The last thing you want is to get your new tattoo or piercing infected.
Infection can cause scars and require medical treatment. It may cause you to lose your new favorite body art.
Therefore, I’m happy you’re here today to do a little research. It tells me that you are anxious to enjoy your new addition. The sooner it heals, the sooner you can show it off.
That’s why we’re going to review the best antibacterial soap for tattoos and piercings.
Put down that hand sanitizer, and let’s look at better options to keep your skin clean.
What antibacterial soap is best for tattoos?
First, what kind of soap can you use on a new tattoo? Hopefully, the artist gave you tattoo aftercare instructions.
As you’ll see, the brand doesn’t matter as much as the ingredients do.
For example, don’t use soap that contains alcohol as it will dry out the skin and slow down the healing. It also stings.
It’s also a good idea to avoid artificial fragrances and colors as you don’t need either one. They may cause allergic reactions.
After all, you’re treating a wound (1). Use mild products appropriate for cleansing damaged skin.
How do you wash a new tattoo?
At a minimum, you need to wash the tattoo in the morning and at night. If it gets sweaty or dirty, clean it as soon as possible afterward.
Showers are okay as long as you don’t soak the tattoo in water.
Use only your hands and don’t scrub or scratch. If you use a loofah, for example, you might transfer bacteria.
After you rinse, pat the skin dry with a disposable paper towel. Reusing cloth towels might spread microbes that cause infection.
During the first day or two, the tattoo will leak liquid. There might be a little blood or little ink. This oozing is normal.
On the third or fourth day, it may begin to flake. Don’t pick it. Use fragrance-free lotion to soothe the itching. Hold off on the sunscreen until the tattoo completely heals.
It’ll probably take at least two weeks, possibly three, to heal. Hang in there, keep washing, and you’ll be able to get back to normal life soon enough.
What antibacterial soap is best for piercing aftercare?
Depending on where your piercing is located, you might not need antibacterial soap. For a facial piercing, you might use a mild face wash instead.
Also, you’ll want to use a sterile saline solution to rinse it three times per day.
Your piercing is going to be tender and a little crusty while it heals. Before you rinse it, wash your hands to avoid causing infection when you touch the skin.
Stay away from soaps and rinses with alcohol or peroxide—these slow down healing.
If you have an oral piercing, you can use mouthwash to rinse it. Just be sure that it’s alcohol-free.
Best soaps for new tattoos
Let’s begin the reviews with the best soap for new tattoos. I’ll point out which of these are helpful for cleansing piercings, too.
H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap
Between the liquid and the foam versions of H2Ocean soap, I prefer the foam for cleansing new tattoos.
It feels more pleasant on sensitive skin and easier to rinse.
Since it was designed for tattoo aftercare, it’s fragrance-free. It doesn’t contain parabens, either.
Instead of triclosan, it uses benzalkonium chloride to sanitize the skin. Then, aloe softens and moisturizes to reduce itching.
Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap for Tattoos & Body Piercings
Tattoo Goo’s product was designed in collaboration with dermatologists and tattoo artists.
The active ingredient is PCMX-L, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. It’s a blend of chloroxylenol and sodium lauryl sarcosinate.
Translation: It cleanses well and prevents infections. Yet, it’s pH-balanced and won’t dry out the skin. It’s also easy to rinse.
BerbereX Antimicrobial Wound Cleanser (also for piercings)
This American-made tattoo soap is registered with the FDA. It’s appropriate for speeding up recovery from all sorts of wounds, including piercings.
It’s pH-balanced and free of artificial fragrances and parabens.
It also doubles as an antiseptic spray. Keep it in your first aid kit once your tattoo is healed.
Provon Antimicrobial Lotion Soap
Some artists swear by this antimicrobial soap. It’s ideal for tattoo aftercare as it doesn’t sting and doesn’t dry out the skin.
The featured ingredient is 0.3% PCMX (chloroxylenol). But it’s also enhanced with moisturizers.
I’d recommend this soap to anyone who has to wash their hands frequently and take care of piercings.
DermaKleen Antimicrobial Liquid Soap
Say goodbye to triclosan. As you can see, chloroxylenol is in the hottest new antibacterial soaps. It’s the kind of product that hospitals and nursing homes use. It’s so powerful it kills 99% of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
But this formula is alcohol-free and gentle enough to use on babies. It has vitamin E to speed up healing and moisturize the skin, which is just what you need for new tattoos.
Rite Aid Antiseptic Skin Cleanser
On the other hand, skin cleansers with chlorhexidine gluconate are just as effective. This one is potent enough to use as a surgical hand scrub.
It’s similar to Hibiclens, but not as pricey. You can use it for all types of wound care, including new tattoos and body piercings. But keep it away from facial piercings as it may be too strong.
Dr Numb Topical Anesthetic Foaming Soap
Chances are your new tattoo is going to hurt. I don’t mean just while you’re getting inked, but also afterward.
To deal with this unfortunate consequence, you can try numbing soap. This one has 4% lidocaine, a topical anesthetic that stops pain messages from reaching the brain.
There’s also benzethonium chloride, a skin-safe germ killer.
Together, they relieve the itching and stinging that’s typical for new piercings and tattoos.
Nat-A-Tat2 Organic Foam Cleanser
Skip the chemicals and go all-natural with this cleanser. It soothes dryness and itching.
It contains only USDA-certified organic ingredients and pure essential oils.
The vegan ingredients include saponified sunflower oil, coconut, rosemary, and vegetable glycerin. Rosemary and coconut are natural germ killers.
Cosco Tincture of Green Soap
Cosco’s green soap is a classic fixture in tattoo salons. It’s used to repair the skin before inking it. It’s also excellent for keeping new tattoos free from infection.
Please dilute it before you use it on your skin. Mix it with nine parts water.
What’s interesting is that it’s made from glycerin, vegetable oils, and lavender oil. Yet, it’s potent enough to clean surgical instruments.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, Baby Unscented
Although there are different versions of Dr. Bronner’s soap, I recommend the baby version for tattoo aftercare.
It has no artificial ingredients and no fragrance. It also doesn’t foam very much.
Although it lacks the high-tech antimicrobial features, it’s alcohol-free and kind to the skin. It simply gets you clean, which is all you really need.
Ninety percent of the formula is organic, and seventy percent is from fair trade. Feel free to dilute it one part soap to two parts water to make it go farther as it will still be effective.
Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body and Face Cleanser
While we’re on the topic of mild cleansers, this one is helpful if you have allergies or sensitive skin. It’s also comfortable to use on facial piercings.
It’s actually “soap-free” to protect the skin’s pH balance and prevent dryness. Don’t expect it to lather up a lot, but it will rinse clean without leaving a residue.
You might like it enough to replace your regular bath soap or face wash with it. It will never clash with your cologne as it’s fragrance-free.
Best soaps and rinses for new piercings
Scroll through the tattoo soap reviews above, and you’ll see that many of them are appropriate for cleansing new piercings. But there are other piercing aftercare soaps and rinses below.
H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray
There are several reasons why you could stop right here and purchase this spray. It has everything you need to care for a new body piercing.
For example, it’s a sterile saline solution based on sea salt. It contains a variety of essential elements and minerals that promote rapid healing.
It clears away that crusty buildup and calms redness and pain.
Next, it’s safe for all skin types, even sensitive skin. The container is a spray bottle that maintains the liquid sanitary. Plus, the top allows you to spray it at any angle. That’s extra convenient when you have to apply it by yourself.
Obviously, it’s gluten-free. Happily, it’s also pH-balanced to prevent drying out or irritating the skin.
Tattoo Goo Blue Wave Saline Cleansing Solution
Here is another saline solution that’s in head-to-head competition with the product above.
Instead of sea salt, it contains 99.9% pure pharmaceutical-grade sodium chloride. It’s exactly what the doctor would order to cleanse a wound.
As the company points out, sea salt sounds enticing, but it’s potentially hazardous. It may contain heavy metals and unproven minerals that could cause damage.
The liquid comes in a non-aerosol spray bottle that fits into a pocket.
Steri-Wash Aftercare Piercing Spray
This saline spray is less flashy but still effective. It’s a sterile liquid in a pump spray bottle.
The spray comes out in a fine mist so that it’s as gentle as possible on the skin.
On the downside, you might have to use a Q-tip to remove debris as the spray isn’t very forceful.
INVERNESS Ear Care Solution
When I had my first piercing done, I was told to clean the skin with alcohol. That stung, and it didn’t help with the swelling, redness, or itching. But I didn’t know any better, and apparently neither did the piercing tech.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a bad idea as it slows down healing. It’s only suitable for the initial cleanse of a new wound. Ongoing maintenance is best done with a product like this one.
This spray isn’t just for new piercings; it’s also good for treating cuts and scrapes. Wash your hands, then pour it onto a cotton ball. Gently wipe the site three times a day during the first three weeks.
It contains the antibacterial ingredient benzalkonium chloride.
Micro-Scientific Opti-Scrub Antimicrobial Liquid Soap
This antibacterial soap for piercings and tattoos has an intriguing name. Why is it called Opti-Scrub?
Unfortunately, I never found out the reason for the name. But I did discover the active ingredient: PCMX, also known as chloroxylenol. It’s what all the smart doctors use these days.
The formula is hospital-grade but mild enough to use at home. It meets OSHA blood-borne pathogen requirements, yet it’s moisturizing enough to wash hair.
Give it a try if you’ve had trouble with an infection. It should do the trick.
Hibiclens Antiseptic Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser
The debate rages over whether Hibiclens should be used for piercings. Part of the problem is that it can’t be used on your face, ears, or private parts.
The primary ingredient, chlorhexidine, is superpotent. It will destroy good bacteria as well as bad. On the other hand, it can prevent nasty infections.
I’d say only use Hibiclens if the piercing tech recommends it.
Neutrogena Original Fragrance-Free Facial Cleansing Bar
Face and oral piercings require tender loving care. Try a gentle cleanser like this one on the outside of your body.
It’s alcohol, dye, and fragrance-free. Moreover, it’s from a dermatologist-recommended brand.
It won’t clog pores or leave any residue. It also won’t cause dryness as it’s enriched with glycerin to attract a healthy amount of moisture.
It’s crucial to clean new tattoos and piercings twice a day. This will prevent infections that could lead to scarring or worse.
But what you use to wash your skin matters because you’re treating a wound. It needs to be something that gets rid of bacteria without dehydrating the skin.
Luckily, there are many antibacterial soaps for aftercare available. I hope you found the best one for your situation today.
Come back soon and leave us a note about your experience with it.
1. https://www.tattoocolumbia.com/aftercare/tattoo-aftercare/#:~:text=Using%20a%20mild%2C%20fragrance-free,to%20use%2C%20read%20the%20ingredients accessed September 11, 2020
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