Tattoos and the Sun
One of the best feelings is showing off a fresh, new piece of ink. A beautiful piece of art, etched into your skin with fine lines, deep blacks and vibrant colours. Unfortunately, we’ve all also seen what time and sun does to tattoos… blurring lines, dull colours, black ink turned green and fuzzy on leathery, sun-tanned skin. It’s not the best look.
This old, faded tattoo is what can happen over time if we don't care for our ink.
When you’ve got a new tattoo, you’re usually given some kind of aftercare balm and told to apply regularly. Unfortunately, most of us stop worrying about our tattoo’s aftercare within a few weeks, once it’s healed. One of the most vital things we can do to keep tattoos from fading, is protect them from the sun, and when they are fresh, keep them out of the sun entirely. Sun exposure is the leading cause of faded and blurred tattoos.
A new tattoo is essentially an open wound, and is very susceptible to sun damage. If you’re planning on heading out in the sun, cover it up with clothing or an aftercare balm and bandage. Balms that have soothing, moisturizing oils like shea butter, sunflower seed oil or jojoba oil help speed up your healing. Getting a sunburn on your tattoo can cause blisters, peeling, and damage the ink under your skin. Even small incidental instances of sun exposure, like walking to the bus stop or watering the garden involve enough UV radiation to damage your new tattoo, so it’s even better if you can find a tattoo balm with a natural SPF sunscreen in it to protect you all day, every day.
One of the most effective natural sunscreens is zinc oxide. It creates a powerful barrier between our skin and the sun, preventing UV rays from penetrating the skin. In turn, this prevents sunburn, melanoma, fine lines and wrinkles from occurring. Zinc oxide is also one of the only sunscreen ingredients declared safe and effective by the FDA. Therefore, it’s a good idea to look for an all-natural, zinc oxide based sunscreen to apply to your tattoo (and the rest of your body!) to prevent fading and aging. Zinc oxide also has an incredible ability to heal wounds and regenerate skin, so using a hydrating zinc oxide sunscreen will certainly boost the healing of your tattoo. It’s also totally safe for sensitive skin – zinc oxide is actually the active ingredient in most diaper rash creams!
So remember, if you want to keep your tattoos looking crisp and clear, avoid excessive sun exposure, and always apply a natural sunscreen before going outside. Always consider your tattoos before going outside, even if you’ve had them for years. It’s never too late to protect them, after all, they’re art.