A Tattoo Artist Reveals The Best Soap To Use On Fresh Ink

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For tattoo fans, there are few things better than the feeling of a brand-new addition to their skin. Getting a new tattoo is an addictive experience for many people, from the very first buzzing sensations of the artist's machine to witnessing the final results in the mirror. And did we mention the comforting smell of your favorite shop's tattoo soap? Fresh linework is undeniably gorgeous, and you want to keep it that way by using the best tattoo soap to preserve your ink.

That's why Glam spoke to award-winning tattoo artist Lina Shuliar. Originally from Russia, Shuliar now resides and tattoos in New York City. When she's not creating beautiful black-and-white designs for her clients, Shuliar can be found judging ink at tattoo festivals and conventions. What's more, Shuliar has been a professional tattoo artist for over 12 years, so she knows a thing or two about proper tattoo aftercare. Ready to hear her tips for choosing the best soap to use on your new tattoo?

How to select the best soap for your new tattoo

According to Lina Shuliar, there's no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to finding the best tattoo soap. "Each person has their own unique immunity (microbiome) and skin, so the perfect soap simply does not exist. The skin is very sensitive to changes, especially at the moment of stress such as a new tattoo," Shuliar tells Glam. The healing stage is the most sensitive phase your tattoo will undergo, and Shuliar stresses that this isn't a good time to experiment or take chances with questionable soaps. "[A tattoo] is a wound on the body," says Shuliar. Therefore, you should treat it accordingly.

Furthermore, when evaluating soaps, be sure to consider your skin type, sensitivities, and which products have worked well for you in the past. Of course, you can always consult with your artist if you're still left wondering which to go with. "The best option is to choose a soap based on your own preferences, including recommendations from the tattoo artist," Shuliar tells us. Perhaps most importantly, you should never choose a tattoo soap that contains fragrance, perfume, or alcohol. "All these substances can negatively affect the healing result and can lead to dry skin," she adds.

Other tips on choosing the best soap for tattoo aftercare

Once you've ruled out soaps with fragrances or harsh additives, there are some other factors to take into account. Some soap companies rely on synthetic components, whereas others use naturally-derived agents to cleanse the skin. "I prefer more eco-friendly products over those 'cocktails' of various chemical ingredients that you have no idea what it is and how it works for us," Lina Shuliar says. Still, it's best to steer clear of any unknown ingredients, even if they're promoted as all-natural. "Always remember [that] allergies that can be caused by certain chemicals," Shuliar adds.

A common misconception is that antibacterial soap is the best everyday cleanser for tattoo aftercare. That's not quite true, according to Shuliar. "Antibacterial soap is good, but not for everyday use," she says. "The skin has its own unique immune system, and frequent use of antibacterial soaps can be as harmful as taking antibiotics to the body often." On the off chance that your tattoo heals improperly, there's one soap that Shuliar suggests you should try. "[If] there is a risk of a bacterial infection, then the best [soap to use] is Hibiclens," says Shuliar. Hibiclens is an antimicrobial and antibacterial soap that's gentle enough for daily use, and it can help ward off early signs of infection. If any problems should persist, don't hesitate to contact your tattoo artist or dermatologist for further guidance.