Using Sudocrem On Tattoos

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 12, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

There are many tattoo aftercare products out there, but they’re usually pretty expensive. This has led many to seek out alternative products. Typically, these alternative lotions and ointments are over-the-counter products and can be found in any drug store. Their convenience and price make them desirable substitutes, but at what cost?

A good tattoo aftercare product will be healing, soothing and moisturizing. That’s why some think Sudocrem is a good option for tattoo aftercare. It’s an antiseptic healing cream aimed at treating diaper rash; however, it can also be used to treat other skin conditions. Sudocrem contains strong astringents and disinfectants that are too strong for sensitive freshly-tattooed skin.

Sudocrem isn’t suitable for use on tattoos because:

  • It leaves a white film on the skin
  • It fades tattoo pigments
  • It causes color bleeding
  • It irritates sensitive skin

What is Sudocrem?

Sudocrem is a medicated cream that was initially created to treat diaper rashes in babies. It’s also used to treat acne, sunburn, eczema and other minor skin disorders. It’s oil-based and water-repellent with emollient and protective properties. It’s also antibacterial and antifungal and is strong enough to be used as a weak anesthetic.

The emollient it contains works to soothe skin, while its water-repellent base provides an extra layer of protection to the skin. It’s meant to stop any irritants from coming into contact with the skin.

All of these things seem to be precisely what you want from an aftercare product. The problem with Sudocrem is that the antibacterial and antiseptic agents overpower the moisturizing agents, making it too harsh for tattoos. A closer look at the ingredients will tell us why.

Sudocrem Ingredients

The main ingredients of Sudocrem are:

  • Zinc oxide
  • Lanolin
  • Benzyl Benzoate

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide serves several purposes here. It essentially acts as a sunscreen because of its protective properties, and it’s also known for its anti-irritant qualities as well. What’s not so great about this compound is that it leaves a whitish tint on the skin. This is the last thing you want on your new, vibrant tattoo. This residue can be gently rubbed off, but you shouldn’t be rubbing your sensitive skin during this time anyway.


Lanolin is an oily substance secreted from the skin of domestic sheep. When found in cosmetic products, it usually serves as an emulsifier and emollient. It softens the skin but is also known for lightening the skin. This isn’t something you want to apply to your new color. It can cause contact dermatitis rash or an allergic reaction in some people.

Benzyl Benzoate

Benzyl benzoate is used as a fragrance ingredient. It also doubles as an antimicrobial solvent. It’s labeled as one of the EU 26 fragrances that have allergen potential and is best avoided if you have sensitive skin. You generally want to avoid any products with fragrances when caring for a tattoo. Sudocrem also contains Benzyl cinnamate — another perfume. These additives make the product smell great but could irritate your skin.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Sudocrem on Tattoos

Although Sudocrem does have some moisturizing properties, overall, it’s too harsh to use on fresh tattoos. Due to its strong antibacterial and antiseptic agents, the product may irritate sensitive skin. Keep in mind that a new tattoo is an open wound. You definitely want a product that is healing and antibacterial, but Sudocrem might be too strong.

Sudocrem might be great for other uses and applications such as acne, rashes and bug bites, but not for a tattoo. The lanolin and perfuming agents in the product can not only inflame the skin but also lighten your tattoo’s pigmentation. You should also avoid using lanolin-based products because they clog your pores. These products can not only draw out the color, but they also hamper the overall healing process.

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing. Click here to buy from Amazon.


There are many tattoo aftercare products out there dedicated specifically to accelerate the healing process. Over-the-counter drug store creams like Sudocrem are inexpensive and convenient, but at what price? You could end up with irritated skin due to the strong astringent and antibacterial agents in the product. The addition of fragrances and perfumes may also further inflame your sensitive skin.

Go with a product made for freshly-tattooed skin. The last thing you want is bumpy skin under or around your tattoo, especially in the beginning. You also want to ensure minimal color bleeding, to keep your tattoo looking colorful and new. Zinc oxide and lanolin may adversely affect your tattoo and dull the color.

Don’t take the risk. Go with a trusted tattoo aftercare product like After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion instead. It’ll moisturize and soothe your skin while helping to promote fast and effective healing.