Going to a great place and getting yourself inked with a design is not the only step toward owning a good tattoo. Proper maintenance of the area’s skin post-tattooing is critical to prevent adverse effects. A tattoo is a wound that needs to be taken special care of, similar to other injuries, to heal correctly.
The tattooed area can get infected or become dry and itchy or become scarred if it’s not taken care of correctly. Here you will find a list of soaps for adequate healing of your new tattoo.
|Best Overall||Dial Antibacterial Liquid Soap|
|Runner Up||Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar|
|Best Unscented||Dr.Bronner Liquid Baby Soap|
|Best for Sensitive Skin||Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap|
|Best for Oily Skin||Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap|
|Best Organic Soap||Void Soap Tattoo Recovery Bar|
|Best Cleansing Bar||Neutrogena Transparent Cleansing Bar Soap|
|Best Foam Soap||H2Ocean Foam Soap|
|Best Drugstore Pick||Cuticura Original Soap Bar|
|Best Ointment Spray||Aquaphor Ointment Body Spray|
|Best for Old Tattoos||Billy Jealousy Make Your Mark Tattoo Wash|
How To Choose The Best Soap For Tattoos
Choosing the best soap for tattoos is not as easy as it seems. To select a perfect tattoo soap, you need to know and analyze the ingredients, and their effects on the skin. Randomly selecting a product can do more harm than good, so go through this list we have prepared below for some tips on shopping for a good soap for tattoos:
The fragrance and artificial flavors in soaps may contain harmful chemicals. While not all soaps with fragrances are harmful, a lot of them are. If harmful chemicals are present, they can irritate your new tattoo and damage the skin there. So it is essential to choose a trusted fragrance soap, or fragrance-free soap for tattoos where possible to reduce potential exposure to harmful chemicals.
Regular vs. Antibacterial
Antibacterial soaps contain specific chemicals intended to help combat bacterial infection. However, according to the FDA, there is no real benefit to using antibacterial over regular soap.
Certain natural ingredients have natural healing properties that can help with your tattoo aftercare. Aloe vera, for example, has anti-infammatory chemical compounds that reduce swelling and discomfort.
Best 11 Soaps for Tattoos
Once you’ve finally gotten your tattoo, you need to maintain it well until the tattoo heals. Your tattoo artist would have given you a timeframe for keeping your plastic wrap applied, so follow their suggestion on when to take it off and when to wash the tattoo with soap.
When you’re ready, wash it under lukewarm water with a tattoo soap. Glance through our list of tattoo soaps that we have compiled considering different factors and choose one that suits you the most.
Best Overall: Dial Antibacterial Liquid Soap
- Easily available
- It doesn’t dry up the skin
Dial Antibacterial Liquid Soap is a common household choice for essential cleansing. It is minimally scented and has good antibacterial properties. While it does have a mild scent, it has been a trusted choice for many in their tattoo aftercare routine. The main feature of this soap is that it, unlike other general soaps, does not dry the skin. The moisture-retaining property of the soap helps prevent the development of scabs and keloids, which is a result of the unhealthy healing of any wound. The liquid soap is dispensed through a dispenser, thus avoiding constant contact with the soap.
Runner Up: Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
- Hydrates the skin
- Designed for dry, sensitive skin
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar is detergent-free. It foams due to its natural ingredients that form lather. Detergent can sometimes irritate the skin and cause reddening and local inflammation. All these side effects are averted due to their detergent-free property. This cleansing bar is a gentle cleanser that can keep your tattoo cleans without irritating it. It is considered one of the best soaps for sensitive skin. The soap formula does not contain paraben, which can irritate sensitive skin. The combination of beneficial characteristics makes the soap an ideal choice for post-tattoo maintenance. This soap bar hydrates the skin and retains moisture post-cleaning. The natural oils of the skin are left intact. This aspect prevents the skin from drying out.
Best Unscented: Dr.Bronner Liquid Baby Soap
- 90% organic ingredients
- Gentle on skin
Dr Bronner Liquid Baby Soap is great sensitive skin. It’s an unscented liquid soap. It is not only ideal for cleansing healing tattoos but also acting as your magic potion to disinfect any wounds or cuts; users suggest that it works well even for treating acne. It is a baby soap made of natural moisturizers and foamers like organic jojoba, hemp seed, coconut and olive oils, etc. These ingredients protect the skin from drying despite their cleansing action. This characteristic makes the soap multipurpose from baby care to cleansing cuts and wounds. The soap arrived in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap
- Gentle on skin
- Backed by skin specialists
Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap is a gentle cleanser with excellent moisturizing properties. It is ideal for sensitive skin and is fragrance-free. The soap bar, which can be used regularly on the face and acne-prone regions, works as a good tattoo soap. It hydrates the skin and retains moisture within the skin, and protects it from drying. The soap, despite being gentle, cleanses dirt and oil well, which are a huge source of bacterial entrapment. The ingredients of the soap are non-irritant and hypoallergenic, which makes it an excellent choice for cleaning sensitive areas. This unscented antibacterial soap is not only appreciated by consumers but is also recommended by dermatologists for its great cleansing and moisturizing property.
Best for Oily Skin: Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap
- A great choice for new tattoos
- Antimicrobial action
- Deep cleansing ability
Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap is an ideal soap for deep cleaning your tattoo thanks to its PCMX-L formula. Fresh wounds like tattoos require proper cleaning to remove the dead skin cells and dirt, but at the same time, the soap you use needs to be gentle. This soap is unscented, which makes your healing tattoo less prone to infection and irritation. It contains antimicrobial ingredients intended to keep your tattoo safe from infection. It is fast-acting and consists of essential oils. The oils help retain moisture, and the fast-acting nature prevents the seepage of bacteria into the wound. This antibacterial unscented soap is also used during the healing of piercings.
Best Organic Soap: Void Soap Tattoo Recovery Bar
Made from organic ingredients, the Void Soap Tattoo Recovery Bar is the best all-natural choice. If you’re particularly sensitive to the ingredients founds in most major soaps you find in stores, this organic soap bar may be the perfect choice for you as it’s voice of preservatives, colors, fragrances, and more.
Best Cleansing Bar: Neutrogena Transparent Cleansing Bar Soap
- A great choice for sensitive skin
Neutrogena Transparent Bar Soap is the best choice if you search for something great for sensitive skin and is very affordable. The bar soap, which is made up of glycerine, hence the name transparent, is very moderately priced. It is one of the popular bar soap choices, often recommended alongside dial bar soap for tattoos. This unscented antibacterial soap for tattoos acts well for sensitive skin with its gentle ingredients. The glycerine in the soap helps in retaining moisture within the skin, thus preventing it from drying. Fresh wounds like tattoo wounds require gentle care and thus are a great combination of antibacterial and moisturizing agents. The composition of the soap does not include harsh chemicals or dyes and thus doesn’t cause any irritation.
Best Foam Soap: H2Ocean Foam Soap
- Easy handling
- Moisturizing properties
H2Ocean Foam Soap is a vegan soap and is devoid of all animal products. The soap is lauded by vegans and is also appreciated by all animal lovers. The soap is fragrance-free, which makes it devoid of harmful chemicals. It comprises natural ingredients, including aloe vera, which acts as a moisturizing agent. The moisturizing agent protects the wound and prevents drying out. The natural ingredient aloe also leaves a subtle but natural fragrance behind. Since the soap is foam-based, it is easy to handle and is mess-free. The foam enables almost no contact wash. It is a no-rinse soap that can be used to clean with medium pressure. It is environment friendly which is an added advantage.
Best Drugstore Pick: Cuticura Original Soap Bar
- Recommended by dermatologists
- Deep cleansing ability
- Protects the skin from drying
- Good for sensitive skin
Cuticura Original Soap Bar is a dermatologist-recommended antibacterial soap that is great for the prevention of infection in new tattoo wounds. The soap helps remove the oil or sebum deposition and trapped dirt, acting as a multipurpose cleansing agent. Sebum, along with dirt, causes acne, and by eliminating both these factors, this antibacterial unscented soap prevents acne too. It is the best soap for tattoo healing with properties like protection from drying of the skin, antibacterial, harsh chemicals, and fragrance-free. L A Taylor mentions in their review- “I have used this soap since I was a teenager. It was the only thing that helped my acne. It deep cleans, kills bacteria and germs, and bar soap is always a better value for your money, hands down. And this soap has always been great for sensitive skin. Not over-drying. Love this, will always have this on hand.”
Best Ointment Spray: Aquaphor Ointment Body Spray
- Moisturising property
- Easy application
- It gives a radiant glow
The Aquaphor Ointment Spray is used mainly in inaccessible areas of the body. The spray form enables easy reach of the medicament for healing. This spray ointment has a moisturizing property that aids in better healing of the tattoo wound. The spray is hypoallergenic, which means it can be used for sensitive skin as it causes the least allergies. The ointment is better in comparison to regular sprays as it gets better absorbed into the skin and is retained in the layers within. This helps in moisture lock resulting in beautiful skin.
Best for Old Tattoos: Billy Jealousy Make Your Mark Tattoo Wash
- Rejuvenates old tattoo
- Exfoliates dead skin
- Contains natural ingredients
Billy Jealousy Make Your Mark Tattoo Wash is a great cleanser that exfoliates dead skin and helps in revealing the faded tattoo below. This tattoo wash is used for only old tattoos and not on fresh tattoos as it can be too harsh for new wounds. Tattoos fade with time, and two of the key reasons are exposure to UV rays and the regeneration of your skin. Old tattoos can be given a new and radiant look using this tattoo wash. The wash has natural ingredients like cucumber extracts and oat proteins that aid in the rejuvenation process. These extracts seep in and add a glow to the inked area, helping brighten tattoo colors. It is a great choice for tattoo maintenance with over a year of getting inked.
Tattoo Aftercare Tips
After you get your tattoo, it’s important that you take good care of it to ensure it heals well. Here are a few useful tips you should keep in mind after you get your tattoo:
- Keep it moisturized – Apply scent-free moisturizer or lotion to your tattoo at least twice a day or whenever it’s dry. Always apply it after a shower, as the warm water can dry out your skin. Check out our list of the best lotions for tattoos.
- Keep it out of direct sunlight – Exposure to UV rays from the sun can break up the ink of your tattoo. Even after the tattoo is healed, long exposure to the sun can fade your tattoo faster. When your tattoo is healed, consider wearing sunscreen when you know you’re going to be in the sun for long periods.
- Don’t pick or scratch – While your tattoo may be irritated and itchy while it’s healing, keep yourself from picking or scratching at it. Doing so can cause infections, as your fingernails can harbor bacteria beneath them which could compromise the tattoo.
- Ask your artist questions – If you’re ever worried about something during the healing stage, flick your tattoo artist a message so they can ease your worries. They’re professionals, and they know exactly what you should do to take care of a healing tattoo.
Taking good care of your tattoo now will be beneficial in the long run. Apply these same tips to any tattoo you get and it will always come out looking fresh and healthy.
When buying a soap for tattoos, try to look for ones that are fragrance-free and made from all-natural and organic ingredients. Doing so ensures your tattoo will heal nicely and look healthy post-healing.
Once healing is complete, take care of your tattoo by regularly applying sunscreen when it’s exposed to sunlight and keeping the skin hydrated.
Tattoo Soap FAQs
We recommend the Dial Antibacterial Liquid Soap as it does a great job at cleaning your tattoo without causing a harsh reaction.
No, antibacterial soap is not needed for a healing tattoo. Instead, look for a high quality soap that can clean your skin and keep it hydrated.
We recommend the Neutrogena Transparent Bar Soap as it can gently cleanse your tattoo without causing irritation.
Wash your tattoo under warm water with a soap for tattoos that can clease it and keep it hydrated.
Avoid soaps with added chemicals and look for soaps that are made from natural ingredients. Chemicals with scents may sometimes contain harmful chemicals, so also try to shop unscented where possible.