Best Topical Tattoo Removal Products of 2013


Which tattoo removal method really works?

By Dr. Steven Van Dyke

We found both Tat B Gone and Tattoo-OFF to be the most effective of all products tested.

After finishing medical school, I began my residency in a hospital one year ago. Some of the residents and I did have tattoos. The hospital has a policy against visible tattoos. This is a very common policy in hospitals, so my fellow residents and I decided it was best to try and remove those tattoos. While looking into how to remove them, I discovered so many choices. Like laser and the following products.

The female residents preferred not to use laser, mostly because they were worried about the chance of scarring. All of us however were not keen on the pain. Another downside of laser is that laser is not effective with certain colors, thereby leaving parts of the tattoo visible. After deciding against laser we were left with a few options: Nuviderm, InkBusters, Wrecking Balm, Tat B Gone, and Tattoo-OFF. Using our scientific background, we agreed to test a few products.

We went through with testing for our personal benefit, but we also figured that if we were to advise our patients in the future on this subject, we should know about the tattoo removal methods available. We purchased 5 products and tested them for two facts: (1) Does any of the products work? (2) Which one of the products works best? The two acids based products Nuviderm and InkBusters are cheap. But we deemed them not worth buying.

As medical doctors the thought of burning the skin off did not seem like a good idea. And even after putting up with the pain, discomfort, and chance of infection, those acids did not remove the tattoo. Both Nuviderm and InkBusters claim that they will lighten the tattoo. These products did lighten our tattoos a tiny bit. However, it seemed to us that there were too many disclaimers, and too many possible ways to go wrong for little to no gain. We were really excited about trying Wrecking Balm. With all that advertising they do, they are certainly right in your face.

The students specializing in dermatology and general surgery were skeptical of the sanding machine. They shared the opinion that long term use may cause scarring, calluses or infections. One psychology student thought that the people, who are very anxious to get rid of their tattoo, may try and sand their way down to the ink. What a painful mess that could be. Still we were excited. Upon testing Wrecking Balm we seemed to run into approximately the same results as with the use of the acids in Nuviderm and InkBusters, just slower.

We did experience some initial fading at first, and then the fading leveled off with hardly any more visible results. Some say Wrecking Balm is an acid mixed in a cream and our results tend to verify this. We do not think this product is worth purchasing. Well, the good news is we did find two products that worked well and we liked. We found both Tat B Gone and Tattoo-OFF to be effective and pain free.

The products were gentle to the skin and no one in the test group had a problem with the ingredients nor was there any skin irritation. Both Tat B Gone and Tattoo-OFF are effective and easy to apply creams. Some of my fellow residents noticed results quite fast. However, a few residents with darker tattoos required a longer period of time to achieve the same level of fading as the others. All, but one resident felt the fading process proceeded at an acceptable pace. Which was better, Tat B Gone or Tattoo-OFF? It is hard to say. It will certainly require much more testing.

An unscientific “gut feeling” from some of us who used both, was that Tat B Gone might work a fraction faster and Tattoo-OFF is a bit gentler to the skin. We were happy to find two out of five products which produced painless and effective results. Not only are we now tattoo-free, but we are able to recommend both Tat B Gone and Tattoo-OFF to our colleagues at different medical facilities. And we are able to give our patients an honest answer when they ask us about tattoo removal.

Through this easy to use chart, you will be able to compare all the leading products on the market. Topical tattoo removal creams have been growing in popularity and can be highly effective. Before starting with laser removal, consider tattoo fade away creams – the safe and easy alternative. Visit our other pages to learn more about how tattoo fade away works and the results from our on-going study. Because an informed consumer is a smart consumer.