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Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, and school is almost out. It’s that time of the year when the skirts get shorter and the shirts lose their sleeves. We all wanna show off the great ink we got in the colder months, but sunlight is the ultimate way to break down our tattoos. Here are some best practices so you can keep your ink looking fresh and new.
1. Even if you’re just going out for a little bit, toss some sunscreen on anyway.
We get it — it’s just a walk around the block with your cute dog. But that minimal sun exposure still does damage, so slather some SPF 30 or above on and then get your walk on. Your tattoos and your dermatologist will thank you.
2. Spending the day outdoors? Reapply, reapply, reapply!
Put sunblock on before you find yourself in glaring sunlight, ideally at your house and in the shade. This way you’re not fighting time or your own sweat when you’re layering on that sweet SPF protection. Once you’re out and about, reapply every two hours to keep a sunburn and tattoo damage away. It’s easy to want to apply once and be done with it — after all, what a hassle — but it’s really better for the long term.
3. Freshly tattooed, still in your first few weeks? Cover that ink up.
We all want to show off our beach bodies, but your fresh tattoo shouldn’t be laying out in the sun. Even the cleanest sunblock can be a bit gunky, so a shirt or shawl is better than layering some Coppertone on. Even a beach umbrella will do — just avoid the blazing direct sunlight.
4. You’re gonna wanna swim — wait until you’re totally healed.
It’s going to be so, so tempting, but you have to wait. You’ve got a healing wound on your body — salt water, chlorine, babbling brooks are all filled with different factors that can lead to infection and distortion. Wait until your skin is done flaking completely, no scabbing and no roughness, and then you’re good to go.
Your tattoos are a part of your body now — treat your skin and your ink right, and you’ll have some real permanent beauty. Fading will, of course, happen no matter what, but whatever defenses you can employ now will save you later.