There is nothing better than a gloriously sunny day. Seeing the sun come out just brightens the mood, lifts the spirits, and makes you want to get your tan on.
But what about your tattoos? You may be wondering how tanning in the sun can affect your tattoos, and what you can do to protect that expensive habit of yours.
Luckily, we are here to answer all of your questions regarding tanning with tattoos.
Does Tanning Affect Tattoos?
Tanning can affect all areas of your body and skin, including your tattoos. Just like your natural skin, excessive exposure to the sun, or its UV rays can cause your tattoos to fade more quickly. Just as the sun can affect your skin tone, it will also affect how your tattoos look.
Tanning will also drastically affect your tattoos if they are new, and you should be extra cautious if you are thinking of going into the sun, or on a sunbed with a brand new, fresh piece of ink.
Can I Go In The Sun With A New Tattoo?
You should not expose your new tattoo to the sun or to a tanning bed as these will have harmful UV rays that may damage the skin. The skin on your tattoo is healing, and will be extremely sensitive to UV rays. These UV rays may not only damage the fresh tattoo, and cause the colors to fade, but it can also damage the fresh skin where the tattoo is placed.
We all know that wearing sunblock is the best option for protecting our skin in the sun, and preventing the signs of skin cancer. However, putting sunblock on a fresh tattoo is not a good idea, and will not protect it.
Only follow the tattoo artists aftercare instructions, and do not put any topical creams on the affected area of skin, unless instructed to. Your new tattoo will need to heal, peel, and grow a new layer of skin before it is ready for sunblock, or direct sunlight.
The best thing to do is to leave your tattoo to heal properly and completely, before exposing it to the sun, or going tanning with it. That does not mean that you cannot go tanning with a new tattoo, just ensure that you have covered it up from any sun exposure or damage, and take all of the proper precautions to care for your new tattoo until it is healed fully.
How Long Until I Can Tan After Getting A Tattoo?
As previously mentioned, you should not be tanning straight after getting a tattoo. This includes sun tanning, sunbeds, or even using false tan on freshly tattooed skin.
Unfortunately, you may be waiting a while until your tattoo is ready for the sun, and for catching a tan. Most tattoos are considered fully healed after about 2-3 months, but some can take longer or shorter periods of time, depending on the size of the tattoo.
Once your tattoo has healed completely, then you can think about tanning again. Until this time has passed, it is not a good idea to tan, self tan, or use a sun bed as it may damage your skin and your new tattoo.
If you have just spent a lot of money and time on a fresh piece of body ink, then ruining the tattoo is most likely not on your agenda. Patience is a virtue, but it will be worth it in the long run if it means having a beautiful piece of body art, and healthy, protected skin.
How To Tan Safely With Tattoos
Once your tattoo has healed, you may be wondering what is the best way to tan with tattoos, and how you can protect them. Tattoos can look fantastic with a golden glow, so you do not have to shy away from the sun and never tan again after having a tattoo.
Just always remember to stay safe in the sun, as the UV rays can cause skin damage, sunburn, early signs of ageing and even skin cancer.
The best way to care for your skin, and your tattoos is to invest in, and use a good SPF, or sunblock! We recommend using sunblock every single day to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Just because it is not bright and sunny, does not mean that you should not be wearing sunscreen, especially on your face! Your best bet is to wear at least SPF 30 as this will help block harmful UV rays:
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However, you should use an SPF 50 if you have sensitive skin, or live in an area with strong sun as this can block up to 98% of UV rays:
As long as your tattoos are fully healed, you can cover them in sunscreen just like you do for the rest of your skin. Remember to top up and reapply your sunscreen if you are tanning all day, and try to wear sunblock for better protection in extreme sun:
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If you feel that your newly healed tattoos are getting a little too much sun exposure, then simply cover them up to give them a break from the UV rays! Make sure that you are not spending too much time in the sun, and take regular breaks, staying hydrated and try not to burn!
If you spend too much time in the sun, or do not apply sunscreen often enough, you may burn your skin, and damage your tattoos in this way.
In addition, you are going to need to moisturize your skin after tanning, and every day is possible to keep your skin hydrated, healthy, and your tattoos looking fresh and brand new for longer.
If you are worried about tanning with a newly healed tattoo, then you can always use a spray tan, or a self tanner to give yourself a glorious golden glow. As long as the tattoos are healed, this will not damage your skin in any way!
Keep in mind that even artificial tanners such as sunbeds work to replicate the UV rays of the sun, and can also be incredibly damaging to your skin. If you do choose to use these, then please be careful, as these can cause skin cancer, and treat them in the same way you would for actual sun tanning.
This means limiting your exposure, using sunscreen, and only using them once your tattoos are 100% completely healed. Stay safe, and protected, for happy tanning!