Tattoos In the Sun: 9 Simple Tips for Safe Tattoo Sun Exposure


Today, we’re taking a closer look at what you need to know about new tattoos and sunlight protection so you can enjoy summer fun with your tattoos in the sun.

If you’ve ever had a sunburn, you know first-hand how dangerous (and painful) it can be to spend too much time in the sun. A sunburn is caused by your skin’s reaction to ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. A sunburn is a form of skin damage that may trigger blisters and peeling.

These problems can have a negative impact on your tattoo and the healing process, so it’s important you understand the importance of protecting your new tattoos from harmful sunlight.

 

Too much sun exposure will result in sunburn, peeling, and ultimately increase the time it takes your new tattoo to heal.

This is a common concern during the hot summer months, so we thought it might be helpful to gather a few tips for safe summer fun in the sun so you can rest assured you’re providing the protection and tattoo aftercare your tattoo needs in order to heal properly. Ignoring your tattoo artists advice or skipping the necessary aftercare steps will increase the risk of developing complications and may increase how long it takes your tattoo to heal.

Here’s what you need to know about tattoos in the sun …

CARE FOR TATTOOS IN THE SUN

If you have a new tattoo, your tattoo artist probably explained how to clean a tattoo and stressed the importance of tattoo aftercare so your ink can heal properly. However, you may or may not be sure about new tattoos and sunlight …

  • How long can you leave tattoos in the sun?
  • What happens if you get a sunburn?
  • Will sunscreen work?

These are just a few questions we hear around this time of year, so we wanted to provide a few tips so you can make more informed decisions regarding your tattoos in the sun during the fun summer months. Don’t worry, you don’t have to live a vampiric existence in order to protect your ink – just be careful and mindful!

When it comes to tattoos in the sun and enjoying a little summer fun, it’s all about awareness.

For new tattoos and sunlight protection, we recommend staying out of the sun altogether. While you may assume you can just apply sunscreen for protection, this is not a good idea. Sunscreens contain harsh ingredients (you know, designed to block UV rays) and may increase the healing time and cause irritating side-effects.

9 SIMPLE TIPS FOR SAFE TATTOO SUN EXPOSURE

If you have a new tattoo, it’s important you exercise diligent tattoo aftercare to ensure your ink heals properly and looks great for years to come.

1. LISTEN UP! YOUR TATTOO ARTIST IS AN EXPERT

As we have noted in previous posts, each artist has their own tattooing method and has learned tips and tricks along the way, so take their suggestions to heart.

2. AVOID DIRECT SUNLIGHT

If your ink is still fresh, be aware that your skin is incredibly sensitive, and the sun can be its number one enemy. If possible, cover up with clothing when you are outside or avoid direct sunlight altogether. This may not always be possible depending on your plans, but it’s important you provide your new tattoo the protection it needs to heal without the distress caused by harmful UV rays.

3. TATTOO SUNSCREEN

As mentioned, we don’t recommend applying sunscreen to a new tattoo – it’s an open wound that needs time to heal! Once your tattoo heals, sunscreen should become your buddy for life! Whether you are at the beach, on a walk, or just working outdoors, be sure to keep sunblock near you at all times and reapply often. I personally use Inkeeze’s Ink Shield Sunscreen and it works great!

4. KEEP IT SHADY

Tattoos on the arms, upper torso, and areas that receive direct sun exposure tend to fade the fastest over time. Keeping your sunscreen handy is a lifesaver, but if you forget from time to time, opt for the shade whenever possible and cover your ink with a towel or clothing if you need to. You may have a funny tan, but your ink will still be poppin’!

5. EXPECTATIONS AND AWARENESS

Depending on the color of the tattoo ink used in your tattoo, your work may fade differently as it ages. Black and grey tattoos tend to stand the test of time a bit better in the long run, but that doesn’t mean that if you have a colorful palette of work you can’t defy the odds. Again, diligence, awareness, and preparation are key.

6. AVOID TANNING BEDS

As mentioned, combining new tattoos and sunlight is not a great idea. However, if you want to get your tan on without subjecting your new tattoo to damaging UV rays, we highly encourage you to avoid tanning beds. It may be faster than spending a couple hours in the sun outside, but with that convenience comes the risk of developing skin cancer from direct exposure to the intense UV light. Tanning beds are particularly brutal for new tattoos because of this.

7. CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE

Whether you’re thinking about getting your first tattoo or continuing your ink collection, we recommend you clear your schedule so you’re not faced with the difficult

If you are headed to a sunny spot or have a big vacation planned, wait to schedule your next tattoo until after you return. There’s nothing tougher than trying to enjoy the outdoors when you have fresh ink and are making your way through the healing and aftercare stages.

8. THE BEST TATTOO CARE LASTS A LIFETIME

Tattoo care lasts forever, so stock up on salves, moisturizers, and skin care to keep your inked skin in top condition! Some of my top picks include Redemption Tattoo Care products, Platinum Rose, and Hustle Butter.

9. BRING TATTOO WIPES WITH YOU

Keeping your tattoo clean during a trip to the beach, the desert, or even your local park isn’t easy.

We created the WIPEOUTZ Singles as a way to make it easier than ever to keep your tattoo clean while on-the-go. Our individually packaged WIPEOUTZ tattoo wipes are soaked in our antibacterial/antimicrobial WASH formula to ensure you can clean your tattoo no matter the occasion or location.

I like to take a single Wipe Outz™ and give my own tattoos a once over … it’s always surprising how much cleaner my ink looks and how much the tattoo wipe absorbs.

They keep your tattoos looking fresh all year long!

SUMMARY

We can’t stress the importance of being mindful of your tattoos in the sun enough.

If you’re not careful, you may experience a sunburn, blisters, and peeling, which will irritate your tattoo and delay the healing process. Remember to use caution when you expose your tattoos to the sun. Whether you are a long-time tattoo collector or are just starting out with your first tattoo, make your investment in body art count and stay mindful and prepared.

Your ink (and your skin) will thank you!

Thanks for reading!