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Why Do Tattoos Fade

We love tattoos. And nothing breaks our heart more than seeing a once detailed and colorful piece slowly lose its pop over time. Although our bodies change over time and skin is no exception, getting a tattoo is painful. And it’s because it hurts that we want to make sure the tattoo stays on our skin for a lifetime. So, what can we do to keep tattoos from fading?

The secret to retaining the clarity and detail of your tattoo is to simply take care of your skin – moisturize, don’t overexpose, and stay healthy. Let’s talk about the cause of fading tattoos and what we can do to keep them pristine.

Why Do Tattoos Fade?

Our immune systems are constantly fighting off infections and illness to keep us healthy using macrophages, otherwise known as white blood cells. To your body, the ink injected into your skin is treated as a wound on your skin and macrophages move onsite to protect you from infection. They absorb the ink and settle in your skin as the beautiful art we’ve come to appreciate. However, the lifespan of the macrophages can range from months to years, meaning new macrophages come along and absorb any of the ink left behind. As we naturally age, we slowly lose a little bit of ink over the years.

Aging is inevitable, but there are things we can do to keep our tattoo ink looking vibrant and crisp.

1. The Sun Is Your Tattoo’s Biggest Enemy

Prolonged exposure to the sun does more than give you a burn. On a fresh tattoo, UV rays from the sun will slow the tattoo healing process. Damage to the skin through blistering and burns can cause ink loss and distortion. You’ll notice ink loss first in the lighter and cool tones of your tattoo, leaving your tattoo to look like a grayed blob. 

The sun can be harmful to your tattoo, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear a sweater in the summer to protect your tattoos. Keeping your skin covered when possible and wearing sunscreen when exposed for longer than 30 minutes will keep your skin healthy and your tattoo from fading. Check to see which SPF grade you need for your skin sensitivity. See our line of tattooed skin aftercare products to keep your ink looking fresh.

2. Friction on Skin

Excessive friction and exfoliating can be hard on your tattoos. Avoid wearing clothing that leaves your skin dry or prone to rashes and chafing. Living an athletic lifestyle can be great for your overall health, but make sure the material of your equipment works well against your skin. Some industries may require you to wear safety equipment like gloves and heat-resistant suits that make it hard to sweat, causing irritation. Consider wrapping your skin or wearing a tattoo purposed undergarment to keep from fading.

3. Poor Skincare

This one may seem obvious. If you don’t take care of your skin, you can’t expect your skin to retain its ink. Taking care of your skin can be as simple as staying hydrated, sleeping well, and managing your stress. Avoid smoking and other irritants that can be harmful to your skin.

If you have a new tattoo, you want to be sure that you’re prepared to take good care of it no matter where you are. Whether you’re on the road or taking a weekend getaway, be sure you aren’t neglecting your skincare routine. Check out some tattoo care on the go tips so you can be sure your tattoo stays on the road to healing. Furthermore, to help make sure that your tattoo looks vibrant and new, consider using a tattoo skin balm by Tattoo Goo to lock in your skin’s moisture when you go out. Tattoo Goo is made with premium olive oil and is petroleum and lanolin-free for a smooth and refreshing feel. 

4. Neglecting Tattoo Aftercare

The worst thing you can do for your tattoo is neglecting your tattoo aftercare. Thoroughly caring for your tattoos can help to prevent complications and ensure proper healing. However, aftercare is a step that usually gets lost in the excitement of getting a new tattoo. 

The body goes through a lot during the tattooing process as layers of skin are being pierced repeatedly by needles. It’s a lot to recover from, which is why investing in the healing process is imperative. As mentioned earlier, your body treats a fresh tattoo like an open wound. During the healing process, your tattoo is prone to scabbing and infection. 

Lock-In Your Artwork 

Taking care of your tattoo with a proper tattoo aftercare routine recommended by your artist will help keep it from fading. The placement of the tattoo, technique, and ink can all vary slightly. So be sure to follow what the artist says to the letter – keep the skin clean and let the tattoo breathe. Using a protective tattoo aftercare kit is a surefire way to ensure that the ink of your new tattoo doesn’t budge. Aftercare products play a key role when it comes to not only healing tattoos but helping them have a long life. 

Tattoo-ageing threats include anything that might prevent the tattoo from healing evenly, along with those that could cause it to fade later on. So, that means no swimming, scrubbing, sun, or steam, particularly during the initial stages of aftercare. Everyday tattoo skincare products that are specially formulated to be gentle on skin will help in ensuring that your tattoos last for good.