By: TacCat - Firearms Blogger
I’m a skeptic when it comes to grooming products; a gigantic skeptic. Like toothpaste. Dentists make money off of bad teeth, why are they recommending toothpaste? I digress. I have a close friend that uses LOX products on his tattoos that he swears by. When I got my memorial tattoo for Violet, I decided I would give it a try in the hope that it would keep the tattoo looking bright, colorful, and pretty; just like her.
As a side note, they named this particular salve after the American Coal Miners, which I find cool since my ancestors were coal miners in Pennsylvania.
What is Black Diamond?
Black Diamond Salve is a skin moisturizer that’s supposed to help bring life back to old tattoos and keep new ones looking new. This all natural salve is lavender spice scented and it smells AMAZING! Black Diamond Salve is all hand brewed, poured, and tinned to ensure quality (boy, I sound like an advertisement right now). Weight wise, you’re getting 2oz of the salve. This may not seem like a lot, but as the description on LOX’s website says, it goes a long way! After 4 months and a lot of over applications, I’m not even halfway through the tin.
To make things somewhat fair, I didn’t use the Black Diamond Salve on my tattoo until the healing process was completed; just like with my kotwica tattoo. 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 depending on my activities for the day as well as the weather.
For those that followed me prior to writing this review, you may remember that I went on a vacation to Tennessee in July where I was on a lake for 5 days, about 6-8 hours a day. I applied the Black Diamond Salve in the morning before leaving and then applied sunscreen once I got out onto the lake.
To my surprise, the only parts of my body that didn’t flake after I got home from sunburn were my tattoos and surrounding areas (that got the excess salve).
Everything else that got a good coating of sunscreen eventually peeled or even blistered.
As far as moisturizing goes, the LOX Black Diamond Salve is definitely getting a 10/10 in my books; especially if it can keep skin hydrated like that while out on a lake.
Does it brighten tattoos?
The moisturizing aspect of the Black Diamond Salve was never a concern of mine, the brightening aspect for tattoos is what I was skeptical about. Above you’ll see what the pre-tanned tattoos looked like before the initial application of BDS. Below you’ll see what the tattoos look like now before the 2nd application in the evening.
In person, I can definitely tell a difference on the kotwica tattoo, especially after the salve is applied. Honestly, I’d say it’s worked too good. I knew the kotwica needed a touch-up again but after using LOX the areas that weren’t touched up last time are really popping out. Goes to show you need to be careful with who you go to to get a tattoo.
With the memorial tattoo, I’m not sure what to expect in terms of fading since it’s my first colored/shaded tattoo. That said, after being fully healed (it was still pretty raw in the first photo, but healed) I haven’t noticed any fading whatsoever. When I apply the salve, the tattoo almost looks brand new minus the tan it now has.
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!
The moisturizing abilities of the salve definitely play a role in this. When I use Palmer’s cocoa butter to moisturize the tattoo (which I did for comparison’s sake) the tattoo’s definitely dried out faster and lost that “freshly lotioned” sheen real quick. I can’t give you exact lengths of time since I wanted to stick strictly to LOX for the majority of the review (which I did), but Palmer’s definitely wouldn’t of held up like the Black Diamond Salve did at the lake.
With the Black Diamond Salve I can give you rough lengths of time though. I noticed that when applied the tattoos would take significantly longer to dry out, and the tattoos wouldn’t lose that glossy sheen for at least 45 minutes to an hour (at this point, I’d get distracted and not keep track). As far as time goes for when the tattoo’s dried out, I can’t give a definite answer. Out on the lake, I would apply it around 11 A.M. and the tattoos would still appear conditioned when I would get home around 5-6 P.M. After getting home I immediately reapplied more, but being able to be in direct sunlight for that long and remain moisturized is really something else.
Unfortunately, there is a disclaimer with this product. The results that I experienced may take longer for you to experience, or you might notice changes immediately. Everyone’s skin is different and everyone’s skin reacts differently. I will be posting some accompanying unedited (like mine) images of tattoo’s that have received the LOX treatment when they were knew, as well as approximate ages tagged on each photo.
Overall, I love the Black Diamond Salve. It smells wonderful, it adds a shine to my tattoo at the beginning of my day, it appears to have brightened my older tattoo, and both tattoos have stayed moisturized. I’ll definitely be doing an update to this review at the 10 month mark though (expect that below this original one) detailing any changes that I’ve noticed.
We really appreciate this review from our buddy TacCat - check out the rest of his awesome blog posts here!