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9 Best Soaps for Tattoos in 2022
The science and business of keeping fresh tattoos healthy has grown and evolved to become a major part of the industry.
When I got my first tattoo in the year 2000, the tattoo healing process and aftercare education was rudimentary. After dry healing my first two pieces, I used an antibacterial nappy rash cream made for babies.
The aftercare process wasn’t much more than the following:
- Clean off the excess ink and blood with a clean paper towel
- Apply some green soap
- Keep the new piece of artwork wrapped for a few hours with cling film
- Keep the tattoo clean and out of the sun and water
More thought and product development has gone into tattoo healing and aftercare- and skin care in general -to give your skin and ink a better opportunity to thrive forever.
The following product article will focus on the 9 best soap for tattoos. Some are specific washes developed specifically for the tattoo industry, while others are for more multipurpose uses that are greatly effective at cleaning newly tattooed skin.
1. H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap
Blue Green Foam Soap is formulated to wash your freshly tattooed without causing skin irritation, excessive damage to the ink, or dry skin.
Replace harsh, skin irritating soaps with the Blue Green Foam Soap to ensure a better tattoo healing experience.
H2Ocean is antimicrobial, antibacterial and fragrance free. It contains aloe vera and minerals and is designed to moisturize the skin while disinfecting the fresh tattoo.
- 1.7 fluid ounce
- Active ingredient Benzalkonium Chloride 0.13%
- Vegan friendly
- Paraben free
- Price: $$$
2. Pre de Provence Artisanal French Soap Bar
Back in the late naughties I had a Kiwi tattooist named Jimmy do a couple of tattoo script pieces for me, and he swore that using extra virgin olive oil was the best way to heal tattoos and maintain good aftercare.
Instead of using pure olive oil, there are a tremendous range of olive oil soaps which can be used. The Pre de Provence Artisanal French soap combines the best healing properties of virgin olive oil with the cleansing of shea butter.
Pre de Provence Artisanal French bar soap is free of parabens, ethyl alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate, and is not tested on animals.
- 8 ounce soap bar
- Virgin olive oil based
- Made in France
- Versatile, multi-purpose
- Price: $$
3. Cosco Tincture Tattoo Green Soap
The Cosco Tincture of Green Soap has been around since 1966 – it’s biodegradable, environmentally safe and made in the USA. Green soap is a natural ingredient soap made from pure vegetable oils, glycerin, and lavender. It’s been the go-to sterilization soap/detergent for tattoo artists for longer than I’ve been alive.
Green soap is versatile enough for use in pre-tattoo skin preparation, stencil application, post-tattoo cleansing, as well as for cleaning surgical or tattoo instruments before sterilization. While it’s not a fancy designer aftercare product, it’s a trusted liquid soap cleaner and sanitizer that you can literally buy by the gallon.
- 8 fluid ounce
- Massive range of sizes and pricing
- All natural
- Price: $$
4. Dial Gold Antibacterial Deodorant Soap
Dial Gold Antibacterial soap is a highly recommended multipurpose soap bar product that is good for use on tattoos, as the active ingredient Benzalkonium Chloride helps stop infection and promotes healing.
It’s a simple, cheaply priced bar soap solution for those not wanting to do extravagant tattoo aftercare, and easy to make a part of your everyday cleansing routine.
- 2 x 3.2 ounce bars
- Round the clock protection and deodorizer
- Great multi-purpose product for everyday use
- Price: $
5. Nat-A-Tat2 Tattoo Foam Cleanser
Nat-A-Tat2 is an all-natural, 100% USDA certified organic tattoo after care line that begins with the foam cleanser.
The foam cleanser – which is used with a lotion and balm – is designed to soothe sensitive skin, keep new ink clean and free of infections while helping heal tattooed skin.
The Nat-A-Tat2 foam cleanser is made with an all-natural vegan formula that’s infused with organic oils to create a protective barrier for the skin and is free of artificial fragrance to further reduce skin irritation.
- 1.6 fluid ounce
- 100% USDA certified organic
- Vegan friendly and cruelty free
- Foam application
- Price: $$$
6. Aquaphor Ointment Body Spray
Aquaphor Ointment Body Spray, while not tattoo specific, is highly recommended by tattoo artists for those with new tattoos in hard to reach places. As a spray on hypo-allergenic moisturizer, Aquaphor is a good product for tattoos on the back, shoulders, and legs.
Unlike a spray lotion, the ointment is water-free so locks moisture in for hydration. The spray moisturizer also helps to reduce inflammation and itchiness that comes with a healing tattoo.
- 3.7 ounce spray bottle
- For dry rough skin
- Non touch spray application
- Price: $$$
7. Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Shea Butter Soap
Coconut oil products are fantastic for helping heal tattoos and calm sensitive skin. Shea Moisture is a long-standing soap brand (created in 1912) that uses the best possible natural products.
In this soap bar, Raw Shea butter and 100% virgin coconut form the main cleansing and moisturizing agents, with coconut milk and Acacia Senegal added to help retain soft skin and balanced moisture.
- 8 ounce bar soap
- 100% Virgin coconut oil
- Raw Shea butter
- All-natural ingredient
- Price: $
Hibiclens Antimicrobial soap is used in hospitals and by medical professionals for its antiseptic properties as a surface wound cleanser, which means it’s perfect for keeping fresh tattoos germ free and clean from potential infection.
Hibiclens antibacterial wash is useful as a sensitive skin all-purpose cleanser that kills bacteria and viruses and continues killing germs for up to 24 hours after washing.
The product is also versatile enough to be used in situations that can enable the spread of bacteria and viruses but leave you without a convenient way to wash your hands, which is useful for tattoo healing but also for use in a Covid-19 world.
- 8 fluid ounce bottle
- Dermatologically tested
- Antimicrobial, Antiseptic
- Great for all types of wound care
- Price: $$
9. Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
The Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar is a soap and detergent free cleanser that leaves skin hydrated, smooth, and soft, without irritating your skin, or upsetting the natural moisture barrier, natural protective oils or emollients.
Cetaphil skincare products are developed to cleanse, moisturize, and protect skin without irritation. Cetaphil products are not tested on animals and are a suitably versatile cleanser for use in tattoo aftercare.
- 4.5 ounce total (3 bars)
- No animal testing
- Soap and detergent free
- For sensitive skin
- Price: $
Tattoo Soap Glossary
Here are some definitions that can help you understand various characteristics of tattoo soaps and cleansers.
Antibacterial refers to an antibiotic, a principal type of antimicrobial agent used mainly against bacteria
Antimicrobial products kill or slow the spread of microorganisms. Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungi such as mold and mildew.
An antiseptic is a substance that stops or slows down the growth of microorganisms. They’re frequently used in hospitals and other medical settings to reduce the risk of infection during surgery and other procedures.
Hypo-Allergenic is used to describe items that cause or are claimed to cause fewer allergic reactions across differences in skin type
Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
Made or manufactured without the use of animal products, so as to be suitable for vegans; also adapted to or sympathetic towards vegans.
Tattoo Soap FAQs
What are the best tattoo soaps?
A range of different soaps are good options to use in tattoo aftercare and it’s your choice to use a single product, or combination. Some are specific to tattoos, while others are versatile for everyday use.
The best tattoo wash and soaps are most often:
- Artificial fragrance free and mild soap
- Antimicrobial, antiseptic and antibacterial
- Deep cleansing soap for sensitive skin
- Versatile for everyday use without harsh ingredients
- Paraben free
Whether it’s liquid, lotion, spray foam, bar, or ointment, it’s in your new tattoo’s best interest for you to actively utilize the products available and keep your healing tattoo in the best, most healthy shape possible.
How do I clean my new tattoo?
A freshly inked tattoo should be cleaned 3 times a day and begin after the bandage is removed.
The cleaning process -and any other aftercare steps you choose- should last through the entire healing and tattoo care timeline.
- Wash hands thoroughly
- Apply foam cleanser or soap to newly tattooed area with clean hands
- Gently rub cleanser into tattoo and surrounding area
- Gently wipe off remaining cleanser with a clean paper towel
- Pat dry excess(don’t rub)
- Wait a few minutes before going on to the next step of your aftercare process
How can I ruin my new tattoo?
The following are the most common causes for the ruination of a new tattoo:
- Doing nothing. It’s amazing how common it is that people don’t do any tattoo aftercare once the antiseptic bandage applied by the tattoo artist is removed and the excess ink is wiped away
- Sunlight. Direct exposure to sunlight while the tattoo heals can be detrimental to both your skin and the tattoo ink. Make sure if you’re getting inked during a vacation that you don’t roll into the tattoo shop sunburnt, and if possible, wait till you’re just about to journey home to get it
- Water. You can get your tattoo wet, but don’t soak in water of any type until the tattoo heals in full
- Over-treating the tattoo. Applying too much aftercare product or soap is equally as damaging as doing nothing
- Touching, picking, scratching, and rubbing your tattoo or surrounding skin because it’s itchy and flaking during healing
Did you enjoy this best tattoo soaps for new ink article? Click on the links below for others in our tattooing product and information guides:
- The 8 Best Tattoo Inks in 2020
- The Top 11 Best Tattoo Machines for Beginners
- The Top 11 Best Tattoo Numbing Creams, Sprays, and Gels
- Why is my Tattoo Raised?
- What it tattoo blow out and can it be fixed?
- Eyebrow Tattoos: A Guide to Microblading
- Coconut Oil and Tattoos – All you need to know
- Tattoo Ink- Everything you Need to Know