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Sunscreen for You and Your Tattoo

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Getting a new tattoo is a usually an exciting experience that can also be expensive, so you will want to protect that beautiful investment as much as possible.

When you first get your tattoo, you’ll want to keep it out of the sun and refrain from putting it in direct sunlight until it has completely healed.

If you've ever gotten a tattoo, you've heard the whole tattoo care spiel, which includes sun protection. While it’s important to apply sunscreen every single day — whether you have tattoos or not — protecting your tattoo from the sun is extra important. Sun safety is no joke, especially if you're inked. Sun exposure can cause serious damage to the skin over the course of a lifetime, including premature aging and even skin cancer. If you have a tattoo, you probably want to keep it looking its best, so it's a good idea to pay a little extra attention when it comes to sun protection.

The ultraviolet light in the sun not only damages the skin, but can also cause tattoos to fade. If the skin under the tattoo gets a lot of sun exposure, the tattoo will also start to get stretched out as the skin gets looser and more wrinkled.

Professional tattoo artists recommend keeping your tattoo covered up for the first three months. Once the healing period ends, sunscreen should be carefully applied before going outdoors.

Risk Factors

All tattoos fade over time, but sun exposure can seriously speed up the fading process. The lighter the ink, the more quickly the tattoo will fade. Dark colors like black, blue, and purple take the longest to fade, while colors like red, pink, yellow, green, and orange are more prone to fading and require more attention.

Placement is also an important factor to consider. It's easy to forget about protecting your tattoo if it's located on a part of the body you can't see, such as your shoulder or your back. Your tattoo might be out of sight, but it should not be out of mind. If it's in a hard-to-reach spot, have someone else apply the SPF if that helps.

Protect Your Tattoo with a Quality Sunscreen

There are quite a few sunscreens out there that are labeled as special tattoo sunscreens but don't fall victim to marketing lingo. Any sunscreen will work just fine. The best sunscreen for a tattoo is the same as what you would you use for the rest of your body. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using an SPF of at least 30 for maximum sun protection.

You also want to use a sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection, meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays. SPF denotes protection from UVB rays or the rays that burn. A broad-spectrum sunscreen also protects the skin from UVA rays or the rays that cause premature aging and skin cancer.

Use sunscreen a sunscreen formula that won’t irritate your skin with the active ingredients zinc oxide or zinc oxide and titanium dioxide of SPF 30 or higher.

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