How Long After A Tattoo Can You Tan?

If you have got a tattoo and intend to get a tan, you may want to find the answer to “How long after a tattoo can you tan?” Here you come to the right place!
The warm weather and sunny days make it difficult to stay inside when summer approaches. Although there is nothing quite like the sensation of the sun on the skin, sun protection is also necessary—especially if you have got a tattoo.

How long after a tattoo can you tan?  Many individuals are concerned about it. Check out this article for a wealth of helpful information!

Can You Tan After A Tattoo?

The answer is no because tanning after a tattoo both damages the skin and fades the tattoo very quickly. Even without a tattoo, we all know that tanning generally can affect the skin. 
Tanning dramatically increases cancer risk due to UV exposure. In addition, unchecked exposure to damaging UV rays causes accelerated aging by breaking down the elastin fibers and collagen in healthy, youthful skin.
Especially, sunbathing shortly following a tattoo is not advised. Since the skin becomes more sensitive, it is more prone to burn and harm the tattoo.
In order for your skin to build a new protective barrier, every tattoo must go through a process of healing. Flaking, scabbing, and peeling are also used to remove the injured cells.
As a result, until this process is complete, your skin will still be injured and unable to shield UV rays, making you vulnerable to sunburn.
The same danger exists when lying in a sunbed. You should not expose tattooed skin to the sun until it has finished peeling and scabbing. If you tan at this time, you will likely notice that it stings and burns quickly.

It is not advisable to tan right after getting a tattoo. 
It is not advisable to tan right after getting a tattoo.

So how about tanning with a fresh tattoo? It is not advisable to go for a tan with a new tattoo. Direct sunlight can damage the skin more than good once your tattoo is new. Nobody wished a sunburn on newly tattooed skin that is already mending.
When the skin is still mending and peeling, avoid direct sunlight and UV ray sunbeds once it has healed. UV sunbathing beds and the sun’s rays may break down the ink in the tattoo, causing it to disappear. 
For these reasons, you had better maintain your skin and your new tattoos as safe as possible.

What Happens If You Tan With A New Tattoo?

Tattoo fading

The way light interacts with ink is problematic. It has the ability to penetrate the skin and break the ink molecules down in high concentrations, similar to how laser tattoo removal works.

That is why after having a tattoo, sunbathing can lead to pigment damage and fading.
Although your tattoos will eventually fade away, this light will cause them to fade much quicker. UV rays can absorb the tattoo, potentially breaking the ink’s pigment particles. Tattoo removal also requires a laser, simply a more robust form of UV exposure.
Indeed, a new tattoo features strong lines and vibrant colors. Avoid exposing your tattoo to ultraviolet light if you expect to preserve it that way.

Tattoo’s color shifts

Your fresh tattoo may not only fade in the sun, but the colors will also shift and warp.
The needle reaches 1/16th of the skin once you receive a tattoo, which means it penetrates your skin’s five layers for a long-lasting effect.
These transparent layers function as a screen over the tattoo. When you darken the skin, the upper layers of the skin will darken, changing your tattoo’s color.

Ineffectively tattoo recovery

Since it is nearly hard to recover a tattoo after a sunburn. As a result, if you get a tattoo, you should follow the following tips:

  • Use the highest SPF sunscreen possible and reapply frequently if you expect to be out for an extended time.
  • If you merely want to obtain some hue and will not be outside for long, but as much sunscreen as you can to the tattoos. Also, add it to your cloth since while covering up is beneficial, not all textiles can block UV radiation.
  • If you intend to tan indoors, make sure to hydrate and tan before having your tattoo.

How Long After A Tattoo Can You Go Tanning?

“Can I tan for two weeks/one month after getting a tattoo?”

is a common question. As previously said, getting a tan after a tattoo is not recommended, but it is not impossible. 
To lessen the risk, let your skin recover after having a tattoo to lessen the risk, which can take anywhere from two weeks to several months.
After 2 weeks, the skin should be mostly recovered and a tan can be applied. Nevertheless, if you intend to lie in the sun for an extended period, it is still a good idea to wait a bit longer, particularly at least 2 to 3 months. 
If you need to speed up the process, wait 1.5 months before sunbathing. A tattoo can take up to 6 months to cure completely. 
To clarify, the part of the skin around your tattoo is like a bare open sore with no covering over the newly implanted ink. As a result, any exposure to light in that area will slow down the process of healing.
Till the scabbing procedure is completed, your tattooed area will be treated as an open sore, which may take anywhere from two to three weeks or even longer, based on the location and size of your tattoo.
Your skin will indeed be sensitive to UV rays and sunlight during the first month or two. At that time, you may notice that exposing your tattoo to the sun for any time as it is mending will cause it to hurt and feel as if it is scorching. 
But do not worry as it indicates that the nerves and skin cells beneath them have been damaged and that the process of healing is now on.
Once your skin recovers, it will no longer be flaky or irritated and conceal hydration. Remember to consult the tattooist before proceeding. If you are uncomfortable, end it immediately.
You need to wait from two weeks to six months after a tattoo to get a tan. 
You need to wait from two weeks to six months after a tattoo to get a tan.

How Do You Know Your Tattoo Has Recovered To Go For A Tan?

Healing requires time. You should be nearing the end of the recovery process after many weeks. Pain, redness, cloudiness, peeling, and scabbing will all stop after a given period.

  • When the peeling ends, there are no thin white skin pieces like a sunburn, and the skin is smooth, you may know your tattoo is safe to be tanned. The tattoo would not peel, ooze, or scab over when the skin cures. 
  • Also, you will not notice any dry spots or peeling skin because the skin layers have mended.
  • Additionally, once your tattoo is prepared for sunbathing, you can detect the top skin’s layer that has recovered over it. 
  • The pain will be gone once the tattoo has healed. For the first one or two months, there will generally be pain. If you get a tattoo for a month and are still experiencing pain, you should have it checked again.
  • The fact that the tattoo area is no longer cloudy also indicates that the tattoo has totally healed.

A tattoo may take up to 6 months to recover completely. If you are unsure, consult your tattooist, and if your skin still seems sensitive or irritated, you should avoid sunbathing for the time being.

Can You Fake Tan Over Tattoos?

Simply expressed, the answer is no. Using a fake tan solution just after having a fresh tattoo is not only harmful to recovery but can also cause infections.
When it comes to curing a tattoo, it is critical to follow the tattooist’s aftercare instructions, and the majority will advise against tanning in any form afterward.
Furthermore, even many tattooists will not tattoo their clients’ skin that has had it changed by self-tanner. It is because they must spend a significant amount of time preparing the skin for a tattoo, external factors will make the process more complicated.
In addition, it is not easy to predict how the tattoo will appear once the tan has gone. As a result, you should avoid fake tan over tattoos.
In case you really want to acquire a fake tan after a tattoo, you may wonder how long after a tattoo can you fake tan? The answer is to wait till it has totally healed before doing so. 
Tattoos may take anywhere from two weeks to six months to properly heal, depending on the complexity and size of your piece. In all, patience is essential.

What Should You Do To Protect Your Tattoos While Tanning?

Several options below can help protect your tattoo while sunbathing. Check it out!  

Apply sunscreen

Applying sunscreen lotion to protect your tattoo is the most highly recommended method. 
To prevent the skin from UV damage, you should invest in a high-quality sunscreen, which keeps your tattoo appearing vibrant and vivid rather than fading. A high SPF of 50 or more should suffice.
If you intend to spend a day at the beach, you had better use sunscreen on the tattoos at least once every hour to ensure total protection.
For the best result, if you hope to keep your tattoos from fading, stay out of the sun during peak sunshine hours.

Cover your tattoos

The sun’s damaging rays may affect the skin in the same way that laser tattoo removal fades tattoos over time. These rays tear down the skin’s pigment, something you do not want to occur when you are concerned about tattoos.
Lighter colors should be utilized for tattoo cover fabrics since dark hues attract sunlight and not all fabrics can prevent UV radiation. 
Remember to cover the tattoo with a bandage or wrap to preserve its appearance and color. Also, there are numerous tattoo covers or tattoo sleeve covers available in varying sizes available for different areas of the body, which are needed for sun protection.
Wrap a sweatband around them for tiny tattoos on the ankles, calves, forearms, and wrists.
A T-shirt can be used to hide huge tattoo regions, such as complete back pieces or half sleeves. Pick a good swimming suit with enough material to hide tattoos on the stomach, hips, buttocks, and lower back. 
Female’s thigh tattoos are hidden by a sarong, while longboard shorts can hide males’ thighs.
On the other hand, maintaining the tattoo-covered while tanning may not be possible for too big tattoo pieces. Stay out of the light until the tattoo has healed, if this is the case.

Use tattoo tanning lotions

Many people choose to use specially manufactured tanning lotions created to keep tattoos appearing bright and colorful, notably those using indoor tanning. 
Tanning lotions for tattoos are moisturizing lotions containing tanning ingredients, including Quad tyrosine blend, Melactiva, Nouritan, and others. These substances encourage the development of melanin, which promotes natural skin darkening. 
These lotions are designed to guarantee that the tattooed tanned skin is even with the rest of the skin, preventing pigmentation and cosmetic concerns.
You can find tanning lotions explicitly designed for tattoos online or at many local drugstores. The secret to tattoo maintenance is to use the appropriate products to safeguard your tattoo.
Below are some helpful products to look into.

  • Devoted Creations Hydrating Tattoo Tanning Butter
  • Tanning Paradise Black Coconut Tattoo Tanning Lotion
  • Hempz Dark Tan Mazimizer

Moisturize your skin

Whatever the case may be, you will want to hydrate whenever you step out of the sunlight, whatever the case may be. You can consider keeping an ample supply of shea butter so you can moisturize after any sunlight exposure. 

Hydrate your skin daily, particularly after a tanning treatment or when it seems dry, irritated, or flaky. 
Moisturizing the tattoos is necessary overall, but it is vital if they have been exposed to intense sunlight. Doing so will prevent skin fragments from falling out and slowly draining the ink from your tattoo.

Go for a spray tan

Consider a spray tan if you really want to achieve a tan without needing to cope with daily UV light exposure. 
Since spray tans are pretty safe for tattoos due to the fact that it does not come with damaging UV, you may still achieve a nice tan without worrying whether your tattoo would be harmed.
However, following spray tanning, the tattoo will become darker and fade with the tan. So, unless you want this to occur, clean the tattoo after spray tanning.

Consider self-tanning

Self-tanning is among the safest methods of achieving a golden glow. 
Natural skin-safe products are available from some fantastic manufacturers, which are harmless and help you renew the skin and are thus, tattoo-safe.

Stay away from tanning beds

Sunbeds (indoor tanning beds) are more harmful than the sunlight. UV rays are far more intense, and individuals frequently overexpose themselves to them without recognizing how powerful they are.
The tanning bed’s intense UV radiation will immediately absorb into your skin and begin destroying the pigment in your tattoo.
For the best result, avoid them, as burning the skin harms your tattoos more than gently tanning in the sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to cover a new tattoo in a tanning bed?

As previously stated, tanning beds and tattoos are enemies because they cause tattoos to fade with time. 

However, if you absolutely want to go sunbed tanning after a tattoo, you should follow the aforementioned preventative measures.

  • Apply the highest SPF sunscreen available to the whole tattooed part. Rather than maintaining a border around your tattoo, you may use a cotton swab to cover the outline.
  • Consider utilizing a tattoo stick containing SPF that allows for a complete and thorough application while protecting the tattoo’s color while it heals.
  • Using a tattoo tanning lotion is another best tattoo protection for a tanning bed. This lotion seems to be almost identical to regular tanning lotions. The only distinction is that they provide tattoo protection.

These lotions are unreactive to the ink and keep the tattoo from fading. It also contains all ingredients of the tanning lotion, such as moisturizer (e.g., glycerin, Coconut oil, or butter). You may still enjoy the sunlight exposure if you use a good tanning lotion.
Significantly, natural components, such as raspberries, aloe vera, and shea butter, on the other hand, can limit your sun exposure to 20-30 minutes.
Our recommendation for you is the Ed Hardy Tanista Indoor Tanning Bed Lotion. It has a BB crème mix that makes the skin look more vibrant and youthful while also protecting it.

Quad Tyrosine Blend and MelanoBronze are also included, making body melanin more active, which speeds up the entire process. So, it protects tattoos and protects color fades, which helps extend the tattoo’s total lifespan.

Can you apply sunscreen on a tattoo that has been on for a week?

We would say no because one week is insufficient. You should not put sunscreen on a new tattoo until it is completely healed, which may require 4-6 weeks. 
Although using sunscreen is important for tanning, it can cause a variety of issues for new ink, ranging from minor skin irritation to dangerous infections as well as ink fade.
For this reason, if you plan to go for a tan, avoid exposing the tattoo to direct sunlight by covering it with loose clothing. It is safe to use sunscreen if your tattoo has healed.
If you are a tanning bed lover but have got a tattoo, watch this video first to discover more information:

Bottom Line

Even though tanning after getting a tattoo is not recommended, we would say from two weeks or more if you need the answer to “How long after a tattoo can you tan?”. After your tattoo has completely recovered, do not forget to apply protective measures to protect your tattoo from fading or changing colors.


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