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How Do I Keep My Tattoo(s) From Fading?

As you get older, your tattoos will start to fade naturally. The reason for this is skin change and loss of elasticity. This process is completely natural and expected, and anyone with a tattoo should be aware of it from the start.

However, if your tattoos start to fade prematurely, you are doing something wrong.

In the following paragraphs, we will look at some tips and tricks that you can use to prevent premature tattoo fading. These tips will also help you keep your tattoos looking great even when you’re older. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Tattoo Fading – Solutions for a Common Problem

1. Prevent tattoo fading before you even get inked

One of the main things in everyone’s mind before making a tattoo appointment is the design of the tattoo itself. And, of course, the design of the tattoo is of utmost importance. After all, this tattoo will remain on your body for the rest of your life; better be good!

However, what people tend to just gloss over is the fact that they often choose the worst tattoo placement on the body. Did you know that certain areas of the body promote faster discoloration? Well, now you know!

For example, if you place your tattoo somewhere where it will constantly rub against clothing or other body parts, you can expect it to start fading in just a few years.

Some of the areas of the body that promote faster fading include;

  • The palms of your hands – these are constantly exposed to water, different textures, heat, cold, friction, sweat, etc. All of this affects the ink and promotes faster tattoo fading.
  • The shoulder blades – if carrying a bag or a backpack is something frequent in your life, then avoid having your shoulder blades tattooed; rubbing and sweating will spoil the tattoo for sure.
  • The inner thigh – thighs are popular tattoo locations, no doubt. But, they are constantly rubbing either against each other or against your jeans. See the model? Rubbing will spoil the tattoo, especially if placed on the inner thigh.
  • The mouth – if you decide to get your inner lip tattooed, remember that the thinness of the skin and the constant exposure to humidity will also promote faster tattoo fading.

So what can you do? Well, just avoid these high friction places and get your tattoo somewhere with the least amount of sweat, friction, and friction. Don’t go for tattoos on your feet, under your chest, or on your palms. Choose a smooth, dry place where clothing is not too tight and friction is minimal.

Also Read: Wearing Clothes Over a New Tattoo: Can You Do It and How?

2. Choose the right tattoo artist

Because getting a tattoo is a relatively expensive business, many people tend to look for ways to minimize the final cost. For some reason, everyone thinks that getting a “cheaper” tattoo service will somehow be a good idea. Nope! If you’re paying cheap for a tattoo, then your tattoo will be cheap (and shoddy).

When we say cheap and poor quality, we mean this;

  • The tattoo artist will not do a good job!
  • The tattoo artist might not be the most hygienic person around; this can spoil the tattoo, cause infection, which later makes it transparent or fades too quickly.
  • The tattoo artist may use poor quality ink, which of course promotes faster fading on its own.

So what can you do? Before making an appointment, do your homework! Research the best tattoo artists in your area or ask around and see who has the best reputation. Do NOT hesitate to pay more for a tattoo, as the cost in most cases ensures that the tattoo artist is using high quality ink and knows what they are doing.

To note: If you come to a tattoo parlor and the tattoo artist isn’t wearing gloves or hasn’t disinfected the equipment and tools, leave! Not only will they ruin your tattoo, but they will also potentially put you and your health at risk. Such a working environment will definitely lead to tattoo infection.

3. Follow the tracking routine (and do it right!)

As soon as you leave the tattoo shop with a new tattoo, you are responsible for following it up. The tattoo artist has probably told you what to do, but in case you missed a few points, here’s what a proper aftercare routine includes;

  • Only touch the tattoo with clean, washed hands!
  • Wash the tattoo with antibacterial soap!
  • Do not wash off the tattoo immediately! It takes at least 24 hours to stop oozing and bleeding!
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment or a moisturizer without petroleum jelly (only 2 times a day maximum)!
  • Wait patiently for the tattoo to heal! Do not pick, peel, scratch or touch the tattoo!
  • Wear loose clothing and do not engage in strenuous work or exercise!
  • Avoid swimming until the tattoo heals!

You should be aware that a fresh tattoo is basically an open wound. So, in order for the tattoo to look good and only start to fade when you hit your 60s, it needs to heal properly!

If you notice your tattoo not healing or becoming red, swollen, and painful, talk to your tattoo artist or a medical professional right away. If it’s an infection, the sooner you treat it, the less damage your tattoo will suffer.

4. Wear sunscreen

The sun is no friend to your tattoo, no matter how much you like sunbathing or summer. So what you will need to do after getting a tattoo is wear sunscreen. So instead of the sun, sunscreen or SPF will become your new bestie. And that doesn’t just apply to summer; you’ll wear sunscreen in the spring, fall, or winter, depending on where your tattoo is.

Sunscreen will prevent your tattoo from being exposed to UV, which can, if exposed, compromise the design and saturation of your tattoo. If you expose your tattoo to the UV rays of the sun without any proper protection, the tattooed skin will suffer damage and, in turn, your tattoo will fade prematurely.

The best sunscreen you can wear is one with a minimum of SPF 30. If you want to protect your tattoo, you can opt for a sunscreen with SPF 50+. This sunscreen will protect the tattoo from UV regardless of your skin type, complexion, etc.

5. Take care of your health

  • Stay hydrated – Staying hydrated will affect your skin, making it hydrated and elastic. So, by drinking water, your body will stay healthy from the inside, keeping your skin glowing and hydrated. Indirectly, proper water intake will keep your tattoo(s) vibrant and saturated for a longer period of your life.
  • Stop smoking – Smoking is hell for your skin. Nicotine makes the skin dry and looks much older and more damaged than it is. IT allows the skin to lose its natural moisture and plumpness, which directly affects your tattoos. Because smoking causes the skin to lose elasticity, the tattoo(s) will begin to fade and lose their original shine and appearance.
  • Stop drinking – just like smoking, alcohol has its way of ruining your metabolism and your skin. It weakens your immune system and makes the body “sick”. So, if you want to stay healthy and keep your skin glowing and elastic, then cut down or stop drinking.
  • stay active – Staying active will ensure your muscles and skin stay tight. Because of this, the skin will also remain firm and taut, and the tattoos will not stretch, lose shape, or begin to fade prematurely. Not to mention that regular activity is generally good for your health, so it’s a win-win situation.

Also read: What not to do before getting a tattoo?

6. Other things you can do

  • Be sure to keep your tattoo moisturized even after it has fully healed.
  • Try to wear loose clothing (or loose clothing for the area where the tattoo is placed), to prevent it from chafing and rubbing.
  • Try to maintain your weight by staying active and eating healthy. maintaining the weight will ensure that the tattoo does not stretch and lose its saturation.
  • Try not to clean the skin too much, especially where the tattoo is placed. Excessive cleaning will damage the skin and potentially damage the tattoo in the long run.
  • Try not to get tattoos with exceptionally intricate designs and details. these are more prone to fading than simpler tattoos.

Final Thoughts

Tattoo fading is a completely normal and expected process. No one can resist fading their tattoos. However, premature tattoo fading can be a big problem, especially if the tattoo is placed in a visible location or has a special meaning. And tattoo touch-ups are one solution, but they can be quite expensive.

So, be sure to take care of your tattoo properly. Also, be prepared to stay engaged in aftercare long after the tattoo has healed. Wearing sunscreen is also a must!

For more information about your tattoo and the problem of fading, be sure to talk to your tattoo artist to see what other great preventative measures they recommend. Also check out others in the tattoo community and check out our other articles where we talk about tattoo fading in detail.

Read also :

Do Tattoos Fade Over Time (And How Do You Fight Tattoo Fading?)

What happens to your tattoo as you get older?

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