Whether your tattoo took multiple sessions from a renowned tattoo artist or it was a stick n’ poke courtesy of an old friend, all new tats have something in common: they have to be carefully tended to, and that starts with using the best soaps for tattoos.
You’ve spent money on your tattoo and sat through the pain. So why ruin the whole thing by using cheap quality, or the wrong kind of products. For proper tattoo care, you need to use one of the best soaps for tattoos. One that all the antibacterial properties your tattoo or the open tattoo wound requires at this point.
Something to keep in mind when it comes to caring for tattoos is that “Everyone is different,” according to Bryce. “The soap is just to keep it clean. Tattoos are technically wounds,” he explains. Bryce says that in order to keep your tattoo free of infection, you should be washing it twice a day and keeping it clean and dry in between washes (meaning as free as possible from sweat and oils).
Best Soap for Tattoos Reviews
Caring for a new tattoo is extremely important. Whether you’re looking for the soap for tattoo aftercare or the best antibacterial soap to be used during the tattooing process, the search can be daunting.
Through extensive research, we’ve shortlisted the top 21 soaps that are great for the entire tattoo process, including for the aftercare. Each of these soaps is incredible at safely aiding the preparation, healing, upkeep, and vibrancy of your tattoos.
|1. Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap|
|2. Dial Hand Gold Antibacterial Soap|
|3. Dr. Bronner’s - Pure-Castile Liquid Soap|
|4. Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar|
1. Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap Reviews
It’s a thin line, but this cleanser aces that balancing act by killing bacteria without drying out your skin. Fragrance-free, it’s pH-balanced to prevent irritation. The antimicrobial formula will leave your skin squeaky clean and your tattoo looking bright.
Probably the best tattoo soap that I’ve tried on any of my new ink. This soap can be used on tattoos and also on dermal piercings. This tattoo soap can also continue to be used after the healing process of your tattoo is complete should you really like using it.
This specific soap has been designed to provide a broad-spectrum germicidal solution, which in layman’s terms means that the soap has been formulated to kill as many types of bacteria as possible.
Even though the soap is great at killing germs, it’s still incredibly gentle on the skin, which is so important when using it on a new tattoo where the skin is going to be extremely sensitive. The soap has recently been re-formulated to help remove more dead skin cells and dirt than before, so it’s in no doubt even better than when I last used it.
As dry skin is more prone to harboring various types of bacteria, Tattoo Goo Tattoo Soap has been created to ensure that no high PH ingredients such as ammonia have been added to the product to ensure that the soap never excessively dries your skin out.
2. Dial Hand Gold Antibacterial Soap
This antibacterial soap for tattoos is a part of almost every list of the best soaps for tattoos. It’s because the liquid is highly recommended by ink enthusiasts. It’s a 52-ounce formula that offers the most attractive combination of quality, price, and cleaning ability.
The soap is not specifically created for tattoos. That does seem like a disappointment, in a way. Nevertheless, it ranks as the most popular tattoo cleanser. Even on Amazon, the product is among the top choices. All thanks to its capacity for keeping your ink infection-free and clean. Particularly when big tattoos are a part of the picture!
You might think you can use just about any soap for tattoos that you find at your disposal, but you shouldn’t. Scented soaps contain certain irritating chemicals that are bound to cause itching and redness. So when it comes to tattoo care, it’s safe to stay away from such harsh ingredients.
In that context, let me also tell you that this Gold Antibacterial Soap holds no scent. This is just what you might want to hear if your skin is already prone to developing allergies.
The liquid formula is very gentle yet it has the ability to prevent bacterial infections. And the element responsible for that is benzalkonium chloride. It’s an excellent antibacterial agent that destroys germs. Only 0.10 percent of it is used to keep the soap mild enough, which is perfect for new tattoos.
“Dial is the standard for keeping bacteria and germs at bay. I use it every day and it does not dry out my skin,” one Amazon reviewer commented. Another wrote, “This hand soap has all the right qualities: not excessively scented, rinses clean, no lotion feel, and economical to use.”
3. Dr. Bronner’s – Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
Who said tattoo healing and saving the environment need to be mutually exclusive? Well, certainly not Dr. Bronner. Their unscented castile baby soap isn’t just great for babies, pets, and doing household cleaning, it’s also great for cleaning new tattoos!
That said, Dr. Bronner’s soap may be a bit too effective at cleaning for some people. If you don’t dilute it properly, you may experience dry skin. It does have essential oils listed in the ingredients which help counteract the dryness, but if not used properly, your tattoo may dry out.
4. Neutrogena Original Fragrance-Free Facial Cleansing Bar
For anything other than Dial, Bryce recommends opting for something fragrance-free — and this Neutrogena bar soap really fits the bill. It’s amazing for sensitive skin because it’s free of nearly all potential irritants like fragrances, dyes, detergents, and hardeners. The formula is hypoallergenic and made with the popular humectant glycerin, which means it’ll help your newly tattooed skin retain moisture.
Your brand new work of art won’t just look hydrated in between washes, but it’ll actually feel comfortable and clean throughout the healing process. I recommend this Amazon pack because it’s far cheaper to buy bar soap in bulk than to pick up a single from your local drugstore, so you won’t just be saving your new tattoo, but your time and money, too!
“There’s no residue, no buildup and I seem to have fewer body breakouts,” commented one reviewer. “They are surprisingly hard to find — outside of Amazon,” noted another.
5. Best Tattoo Aftercare Soap: Dove Beauty Bar
The Dove Beauty Bar is a hypoallergenic formula specifically designed for sensitive skin. This moisturizing and microbiome-gentle formula is infused with glycerin, palm kernel oil, and essential fatty acids that cleanse the skin. Palm kernel oil is an excellent humectant that works together with glycerin to soften and lubricate the skin.
It heals dry, itchy skin and nourishes it deeply. The dermatologically-tested and ultra-moisturizing formula effectively washes away bacteria and cleanses and nourishes sensitive skin. The 100% gentle cleanser creates a rich, creamy lather and provides a protective layer to the skin and replenishes and revitalizes it.
6. Ink Oil Tattoo Aftercare Products ‘Ink Soap’
‘Ink Soap’ is an all-natural castile soap made for you to experience natural tattoo healing. The soap is infused with therapeutic grade essential oils, which aids the tattooing process by reducing burning, risks of infection, and itchiness, etc. Using it is easy. Simply dilute the soap in distilled water and apply it to the tattooed skin. Besides being incredible at healing the tattoo, this soap is also effective in keeping your tattoo colors vibrant.
Oil-infused soaps keep the skin moisturized and hydrated as essentially required for accelerating the tattoo healing process. The product is cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and sourced responsibly. It also carries a satisfaction guarantee, whereby you’re eligible for a replacement or a full refund in case you’re not satisfied with the product for any reason.
Overall, you can’t miss out on such a great soap, especially if you’ve just gotten yourself a new tattoo. It’s a must-have for new tattoos, to drastically reduce swelling, pain, the chance of infections, and scabbing. The company’s claim to fame, as stated on their website, is that “Ink Oil shortens the time needed for healing by up to 50%”.
The outstanding online customer reviews are a further testament to how astounding this soap is at getting the job done.
7. Dial Gold Antibacterial Deodorant Soap
Now here’s a solid version of the Dial liquid soap reviewed above. Solid, both in terms of form and quality! The Dial Antibacterial Soap Bar produces a creamy, rich lather to make your skin feel moisturized and clean.
Tattoo or not, this deodorant soap offers protection all day long. It rinses the surface without drying it out. Meaning you can expect germs of your open tattoo wound to get washed away. And, at the same time, not worry about your skin feeling dry or itchy because of it.
But what importance does the word “deodorant” have in this case? The deodorant technology this bar of soap is equipped with kills bacteria responsible for bad odor. And this particular action goes on for a long time after the wash.
It’s gentle and mild enough to use as a tattoo soap. The chances are you’ll continue using the soap even after your tattoo wound heals. Especially in the summer because that’s when the sweat and stink factors are on the higher side.
If you know the good part, you should also be aware of the dark side. It comes in the form of triclosan (1), which is considered to be a harmful element. The ingredient is present in many antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, and other such consumer products.
8. Best Hypoallergenic Soap for Tattoos – TattooMed Cleansing Gel
TattooMed’s pH balanced, cleansing gel formula is gentle enough for use on sensitive skin. It’s hypoallergenic too which is great for soothing, cooling and moisturising tattooed skin. It’s also quite foamy, which is always a good thing as you can thoroughly massage the tattooed area. Lastly, it’s also a plus that this product is 100% vegan and not made from animal by-products.
9. H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap
If you’re someone who’s really into body modification, you’ve likely heard of H2Ocean. They’re the number-one brand on the market for tattoo aftercare and make an incredible range of water-based products, all of which are vegan and gentle for the healing of delicate wounds and punctures.
Their Blue/Green foam soap is free of any potential irritants — parabens, fragrance, etc. — but the best part is that it’s loaded with aloe vera, which is intensely moisturizing, making it particularly good for dry skin types. In addition to keeping your new tat disinfected, it’ll keep it healthy and hydrated, plus help prevent new scabs from forming.
One tattoo artist on Amazon commented, “This is, by far, the finest tattoo soap on the planet. Yes, it is more expensive than Dial or other soaps … but what is a perfectly healed tattoo in a fraction of the time worth to you? That’s what keeps me coming back. It’s all I will ever trust my tattoos to and you should, too.”
10. Provon Medicated Lotion Soap with Chloroxylenol
This is a mild liquid antibacterial soap recommended by the Association of Professional Piercers. The Provon Medicated Lotion Soap is effective for tattoo cleaning and can be used once or twice daily. Its signature active ingredient is 0.3% chloroxylenol. It is an antiseptic and disinfectant that heals the itching, infection, and redness that comes with tattoo piercing.
This liquid cleanser also contains coconut oil, corn oil, and essential fatty acids. These offer a protective layer to the skin and seal moisture to prevent skin dryness. The soap is enhanced with natural skin conditioners like aloe vera and vitamin E. This fragrance-free thick cleanser does not contain any harsh chemicals. Ensure you dilute the soap before applying it to the tattoos.
11. Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Face & Body Bar
What I have here for you is a hypoallergenic cleaning soap bar. The brand is Cetaphil, which brings into the picture quality and effectiveness. Obviously, this was not specifically created as a soap for tattoos. But that doesn’t really matter because the deep cleansing bar is packed with ingredients that do all of that and more.
But before anything else, let me tell you that this Cetaphil product eliminates all possible allergens from the skin. It’s one of the main reasons why the face and body bar is so popular. It is the most suitable for those that have dry or delicate skin.
What makes it appropriate for tattoo use is the soap’s ability to deal with skin inflammation. It doesn’t contain even a single brutal cleansing agent to aggravate your fresh tattoo wound. The job of purifying the skin is carried out without any side effects. The bar of soap saturates your skin while also hydrating and smoothing out the surface.
You can use it on your body and face, isn’t that convenient! Many people opt for Cetaphil for not only tattoo aftercare. This particular soap formula also saves your skin from clogged pores and is a good soap to prevent acne breakouts too.
You’d expect an antibacterial soap like this to have a neutral or no scent. But, unfortunately, that’s not what the real picture looks like. On the contrary, the smell is quite unpleasant.
12. Cosco Tincture Tattoo Green Soap
Two things I would like to talk about before rambling on about how great this product really is. The green soap by Cosco here is used as an effective cleaner/detergent for removing protein soils and dried blood from the scalp and skin. It is also used for cleaning surgical equipment before sterilization. This is proof that the soap gets rid of germs and bacteria, no matter where from.
Now you should also know that the current option is not fit for daily use. But you can wash your body with it every now and then. Many tattoo artists apply the formula before inking your skin. It cleanses and prepares your skin right before being inked.
So what are the ingredients present here? They include glycerin, pure vegetable oils, and lavender. Along the same lines, the soap is an eco-friendly product with zero harsh chemicals. Even so, the antibacterial properties are quite powerful. So don’t use it on a regular basis. And also don’t forget to dilute it in water. It sort of dials down the harsh cleansing effect.
But whatever your decision, there’s no denying just how well-equipped this green soap is. The 2 ingredients, pure vegetable oil and glycerin, hydrate and moisturize. As for lavender, it adds a refreshing scent and soothes inflamed skin. Plus, the product is an affordable choice. What more could you have asked for, right!
13. Dial Basics Bar Soap
The Dial Basics Bar Soap is a hypoallergenic and dermatologically-tested formula that contains glycerin to nourish, hydrate, revive, and smoothen skin. The soap also has sodium salts that act as germicidal ingredients and may assist in killing bacteria. It forms a soft lather and is a gentle cleansing formula. It works as a great disinfectant to heal any infection and itchiness from the inking process.
14. Cuticura Deep Cleansing Face and Body Soap
The Cuticura Medicated Antibacterial Soap is a pure, gentle, non-comedogenic formula made for blemish-prone skin. The active ingredient in this antimicrobial soap is 1.5% triclocarban. It helps reduce bacterial growth on the skin. It deeply penetrates the skin shaft and removes excess dirt and impurities without clogging the pores. It also contains coconut acid and glycerin that condition the skin.
15. Tattoo Supply BLUE SOAP 1 oz Cleaning Soothing Healing Solution
The Blue Soap Cleansing And Soothing Solution clean and soothes skin after the inking process. The mild alcohol gently cleans the skin surface and disrupts the bacterial cell wall through its germicidal action. It also has camphor that relieves pain, irritation, and inflammation.
16. INK-EEZE Tattoo Prebiotic Foam Soap for Artist Application
The Ink-Eeze Prebiotics Foam Soap is one of the most popular choices among tattoo enthusiasts. This soap soothes skin before the inking process and also works as an aftercare healing cleanser. It is made with natural ingredients like saponified coconut water, plant-derived glycerin, aloe vera whole leaf, kelp extract, and sea salt.
The coconut water and glycerin act as humectants and seal the skin moisture. They also reduce pesky dryness after the inking process. The aloe vera leaf extract and kelp extract are rich in antioxidants and minerals that help soften and hydrate dry skin. The soap also retains natural moisture and soothes irritation and redness. It leaves skin soft and nourished.
How To Use A Tattoo Soap The Right Way
- Apply lukewarm water on the tattooed area using clean hands.
- Gently rub a generous amount of the soap over the tattoo. Concentrate on any built-up areas or areas with dried-up ink or blood.
- After cleaning, wash away any excess soap with lukewarm water.
- Dry the tattoo out by tapping with a paper towel. Do not scrub it.
- Apply a moisturizer to prevent any skin irritation or further dryness.
- Wash your tattoo 2-3 times a day for about 2-3 weeks.
Choosing a specific antibacterial soap always helps. Regular soap may not always work in this regard. In the following section, we will see why.
What Should You Look for in the Best Soaps for Tattoos?
Woo recommends always understanding the ingredients, especially if you have sensitive skin. You’re probably better off steering clear of your typical hand and body soap, since most are filled with fragrances and ingredients that can cause more harm than good.
“A lot of people have different allergies and sensitivities to their skin that they might not even know about, so to avoid triggering these, the soap needs to be as pure as possible, with as few ingredients as possible, no additives, and 100% fragrance-free,” Woo says. “You should skip the heavy topical steroid creams. You should also avoid heavy ointments that don’t let the skin breathe because they can seal in harmful bacteria. For the first couple of weeks, staying out of the sun and saltwater is also important.”
How To Wash Tattoos Safely
The best way to wash your tattoo is with warm water, preferably in the shower with soap, and then gently pat dry. “Do not tug or pull on the skin with your towel as it can have a negative impact on the healing process,” Woo says. “For the first two weeks, I’d recommend using a fragrance-free moisturizing balm, something that complements the cleansing from the soap.” Lightly moisturize it twice a day, preferably right after your shower and once in the middle of the day, and then again before going to bed. You also shouldn’t submerge your tattoo in water and avoid direct sunlight to the tattooed area for up to 14 days.
WOO Gentle Cleansing Soap is the first product in Woo’s lifestyle venture, PROJECTWOO, and his namesake skincare line, WOO. He’ll be launching additional products in the fall, which are focused on everyday skincare needs for those with or without tattoos.
“Internally, we say the line is ‘tattoo-friendly but not mandatory,’” he says. The line took two years to develop, but as the collection was slated to launch, Woo changed course when he saw families across the country struggling due to COVID-19.
“Launching at this exact moment didn’t feel right,” says Woo. “In making the decision to pause our brand release, we shifted our focus to finding productive ways to help. One of the most important means of prevention is washing your hands. Originally our clean, fragrance-free bar of soap was designed to keep skin clean and healthy after a tattoo session and beyond, and we recognized that its cleansing and moisturizing properties perfectly address the essential need for handwashing. Our goal is to repurpose our inventory in support of this handwashing initiative, in which we’ll provide 100% of the profits to Baby2Baby, an amazing organization working tirelessly to ensure working families across America have what’s needed during these trying times.”
To keep your tattoo fresh, clean, and healthy, suds up with one of the best soaps for tattoos below. And, don’t forget to check out the best tattoo lotions to keep your tats looking brighter than ever.