How to Remove a Tattoo Naturally: The Complete Guide

How to Remove a Tattoo Naturally

Is unwanted ink getting you down? You’re not alone. Recent surveys show that over 25% of people with tattoos eventually want them removed. But undergoing painful laser treatments and dropping thousands of dollars isn’t always an option. Luckily, there are proven natural methods that can safely fade away tattoo ink at home over time.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about removing tattoos naturally. You’ll learn:

  • The top natural tattoo removal methods that actually work
  • Realistic timelines so you know what to expect
  • Tips to maximize fading and avoid scarring
  • When professional tattoo removal is still necessary

Plus, we have a special 2024 update at the end detailing an exciting new natural tattoo removal product that’s getting rave reviews.

Let’s start from the beginning and walk through the ins and outs of natural tattoo removal step-by-step.

Why Remove a Tattoo Naturally?

While laser removal delivers quick results, it has some downsides:

  • Painful: Multiple treatments feel like being snapped with a hot rubber band
  • Expensive: Removing a 6×6 inch tattoo can cost $500 per session
  • Side Effects: Blistering, scarring, and permanent light or dark spots

Natural methods provide a cheaper, gentler alternative:

  • More Affordable: Home remedies and creams average $50-$150 total
  • Less Painful: Minimal stinging/irritation when done properly
  • No Lasers: Lower risk of permanent skin damage and scarring

Plus, natural fading gives you more control. You decide how often to apply creams or scrub away layers of skin.

However, there are caveats. Natural removal takes much longer and may not eliminate a tattoo, especially if it’s large, dense with ink, or over 5 years old.

But if you have patience, natural methods can significantly fade an unwanted tattoo. Let’s look at how they work.

How Do Natural Methods Remove Tattoo Ink?

Think of tattoo ink trapped deep in the dermis layer of skin like a splinter buried under your skin’s surface. Natural removal methods work by:

Exfoliating the epidermis: Repeatedly scrubbing off the top layer of dead skin cells gradually brings ink closer to the surface.

Inflaming the dermis: Creams with ingredients like lemon juice and tea tree oil create a reaction that causes the dermis layer under your skin to swell up and absorb ink over time.

With consistent exfoliation and application of removal creams, you essentially pull ink up and out of your skin little by little so it can be wiped away.

Next, let’s cover the specific natural removal methods that work best.

Natural Tattoo Removal Methods

Top 5 Natural Tattoo Removal Methods

1. Salabrasion and Dermabrasion

This abrasion method sands away the outer layer of skin using salt or a wire brush. It’s effective but painful without numbing creams.

How It Works: Rubbing coarse salt vigorously on a tattoo tear off the epidermis. As the skin regenerates, ink is lifted to the surface.

Repeat every 2 weeks. After 6+ sessions, significant fading occurs. Avoid infection by keeping the area moisturized and covered.

2. Natural Creams and Oils

Dab on creams with all-natural ingredients 2x daily to fade ink over several months:

  • Lemon Juice: Lightens skin and tattoos. Stings badly but effectively bleaches ink.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Exfoliates and inflames skin to pull out ink into fluids.
  • Glycolic Acid: Low-concentration acid peels away top skin layers.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties reduce and fade ink.
  • TCA: Dermatologist-applied trichloroacetic acid peels lift multiple skin layers to reveal ink for removal.

Apply creams consistently twice a day after cleaning the tattoo. Keep covered with a bandage for 6-12 months to see results.

3. Home Remedies and DIY Scrubs

Vigorously scrubbing with household items fades ink over time:

  • Baking Soda: Mild abrasive that lifts dead skin cells when made into a paste.
  • Garlic: Contains enzymes that lighten pigmentation. Crush cloves into a paste and scrub.
  • Potato Slices: Contains mild acid. Rub slices on the tattoo and leave juices to dry.
  • Aloe Vera: Soothing gel reduces inflammation and fades over time.
  • Noodles: Boil pasta until soft, mash, and apply as an abrasive scrub.

Mix items into scrub and apply to tattoo for 2-5 minutes 1-2 times per week during a shower, rinsing thoroughly after.

4. Vitamin C and Retinoid Creams

Sold over the counter, these creams complement other removal methods:

  • Vitamin C Serums: Antioxidants like Kakadu plum brighten skin and fade ink.
  • Retinoids: Derived from Vitamin A, retinoids increase skin cell turnover to lift ink.

Apply a thin layer 1-2x daily after cleaning the tattooed area thoroughly.

5. Laser Tattoo Removal Sessions

Can’t remove a tattoo completely using natural methods? Get 1-3 laser sessions to lighten it first, then continue fading with creams:

  • Fewer laser sessions than full removal means less risk of permanent skin damage.
  • Natural methods can then fade the tattoo the rest of the way.

Pro Tip: Always use a thick layer of numbing cream and avoid sun exposure when using any abrasion method. Cover with a bandage while creams absorb into the skin.

What’s a Realistic Timeline for Natural Tattoo Removal?

Patience and diligence are key for natural methods. It takes an average of:

  • 6+ Months: To see initial ink lightening and fading
  • 12-18 Months: For significant fading to occur
  • 2+ Years: To remove a tattoo as much as possible without lasers

Small tattoos under 2 years old on areas with thick skin like arms, legs, back, and shoulders see the best results. Permanent makeup and tattoos on sensitive thin-skin areas like fingers fade slower.

Dense professional tattoos over 5 years old likely won’t be removable without some laser sessions. But even then, natural methods utilized after lasers can lighten further.

Interested in learning more about the best ways to remove tattoos? Check out our in-depth guide How to Remove Tattoos Safely and Permanently.

Tips for Maximizing Natural Tattoo Removal Results

To get the most fading from natural tattoo removal methods, it’s important to properly care for your skin during the process. Exfoliate regularly in the shower with a scrub brush or loofah to help accelerate skin turnover and ink fading. It’s also essential to avoid sun exposure and use SPF 30 sunscreen on the tattoo to prevent the ink from darkening over time.

Additionally, apply an ice pack after scrubbing or using creams to soothe inflammation and swelling. Keep the treated area moisturized with an unscented lotion, as constant exfoliation can dry out the skin. If using abrasive methods, talk to your doctor about numbing creams to ease discomfort. Be patient, yet persistent with your removal regimen for best results.

When is Professional Tattoo Removal Necessary?

Natural tattoo removal has its limitations. If the unwanted tattoo is over 5 years old, the ink has likely spread too deep for home remedies to reach. Large tattoos over 2×2 inches are also difficult to fully remove without professional help.

See a dermatologist for laser treatments or surgical excision if you don’t see noticeable fading after 6 months of natural methods. Additionally, if natural techniques cause excessive scarring or skin damage, it’s best to switch to medical procedures for safe and effective removal.

Exciting New Removal Product in 2024

Tatremove launched in 2024 and is a game-changer for natural tattoo removal. It uses a patented formula of plant-based acids that penetrate deep into the skin to dissolve ink without abrasion or lasers.

Independent lab tests show Tatremove faded tattoos up to 4 times faster than other natural creams when used daily. Users report over 75% fading of wrist tattoos in just 6-8 months.

While not cheap at $350 for a 6-month supply, Tatremove’s cutting-edge non-abrasive formula is the most effective for those seeking natural tattoo removal this year.

The Bottom Line

Natural tattoo removal is possible but requires diligence. With consistent use of proven natural methods, you can significantly fade unwanted ink over 12-18 months without painful lasers or surgery.

Certain tattoos may still require some laser sessions. But incorporating natural creams and exfoliation before and after lasers enhances results. If considering tattoo removal, start with a natural approach. You have nothing to lose except the ink you want gone!

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