Summer is upon us.  Whether it’s days at the lake, swimming in the pool at a backyard BBQ, or taking in the sunshine at a baseball game. This means long days of beautiful weather and plenty of UV rays! Be careful though, too much sun can make tattoo color fade. From one tattoo to heavily tattooed, new ink to old ink please take the proper steps when it comes to protecting your investment. Tattoo care is an essential part of the process when it comes to longevity of your body art, especially after you just spent your hard-earned money on a tattoo. You may want to show it off to all your friends, but use caution when going out in the sun to prevent your artwork from fading. Here are some simple tips to finding high quality sunscreens that will keep your tattoo colors in tact.

Not all sunscreens are created equally. “tattoo sunscreen” isn’t a real thing. Some companies are capitalizing on the concern and have labelled their product “tattoo sunscreen”. Regular sunscreen will work just fine as long as you know what to look for.

What to look for in your “tattoo sunscreen”

-The sunscreen should be a cream (oils, sprays, powders and other forms can allow you to miss spots because you can’t visibly see the applied area. Waterproof creams are best.

-SPF 15 or greater. If you are fair-skinned use higher SPF.

-Provide broad spectrum protect against UV/UVA and UVB rays

-Contain zinc or titanium dioxide for maximum protection.



Apply a thick layer of SPF 15 or higher sunscreen over the tattoo at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun for long periods. Use sunscreen on all tattoos. Excessive sun will cause fading on a tattoo of any age.

-Reapply the sunscreen every two hours, especially if you are swimming or doing an activity that causes you to sweat excessively.

-If you spend the majority of your day in the sun, ask your tattoo artist to recommend a source where you can purchase color-protecting sunscreen.


The more you tan, the more your tattoo fade. Although protecting the skin for health reasons is most important, the fact that tattoos aren’t cheap is a reason to cover up too. After all, it’s protection of a lifelong investment.

Keep in mind that sun exposure doesn’t just happen at the lake or summer BBQ. A lot of people accidentally overexpose their skin, for example, on their left arm or shoulder while driving. Keeping a bottle of sunscreen in the car is a good idea to avoid this sun-related oversight.

Never put sunblock on a new tattoo. Instead, follow the artist’s aftercare instructions, and then it’s best to keep it covered with clothing or by standing in the shade. Once it’s completely healed, meaning it has gone through the entire scabbing / flaking process, apply sunscreen religiously for the rest of your life. Simply stay out of the sun as much as possible, if not completely.

You might not be able to stay out of the sun altogether, but spend as little time as possible in it. Staying out of the sun completely is the best thing you can do for your tattoos.


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