Preserving Tattoos When Tanning

We do a lot of things in order to make our bodies more attractive. Two of the most common actions are tanning and tattoos. Tattoos are a type of body art, designed to make your body more aesthetically pleasing and represent your individuality. Tanning is designed to make your skin look healthier, and to give you a color that looks great in most choices of clothing.

Unfortunately, these two things do not coexist very well. Sun tanning can affect the appearance of your tattoos, and the effects of the tan can be permanent.

Sun Tanning and Tattoos

Despite the way it appears, tanning is, in many ways, a form of skin damage. The color change you receive is designed to protect your body from greater skin damage caused by extended sun exposure, since the darker (tanner) your skin is, the less damaged it will be.

Still, the tan is caused by initial damage to your skin. And that damage affects your tattoos. The more sun your skin sees, the more the colors of your tattoos will fade as a result of the UV rays breaking them down. Over time, your tattoo will see considerable changes in color vibrancy.

Tanning beds cause the same problems. UV rays break down the colors of your tattoo and cause them to be more faded/muted. The more UV rays your tattoo receives, the more it is going to fade over time.

Sunless Tanning

Sunless tanning is safe on your tattoos, at least with regard to long term damage. But it should be noted that the tattoo itself may look odd temporary because the pigments in the lotions will affect the color of the tattoo the same way they affect your skin. The effects will not be permanent, so once the tan fades the tattoo will be undamaged, but it is advised that if you want your tattoo to continue to look aesthetically pleasing, you should avoid putting the tanning lotions on your tattoos.

Keeping Your Tattoos Safe

If you plan on going out in the sun often, it is advised that you either cover your tattoos with clothes or put a high SPF sun screen on them regularly to avoid any unwanted UV damage. Also, the issue is the brightness of colors – not the existence of the colors themselves. If you have a tattoo that doesn’t use bright colors, and you do not care if the tattoo fades, then sun exposure is no problem. If, however, part of the brilliance of your tattoo is the brightness of the colors, then you will want to avoid sun exposure at all costs.

Both tanning and tattoos are designed to make your body more attractive and unique. Unfortunately, the two do not go together very well. If you are determined to get some sun this upcoming summer, and you do not want the colors of your tattoos to fade, do what you can to protect it from UV rays by putting on sun tan lotion or wearing clothing over the tattoo.

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