How to keep tattoos from fadingMost people’s focus on preventing tattoo fading begins and ends with tattoo aftercare. This is an important time, but everything that comes before and after this point has an impact on fading as well. There are three time slots to consider in preventing tattoo aftercare: 1. Pre-Tattoo 2. Tattoo Aftercare 3. Ongoing Tattoo Care
1. Pre-Tattoo: Choosing your tattooOne of the most important aspects to prevent fading is choosing the right tattoo. The type of tattoo you get, where you get it, and who does it, all play big roles in the longevity of your tattoo.
Colour tattoo vs black & greyBlack and grey are the hardiest tattoo colours. They are dense and bold and their appearance lasts longer than colours. In contrast, the most vibrant colours such as hot pink, yellow, light green tend to fade faster. Darker colours, such as deep reds, are more fade resistant. The colours in watercolour tattoos are the shortest-lived. The tradeoff is that they are very striking designs with vibrant colours. Despite fading relatively quickly, watercolour tattoos remain very popular. To keep them looking their best, they require frequent touchups. Although they are beautiful designs, if your goal is longevity, they are hardly the choice tattoo type for you. That being said, don’t let this stop you from getting the colour tattoo you’ve always wanted. There are many more aspects to preventing tattoo fading. And touch-ups are always an option. Remember, tattoos are permanent, so it’s worth getting the ones you want.
Ink QualityThe quality of tattoo ink is just as important as the colour used. A lower quality ink may not last as long. In addition to a fading concern, this is also a health concern. Tattoo inks are unregulated by the government, it is not uncommon for them to contain heavy metals. Reference the Cosmetic Hotlist to identify potentially harmful ingredients. Going to reputable tattoo shops is the best way to ensure high-quality inks. These shops and artists hold the quality of their equipment to a higher standard. The best tattoo artists use better inks because their reputations are built on your tattoo. Your health & satisfaction with your new tattoo affects their reputation.
Tattoo PlacementTattoo placement has a direct impact on how your tattoo will wear over time. We’ve discussed which tattoo location hurt most and least. But what about how location affects fading? A basic rule is the more friction, the more wear. For example, tattoos on the inside of your thighs fade faster than others. As you walk your thighs rub against each other, wearing your tattoo down over time. Combine this with tight pants and it’s the perfect storm of tattoo fading. The best placements to prevent tattoo fading are where the body doesn’t rub up against itself, or where it is not constrained by tight clothing.
2. Tattoo AftercareTattoo aftercare is one the most effective ways for you to keep your tattoo looking it’s best. This is critical to ensuring your tattoo remains healthy and does not fade. A good tattoo artist always provides tattoo aftercare recommendations specific to you. But there are general basics to follow:
- It is important to keep your new tattoo clean and moisturized.
- After removing the bandage covering a fresh tattoo, the area should be gently washed with lukewarm water and a mild antimicrobial soap. Splash water on the tattoo instead of running it directly under the water. Be gentle so as not to risk scratching or scabbing. Pat dry the area with a light towel, don’t rub it dry.
- Use an antibacterial ointment recommended by your artist, such as Tattoo Goo, for the first few days following your tattoo.
- There will be some scabbing, don’t worry, it’s part of the healing process. After the first few days continue using a mild moisturizing lotion until the scab is gone and the tattoo fully heals.
- Keep the tattoo out of direct sunlight. UV rays are harmful on a fresh tattoo.
- Avoid soaking the tattoo until is fully healed.
- Do not scratch the tattoo. Yes, it’s tempting to pick away at the scab, but it prevents proper healing. Other than applying ointment, it’s best to avoid touching your tattoo altogether during the aftercare period.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol soon before and after a new tattoo. It is best to avoid them the day of and an artist will turn you away if you are clearly inebriated. Until the tattoo heals they increase the odds of infection.
- Avoid situations that wear on your new tattoo while healing. For example, wearing tight clothes or going to crowded clubs and concerts.
Our Favourite Tattoo Aftercare
After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer delivers effective skin moisturization and helps to preserve the colours of your tattoos. There's no petroleum so it won't stick to or stain your clothes. This moisturizing skin lotion, enriched with Grape Seed Oil, can also be used on any permanent makeup procedure on lips, brows, eye liner, and areola, as well as an after-laser tattoo removal moisturizing lotion. After Inked is Dermatologist tested, non-allergenic and non-irritating.
PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.