How to Protect Tattoos Over Time

Protecting Tattoos Over Time

You have finally done it.

You have been thinking about getting a tattoo for years. You thought through your design, consulted with several artists, saved the money, and you finally received a beautiful, meaningful tattoo that you love.

Your artist gave you instructions on caring for your body art before and after receiving the tattoo, but you were probably so euphoric that you weren’t listening. Here is a reminder of how to keep your tattoo as fresh looking as the day you received it.

Think about the placement

There are some places on the body that are not ideal for long-lasting, vibrant tattoos. No matter the skill of your artist or the quality of the ink, if you get a tattoo on an area of the body that commonly rubs against other body parts or clothing, your tattoo may not be as vibrant over time.

If you would like to avoid this type of fading caused by friction, avoid getting tattoos in between your fingers and on your lips. Tattoos on the top of the feet may also fade faster because they are constantly rubbing on socks and shoes.

Begin a care regiment immediately

Your artist will give you instructions on caring for the tattoo for the first few weeks. Follow these instructions! These instructions not only will keep your tattoo from fading, but they will also keep you safe from infection.

While you should continue to care for your tattoo for the rest of your life, the first several weeks are especially important.

Your artist will recommend an aftercare lotion that will not only help heal the skin, but it will also protect the ink from fading prematurely. Although you may be concerned about developing an infection, you might want to avoid straight antibacterial creams unless needed. These creams tend to cause tattoos to fade faster.

The wrong product that is too harsh can draw the ink out of the area of the tattoo and cause it to look patchy. Using the wrong product that doesn’t do enough to protect the skin can cause you to develop an infection. Infections, besides being detrimental to your health, can also cause fading of the ink and scarring of the skin.

Next, while the tattoo is healing, avoid picking at scabs or dry skin. Let the scabs fall off naturally; otherwise, you may remove some of the vibrancy of the color of the tattoo.

While you are healing, try to keep clothing from rubbing up against the new tattoo. Any friction during this healing process may remove the scabs and cause the tattoo to lose its brilliance.

Avoid being submerged in water for at least two weeks after getting a tattoo. This includes bathtubs, pools, hot tubs, and natural bodies of water. Water is a breeding ground for creepy-crawlies that may cause an infection. Again, infections can be detrimental for your health, and they also may cause scarring on your tattooed area.

Keep your tattoo out of the sun for the first two or three weeks. Don’t read this instruction and assume that you will be fine going into the sun as long as you use sunscreen. Sunscreen used immediately on a fresh tattoo may cause fading.

Care instructions for after the skin is healed

After your tattoo has healed at least two weeks, it is time to start your life-long regiment for caring for your tattoo.

Clean and exfoliate

Clean your skin daily with a mild soap.

Once your tattoo has completely healed, you can begin to exfoliate a couple of times a week. You may choose to use physical exfoliators, such as special mitts or gloves that allow you to scrub off dead skin. You can also use chemical exfoliators.

Exfoliating removes the outermost dead, skin cells. These dead skin cells may cause the tattoo to lose their brilliance unless they are removed.


Ask your tattoo artist for the name of an effective moisturizer for your tattooed skin. This needs to be strong enough to keep the skin nourished and supple, but also it needs to be mild enough not to cause fading.

A thin layer of moisturizer should be gently applied after the skin is cleansed.

Avoid the sun

The sun is your tattoos worst enemy. This is true after the tattoo is freshly done, and it is also true when your tattoo has healed.

You can’t avoid going outside forever, but it is a good idea to avoid prolonged sun exposure from between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Always cover your tattoo (and the rest of your skin) with a sunscreen that is SPF30 and above.

You thought about your tattoo for a long time. Make sure you do all you can to keep it fresh and vibrant for as long as you can.

Please call us at 353-1-561-5663 to book a consultation today!