The 3 Best Soaps for Tattoo Aftercare

Getting a tattoo is one of the biggest commitments that anyone can make so it only makes sense that you’d want to keep it looking like the work of art it is by using the best tattoo soap in the market.

With that said, one must also keep in mind that for the first few days or so, your tattoo is basically an open wound. So you have to be really gentle in how you take care of it so that you don’t accidentally damage the beautiful artwork done by your tattoo artist.

Overview: The Top Picks

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap, 1.7 Fluid Ounce
Dial Gold Liquid Hand Soap (3 Pack) 7.5 oz
Our Choice
Cosco Tincture of Green Soap, 16 oz
H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap, 1.7 Fluid Ounce
Dial Gold Liquid Hand Soap (3 Pack) 7.5 oz
Cosco Tincture of Green Soap, 16 oz
H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap, 1.7 Fluid Ounce
H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap, 1.7 Fluid Ounce
Dial Gold Liquid Hand Soap (3 Pack) 7.5 oz
Dial Gold Liquid Hand Soap (3 Pack) 7.5 oz
Our Choice
Cosco Tincture of Green Soap, 16 oz
Cosco Tincture of Green Soap, 16 oz

What Tattoo Aftercare Do You Need?

Whatever you do, don’t seek aftercare advice from people who don’t even have tattoos or don’t know enough to provide effective solutions.

Besides, aftercare is a pretty simple process that involves keeping your tattoo clean and dry. This requires a fine balance of exposing it to the air while eliminating contact with microbacteria.

Usually, aftercare starts right after you finish getting your tattoo, as the tattoo artist will apply a healing salve before bandaging it to protect the tattoo from exposure to microbes, clothing and the sun. This bandage should be kept on for at least an hour or so afterward or whatever amount of time is recommended by your tattoo artist. 

You must only wash the tattoo after you’ve taken off the bandage and only do so with warm water and a mild antibacterial soap.

Do Tattoos Heal Differently from Ordinary Injuries?

Unlike injuries, a tattoo leaves your skin with a beautiful marking when it’s fully healed.

The only thing that tattoos have in common with injuries is that both will be reddish, somewhat painful, and warm to the touch for some time afterward. However, these effects dull down after a few days and eventually form scabs that will also disappear in about two weeks. 

Unlike most injuries that have to be rebandaged, tattoos cannot be rebandaged because they can only heal when you air them out. Rebandaging them regularly as if they were a normal injury will only serve to irritate the skin.

With that said, you can cover it with a light cloth whenever you step outside to avoid sun exposure, which can cause the ink to fade.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice when it comes to tattoo aftercare is to not only wash it as recommended but also wash your hands before you touch it because it can easily get septic.

Also, consult with a qualified physician as soon as you notice any rashes forming on the tattoo. 

Unlike a normal wound that you can easily keep bandaged the whole day, you’ll have to clean your tattoo several times a day, especially if you tend to get sweaty or dirty a lot.

What About Allergies?

A professional tattoo artist will conduct a skin test to determine your level of susceptibility to allergies before starting with the tattoo. The result of this test will let them know whether to use red ink or black ink, both of which contain different chemicals with different reactions.

That’s why you have to carefully follow their aftercare instructions as they know how their inks react to different substances.

The most common mistakes to avoid include:

  • Plunging yourself in water. This means no swimming for at least a month after getting your tattoo.
  • Scratching. No matter how tempting it seems, do NOT scratch!
  • Not applying sunblock. Never leave your house without putting some sunscreen on your tattoo to protect the ink from fading.

What Soap Ingredients Shouldn’t Touch Your Tattoo?

The main rule of thumb with soap ingredients is that they should be organic.

The following is a list of the most common soap ingredients and how they interact with tattoos.

1. Petroleum Derived Ingredients

Soaps that are made with a petroleum base are generally not good for open wounds because they have a greasy effect and will clog the pores, which will, in turn, cause bacteria to proliferate.

2. Alcohol Bases

While antiseptic and antibacterial soaps are an ideal cleanser for an open wound like a tattoo, they shouldn’t contain ethanol because it’ll cause intense burning. Instead, look for soaps that have gentle base ingredients like lavender or salt.

3. Scented Soaps

The type of ingredients used to generate the fragrance in your soap will be different from one brand to the other. This is why some people will experience an allergic reaction to scented soap, while some won’t. For the best results, rather avoid the use of scented soaps and products during the first month, especially if this is your first tattoo.  

4. Artificial Colors

Again, different companies use different ingredients to create pigment on their soaps, which is why you can never be sure whether or not you’ll experience a reaction when using them. Pretty much anything is possible when it comes to soaps that have artificial colors, including staining your tattoo or even damaging it to the point that you’ll have to do it again.

5. Paraben

Parabens are a type of toxic preservative that’s found in most of the products that we use, including soaps. However, the number and availability of paraben-free products is also increasing and they’re considered much milder and safer for you in comparison.

You’ll mostly find that soap manufacturers that use gentle ingredients proudly state that fact while those who use harmful ingredients are not as forthcoming. Obviously, you want to avoid the that category of soap producers and stick with transparent companies. 

Review of the Best Soaps for Tattoos

1. H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

While most soaps are made from an alkaline solution that dries out the skin, this soap actually moisturizes and nourishes it with its main ingredient which is the Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice. As a result, it leaves you with glowing and smooth skin instead of a dry and flaky one.

This is part of what makes this soap a bestseller and it’s really good for sensitive skin that requires gentle tattoo aftercare. Plus, it’s packaged in a bottle that’s large enough to fully treat your tattoo for the entire duration needed.  

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

It’s also suitable to use on the go because you can lather it on and leave it on your skin without rinsing it. This makes it perfect for those days when you’re at work and you aren’t able to regularly step out to cleanse your tattoo.

Things we liked

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    Has antibacterial properties
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    Free from harmful parabens
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    Cruelty-free
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    Can be used for piercing aftercare as well
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    Doesn’t fade tattoo ink
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    Non-sticky formula
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    Sterile

Things we didn't like

  • Some people don’t like its scent
  • It’s rather cost-prohibitive for some
  • Some users have reported that they don’t necessarily feel clean after using this soap
  • It takes time to dry up

2. Dial Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap Gold

As mentioned above, scented soaps tend to have irritating chemicals which cause redness and itching on the skin. That’s why you must be very selective of the type of soap that you use for aftercare, especially if you have sensitive skin.

The good news is that the Dial Antibacterial Liquid Hand soap is not only scent-free but it’s suitable for people who suffer from allergies.

In fact, it’s so gentle and safe that it can be used by all the members of your family, and you don’t have to worry about getting bacterial infections when using it.

Dial Gold Liquid Hand Soap

Things we liked

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    Scent-free
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    Has antibacterial properties
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    You get more bang for your buck
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    Suitable for all skin types

Things we didn't like

  • Requires thorough rinsing every time
  • Although it can be used for tattoo aftercare, it’s not specifically formulated for that purpose

3. Cosco Green Soap

The Cosco Green Soap is ideal for people who prefer gentle and “green” products as it’s made with pure vegetable oils and a pinch of glycerin for moisture and hydration. Plus it’s biodegradable and kind to the environment as well.

Many tattoo artists recommend this soap for aftercare purposes and most even use it before they even apply the ink onto the skin because it has powerful antiseptic properties. Not only that, but it’s budget-friendly too.

Cosco Tincture of Green Soap

Things we liked

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    Affordable
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    Often used for the pre-application of ink on skin and to clean tattoo kits
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    Made from natural ingredients
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    Minimizes redness

Things we didn't like

  • It has a really pungent aroma
  • Can have a drying effect on the skin
  • Has to be diluted in water to avoid the harsh cleansing effect

Conclusion

Whether you’re thinking of getting a tattoo or you have just completed one, it’s important that you take proper measures to cleanse and protect it from infection. This requires the use of a potent yet gentle soap that will not irritate your skin.

For the best results, we highly recommend the Cosco Green Soap, which is good for your skin, your pocket and the environment. Not only does it keep your skin clean and moisturized, but it protects it from any damage as well.

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