A tattoo is a cool form of artistic expression, a fashion statement and a unique image that can always be worn on your skin. You may be wondering how to keep your tattoos looking vibrant and beautiful for years to come, especially during the summer months when you can show them off. To prevent tattoos from fading, apply moisturizer and sunscreen, and clean and care for them properly. You can also make adjustments to your lifestyle to prevent your tattoo from deforming or fading over time.
What causes tattoos to fade?
One of the best ways to prevent our tattoos from fading faster is to understand what is causing it to happen in the first place. There are many reasons why your ink may look faded.
Exposed to sunlight
Prolonged exposure to the sun is very detrimental to the longevity of the tattoo. Ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate the skin, essentially breaking down the pigment in the tattoo. Once these pigments are destroyed, the tattoo will end up appearing lighter and less vivid than before. Exposure to the sun without any protection like tattoo sunscreen will only speed up the process.
Failing to follow post tattoo care instructions
Taking good care of your new tattoo is essential to making sure it stays happy and healthy over time – keep it clean with an antibacterial soap, moisturizer or cream to keep it hydrated (stay away from salves!), and keep them healed in tight clothing, Resisting shedding and giving in to the urge to scratch are both simple ways to ensure your tattoo heals properly. Any damage that occurs in the first few weeks and months after applying new ink, such as infection or ink breakage, can make your tattoo more prone to fading over time. You don’t want your tattoo to look faded after a week. There are many resources that provide guidelines for the best care of your tattoo, but some can be confusing. Read our dermatologist-reviewed tattoo aftercare guide and your ink will thank you 20 years from now.
Having an amateur tattoo
Quality ink and craftsmanship will only benefit you and your tattoo in the long run. Ink with low quality ink can affect the longevity of the tattoo, causing faster fading. The FDA does not regulate tattoo inks, so make sure your artist is reputable and offers quality ink. Check out opinions from trusted sources on what should and shouldn’t get in your body as research ink.
If the ink doesn’t penetrate the skin, the chances of it fading are much higher than if the tattoo were done properly by a professional. This is because tattoo ink can only be preserved permanently after entering the dermis of the skin. Cells in the epidermis regenerate so quickly that a tattoo may only last a few weeks.
Over-cleansing or flaking skin
Regularly scrubbing the layers of skin over the tattoo will not keep the tattoo looking fresh and will cause it to fade faster. If you cleanse too hard, you’ll remove too much of the skin’s protective layer, which can lead to severe irritation. Irritation can have more harmful effects on tattoos.
This is because an immune response is often triggered when your skin is irritated or injured, like a scratch or small cut in the skin. Cells such as macrophages and fibroblasts flock to the site in an attempt to heal whatever has caused damage or irritation. As mentioned earlier, this causes the cells to renew too quickly and can cause the tattoo to fade.
We know how beautiful and meaningful tattoos can be, so be gentle when cleaning or removing the tattooed area.
Tip Keep Tattoos From Fading
Here are some tips to help keep your tattoos from fading
Choose a quality tattoo artist
There are many reasons not to get an amateur tattoo: potential hygiene issues, substandard workmanship, and incomplete (or non-existent) aftercare advice, just to name a few.
But it’s also worth seeking out reputable artists, as your tattoos are also more likely to last longer.
Not only do professionals use better quality ink—which is important to keep your tattoo from fading—they also make sure the ink gets into the skin properly.
Skin cells in the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) renew themselves more frequently than in the deeper layers. This means that if the ink isn’t applied deep enough – into the dermis – it’s more likely to fade faster.
Protect tattoos from the sun
When it comes to keeping your tattoos from fading, this is a big deal! While it’s always a good idea to protect your skin from the sun, it’s especially important if your tattoo is new.
The UV frequencies in sunlight can gradually break down the ink molecules, especially in tattoos that are exposed to the sun a lot — like fingers or the face.
While your tattoo is in the healing phase, we recommend that you wear loose clothing when out in the sun.
Once healed, you can apply sunscreen or even moisturizer with SPF.
Maintain good skin health
Your tattoo will only look as good as the skin it’s tattooed on. So take care of your skin health, and you’ll get brighter, better-looking tattoos in return.
First of all, drinking water regularly is very good for skin health. NHS Eatwell guidelines recommend drinking six to eight glasses or more of fluids a day.
Second, avoid smoking. Smoking reduces the body’s production of collagen, which makes the skin more elastic. When your skin is less elastic, your ink is more likely to fade.
Third: Exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep. All of this helps your skin look and feel great – ensuring your tattoo looks great too.