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Committing to a tattoo is a big deal for more reasons than one. Aside from picking a design that you hope to love forever, you also have to consider the upkeep. Tattoo aftercare doesn’t stop with your regular skin care routine—it’s a lifelong commitment if you want to keep your new ink looking fresh and vibrant. But how do you avoid tattoo fading? Below, we’re sharing tips to incorporate into your daily lifestyle to keep faded tattoos from becoming your reality.
Wearing SPF is a recurring theme when it comes to taking care of your skin, and it’s key in order to avoid faded tattoos. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), ultraviolet (UV) light can cause some tattoo inks to fade. So, before sun exposure, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen not just to your tattoos but all over. The AAD recommends using an SPF of 30 or more, waiting 15 minutes after applying to go outside, and reapplying at least every two hours.
Think you can use just any body lotion on your tattoo? Think again. We too were surprised to learn that certain moisturizer formulas can actually have a negative effect on your tattoo. The AAD states that petroleum-based products, like petroleum jelly itself, can actually cause your tattoo ink to fade. Look for a water-based lotion or cream instead to hydrate your tattooed skin when it’s in need of moisture.
As you can probably guess, just like the sun’s UV rays can cause tattoos to fade, so can tanning beds. These devices can not only fade the ink in tattoos, but they can also increase your risk of skin cancer, per the AAD. Not to mention, the AAD adds that UV light can also react with tattoo ink and result in a painful skin reaction. Need we say more? If you want a faux glow, we recommend self-tanning with a product like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse. It provides a gorgeous bronze tan to the skin without the harmful effects of the sun.
Editor’s Note: To make sure your face matches your new body glow, grab the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops, Fragrance-Free and mix a few drops in with your nighttime moisturizer for a subtle bronze glow.
Something you should keep in mind is that tattoos in certain locations will be more prone to fading than others. Finger tattoos or other tattoos in areas that are often exposed are likely to fade faster. This is not only because they naturally get more sun exposure than tattoos that are hidden by clothing, but when it comes to the hands specifically, frequent hand washing plays a part in fading these tattoos.
While you can take all of the proper measures to help avoid faded tattoos, the truth is that all tattoos fade at least a bit over time. According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), tattoos will inevitably fade over time due to the redistribution of the pigments (or ink) deeper into the dermis, which can cause them to have a blurred appearance. When you get a tattoo, you should expect to need a touch up here and there. When you notice your tattoo could use a boost, turn to your tattoo artist as they can trace over the details of your tattoo to give your ink a refresh.
Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
Next: How to Apply and Remove Temporary Tattoos
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