How to Care for Your Tattoos in the Summertime

Before you left the tattoo studio, they gave you guidelines to care for your new tattoo.

They were probably something like, “don’t soak it in water, don’t expose it to sunlight, keep it clean, and use moisturizer.”

The point of all this fuss is to prevent infection and keep the art looking awesome.

But once your tat is healed, what then? Are you still limited for life?

After all, in the summertime, you want to be at the pool and on the beach, in the water and getting a tan.

What can you do so that your ink doesn’t fade?

First off, I need to tell you that today’s inks are much more resistant to fading than what your granddad has. But that still doesn’t let you off the hook completely.

As a rule, if you take good care of your skin, you’ll take good care of your tattoo.

Tattoo Aftercare for the Rest of Your Life

For those in a hurry, you can find everything you need in our guide to the best tattoo aftercare products.

It covers everything from antibacterial soaps to tattoo balms, lotions, and sunscreens.

It will help you shop for what you need to get before you get your next tattoo.

But if you want to focus on specifics, keep scrolling.

Lotions That Keep the Ink Bright

You may have heard that museums clean masterpieces with special techniques to avoid causing damage.

Fortunately, your tattoo is more resistant than a fragile seventeenth-century canvas. The ink is injected into the dermis below the top layer of skin. It’s not directly exposed to harsh conditions.

With that said, you can still make your tattoo look brighter and crisper when you moisturize. Think of it like cleaning the windshield of your car.

Lotion heals the dull, dry skin on top to make it easier to see the ink below.

It’s interesting that some of the top tanning lotions for tattoos do the best job of brightening up the ink. They also prevent fading.

When you tan indoors or outside, remember to apply lotion that makes your body art stand out.

Sunscreens to Protect Against Fading and Worse

Did you know you can still get a tan while wearing sunscreen?

No sunscreen filters out 100% of the UV rays although some get pretty close.

Don’t scoff at sunscreen-wearers because they’re smart. They’re thinking long-term.

Not only do they protect the tattoo ink from fading, but they also prevent skin cancer, age spots, and wrinkles down the road.

Think about it. We’ve all seen someone with prune-like skin from too much sunbathing when they were younger.

It’s quick and easy to apply one of the best sunscreens for tattoos. It doesn’t matter if you use a stick, a spray, or a cream – just wear it. One day, you’ll be glad you did. Today, you might just be grateful you didn’t go home sunburned.

Moreover, avoiding sunburn protects your tattoo for two reasons. First, your skin won’t dry out or peel. And second, UV radiation won’t break down the pigment under your skin.

What Else Can You Do If You Get a New Tattoo in the Summer?

It’s all well and good to discuss sunscreen for healed tattoos, but what if your tat is still an open wound? You can’t put sunscreen on that.

Imagine that you got inked during the week and have plans at the beach on the weekend.


You won’t be able to get in the water, and you absolutely need to protect your healing tattoo from the sun.

The best solution we can offer is to cover it with a bandage completely. Try not to leave it this way for long, though.

The problem is that the bandage may keep your skin humid, which could lead to infection. Or it may get stuck to the skin if your tattoo is still leaking fluid. Peeling it off will not be fun.

It might be better to postpone your plans for a week or two.

Instead, find other ways to enjoy the summertime until your tattoo is healed.