Why tattoos fade

But tattoos last forever don’t they? Isn’t that what your parents tell you before you decide to get one?

Tattoos are, of course, designed to last. But that doesn’t mean they will still look as fresh and as vibrant over time.

There are reasons for this, and some of them may surprise you.

Let’s take a look them below.

What happens when you get a tattoo?

The tattoo needle is designed to apply ink below the epidermis. This means the ink won’t be immediately shed with the skin cells at the surface, and that means it will last a very long time.

However, other processes take place both internally and externally which means your tattoo will gradually fade.

And here are 8 of them:

1. Your immune system

Getting a tattoo is not natural for your body, which sees the ink as an invader. This means your immune system will try to attack and disperse the ink over time.

2. Improper aftercare

When you’re healing from the tattoo needle, it’s important to follow the artist’s instructions as applying your own oils and healing balms may actually do more harm than good. This is because they could draw out the ink. Simple soap and water is the best way to help your body heal, so listen to your artist! Check our aftercare recommendations page here or learn how to take care of your tattoo in video there.

3. Low quality ink

Cheap Tattoos aren’t good and good tattoos aren’t cheap. This is mostly because great quality artists work with high quality of ink and material. They don’t want to see their client’s tattoos fade or in bad shape after a few years. If you want your tattoo to last, then it’s important to seek out the best quality artists and inks, like ourselves here at Black Hat.

4. UV Rays

The UV frequencies in sunrays are energetic enough to break down the ink molecules under your skin over time. So, this is another reason to wear sunscreen on a hot day. Or, avoid tanning-beds too, if possible.

5. Friction and sweating

It stands to reason that if your skin is rubbing on clothing a lot like your ankle or being used for heavy-duty tasks like your fingers, then tattoos here will experience increased fading over time. On top of that, sweat can be acidic. So, places like your feet, which are sweaty but also thin-skinned, will probably experience more fading than other parts of your body.

6. Overusing skincare products

We’re not telling you not to use them, but overuse of oils and soaps can dry out your skin which has a detrimental effect on it in the long term. Simply find a happy balance and be gentle with your tattooed skin.

7. Skin elasticity

This one is all about the aging process and the fact that as we age our skin starts to stretch and sag. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this, beyond looking after yourself properly and hoping nature is kind.

8. Smoking

When we say: ‘Not much you can do,’ in our point above, that’s not exactly true if you smoke. Smoking can actually speed up the sagging of skin and leads to pigmentation loss in our tattoos. So, quitting smoking can help.

So, what can I do?

As you can see there many reasons why a tattoo can fade, and a lot of them can be mitigated by looking after your body and skin in a positive, healthy way

And of course, you can always come back into a studio like ourselves to reinvigorate your tattoo whenever you like. Like all things in this life, nothing lasts forever. But a properly cared for tattoo can still last you a very long time.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call into see us or get in touch.