The sun destroys your tattoo. If you know your stuff, you also know that the sun causes faded colors and blurry lines of old tattoos. It turns out that, although tattoos last forever, their shape changes depending on the whims of sunlight! Thankfully, use these methods to prevent those nasty rays from damaging your beautiful tattoo.
|Product||Product Name||Type||SPF||Buy at Amazon|
|Australian Gold Tattoo Stick||Stick||50|
|Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion||Lotion||15 to 70|
|Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Lotion||Lotion||100|
|Tattoo Care Sun Protection||Lotion||30|
|CannaSmack Ink Guard||Stick||30|
If you live close to the equator, the beach or if you just enjoying the sun frequently, take a few precautions if you want to keep those tattoos looking crisp for a few decades. One of those precautions is to use a Tattoo Sunscreen as frequently as possible! We had a look at some of the sunscreen products advertised to protect your tattoo (We only recommend products we know and use! These Amazon product links give us a small commission if you purchase one of them). For a general look at tattoo aftercare lotions, check out these lotions for tattoos!
When you get a tattoo removed, an intense beam of light is used to break up the ink molecules into smaller pieces that the body can process and remove. This is what sunlight does—on a smaller scale, of course. The more harmful UV rays that your sun is exposed to, the worse your tattoo will become. Tanning is a disaster for tattoos in the long-term, so never purposely try to get a tan. The rest of your skin will appreciate that, too—tanning is literally the process of burning your skin until it’s slightly crispy. That’s never good! Although you can slap some tattoo anesthetic on to ease any sunburns, there’s a better way to go about it that actually protects your tattoo!
Australian Gold SPF 50 Tattoo Stick
This product works well and keeps you safe from the sun. It’s easy to apply and feels good on the skin. The only bad part? Its very, very tiny size. This product fits in your hand and only stands as high as a normal-sized finger. If you need a sample of tattoo sunscreen, getting this saves you from having a bunch of leftover stuff if you decide it doesn’t work out. If you want to buy in bulk or at a discount, consider the other stuff here.
Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion
Although the designers did not have tattoos in mind when creating this sunscreen, you wouldn’t be blamed for looking at the ingredients and thinking otherwise. Sun Bum moisturizing sunscreen contains all the protection that you would want from a tattoo sunscreen. Since it was developed for people with sensitive skin, the ingredients don’t pose a risk to tattoo ink. On top of that, it contains ingredients that are ‘reef friendly’—in other words, they work hard at protecting you without damaging the environment with harmful chemicals.
This is an excellent choice for people who want an ethical, organic, and effective product for their tattoo care on the beach or elsewhere. Although it’s not required for sunscreens, Sun Bum follows guidelines provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society to ensure that your skin stays as healthy as possible. Healthy skin is synonymous with a healthy tattoo! You can choose stronger SPF option if your skin is especially sensitive to the sun.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Lotion
This one stands out from the others on the list. It’s not something created to protect tattoos directly. On top of that, it appears to pack a powerful punch. It tops the list in efficacy at a whopping SPF 100+ which lasts about 80 minutes after application. Every sunscreen brand tries to do its own thing, and in this case, Neutrogena wanted to create an effective sunscreen that didn’t leave behind an oily residue. They succeed and boast one of the best sunscreens in the world.
If it’s so effective, why aren’t I permanently recommending it? Well, even though it’s pretty good, the other ones on this list are more effective for tattoos. When you take out all those ‘greasy’ oils, you also take out the nutrients and vitamins they directly provide for your skin. The sunscreen serves as a final line of defense. Once it washes off, you’re left with no proof that it was ever there. With no residue, there’s no lasting positive effect on your skin. At the same time, this might be worth it when you’re outside for the entire day in risky conditions. You reapply other sunscreens in roughly the same amount of time, so the only thing to choose regarding this is whether you want your skin to feel smooth right after application or smooth for days after application.
Tattoo Care Sun Protection
This ointment is tattoo care and a 30+ SPF sunblock in one. It does both, protect you against the UVA and UVB rays and moisturizes your tattoo at the same time. Although you should stay away from the sun with a new tattoo, sometimes you can’t avoid it. So, this cream would be a solution for those situations. Just be aware that no sunscreen can block 100% of the UV rays and your ink still might get some damage.
Tattoo Care Sun Protection was developed without animal testing and is completely Paraban free.
CannaSmack Ink Guard SPF 30
In order to protect your tattoo specifically, CannaSmack Ink Guard uses an SPF 30 formula loaded with nutrition. Not only does it protect your tattoo from the sun, it also prevents your skin from suffering damage. Hemp seed oil allows the tattoo sunscreen to soak into the skin quickly. It also provides Omega 3, Omega 6, and Vitamins A, B, D, and E. All of these vitamins are essential for skin health. You can receive them from your diet through normal foods, but your body can also absorb a little bit when it’s applied directly to your skin.
The ultimate result of CannaSmack Ink Guard’s formula is a well-protected tattoo and silky smooth skin for days after application. Just make sure to reapply the sunscreen when you need sun protection, since the UVA/UVB protection effect wears off at the rate of normal sunscreen. It will need a new application after about an hour in the water.
Choosing The Best Tattoo Sunscreen
We include all of these because we want you to make an informed decision about the best sunscreen for tattoos and see a wide variety of quality and prices. Ultimately, these all work well—they provide sun protection. Tattoos that are protected by sunscreen stay vivid for much longer and require fewer touch-ups. These sunscreens each contain their quirks, but at the end of the day, they all work well. For general health, rather than pure sun protection, check out the ointment for tattoos list we made.
They also avoid harsh chemicals that can dry your skin out or potentially damage the ink of your tattoo. So if you spend time outside frequently, for more than an hour at a time, try a few of these. Keep them on hand and use them to prevent a sunburned tattoo! It also saves your tattoo’s color from fading over time.
The SPF Question
The “weakest” have an SPF 30+ protection factor and the “strongest” SPF 50+. But as you might know, SPF (sun protection factor) is only relative as a multiplier for your natural protection factor. If you’re very light skinned and get a sunburn after 10 minutes an SPF of 30 will protect you about 300 minutes or 6 hours (10 times 30). So the SPF depends on your skin and how long you want to stay outside.
Can You Put Sunscreen On a New Tattoo?
Actually no, but if you spend all your time outdoors, at the beach, or live in an area close to the equator, tanning is just a part of life. It’s not something you can avoid, but you can still prevent the worst of it. With care, your tattoo becomes immune to the sun! Let’s start with some types of sunscreen that help you out. Above all, if you plan on staying out for a long period of time, get a higher SPF Tattoo Sunscreen to help prevent the effects of extended sunlight exposure.
Only if it’s Already Healed
Of course, only use these if your tattoo has healed for at least three weeks. You should also make sure to apply your sunscreen to your entire body or just your tattoo. If you simply cover your tattoo and the area around it, you may end up with a really odd tan around the parts of your skin that were protected. These sunscreens work wherever you put them, but what sets them apart is that they also moisturize your skin and use no harsh chemicals that would damage your tattoo. In the horrible event that you do end up burning your skin and tattoo, use a combination of tattoo anesthetic and moisturizer to ease the pain and help your skin heal up. You might need a touch-up if your tattoo is very fresh, but it helps a little bit!
Related Article: The Best Tattoo AfterCare Products
Picking The Best Sunscreen for Tattoos
As mentioned all of them work well and will do the job. It ultimately comes down to your own personal preference, the SPF factor and how you react to the tattoo sunblock itself.
You need to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients of the sunblock. If you don’t know, either consult with your doctor or test it in a very small area.
Also, you need to decide if water and sweat proof is something you’re looking for. If you don’t plan to go swimming or if you don’t really sweat a lot, those are pretty much irrelevant factors.
Portability is a further factor. Should it fit in your handbag or is the size irrelevant?
You see, as soon as you know what you need, where you want to go and what you want to do there, you’ll know what product fits you. Again, all of those work, but not each will fit your very personal needs and preferences.
What’s your experience with any of these products? Did you like them? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion in the comments below!