Tattoos and Tanning, Suntan Lotions

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The idea of tattoos is that they are permanent, and when someone gets one they do so normally because it is an image they want to keep on them for love and that has great importance to them. A good tattoo should last for life and only fade slightly during this time. However for them to remain as vibrant and clear as possible it is important to take certain precautions and to make efforts to look after your tattoos. This is particularly true when sunbathing and tanning which can damage your tattoos if you are not careful. When your skin tans, this is actually skin damage although it may look desirable. As such then it stands to reason that this would also damage your tattoos and could make them fade more quickly. This includes sun beds which also create UV rays (the source of the problem) and so are just as likely to fade your tattoos.

Ways to Tan Without Damaging Your Tattoos

Fortunately you can tan without damaging your skin. The best method is to use a sun block with as high an SPF level as possible and continuously re-apply. You should of course use a sun block on your whole body anyway to try and prevent the risk of skin cancer as a result of the UV rays, but this is particularly important on your tattoos and if you want to tan more quickly you can always use more lotion of a higher SPF just on your tattoos.

Another method to use is of course to cover up your tattoo. You can do this with clothing – for instance wearing a vest while you tan if it is just on your back for example – or with something like a bandage wrapped just around the tattoo a few times. Of course though this will not help the rest of your skin and it would be better that tattoos acted as an ‘excuse’ to be extra careful in the sun and to use sun block properly as you should be anyway. The bandage system is best then used in conjunction with other methods.

Note: When your tattoo is new you should aim to keep it out of the sun completely. When your tattoo is first inked on it will be far more susceptible to damage. Make sure you follow the after car instructions given to you by your tattooist, and give it at least three months to heel before you start exposing it to the sun.

Even better however is of course to avoid the sun altogether and find other ways to achieve a natural looking tan. While spray tans can often look uneven and get a lot of mess on clothes and furniture; using something like a self tanning lotion will be far more effective and will bring out your ‘natural’ tan so that you have an even tan that will not rub off and that does require exposure to UV rays.

While you might be tempted to rush out into the sun and get a nice tan to go with your new ink right away, this will only result in your tattoo fading quickly and being far less striking and impressive. It is important then to proceed with caution – and only a little bit of wariness now will benefit you for the rest of your life.

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Margrit Bradley

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