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Finally pulling the trigger on that new tattoo feels great. But that feeling of elation usually turns to regret: one study found that 78 percent of tatted people regret at least one of their tattoos. If you’ve recently become part of that 78 percent, these top-rated tattoo removal creams should be on your radar.
How Do the Best Tattoo Removal Creams Work?
We need to address a misconception: tattoo removal creams don’t actually remove tattoos. Instead, the tattoo removal creams can fade and re-color the skin around the tattoo to make the artwork less visible. If you want genuine removal, you’ll need to shell out for (and suffer through) laser or surgical tattoo removal.
Tattoo removal creams can lessen the visibility of ink by essentially bleaching and/or stripping the epidermis, your skin’s outermost layer. Typically, tat removal creams do this using the active ingredients hydroquinone and trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or something similar. The first ingredient, hydroquinone, functions as the bleaching agent, lightening the tattoo area. The second ingredient, TCA, works to remove the epidermis and let the bleaching agent penetrate to the tattoo’s deepest point.
To use a tattoo removal cream, simply rub it on the tattoo once or twice a day (some brands use a two-step process, but it seems like there’s not a significant difference in effectiveness). The application is painless, but it’s important to remember that lightening a tattoo to the point of near-invisibility can take months. Be sure to stick with the regimen to see results.
What Are the Risks of Tattoo Removal Creams?
Even the best tattoo removal creams come with risks, as fading permanent ink requires an intense formula. For starters, anyone with dark skin tones should steer clear altogether; the bleaching effect of tattoo removal creams can create a splotchy mess that’s more unsightly than the tattoo. Also, be sure to stop using the cream if you’re seeing discoloration, starting to get a rash or feeling especially itchy (a little bit of itchiness is normal).
What Are the Best Tattoo Removal Creams?
Below are a few of the best tattoo removal creams that you can buy online. While shopping, check out the creams’ ingredients and application processes to pick the right one for your needs.
1. Tattoo Destroyer
If you want a simple one-step cream, pick up some of this Tattoo Destroyer. Its main ingredient is neem oil, a powerful fading agent with antiseptic powers. Over months of use, the Tattoo Destroyer promises to penetrate the lowermost level of the epidermis for tattoo lightening. The brand also promises no side effects, although the neem oil smells quite bad. To use the cream, rub it on once or twice a day. Also, this container is a two-week supply, so you will need to order more.
2. Wrecking Balm Tattoo Fade System
This tattoo fading system, the Wrecking Balm, incorporates microdermabrasion to help speed things up. The two-step process begins with a suffusion gel, which should be applied using the included DemoMatic Erosion head. This step is designed to fade the tattoo. Next, rub in the second product, hydravescent cream, to soothe the skin. While you’re waiting for the system to make tattoos fade, you can use an included tattoo concealer cream to hide the ink.
3. Tat B Gone
Tat B Gone is a two-step system meant to lighten tats. The first step, referred to as the “Activator” cream, primes the inked area to accept the second cream. This second cream the “Infusion,” promises re-color your tattoo and make it less visible. Some users decide to skip the first step, however, as it can be uncomfortable, and the second step can work on its own.
4. Inked Up Tattoo Removal Cream
Another solid one-step tattoo removal cream is this Inked Up. Instead of the typical formula, Inked Up cream works in a variety of natural ingredients. It includes things like soya oil, pilewort extract, comfrey extract and horsetail extract — all of which function to naturally penetrate the skin and remove ink stains.