When it comes to skin care products I’m a gigantic skeptic. Like toothpaste; dentists make money off f bad teeth, why the hell are they recommending toothpaste? I digress. I have a close friend that uses Lox products on his tattoos exclusively and swears by it. So, when I got my memorial tattoo for my doggo Violet, I decided it would be worth giving it a try in the hopes that it would keep the tattoo looking bright, colorful, and pretty; just like her.
This review was originally posted on my old website on October 8, 2019. It’s also the review that sparked my relationship with Lox Hair Wax Co.; you can use the code CAT10 to get 10% off your order 😉
What is Black Diamond Salve?
Lox’s Black Diamond Salve is listed as an “All Natural Body Lotion & Tattoo Brightener” on their website. It’s hand brewed and poured into 2oz tins to ensure quality (boy, do I sound like an advertisement right now!). I know 2 ounces isn’t a lot, but keep reading. The scent they chose for this particular lotion is Lavender Spice which is interesting considering it’s name sake; The American Coal Miner. It’s namesake definitely gets cool points from me since my ancestors worked in Pennsylvania coal mines after immigrating to the states from Poland and Ireland.
To make the review somewhat fair since my Kotwica tattoo is a year old, I waited to use the Black Diamond Salve on my memorial tattoo until the healing process was complete. After the healing process was finished, I began applying the salve to both tattoos at least twice a day. Occasionally it would get applied more often depending on my activities for the day, as well as the weather. If you followed me prior to this review, you may remember that I went on vacation to Tennessee in July where I was out on a lake for 6-8 hours for 5 days. I applied the Black Diamond Salve in the morning before leaving,, then applied sunscreen once I got out on the lake.
To my surprise, the tattoos would still be moisturized when I would get home. The salve worked so well that the areas surrounding my tattoos and the tattoos themselves were the only areas on my body that weren’t burnt a lobster read, blistered, or peeling by the time I got home. As you can guess, for a moisturizer I’m going to give the Black Diamond Salve a solid 10/10; especially with how burnt the rest of my body was.
As far as usage goes, you only get 2 ounces of the product in the tin which doesn’t seem like a lot. In the picture above it’s hard to tell, but I’m not even halfway through the tin. Just covering the tip of my index finger lightly is more than enough to apply a nice even coat over both tattoos, while having enough left over to moisturize my hands.
Update January 2021: I have now completely finished my tin of the Black Diamond Salve. I did purchase a handful of other lotions from Lox to try them out. If I hadn’t the tin probably would have ran empty around August or September of 2020.
Does it brighten tattoos?
The moisturizing aspect of the Black Diamond Salve was never a concern of mine; what it would do for my tattoos is what I was skeptical about. Above you’ll see a picture of what the tattoos looked like before getting a tan and before the initial application. Please do keep in mind that in this picture my memorial tattoo is still fresh and had literally just finished healing. Below you will see what the tattoos look like now before the 2nd application in the evening; I did my best to get the photos in the same exact spot with the same exact lighting.
In the pictures, the Kotwica might look worse than it used to; this actually means the Black Diamond Salve is doing it’s job. The tattoo artist that did that one didn’t get the ink deep enough in random areas throughout the tattoo. The salve boldened the good areas, which made the bad areas look, well, worse. With the memorial tattoo I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of fading since it’s my first colored/shaded tattoo… that’s also only 4 months old. But, I’ve noticed no fading whatsoever, and it looks brand new (minus the tan) when I first apply the salve.
Side Note: Can I just point out how beautiful the flowers are on the memorial tattoo? It definitely brings me joy every time I look at it. Thanks Josh!
For a comparison, I did put the Black Diamond Salve up against Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. Between the two Palmer’s definitely lost the “freshly lotioned” look faster and my skin felt dry faster; I can’t give accurate time measurements though since it was a “When I notice it” sort of test. I can say without a doubt that it wouldn’t have held up as good as the Black Diamond Salve did on the lake.
I can say that with the Black Diamond Salve that it loses that “freshly lotioned” sheen about 45 minutes after application. As far as time for when the tattoos dried out, I can’t give a definitive answer. Out on the lake I would apply it around 11 A.M. before heading out and the tattoos would still appear moisturized around 5-6 P.M., but I still immediately applied a second layer. Off of the lake, my skin has felt softer throughout the day up until I hop in the shower for bed.
There is a disclaimer with this product and products like it though. The results I experienced may take longer for you to experience, or you might notice them immediately. Everyone’s skin is different and reacts different; like I have an aluminum & nickel skin allergy that really sucks. I will be posting some accompanying unedited (like mine) images of tattoos that had the Black Diamond salve applied to them when they were brand new, a well as approximate ages tagged.
Overall, I love the Black Diamond Salve. It smells absolutely wonderful, it adds a lovely new look to both of my tattoos at the beginning of the day, and it does appear to have brightened my older tattoo… speaking of I now need to get a touch-up. I may or may not update this review later on to let you know how this product is performing, but as things stand I can’t recommend Lox’s Black Diamond Salve enough.
Side Note: Noticed how for this entire review I didn’t mention once that the company is owned by someone currently serving in the Armed Forces? Their product stands on it’s own, being owned by someone currently serving is just another benefit.
If you want to pick up your own tin, you can get some here! Use the code PEWS10 for 10% off too!
Huge shout out to “The Mizz” from Instagram for shooting me these images of his tattoos.
Left: 3-4 years old, Black Diamond Salve was applied at the very beginning of the healing process and every day since.
Middle Top: 10 year old poppy, BDS wasn’t applied immediately, but has been applied since the inception of BDS.
Middle Low: 3-4 years old, BDS was applied at the very beginning of the healing process and every day since.
Right: 3-4 years old, BDS was applied at the very beginning of the healing process and every day since.
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More Lox Black Diamond Salve Reviews:
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