Tattoos And Aging

minerva in Guides

Everything changes and that's the way it's always gonna be. Change is the only thing that's constant in this world.

Children grow and people die as well as all other living things. We all know that as we get older, we'll lose our glorious hair, our backs are gonna ache more, our skins would sag, and old age will diminish all our youthful beauty. It's the sad, inevitable truth. Subconsciously, we shove the idea in the back of our minds. We don't wanna think about that now, do we? But have you given any second thoughts about tattoos when it gets older? You might wanna know. Let's discuss the issues on tattoos and aging and how we can keep our tattoos' lasting beauty and vibrance for as much as we can.

1. Keep your Tattoos away from the sun.

Faded tattoo
Faded tattoo

Here's an example of an old, faded tattoo. We've all seen that green blob from an elderly relative to find that it was an old, shrunken tattoo. See, black ink tattoos somehow turn green or bluish depending on the quality of ink used, our skin type, and frequent exposure to sunlight. The pigment underneath the top layer of the skin thickens and blots as the skin ages and reduces its elasticity. Frequent exposure to sunlight fades the tattoos all the more. So the number one thing to remember to keep your tattoos looking young and vibrant is to keep it away from the goddamn sun. Solar power is amazing (without it, we're all dead!) but too much of it can cause harm. It's gonna cause changes to our skins, too. So keep your tattoos away from the sun. How to do that? Check out our previous article on tattoos and getting sun.

2. Accept that Tattoos age.

Tattoodo
From Tattoodo App
Aging tattoos
Aging tattoos

Recent from Guides

Whatever you do, your skin is inevitably going wrinkle and loosen due to aging. So does your tattoo. It's one thing you have to be prepared of before getting a tattoo. You gotta know that no matter how finely done it was, it's not gonna stay that way in the next 10 years and counting. Changes that may occur are blotted lines, faded colors and some distortion in the imagery, depending on how our skins undergo change.

3. Take good care of your skin.

Old face tattoo
Old face tattoo

You become what you habitually do. So if you want a long-lasting tattoo (you want it to last long because you paid loads for it!), make it a habit to cover your tattoos (if you're going outdoors and the sun is high), wear a hat if you have tattoos on the face, and diligently apply sunscreen to protect the tattoo, and eat healthy foods that aid the skin. Vegetables that are rich in vitamins that are good for the skin are one of your best options. Drink lots of water, too! We sound like your mother, but mothers know best.

4. Retouching old tattoos again and again just wouldn't work.

You can't get a full sleeve tattoo and retouch it every 5 years. It will just mess it up. Tattoos are technically wounds that have undergone stress and healed. The healed top layer of the skin after getting a tattoo is different from the first one. Touching it up again will just damage the aging skin even more. It may not be able to hold any more ink. Best thing to maintain your tattoos is to keep it away from the sun and keeping your skin moisturized.

5. Old Tattoos look awesome!

Aging tattoos
Aging tattoos

Old dudes with tattoos (even though their tattoos have faded) still look awesome! It's like wearing a story on your skin and witnessing it grow old with you. Tattoos become more significant as it ages, just like antiques get more added value as it gets older. So the next time a skeptic asks what you're gonna do with all your tattoos once you're 80, here's what you should say:

Old tattoos look awesome
Old tattoos look awesome

And here's some more fabulous old dudes with their decades-old tattoos. They are our ancestors from Kalinga in the Philippines. All their tattoos were hand-tapped/manually tattooed using citrus thorns as needles and wood for tapping. Men earn their tattoos every time they bring home a severed head of an enemy.

Apo Whang Od is the last hand-tap tattoo artist from their clan. (Photo by Jake Versoza)
Apo Whang Od is the last hand-tap tattoo artist from their clan. (Photo by Jake Versoza)
Tribal warrior tattoos
Tribal warrior tattoos

This man was a tribal warrior.

Grandma with tattoos
Grandma with tattoos

Check out our Pinterest board for more photos of awesome old dudes with tattoos!

minerva

@minerva

Hi! My name’`s Minnie, writer & Tattooer at Good Hand Tattoo Philippines. We specialize in creating All-original and Custom-designed Traditional tattoos. Please show your support by following our page on Facebook :-)

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