Bepanthen is not a Tattoo Aftercare Product

Bepanthen is a diaper rash cream that is sometimes used by tattoo artists as a tattoo aftercare cream. But should you really use a nappy cream for your fresh wound?

One of the ingredients found in Bepanthen is petroleum jelly or petrolatum. This is also called white petrolatum or soft paraffin. It has been used as a cure-all and was valued for its folkloric medicinal value. However, several adverse side effects of petroleum jelly have been seen.

So why is petrolatum being used as an ingredient in various skin creams? This is because it works as a skin protectant, is very inexpensive, widely available, and has almost unlimited shelf life. The petroleum jelly in Bepanthen is an emollient that maintains skin condition by restricting water loss from the skin.

Petrolatum is also chemically static meaning it can be easily mixed with other ingredients and chemicals without any chemical reaction taking place. It is a colourless and odourless ingredient. It can sit in storage for many years without changing its colour and without going rancid.

Petroleum jelly is not actually moisturising since it does not penetrate the skin. It just leaves a greasy film and creates an oily barrier. Although it may seem that the skin is soft and smooth, this is actually the layer of petrolatum that is continually added over the skin. It does protect the skin but on the other hand, it also restricts the skin from letting the toxins out.

It has been found that petroleum jelly side effects can range from diarrhea, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, nasal irritation, tumors, or even cancer.  There are many substances that contaminate petroleum jelly during its production. One of these are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs which have connections with tumours and cancer.

If you are considering tattoo aftercare cream for your fresh tattoo, do not use products which contain petroleum or lanolin. Bepanthen, which has petroleum jelly as one of its main ingredients, is not the appropriate product. Remember, it is a nappy rash cream and was not made to be used as a tattoo aftercare product.


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