing. And, of course, a big part of making sure that your new tattoo stays healthy is ensuring that it stays properly hydrated.

It’s Non-Comedogenic

A comedogenic substance is a substance that is likely to clog your pores. Usually, you will hear this term used when it comes to acne. In other words, if your skin is acne prone, you won’t want to use a product that is comedogenic because it will cause your pores to clog and will cause more acne.

However, this applies to tattoos as well. Clearly, if you are trying to get a wound to heal, the last thing you want is for dirt, bacteria, or oil to get into that wound. Because castor oil is non-comedogenic, you will not need to worry about your skin becoming clogged with the oil. Quite the opposite, actually.

castor oil on tattoo
castor oil on tattoo

It Makes A Great Cleanser

Not only is castor oil non-comedogenic, but it is actually great at clearing your skin and pores of dirt and grime. Castor oil easily penetrates your skin and pores, it just doesn’t clog your pores. It will sink down into your pores, stick onto dirt and bacteria, and clear it away. This is why so many people use castor oil as a cleanser.

It Prevents Infection

Adding onto that, castor oil also has antibacterial properties to prevent infection. This is also an incredibly important thing to consider when choosing a tattoo aftercare product. As I mentioned, a new tattoo is essentially an open wound. As with any open wound, you’re going to have the potential for infection. You will want to avoid this at all costs.

Castor oil is great because it’s made up of about 90% ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid is a fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. If you apply castor oil to your new tattoo, the oil will kill any bacteria that finds its way into the tattoo, and it will reduce any itching and swelling associated with the tattoo.

It Promotes Healing

Similarly, all of these properties work together to help the tattoo and your skin to heal more quickly. The moisturizing properties combined with the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties will simply help your skin to heal more quickly.

Additionally, castor oil promotes healing because it improves circulation. You will have increased circulation on any part of your skin that you apply the oil to. Blood is full of vitamins and nutrients that are important to the growth and healing of skin cells. When you have more blood flow to your tattoo area, you also have more vitamins and nutrients going to the area which in turn promotes better and quicker healing.

It Keeps Old Tattoos More Vivid

Not only will castor oil help heal your new tattoo, but it can also keep your old tattoo healthy and vibrant. The most important thing to remember when trying to protect your tattoo is that it should stay moisturized and safe from the sun.

As I said, castor oil is an excellent moisturizer, and it can help protect your skin from the sun to an extent as well.

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Using Castor Oil For Tattoo Aftercare

Unfortunately, although castor oil has many great properties, it can be quite irritating to the skin when used in its pure form. For this reason, you should always use it mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil. This is especially important for tattoos which are already going to be sensitive.

The best way to use castor oil for your tattoo is as a moisturizing lotion. Here’s a recipe:

[mv_create key=”42″ type=”recipe” title=”Castor Oil For Moisturization” thumbnail=”null”]

You can then massage the mixture gently over your tattoo and can repeat this a few times a day.


You should never use pure castor oil on your new tattoo because it’s likely to irritate your healing skin more than it already is. However, if you mix it with a carrier oil, then castor oil is one of the best things you can use on a healing tattoo.

Castor oil has so many amazing properties that make it perfect for dealing with dry, irritated, or damaged skin. It has antibacterial properties to prevent infection, it promotes wound healing, it relieves itchiness and irritation, and it hydrates the skin.

If you’re looking for a more natural product to use on your new tattoo, try out castor oil. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Learn more about using castor oil on your skin here. You can also read about using shea butter on tattoos here. Find all our guides to using castor oil here.


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