What Can I Do to Prevent the Sun from Fading My Tattoo?

protect tattoos sun

Now that you have a beautiful piece of artwork on your body, you’re ready to show it off to your friends and family. But before you roll up your sleeve or pant leg, be careful. Exposure to the sun can cause the colors of your tattoo to fade or spread. If your tattoo is brand new, it can also cause your skin to burn quickly and scar, which will turn your piece of art into a blob of ink. So, what can you do to prevent the sun from fading your tattoo?

Why Sun and Tattoos Don’t Mix

You know that it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, but it’s even more important when you have a tattoo. When UV rays come into contact with the ink, they can break up the pigment, especially with lighter colors like pastels and white. The sun can also tan your skin, which creates the appearance of fading, or worse—it can cause a sunburn that will damage your skin, and also your new tattoo.

New tattoos are the most vulnerable. Did you know that your new tattoo is considered an open wound? Because it has no protection, it can blister, peel, crack, or itch if it’s exposed to too much sunlight.

How To Protect Your Tattoo from the Sun

Sunblock is the best place to start. You should always cover your skin with sunblock before you leave the house, and now you have another good reason: to protect your new art. You don’t need a special type of sunblock for your tattoo, just one with an SPF of at least 30. But be careful, if you have a new tattoo that hasn’t healed yet, you won’t be able to use sunblock. But there are other ways to protect your tattoo:

  • Cover Up with Clothing: Wear a layer of loose, lightweight cotton clothing over the area that contains your tattoo. Make sure it covers the tattoo completely.
  • Stay Out of the Sun: This can be easier said than done, especially during the summer months. But try to keep your time outside to a minimum. When you do venture outside, make sure it’s either early in the morning or in the evening. The sun is at its peak from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you do have to go out during that time, remember to cover up.
  • Skip the Tanning Bed: Unnecessary trips to the beach and sunbathing sessions by the pool are off-limits, but so are visits to the tanning salon. Sun lamps and tanning beds can be just as harmful to your skin as the sun’s UV rays.
  • Keep Your Skin Hydrated: The best way to fend off heat and dryness is with moisture. Drink lots of water and keep your skin hydrated with lotion or natural oils.

Pro tip: Get your tattoo in the winter, if you can. By the time summer comes around, it will be healed and easier to protect from the sun.


If skincare is something you feel passionate about all year round, you may be a great candidate for a career as an esthetician. At Salon Success Academy, we offer an Esthetician program that can help you turn that passion into a career. For more information, call 877-987-4247.