With more than 40 percent of Americans sporting ink in one form or another, isn’t it about time we started talking about tattoo skin care? If you spend a lot of time in the sun, don’t be fooled: your tattoo can burn just like the rest of your skin!
Although you might want to show off your fresh ink or that detailed back tattoo on the beach, you might reconsider after reading some of these tips, tricks, and facts about shading your tattooed skin from the sun.
Tattoos do not increase your risk of skin cancer. However, if you do have new ink, remember that freshly inked skin should get special attention until it’s completely healed. Try to avoid sunscreen because it’s freshly “traumatized,” and follow the aftercare instructions you receive from your tattoo artist.
You don’t need special sunscreen for tattooed skin. All skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, and having a tattoo doesn’t change that. The standard in sunscreen is an SPF of 30 or higher applied every two hours. If you’re super worried about your tattoos, look for a sunscreen with at least 8 percent zinc oxide, which reflects rather than screens the sun. Consider wearing a thin layer of cotton to protect your tats, too.
The sun can cause your tattoos to fade. Time isn’t the only guilty party when it comes to tattoo fading. Your ink will fade and blur rapidly through constant sun exposure and the use of tanning beds, which is a bad idea to begin with because it ages and damages your skin.
Bonus Tip: If you’re worried about monitoring skin cancer, be sure not to get inked around nevi (moles), because it makes it difficult for your dermatologist to monitor your skin.
Do you have any unique tips or suggestions for keeping your ink bright and fresh despite sun exposure?