Getting a new tattoo is always exciting. The sharp, clean lines and vibrant hues of fresh ink will make any tattoo artist’s heart beat faster. Unfortunately, tattoos fade over time, resulting in a dull, faded appearance. If you plan to expand your artwork, it can be difficult to add new details.
Worse, it can turn a behavior you once enjoyed into one you’re no longer proud of. The good news is that there are steps you can take to get a tattoo and keep it looking like new. While this requires some advance planning and effort, it’s worth the time and effort required.
Make your tattoo look like new
Tattoos are permanent, but with time or improper care, the ink pigments that make up the work of art can become dull and dull. Fading is an inevitable process (like aging), but if you want your tattoo color to stay beautiful, bright and vibrant, you should know what to do.
However, be aware that the skin of a new tattoo is essentially an oozing wound. Some of the steps mentioned are only for fully healed tattoos. It usually takes a month to heal, but this can vary from person to person.
For clarity, I’ll label the steps that apply to fresh and/or fully healed tattoos with a disclaimer to avoid confusion.
Don’t drink alcohol before (or after) getting inked.
Try not to be angry before getting a tattoo, even if it’s the night before. “Having a heavy drink the night before complicates the process because the body has time to thin the blood, which makes it more difficult to apply,” says Jes Valentine, owner of Haven Studio in Brooklyn. “Also, no one likes dealing with drunk people if they’re getting a tattoo. If someone wants to have a drink to calm their nerves before getting a tattoo, that’s perfectly fine.”
However, diluted blood can be a big problem not only for tattooers but also for artists. “There can be excessive bleeding during the tattoo process, which can dilute the pigment and make it difficult for the artist to saturate the ink properly,” says Mike Rubendall, owner of Kings Avenue Tattoo in New York.
If you drink alcohol immediately after getting your tattoo, do so in moderation as it can also affect the quality of your work. “Alcohol can not only further damage the skin during the tattooing process, making it more uncomfortable, but it can also cause difficulty healing and some pigment loss,” says Rubendall.
Even after your tattoo is fully healed, you’ll still need to wear sunscreen regularly to protect it from the sun. UV rays can damage the chemical structure of tattoo pigments and cause them to fade.
This principle even applies to tattoo removal. The preferred method of modern removal is the Q-switched laser. It relies on high-intensity pulsed beams of light to break down pigments so the body can absorb them.
Since you don’t want to remove your tattoo and want it to look good for a long time, you need to keep it out of the sun.
Avoid lying in the sun. Ideally, avoid going outside when the sun is at its brightest, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. For example, use a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 every day, and cover tattoos with long sleeves whenever possible.
This broad-spectrum sunscreen has all the properties you need to not only protect your tattoo well, but also help it stay bright and vibrant. It’s super strong with SPF 50 and is water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Once the tattooed skin has healed, exfoliate regularly. You may be concerned that the scrub will remove the ink. When peeling, only the uppermost superficial layer of skin is removed. Your tattoo will be imprinted into the underlying dermis.
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the epidermis. Otherwise, these dead cells can cause flaking, making your tattoo look faded and peeling. As dead cells are removed, healthier, fresher skin underneath is revealed. You will find that the color of your tattoo appears more vibrant again. You’ll also find that exfoliated skin feels smoother and softer.
How do you exfoliate your tattooed skin? You can use physical or chemical peels. Body scrubs work by scrubbing away dead skin cells. You can use a loofah or natural sponge to apply a “beaded” exfoliator that leaves your skin feeling grainy.
Alternatively, you can use chemical peels and products such as alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids. These chemicals gently dissolve old skin cells. Finally you can create your scrub. Homemade scrub recipes use simple ingredients that you can find everywhere in your home, like sugar and coconut oil.
Exfoliate once or twice a week for best results. More frequent exfoliation can cause skin irritation and is not recommended.