There are a number of things that affect the tattoo's appearance over time. A tattoo tends to change color over time, become pale and blurry. This does not happen with all tattoos. Why this happens and what to do to keep the tattoo quality and color, we will discuss in this post.
Causes of tattoo fading
- Tattooing body part. There are body areas where any tattoo will almost inevitably lose its quality over time. These are fingers, wrists, feet, ankles, neck. These body parts are subject to constant contact with clothing and are almost never or rarely hidden from sunlight. So if you are planning on getting a tattoo on your wrist, or fingers, be prepared to " refresh" it every couple of years.
- The quality and colors of the inks used. Poor inks produced by unknown manufacturers fade extremely fast. While reputable and good inks are much better at retaining their color for years to come. You can find a list of the best inks and brands in our guides. Also, depending on the ink shade, the color of the tattoo can last longer. Yellow and orange colors are the least consistent in color retention.
- Skin peculiarities and artist's work quality. During tattooing, the needle penetrates the skin and leaves the pigment in it, and the skin is traumatized. Thus, the upper traumatic skin layer - the epidermis - is partially exfoliated. So, immediately after the session, you see a bright, rich picture. But over time, the epidermis completely recovers, so the thicker the layer of the epidermis, the paler the picture becomes. The tattoo artist's skill is very important in this process. The skin will be less or more traumatized depending on the depth of the needle penetration into the skin. The less traumatic the process is, the more "truthful" the image will be on the body after the session.
- Daily exposure to direct sunlight. UV radiation can destroy the pigment even in the deep layers of the skin, even though after the regeneration of the epidermis it partially protects the dermis and the pigment in it.
The good news is that we can influence some of these factors, and it will help keep your favorite tattoo rich and contrasty for a long time.
How to keep tattoos looking new?
As a tattoo collector or even if you have just one tattoo we should aim to keep our tattoos looking as new and as fresh as possible.
So, what actions you can incorporate into a daily routine to help your tattoos look bright, vibrant, and pop:
- Drink a lot of water. The skin condition improves if the body has the right water balance. When you drink water enough your skin becomes much more hydrated and if you have tattoos you will drastically see a difference in how your tattoos look if you drink a lot of water. Moreover, this tip is good for your skin to be sufficiently hydrated, but also for the overall health of your body.
- Apply a thin layer of body moisturizer to your tattoo. Keeping your skin well moisturized is something you absolutely have to do if you want to keep your tattoos looking like new. Some people apply moisturizing lotion once a day, others three times a day. It depends on your skin type, but if your skin is typically dry, don't skimp and moisturize several times a day.
You may use one of the lotions suggested below, for example. They do not affect the pigment, so are safe for your tattoos, but are very good at moisturizing your skin.
- Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. The sun one of the worst tattoo killers. Have you ever noticed that a dark t-shirt loses its color saturation after long and regular exposure to the sun? The same thing happens with the pigment that tattoo artists use. You should wear clothes that will cover the tattoo. Also, you should not sunbathe for a long and regular period, neither at the beach nor in a tanning bed. Even if you go into the sun use sunscreen.
- Try to avoid big weight swings, keep to your usual fitness fit.
- Avoid pools with chlorinated water, harsh chemicals can also discolor the ink. There are pools where the water is ionized, if you have a tattoo, this method of water treatment is preferable.
- Avoid body cosmetics and other products that contain alcohol. Alcohol can also discolor the pigments inked into your skin.
- Keep the tattooed areas of your skin free from damage, scratches, and cuts. Your skin will heal, but the ink layer will be irrevocably damaged. Only a correction by the tattoo artist can help.
If you follow these rules, you will most likely be able to keep the new look of your tattoos for many years. But remember that everybody is unique. Also, a lot depends on the quality of your tattoo artist's work.
How to keep the tattoo looking good, even at an older age?
The most common argument against tattoos is, "How will your tattoos look at 80?" If you are also concerned about this issue and this thought is preventing you from getting your first tattoo, check out a few tips:
- Choose only a super professional tattoo artist, who will perform the tattoo so well that you won't have to make corrections for many years.
- Choose your body area carefully. The lower legs and shoulder blades, for example, have the smallest fat deposits and are the least susceptible to age-related changes.
- Even if you have a quality tattoo in the right place, sooner or later you will notice changes. You can make a correction, cover it or remove it. Especially since modern technology allows you to do it.
Now you have all the secrets and tips about how to keep your tattoo as high quality, vibrant, and detailed as possible. And if you have given a considerable amount of money for your tattoos, it is thought that you will stick to these tips.
However, any tattoo is not forever as bright and looking new. In any case, it will fade or discolor over the years. However, if you take care of it, this will happen much later than in the opposite case. So even if you notice that your tattoo is losing color, see your tattoo artist for a small correction.