- Straight up, always use sunscreen.
- Choose a sunscreen with 30-50 SPF and natural ingredients.
- Make sure to reapply if you’re going out in the sun all day!
- Completely cover new tattoos if going out in the sun.
- No soaking in water with a new tattoo! No pool, hot tub or ocean swimming either.
- Tattoos sunburnt? Apply Aloe Vera and cover up! Be safer next time!
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 want to show off the great ink we got in the colder months, but sunlight is the ultimate way to break down our tattoos. The best way to protect your tattoos is to stay covered and use sunscreen on exposed skin when being in direct sunlight. The sun’s UV rays produce UV radiation which can lead to all sorts of issues like sunburn, premature skin aging, cancer, as well as speeding up the tattoo fading process. Here are some of the best practices to keep your ink fresh and make it look new at all times.
How important is sunscreen to my tattoo?
We get it — it’s just a walk around the block with your cute dog. But that minimal sun exposure still breaks down your skin and does damage, so slather some on and then get your walk on. Your tattoos and your dermatologist will thank you.
What sunscreen should I use for my tattoo?
A good rule of thumb is –– any sunblock is better than no sunblock! If you really want to maximize the health of your skin and your tattoo, then always read the labels and look for a few key things. The term ‘broad spectrum’ is crucial for protection against the different types of light rays and radiation from the sun. Use at least SPF 3o. Anything over 50 isn’t necessary, after that the protection plateaus. When choosing between a rub-on or a spray-on lotion go for the rub-on lotion to make sure you have enough coverage and aren’t inhaling the mist. Last but not least –– chose natural ingredients over chemical all day, every day.
How often should sunscreen be applied to my tattoo?
Put sunblock on before you find yourself in glaring sunlight, ideally in your house or in the shade. This way you’re not fighting time or your own sweat when layering on that sweet SPF protection. Once you’re out and about, reapply sunscreen every two hours to keep a sunburn and consequently a tattoo damage away. It’s easy to apply sunscreen to your tattoo once and then decide that you’re done with it — after all, what a hassle — but it’s really better for the long term to make several repetitions.
Can I put sunscreen on a new tattoo?
We all want to show off our beach bodies, but your fresh tattoo shouldn’t be laying out in the sun. Until the tattoo has scabbed and peeled completely (typically 3-4 weeks), it is best to protect your tattoo from the harsh rays as well as the sunscreen itself. You wouldn’t put sunscreen on a fresh cut so don’t put it on your fresh tat. Even the cleanest sunblock can be a bit gunky, so a shirt or shawl is better than layering on some Coppertone. Even a beach umbrella will do — just avoid the blazing direct sunlight on your new tattoo.
Can I go for a swim with my new tattoo?
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 of your beloved new tattoo. Wait until your skin is done flaking completely, no scabbing and no roughness, and then you’re good to go. It is always a good idea to get your tattoo artist’s approval before diving in; even if you think your skin has healed completely after being tattooed.
What to do if your new tattoo gets sunburned?
You were told not to a hundred times, but you went out in the sun with your brand new tattoo anyway. Now what? If your freshly done tattoo does get a sunburn it is going to take even longer for it to heal. So now you are going to have to protect your tattoo from the sun for an even longer time and be even more careful. Depending on the severity of the burn, your skin might blister which could cause permanent damage to the tattoo and the surrounding skin. This could easily turn into an infection or cause a rash, so a trip to the doctor for some antibiotics may be necessary. It is also likely that the sun has caused premature damage to the tattoo so you might feel the need to get it touched up. Touch-ups are usually free depending on the artist, but if the tattoo artist sees the need of this touch-up due to your carelessness he or she might decide to charge you for it. The moral of this story is to just spare your tattoo from the very beginning and at a later stage put on plenty of sunscreen for protection!
Why is it important to protect your tattoo from the sun?
Your tattoo is 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 for your tattoo against the sun will save you later.