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Tattoos In The Sun: What Not To Do When You Tan

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Tattoos In The Sun: What Not To Do When You Tan

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No matter how new or old your tattoo is, the sun will always be your worst enemy.

The time that you will have to spend before sunbathing after getting your new tattoo will depend on many factors, but what you must understand is that your tattoo will always look better throughout your life if you keep it protected from the sun as much as possible.

We’ll show you how you can have fun in the summer sun while keeping your tattoo in top condition.

How long can you catch some rays after getting a tattoo?

After getting a new tattoo, that area of ​​skin is essentially an open, unprotected wound unable to protect the newly inserted ink. Therefore, any exposure to the sun in that area will be detrimental to its healing.

Your tattooed skin could be classified as an open wound until the scabbing process is complete. This can take up to two weeks, sometimes a little longer, depending on the size and location of the tattoo.

For the first month or so, your skin will be extremely sensitive to sunlight and UVA rays, and you will find that if you expose the tattoo to the sun for a while it is still healing, it will start to burn and you will feel like it burns very fast. This is a sign that you should keep the tattoo out of the sun until healing is complete.

Related: Tattoo Care For First 48 Hours

Burned skin on a new tattoo is not pretty. Your freshly inked area will burn much faster than other less sensitive areas of the skin and any sunburn on top of your tattoo during this period of time could cause blistering, peeling, cracking, fading and ultimately scarring. much less optimal.

Can you put sunscreen on the new tattoo?

Tattoo under Boob

Even if you suppose you could put sunscreen on the area while the tattoo is healing, it is ultimately a bad idea. The ingredients included in most sunscreens and sun creams will be too harsh for that sensitive area and could cause irritation and other unwanted side effects, including longer healing times 

Therefore, it is recommended to keep the tattoo out of the sun completely until it has healed completely. After the tattoo has been crusted over and completely peeled off, you should be able to start applying sunscreen to the area and exposing the tattoo to the sun. Online tattoo design creator recommended to wait at least 3-4 weeks.

My favorite sun cream for tattoos


My favorite and most recommended sunscreen to use on tattoos is Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch. This lotion has all the necessary attributes to not only protect your tattoo incredibly well, but also to help keep it radiant and full of color. This sun cream is suitable thanks to its SPF 30, it is resistant to water and has excellent moisturizing properties.

Read more about Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch here and take a quick look at some of the customer reviews to see why it is one of the most popular tanning lotions on the market.

If you’re looking for even more protection, there are also tattoo sunscreens (like Coppertone Tattoo Guard) that you can use to conveniently cover tattooed areas of the skin whenever you feel like your ink may need a bit more protection.

How to protect your tattoo in the sun?

What you must remember is that you ALWAYS have to apply sunscreen on your tattoo every time you go to expose it to the sun. This sun protection must have at least factor 30 to prevent UVA rays from penetrating the skin as much as possible.

Remember also that ultraviolet rays easily penetrate through clouds. Therefore, even if the sun is not directly on your tattoo, you could still be at risk of damage.

Also See: 8 Best Lotion For A New Tattoo

If you are outdoors and you forget to apply tanning lotion to your tattoo, try to stay in the shade as much as possible.

Being in the water can increase the damaging effects of UVA rays on the skin due to the reflection of the sun in the water (meaning the rays come from all angles). Therefore, it is recommended to choose a good waterproof sun lotion to ensure that the tattoo is protected at all times.

Tattoos and how they fade in the sun

Hand tattoo man

Tattoo fading is a gradual process. You will probably find that if you get a lot of sun exposure with a relatively new tattoo, the ink will seem to fade in the sun, even without sunscreen.

However, you must remember that a tattoo is for life. You may be able to tan and lounge in the sun without a lotion for a few years with no visible signs of fading, but if you keep doing it over the years you will definitely see degradation of the tattoo.

The sun can do lots of harm to your tattoo over the years.

Related: 17 Things To Avoid When You Have A Fresh Tattoo

Different colors of tattoo ink also fade at different rates throughout your life, with black / gray tattoos being better able to withstand the sun, while white and light tattoos don’t hold up very well under UVA rays. Colors in between vary when it comes to fading.

Another factor that comes into play when your tattoo fades quickly in the sun is how well your tattoo is done and how good the artist was.

Your tattoo will resist fading much better if the artist inserted the ink to the correct depth and soaked the skin with as much ink as possible, whereas if the ink was added at a lower level than necessary and the amount of ink inserted was not it was enough it is very likely that the colors will fade faster.

Tattoos and UV cameras

Remember that UV beds are as dangerous for your tattoos as the sun. The UVA rays distributed through a tanning bed are very similar to the rays emitted by the sun, and can make your tattoo fade as much as it does in the sun. Keep this in mind if you are a frequent user of tanning beds.

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