Can I use any soap to wash my tattoo?
The simple answer is no. Some types of soap will cause your skin to dry out more easily and irritate the healing process. There is also the issue of soap bars (hard soaps) vs liquid soaps. Here are 3 tips on what kind of soaps you should consider for best tattoo aftercare.
1 Antimicrobial and/or Antibacterial
A fresh tattoo is basically damaged skin trying to heal it self so keeping it clean with antimicrobial or antibacterial soap to prevent infections is always a good idea. Antimicrobial and antibacterial are commonly interchanged but they are in fact two slightly different terms. Antibacterial means it tackles bacteria. Antimicrobial soaps will not only tackle bacteria but also fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that can cause illness. So antimicrobial is a broader term but products with either label will be sufficient as your tattoo soap. One thing to keep in mind is that some soaps with such agent may contain alcohol in them. Non-alcohol based soaps are recommended as alcohol can really dry out your skin.
2 Fragrance free.
Some wash soaps may contain natural fragrances that are chemical free. The point that I would like to highlight here is that to add any fragrance most soaps will add un-necessary chemicals. Keep your washing agent as natural and chemical free as possible. So going scent free is an option that will eliminate any un-necessary chemicals to your soap.
3 Liquid soap rather than bar soaps.
Bar soaps are not the enemy but the possibility of any bacteria that may linger on the soap is what worries us. For this reason we recommend our clients to stick to liquid based soaps rather than hard soap bars. Yes – some bar soaps are antibacterial however this does not mean bacteria may not live on the wet and humid environment of your shower. To eliminate any potential risks we recommend using liquid based solutions.
We mentioned the DOs and DON’T DOs regarding tattoo aftercare in our previous blog. All in short, the key to appropriate tattoo aftercare is keeping your tattoo clean and moist. The last thing you want is an infected tattoo due to inadequate aftercare. Choosing the right soap can really help prevent this situation.