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Sun Tanning & Tattoo Care


It’s no secret that hydrating and properly taking care of your skin is one of the most important keys to tanning. What about permanent tattoos and sunbathing? It becomes increasingly evident that the art of tattooing and the quest for the ultimate sun-kissed glow are at odds with each other. Ultraviolet rays, while nicely bronzing your skin are damaging to your ink masterpieces! The more you tan, the more your tattoo’s colors are fading away. If not appropriately protected, the ink will lighten and become less brilliant in time. If you are the type of person who absolutely must tan and you do have tattoos, there are some important steps to take to ensure your investments are well protected.


First, don’t apply sun block to a new or healing tattoo. Make sure you follow your artist’s skincare instructions and keep your tattoo covered and shaded from UV rays. Many professionals suggest that a tattoo needs at least 4-6 weeks (and some even state 90 days) to be healed completely.


Second, you can use sun block to protect your art after the tattoo has finished peeling and grown a fresh new layer of skin. After that, if you must be out in the sun, use sunscreen and reapply often!  Burning the skin hurts the tattoo even more than tanning slowly. Use at least 30 SPF, the higher the protection the better. One of the best on the market today is Water Babies®, by Coppertone®. This sun protection is made for the most delicate skin…a baby’s! It is important to note that it is even possible to use your lip balm (that has high SPF protection in it), to “cover” your tattoo if you are in need of a quick fix, whether at the tanning salon or dining al fresco on a sunny patio.


Third, when sunless tanning, it is also important to cover your tattoo as well. The bronzers in the lotion or spray could temporarily turn the lighter colors of your tattoo into some pretty funky shades!


The rule of thumb is as long as the tattooed area is healed, nothing can damage the tattoo that doesn’t damage the rest of your skin. Proper care is pretty much common sense and hydrating your body and your skin is critical to good health. With a little precaution and TLC, your tattoo art can remain vibrant and beautiful for years…even with a beautiful sunny glow.


-CA suntan

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