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How To Protect A Tattoo In The Sun

How To Protect A Tattoo In The Sun
Writer and expert5 years ago
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The summer isn’t over yet! If you're one of the many Glossies to have a tattoo and you're soon jetting off on your sunny getaway, then you should read these top tips. Here's how to protect a tattoo in the sun...

Why Do I Need To Protect A Tattoo In The Sun?

protect a tattoo in the sun

To cut a long story short, you need to protect your tattoo in the sun to prevent it from fading. Though fading over time is inevitable, exposure to the sun speeds up that process quite considerably.

In fact, did you know that UV rays are the biggest threat to your tattoos? The sun can cause the ink to break down, making it lose its vibrancy, colour and shape.

How Do I Protect A Tattoo In The Sun?

protect a tattoo in the sun

You should consequently think of your tattoo as an extension of your skin. In the same way that you protect your skin from sun damage to maintain its elasticity and youthful appearance, you need to protect your tattoo to keep it looking fresh. Here’s how…

  • Apply And Re-Apply SPF

It goes without saying that if UV rays are the biggest threat to your tattoo, then you need to apply SPF over it. Make sure you use at least an SPF 30 (though 50 is preferable!) and generously re-apply it every couple of hours.

To help you choose the best SPF, check out this blog. Alternatively, a sun cream by ultrasunwill do the trick (plus, you can buy it on lookfantastic using your GLOSSYCredit).

  • Stay In The Shade

Of course, if you really want to protect your tattoo, it is best to avoid direct sun exposure altogether. Just stay in the shade when possible and take a beach umbrella with you to the pool.

  • Keep Your Tattoo Covered

I realise that you may not want to spend the day in the shade if you’ve spent a lot of money on a sunny holiday, though. In that case, wearing a layer of clothing over your tattoo is best.

It adds an extra layer of protection and helps to shield your tattoo in the sun. Something light will do the trick and still allow your skin to breathe!

How Do I Protect A New Tattoo In The Sun?

man getting a tattoo

If you’ve only recently had your tattoo done, it is even more important to look after it correctly. Make sure that you follow your tattoo artists’ every aftercare instruction and never expose a healing tattoo to direct sunlight.

  • Don’t apply SPF – Keep It Covered Instead!

A healing tattoo is essentially like a healing wound. You really don’t want to apply sun cream onto it. Instead, make sure you always keep it covered with clothing or religiously stay in the shade.

  • Don’t Go Swimming

From chlorine to saltwater to all the bacteria and dirt found in water, swimming is a no-go when you have a new tattoo. It’s not worth the risk of getting an infection and distorting your tattoo.

My advice? Wait until your tattoo artist has explicitly told you that your tattoo is healed and that you can go swimming before diving in.

  • Treat Sunburns Immediately

If your new tattoo does get sunburnt (because let’s face it, it could happen unintentionally) you need to take immediate action. Head straight to the doctors so that they can offer adequate medical help. You don’t want the sunburnt wound to get infected or develop a rash!

And there you have it, the rules of thumb to help you protect a tattoo in the sun. If you’ve only just got inked, then make sure that you ask your tattoo artist about sun-specific aftercare instructions and consult a doctor if necessary.

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Writer and expert
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