Savlon is a trusted brand of antiseptic cream for healing cuts and bruises, but is Savlon safe for new tattoos? When you get fresh ink, you need to be careful about what you put on it during your aftercare process, and certain products should only be applied at certain stages of healing. We dive into better understanding Savlon and whether it’s the best product for your tattoo.
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What is Savlon?
Savlon is a UK-created antiseptic line that is now owned and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. It’s been trusted for over 30 years in the prevention of bacterial infections in cuts, bruises, and minor skin abrasions. It’s even been known to be beneficial for sunburns, bug bites, and severely dry skin.
While Savlon does have many excellent ingredients with significant healing properties, there are some ingredients that do concern us. Let’s break down the list.
- Cetostearyl Alcohol - This is an antimicrobial and antibacterial agent that is extremely beneficial for the healing of open wounds. It also softens skin and is non-irritating.
- Liquid Paraffin - This ingredient is a mineral oil that is derived by the refining of crude oil. It’s an isolated part of petroleum jelly. It is non-irritating and very good for dry skin. Unfortunately, liquid paraffin can be known to sit on the skin rather than absorb, and may prevent a wound from getting enough oxygen for healing.
- Methyl Hydroxybenzoate - This is a preservative in cosmetic products, but it is also a paraben. This paraben, in particular, can cause skin to be more negatively impacted by UV rays.
- Perfume - Perfume or fragrance in a product is a big red flag to us. Fragrance can be composed of up to 30 to 50 chemicals but could have even more byproducts within the composition. Perfume in a product can cause a severe contact allergy, especially in an open wound, and fragrance, in general, is a synthetic product and not good for your overall skin health.
Is Savlon Good for Fresh Tattoos?
Based on the ingredient list and the inclusion of both parabens that increase sun damage, an already weak spot for tattoos, and perfume and fragrance ingredients, we wouldn’t recommend Savlon on a new tattoo.
You never know how your skin will react to the chemical composition which makes up perfume, and when you are dealing with an open wound, you are potentially putting your new tattoo at risk of having a severe allergic reaction, forming blisters, or getting a contact chemical burn from the product.
There have also been concerns that antiseptic products actually contribute to the lightening or ink loss in new tattoos.
A new tattoo is in a very vulnerable state. With so many higher quality products on the market, there are safer choices that also have antimicrobial ingredients. Have a look at some of our favorites:
- Best Tattoo Cream - Our Top Choices Reviewed
- Best Tattoo Lotion For You Fresh Ink - Our Top Picks Reviewed
- Best Tattoo Ointments: Top 7 Reviewed
How to Use Savlon for Tattoo Aftercare
If you are really dead-set on using Savlon, you should perform a patch test of the product first. Patch tests should be done on the skin inside your elbow, which is more thin and vulnerable. The product should be left there and the spot should be monitored for 48-hours. If your skin does not show any signs of redness, swelling, or pimples, the product should be safe to use. Keep in mind that allergic reactions can sometimes show after a significant amount of time has passed, as well.
Although Savlon is formulated for healing open wounds, tattoos are a different kind of wound. It’s for this reason that we still do not recommend using Savlon until your tattoo has had at least a week or two of healing. It should be applied in a small, thin layer that absorbs quickly.
Our Final Thoughts
With so many better and more impressive products on the market that are paraben-free, fragrance-free, and specially formulated for tattoos, why put your fresh ink at risk by using Savlon? If you do wish to use this inexpensive antibacterial cream on your tattoo, ensure you perform a patch test of the product 48-hours beforehand.