Which Oils Fade Tattoos?

Are you unhappy about the tattoo you got a few years back and want to try and fade it? Or maybe the opposite is happening – you are so in love with your tattoo that you want to prevent any chemicals or oil that might remove its brightness. Which oils fade tattoos?

Oils are not efficient tattoo fading agents. The molecules of oils are too big to penetrate the skin deep enough to reach the layer of ink. Tattoo removal creams contain some oils like vitamin E oil, lavender oil, and neem oil to work in collaboration with other ingredients to fade a tattoo.

Manufacturers of tattoo removal creams and agents sometimes add oils to their products for their ability to exfoliate the skin, keep the skin from getting irritable, or nourish the skin that might turn dry in an attempt to remove the tattoo.

Neem Oil In Tattoo Removal Agents

Neem oil comes from neem tree leaves, and these trees are home to India. The properties of neem oil are skin regeneration. Because oil cannot penetrate the skin on its own, manufacturers pair it with ingredients that can, and then the oil can do its job to make new skin. Regenerating the skin faster leads to your tattoo fading faster.

An example of a product is dermiMAX tattoo removal cream (which will only lead to fading over time). The ingredients include neem oil, beeswax, and shea butter. The shea butter is the penetrator, and the beeswax is the exfoliator.

Baby Oil As A Tattoo Removal Agent

Baby oil is a fan favorite when it comes to removing temporary tattoos. Experts don’t recommend using baby oil on your permanent tattoo, only because it seals the skin and doesn’t give breathing space. There is no harm baby oil can do to your healed tattoo and no benefits either.

The only time it is OK to use petroleum jelly on your tattoo is during the healing phase when your tattoo isn’t supposed to get wet. You can apply a thin layer before you shower and immediately remove it afterward with anti-bacterial soap and warm water.

Vitamin E Oil In Tattoo Fading Mixes

Vitamin E nourishes your tattoo and applying 100% Vitamin E oil will do good for a tattoo. The only downfall of Vitamin E oil is that you can use too much, which leads to blocked pores. You might also find a product that contains vitamin E but isn’t 100% natural, and this might lead to fading a tattoo or causing skin irritation.

The result will be because of the other ingredients, not the vitamin E per se. An at-home fading cream that you can make is:

  • Two vitamin E oil capsules
  • Aloe Vera gel (1 tbsp)
  • Paederia Tomentosa juice from the leaves

Form a paste, rub it on the tattoo for 10 minutes, and rinse it off with warm water.

Lavender Oil To Fade A Tattoo

Some that have tried the lavender oil route before testify that it works over time. If it is the oil or some other reason maybe, we won’t know. Many swear by using a few drops of lavender oil on their tattoo and massaging it for 20 minutes twice a day.

It will take a long time (six months and more) before you will see your tattoo fade. Lavender oil will only work on older, not new, fresh tattoos.

Better Daily Methods To Fade A Tattoo

There are other methods you can try to fade your tattoo rather than oils. Some claim that oils work, but in recent studies, oils do not have a significant effect on fading a tattoo. There are creams and gels available, but these have chemicals as ingredients that burn layers of skin, and you might end up with more damage than fading your tattoo.

Natural Products That Will Fade Tattoos

Seeing that you are looking at oils that might fade a tattoo, you are more prone to natural products, which is a good thing. You can try specific remedies at home and, over time, fade your tattoo.

Lemon juice To Fade Tattoo

Lemon has properties of lightening or bleaching things, and thus you can use it to fade a tattoo. Some people have used it to lighten pigmentation, which isn’t harmful to the skin. No studies back this method, but tattoo enthusiasts have tried it before, and some have seen results.

You can use the juice, rub it on the tattoo, and then rinse it off. Repeat three times a day until you see results. This method will mostly fade a black tattoo, and you might have to opt for another option when you want to fade a colored tattoo.

Honey To Fade A Tattoo

Honey is used in many home remedies to fade a tattoo. The best natural recipe is a mix of honey, Aloe Vera gel, salt, and plain yogurt.

  • Add two tablespoons of each ingredient to make a cream.
  • Saturate your tattoo with it for 30 minutes and rinse off.
  • Repeat twice daily for optimal results.

Coconut Oil To Keep Your Tattoo From Fading

Oils can prevent your tattoo from fading. Coconut oil is a great example and is considered one of the top products to take care of for your tattoo, so it lasts for as long as you wish.

Coconut oil is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and super moisturizing. It can be beneficial during any stage of your tattoo, whether you want to use it for healing, keeping your tattoo looking good, or prepping an area you want to add some ink to in the future.

Why Do Some Tattoos Fade Faster?

The secret behind fading tattoos is not necessarily the products you apply to help them fade but other things that started from the day you got the tattoo.

  • The area on your body you got the tattoo – depending on where you got it, it might fade quicker than on other parts of the body. Areas where the skin is tight and thin, like feet, where the ink cannot be placed as deep as on other parts, will fade easier.
  • The professional who did your tattoo – an amateur tattoo- will fade faster than a professional one. Professionals have the correct equipment and technique to penetrate the skin and add a significant amount of ink. Amateur tattoos sometimes cause scarring as well.
  • Your aftercare regime – if you scratch at the scabs and don’t care for your tattoo during the healing part, you might also be messing with its longevity. Keeping your tattoo moisturized with the correct products and using sunscreen to protect it from the sun will keep your tattoo from fading. Leave all these things, and your tattoo will start to fade.
  • Your daily life – tanning or sun bedding, smoking, applying friction (either by clothes or scrubs), and not applying any moisturizer will fade your tattoo sooner.


Whether you want to fade your tattoo or avoid anything that will, oils will not fade them. If you want to fade your tattoo, rather contact a professional to ensure you don’t destroy your skin and make the tattoo look worse.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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