What’s the best sunscreen for tattoos?
Tattoos are a great way of self-expression with unique designs and meaningful symbols. They can commemorate a significant event, person, or memory. As beautiful as tattoos are as a form of body art, they require proper care to maintain their vibrancy and longevity. Once you have your long-awaited tattoo, a good sunscreen is a crucial aspect of tattoo aftercare.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the importance of choosing the best sunscreen for tattoos: how to choose the right one, and tips for protecting your inked skin from the sun.
Tattoos are more than skin deep
Nowadays, tattoos are formed by injecting ink into the dermis layer of the skin. Dermis is the second layer beneath the outermost layer, the epidermis. The dermis comprises connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerve endings. It provides strength, flexibility, and support to the skin.
Injecting the ink into the dermis is crucial for the tattoo’s permanence because the cells in the dermis are more stable than those in the epidermis. Tattoo needles puncture the epidermis and deposit ink particles into the dermis at approximately 3/64 ″ to 5/64 ″ (or 1 to 2 millimeters). The epidermis constantly sheds and renews itself, which would cause the tattoo to fade quickly if the ink is injected only into this outer layer.
By placing the ink in the dermis, tattoos remain relatively stable, with only gradual fading over time. This process can be due to sun exposure, aging, and the skin’s natural exfoliation process.
The Importance of Sunscreen for Tattoos
Let’s talk about the different factors that influence the look and longevity of your beautiful tattoo. Sun exposure can significantly impact the appearance and health of tattooed skin.
Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can deteriorate the ink particles in the skin, causing tattoos to fade, blur, and lose their original vibrancy. Moreover, sunburns on tattooed skin can be particularly uncomfortable. That’s why it’s crucial to protect your tattoos with sunscreen.
What’s the best sunscreen for tattoo?
Before we go into this, we must understand the critical differences between sunscreens.
Please review the post above for more information on UVA and UVB sunscreens. At skinara, we formulate sunscreens that are especially good for tattoos.
Is UVA or UVB more important in sunscreen for tattoo protection?
In short, they are both vital but for different reasons.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun consists of both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are primarily responsible for sunburn, which may be particularly uncomfortable with newly tattooed skin.
UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and can cause long-term skin damage and premature aging and contribute to skin cancer. UVA rays can also affect the appearance and longevity of tattoos. They can break down the ink particles in the skin, causing tattoos to fade, blur, and lose their original vibrancy. Because tattoos are in the deeper layers of your skin, it is where the tattoo fading starts. Therefore, protecting your skin with the best sunscreen for tattoos from UVA and UVB rays is essential to maintaining its appearance and overall health.
When choosing a sunscreen for tattoo protection, look for a product that offers more than just broad spectrum protection. Look for a sunscreen with a high UVA protection factor. This protection will help shield your tattooed skin and help prevent fading and other damage caused by sun exposure.
UVA rays are the primary cause of tattoo fading, so it’s crucial to use a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Look for a product with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it liberally and frequently to protect your ink.” – Dr. Rachel Nazarian, board-certified dermatologist
Preventing Fading and Blurring
The most crucial benefit of sunscreen for tattoos is preventing fading and blurring. Sunscreen acts as a barrier that shields the tattooed skin from harmful UV rays, which can break down ink particles and cause the colors to fade over time. By consistently applying the best sunscreen for tattoos, you can maintain its vibrant appearance and prolong its lifespan.
Reducing the Risk of Sunburn
Tattooing creates an open wound, and exposing it to the sun before it has fully healed can cause damage to the skin and hinder the healing process. Sunscreen helps protect your tattooed skin from sunburn, allowing it to heal properly and minimizing the risk of complications.
Lowering the Risk of Skin Cancer
While tattoos don’t provide any protection from the sun’s harmful rays, some studies suggest that they may slightly increase the risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Sunscreen helps reduce this risk by shielding your tattooed skin from the sun’s damaging effects.
Choosing the Right Sunscreen for Tattoos
Significant differences exist between sunscreens -they’re not all created equal, and choosing a product that offers the best protection for your tattooed skin is essential. Here’s some vital advice to consider when selecting sunscreen for tattoos.
Broad Spectrum Protection
Always choose a sunscreen that offers Broad Spectrum protection, which shields your skin from UVA and UVB rays. While UVB rays are primarily responsible for sunburn, UVA rays can cause premature aging and contribute to skin cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both types of rays, offering comprehensive protection for your tattooed skin.
Always choose a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher. The SPF rating indicates how well the sun screen protects against UVB rays. An SPF 30 sunscreen will block 97% of UVB rays, while an SPF 50 sunscreen will block 98%. Remember that no SPF can sun block 100% of UVB rays.
Tattoo Specific Sunscreen Formulations
Some sunscreen brands offer tattoo-specific formulations designed to provide optimal protection for tattooed skin. These sunscreens may contain added moisturizers and antioxidants to help maintain the health and vibrancy of your tattoo. An advanced UVA sunscreen like Skinara AgeScreen sunscreen contains some of the world’s best antioxidants that help heal skin after a tattoo to maintain vibrant tattoos for longer.
6 Simple Tips for Protecting Your Tattoo from the Sun – tattoo aftercare
- Wait for Your Tattoo to Heal
Before exposing your tattoo to the sun, wait until it’s fully healed. This process can take anywhere from two to four weeks, depending on the size and intricacy of the tattoo. During this time, avoid sun exposure as much as possible to minimize the risk of skin damage and infections and to ensure proper healing.
- Apply Sunscreen Generously and Evenly
To effectively protect your tattoo, apply a generous amount of sunscreen to the area, ensuring the entire tattoo is covered. As a guideline, you must use about one ounce (a shot glass full) or 29.6 mL of sunscreen for your whole body. You should always apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun to allow it to absorb into the skin properly.
- Reapply Sunscreen Regularly
Make sure you reapply sunscreen at least every two hours or straight after swimming, sweating, or towel-drying. Reapplication is crucial to maintaining a consistent level of protection throughout the day. Even if a sunscreen claims to be long-lasting or water-resistant, it’s still essential to reapply as instructed. Remember, no sunscreen in waterproof, reapply regularly.
- Wear Protective Clothing and Accessories
In addition to using sunscreen, be SunSmart and wear protective clothing and accessories to shield your tattooed skin from the sun. Long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses can provide additional protection. These steps are critical during peak sunlight hours (generally between 10 am and 4 pm) when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
- Seek Shade
Seek shade to limit your tattoo’s exposure to direct sunlight whenever possible. Staying in the shade helps protect your tattoo and reduces the overall risk of sunburn and skin damage.
- Use moisturizing Sunscreen For Your Tattoo
Keeping your tattooed skin moisturized is essential for maintaining its health and appearance. Use a tattoo-specific moisturizer or a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic lotion to keep your skin hydrated and supple. Regular moisturizing can also help your tattoo look more vibrant and reduce the appearance of fading.
So be sure to use sunscreen as a vital component of tattoo care. By choosing the right sunscreen for tattoos and following the tips outlined in this guide, you can protect your tattooed skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure. This choice will ensure that your ink remains vibrant and beautiful for years. Remember, your tattoo is a lifelong investment – take the necessary steps to care for it and enjoy the art you’ve chosen to adorn your body with!