Sun Care and Tattoos

Let’s take a closer look at the truth about tattoo aftercare and whether or not you should be applying sun care products to your body ink.

The Truth About Sun Care and Tattoos

Summer is officially upon us and that means just one thing: fun in the sun.

Whether you enjoy spending more time outside during the warmer months or are unfortunately subjected to it (we feel you), you might be wondering – do I really need sunscreen for my tattoos, even if they’re partially or entirely out of direct sunlight? 

Not everyone is open-minded about ink on their employees.

Let’s take a closer look at the truth about tattoo aftercare and whether or not you should be applying sun care products to your body ink.


Is Sun Care Necessary For Tattoos?

The simple answer is yes, sunscreen is extremely important to the health, longevity, and overall appearance to your ink! Regardless of how much time you spend outside, or how many layers of clothing you might be wearing, UV rays from the sun are damaging to the skin, and that includes your tattoos.

It’s important to recognize that ultimately all tattoos fade over time, but exposing your ink to UVA and UVB rays can significantly accelerate the process. More specifically, UV rays are extremely effective at breaking down the chemical structure of pigments and tattoo inks, so the more exposure your skin and tattoos experience, the faster the fading process takes place.

Do All Tattoos Need Sun Care?

Imagine you left a printed picture out on the back porch for a week during the summer time. What may have originally been a bright and vibrant portrait may be reduced to a blank piece of paper or a rough outline of the original subject.

The impact of UVA and UVB rays will degrade the lighter shades of pigment faster than darker shades. If the picture you left outside in our example were black and white, you might still be able to make out the general shape even after leaving it outside for a week or two. In contrast, lighter and brighter pigments will be broken down at a faster rate than blacks and darker hues.

While sunscreen is vital to the health and longevity of every tattoo, if your ink is composed predominantly of lighter, more subtle colors, you should take extra care to protect it from the elements.

How Often Should I Apply Sunscreen To My Tattoo?

Out of sight should never be out of mind for your tattoo aftercare. Just because your ink is located on your back or shoulder doesn’t mean it isn’t exposed to UV sun rays, and still needs regular application of sunscreen. 

Regardless of placement, we recommend that every tattoo should be covered with a cream-based sun care product if you’re spending more than 30 to 45 minutes outside consecutively. If you’re wondering which products will work best, we’ve got you covered there too. 

All tattoo sun care products should be a minimum of SPF 15 (the higher the better) and composed primarily of natural ingredients including zinc or titanium dioxide. Avoid sprays, oils, powders that may easily spread on your skin or be picked up by clothing. Similarly, you’ll want to avoid any harsh chemicals in your tattoo aftercare or products that are too high in Vitamin A.

Tattoo Aftercare At Chosen Art Tattoo

Aftercare for your tattoo is important the moment you leave our shop. 

The best tattoo artists will make sure you have all the tools and information you need to keep your body are healthy and vibrant for years to come. Looking for more aftercare tips and tricks? Head over to our tattoo aftercare page for all the details on healthy, long lasting ink.

To find out more about getting your first tattoo or to set up an appointment, fill out a consultation form today!


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