We all want optimal healing for our new tattoos, and we will often reach for familiar products that are known to be resilient against cuts, abrasions, and severe dry skin. Sudocrem is one of those go-to products. But a tattoo wound is immensely different from regular skin trauma, so is it truly the best choice for your fresh ink?
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Related: Can You Put Neosporin on Tattoos?
What is Sudocrem?
If you’ve never heard of Sudocrem before, it’s a medicated cream that is often recommended by healthcare professionals to manage skin conditions such as acne, eczema, skin burns, or minor abrasions. It also soothes diaper rashes, showing that it is a hydrating product for sensitive baby skin.
It’s an oil-based lotion that is also antifungal and antibacterial. It has a water-repellent base that is meant to create a protective barrier over the skin, to prevent dirt, grime, and irritants from accessing the wound. It also has a mild anaesthetic ingredient to ease irritation and skin sensitivity.
With fantastic healing properties that seem ideal for a new tattoo, and a product that is safe enough for use on baby skin, it may come as a shock to know that it’s NOT recommended for fresh ink.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Sudocrem on Tattoos
The primary reasons why Sudocrem is not ideal for new tattoos comes down to its ingredients:
- Zinc Oxide - Zinc Oxide is actually an incredible, natural UVA and UVB repellant. It creates a barrier on your skin that shields it from sun damage. But on a new tattoo, that ingredient, especially in its high 15% content level, can truly irritate your tattoo. It also has a very thick residue that makes it difficult to remove from an open wound. If you are washing your tattoo but not removing all residue, you open it up to potential infection.
- Benzyl Benzoate - This ingredient is awful; it’s not something you want in your standard cosmetic products, so it’s certainly not something you want on a new tattoo. It’s a fragrance ingredient that’s known to fight against microbes, but it has severe allergen potential. It’s always better to avoid any product that has an ingredient added to impact scent.
- Liquid Paraffin - This is a super cheap mineral oil that is a derivative of refining crude oil. Mineral oil is not nourishing, and when selecting moisturizers or ointments for your tattoo, you should choose more hydrating options. In addition, if it’s poorly manufactured, this product could contain carcinogenic properties.
- Citric Acid - This comes from citrus fruits but it is an exfoliant, which means that it may, in fact, tear off the necessary skin cells that are regenerating over your wound. In addition, this ingredient can burn or sting your new tattoo
- Butylated Hydroxy Anisole (BHA) -The U. S. National Institutes of Health state that BHA is, "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. ”
- Lavender Fragrance - Fragrance can be made up of 30 to 50 chemicals, on average. The results of any of those chemicals could be irritation or allergic reactions.
- Lanolin - Though Sudocrem states that their lanolin is hypoallergenic, it is known to cause severe allergic reactions in people with animal or wool allergies. This is because it is a substance that is created from the secretions of sheep skin. Lanolin may also clog pores. In addition, this means that the product is not cruelty-free or vegan.
Though Sudocrem is suitable for other skin conditions, it should absolutely not be used on a new tattoo or a tattoo that is older than a month old. We don’t recommend it, period, due to the fragrance added, which could trigger a reaction in your skin at any stage of your tattoo.
Using Sudocrem puts your new tattoo at risk of:
- Further irritation
- A stinging or burning sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Problematic scarring
- Increased symptoms
- Lengthened healing time
- Ink loss
- Tattoo distortion
- Potential infection
Our Final Thoughts
With so many amazing aftercare products on the market today, and with many specially formulated for use on tattoos, it’s better to skip products like Sudocrem. Though you may look to it as a way to save some money and heal your tattoo a little faster, it could be significantly more problematic and costly in the long run. Your tattoo is a lifelong investment, and it’s worth spending on quality aftercare products for your ink as it heals, as well.