Why It’s Important to Protect Your Tattoo from UV Rays

New tattoos have a stunning visual appeal. However, you must be careful to preserve the looks as time progresses. Otherwise, it can fade and become unsightly.

All tattoos, including hidden ones, are vulnerable to UV rays. This is because prolonged exposure to sunlight causes colour spreading, fading, and scarring, especially when your body ink is still fresh. That’s why you need to protect your tattoos from the UV rays.

The Sun’s Effect on Tattoos

Two layers of skin protect your tattoos, with the outermost acting as a filter against light rays. However, UV lights penetrate these layers and disorient the inks pigments that make up your tattoo (this is how laser removes tattoos). The more the exposure, the more severe the damage to your body art.

New tattoos are more susceptible to sun damage than older ones because fresh body ink is like an open wound, which suffers more than healed skin when exposed to the sun. As a result, newer tattoos are more likely to blister, crack, fade, or peel.

Dermatologists advise against basking in the sun until your wound heals. On average, tattooed areas heal two to three weeks after application. However, healing may take longer depending on the placement site and size.

How to Protect Your Tattoos from the Sun

Here are some valuable tips for protecting tattoos from the sun.

Wear Sunscreen

Allow your skin to heal before applying sunscreen. Once the scabs fall off, use sunscreen whenever you go outdoors.

If you desire optimal skin health, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30. These protect against different wavelengths of solar radiation. They also contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which protect you from harmful UV radiation.

Generally, rub-on lotions are better than sprays. They cover the entire body, and you don’t inhale the mist that could contain harmful chemicals. Also, choose organic ingredients over artificial chemicals.

Wear Loose-fitting Clothes

If you must go outdoors with a new tattoo, consider wearing loose-fitting clothes. These cover the tattoo and protect it from direct sunlight while leaving enough space for healing.

Clothes aren’t as effective as sunscreen, but they lower the risk of sunburn and fading.

Avoid Peak Sunlight and Walk in Shady Areas

On clear days, the sun shines brightest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you don’t have to walk outdoors during this time, stay indoors.

Alternatively, you can walk in areas that are well shaded. Consider carrying an umbrella if walking in open spaces without shady spots.

Get Your Tattoo in Winter

The perfect way to protect a fresh tattoo from the sun is to get it in winter. Solar radiation isn’t as intense, and you’ll wear many clothes to keep you warm. These ensure that your tattoo heals before the onset of summer.

However, dry skin is common during winter. While it’s not advisable to moisturise a new tattoo, you can apply lotion once it heals to prevent flaking.

Other ways of preventing dry skin include drinking plenty of water and taking shorter showers with lukewarm water. Long baths with hot water eliminate natural oils, leaving your skin dry.

Avoid Tanning Beds

People love tanning beds but don’t know how much harm they can do. Unlike regular basking, spending time on a tanning bed overexposes you to solar radiation. A few minutes on the bed equals hours spent walking under the sun.

Tanning beds damage your tattoos, hurt skin health, and increase the risk of skin cancer. If you want glowing skin, spray tans are a safer option that guarantees instant results.

Wrapping Up

You can’t leave your favourite artwork exposed to the sun and expect it to maintain its appearance. The same applies to your tattoos. Whether it contains UV radiation or not, sunlight destroys the quality of your tattoos. The effects are worse on new tattoos.

To protect against these harmful effects, allow your wound to heal before hitting the outdoors; always remember to wear sunscreen and cover your tattoos. Lastly, hydrate to improve overall skin health.