Got a new tattoo? Maybe you have an existing tattoo and you’re worried that the vividness of your inked-in design is starting to fade? Thankfully there are products and after care tips which can help maintain the vibrancy of your tattoo — even if in your spare time you still like to soak up the summer sun and show off whatever facet of your personality you have decided to exemplify through the skin you’re in.
First though, it’s important to understand the basic chemistry and physicality of what a tattoo actually is. When we’re talking about tattoos, we’re talking after all, about everything from the composition of the ink used to create a design in the first place, to how well our skin has had a chance to heal and recover from what is essentially direct trauma.
Initial Tattoo Aftercare
We all know how important it is to keep a new tattoo clean. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that even the vividness of a new tattoo can be directly effected by the kinds of antibacterial products and skin conditioners we use to help a new tattoo heal in the first place. How do you know what to use and what not to use? That’s simple, simply avoid products with fragrances.
Skin care and cosmetics companies love fragrances because they know that nice smelling products often sell more. However, volatiles and solvents (chemicals added to products to make sure that people can smell them in the first place) can actually impede skin healing and sometimes even cause skin irritation. This being the case, make sure to care for a new tattoo with fragrance free products such as fragrance free vitamin E oil and organic lavender based lotions.
By and large though, tattoo ink’s number one enemy is the sun. Tattoo ink manufacturers are notoriously secretive about what actually goes into their ink. However, it’s no secret that many of the vivid colors in tattoo ink are attributable directly to different heavy metal cocktails. Iron oxides often make up our favorite blacks, reds and browns. Copper is often used to create our favorite blues and greens, and more exotic metals like cadmium go into making the yellows and oranges that many of us love so much. The problem with this composition? Although robust they are not exactly UVA (ultraviolet A) friendly.
A tattoo’s best friend, especially when out and about in direct summer sunshine, should therefore be a specially formulated, high SPF sunscreen, or a handy tattoo stick. As a rule the higher the sun protection factor the better. Most specialty products for tattoos often only start in the SPF 30 range. However, to really help your ink stand out better for longer it’s a good idea to look for fragrance free products with a high SPF rating that also embody intense moisturizing properties.
Sticks Or Lotions?
Of course, you don’t need to overdo things. You can still take pride in tanning yourself whenever the opportunity arises. All that really needs to be kept in mind is how big or small the tattoo is that you’re keen on protecting. For larger tattoos, mast major sun screen brands do have a high SPF formula perfect for tattooed skin. However, for smaller designs, you really only need a stick or pen sized tattoo guard applicator.