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If you have a tattoo, you may remember your tattoo artist using green soap on your skin before the procedure.

Green soap is a vegetable, oil-based soap that’s environmentally friendly. It’s commonly used in tattoo parlors, medical facilities, and piercing studios to sanitize and clean the skin. The natural oils in green soap also soften the skin, preparing it for a procedure.

Sanitizing the skin before a tattoo can reduce the risk of side effects or infection. A skin infection from a tattoo can cause severe pain, swelling, redness, and raised bumps on the skin.

Green soap doesn’t only prevent these complications. Its soothing properties can also facilitate healing.

Although green soap is commonly used with tattoos, its ability to remove dirt and blood also makes it an excellent product for cleaning and sterilizing tattoo equipment and medical instruments.

Green soap used by tattoo artists contains a blend of different ingredients. As an environmentally friendly soap, it’s made up of natural components that are less likely to irritate the skin.

Ingredients can vary slightly depending on the brand. Many types include vegetable oil and glycerin. Glycerin is a natural moisturizer that can treat and prevent various types of skin irritations, like:

Some green soap includes a mixture of coconut and vegetable oil as well as ethyl alcohol or lavender oil.

If you’re allergic to lavender oil, coconut oil, or other types of oil, ask your tattoo artist about the ingredients in their green soap before the procedure.

Even though green soap can help prevent an infection, you may experience skin irritation if you’re sensitive to an ingredient in the soap.

Interestingly, while the product is called “green soap,” the soap isn’t actually green. It has a green tint but also yellowish hues from the glycerin and vegetable oil. The product’s name comes from the green tint.

Before starting your tattoo, your tattoo artist mixes green soap with water in a spray bottle. Using a spray bottle is recommended because it prevents your tattoo artist from touching your skin with their hands. Less contact reduces the likelihood of infection.

Your tattoo artist will spray green soap onto your skin to clean and sanitize the area. They’ll then remove the soap with a disposable cloth.

This step also prepares your skin for shaving. Shaving the area that’s getting tattooed helps prevent ingrown hairs.

Your tattoo artist reapplies green soap after completing the shaving process. This removes any dirt or stray hairs left behind. It also adds an additional layer of moisture to the skin in preparation for the tattoo.

If you’ve had a tattoo before, you’re likely familiar with how a tattoo artist wipes away excess ink throughout the procedure. Green soap can also be used for this purpose.

After completing the tattoo, your artist applies green soap to the skin once again. The soap removes any remaining ink or blood left on the skin.

This is the final cleaning step before your artist applies a bandage over the tattoo.

Even though green soap is an environmentally friendly natural sanitizer, it isn’t right for everyone.

There’s the risk of irritation if you’re sensitive or allergic to any of the ingredients in green soap.

There’s also the risk of cross-contamination. Hepatitis C and other diseases can be transmitted through tattoo procedures. It’s important that the tip of the green soap spray bottle never comes in contact with your skin.

Green soap can also irritate the eyes and mucous membranes. If you’re getting a tattoo near your eyes, your tattoo artist must exercise care to avoid contact with these parts of the body.

Other products can also disinfect the skin before, during, and after a tattoo. This might be an option if you’re allergic to green soap. These include:

A number of tattoo parlors use green soap because of its powerful ability to remove germs and bacteria from the skin. If you’re allergic to any of the ingredients in green soap, be sure to check with the parlor before your tattoo appointment about alternatives.

Green soap is a high-grade skin disinfectant. It’s typically used only for tattoos, piercings, and medical use.

Tattoos artists can purchase green soap from a company that sells medical or tattoo supplies. Green soap is also available online.

Tattoos are a form of self-expression, but there’s also the risk of infection if your skin isn’t properly cleaned. Green soap is an excellent natural product to clean and sanitize your skin, resulting in a safer experience and healthy tattoo.