Tattoo experts will tell you there’s nothing that’ll fade your tattoo faster than exposure to direct sunlight.
And they’re right! Ultraviolet rays and visible light can cause the pigment in tattoos to breakdown and fade your tattoo. If that wasn’t bad enough, it’s believed that the broken down pigments could be toxic for your skin.
Fresh Tattoos and Sunlight: A Recipe for Disaster
After getting a new tattoo your tattoo artist will recommend that you keep it away from direct sunlight to protect the raw skin as well as the ink pigments from being damaged. A fresh tattoo is far more susceptible to being damaged by sunlight than an old one. Freshly tattooed skin that is still healing will get irritated incredibly fast with even short exposure to direct sunlight.
However, if you do feel the unavoidable need to step outside, it’s best to cover up your tattoo using a clean bandage or cloth.
Some people may be tempted to apply sunscreen over their new tattoo and venture outside. This would be a terrible idea as sunscreen should never be applied to a tattoo that hasn’t completely healed yet. Sunscreen could irritate and potentially damage a new tattoo, and should be avoided until the skin has completely healed.
New tattoos take around 4 weeks to heal, and some tattoo artists will tell you to wait even longer before you think of applying sunscreen.
Protecting Your Tattoo from the Sun
Once your tattoo’s fully healed and you’re ready to hit the beach to show off your new ink, you should consider investing in a natural sunscreen that provides protection between 30 SPF and 50 SPF. You should apply the sunscreen as needed, but also remember to avoid unnecessary sun exposure if you can.
Even if you’re not stepping out into the sun, you should be moisturizing your tattoo at least once a day using a natural tattoo aftercare product such as Placaso Tattoo Aftercare cream to keep it looking fresh.
What If I Messed Up?
Assuming you forgot to pack your sunscreen and made no effort whatsoever to protect your ink from the sun, you’re probably stuck with a nasty rash that’s best quarantined from public view. Luckily, aloe vera plants are pretty common and their gel can work as a temporary natural solution to your predicament. Just cut a leaf in half, scoop the gel and apply it on your tattoo!
For more tips on tattoo aftercare and maintenance, visit our blog for more great tattoo tips.