Things That Make Tattoos Fade

I am a freelance content consultant who loves his tattoos. It's one of the benefits of being your own boss. You don’t have to conform to corporate norms or standards. It makes for interesting conversations when I meet stuffy corporate executives. Sometimes, however, I do come across people who are genuinely interested in my ink. Just recently, I was on a TeamViewer online video call with a client who complimented my tattoos. He said they looked visibly fresh and was surprised when I told him most of them were years old. His question was how to prevent them from fading with time.

8 Things That Make Tattoos Fade

I told my client the same thing I am about to put down here. If you want to keep your tattoos looking good, you need to avoid certain things. You may have to make certain lifestyle changes as well. A tattoo is a commitment to yourself. Obviously, it is important to do your research before getting inked. But it is also equally important to take care of your tattoos for the year to come. Otherwise, they will just fade and look less appealing. Unless, of course, you take care to avoid these 8 things:

  1. Excessive Skin Cleansing
  2. Regular Smoking
  3. Losing Elasticity
  4. Excessive Sweating
  5. Messing with the Healing Process
  6. Excessive Friction
  7. UV Rays
  8. Not Using Sunscreen

Below follow more details on how avoiding these things can prevent your tattoos from fading.

Excessive Skin Cleansing

It is very important to take care of your skin, especially when you have tattoos. However, some people get carried away with excessive skin cleansing habits. Excessive cleansing of the skin can actually cause your tattoos to fade. Yes, it is still important to remove dirt and oil from your skin pores. It is healthy and generally good for the skin. But over-cleansing can actually dry out your skin. You need essential hydration to keep your tattoos from getting irritable or even fading away. Dry skin will irritate your tattoo and cause it to lose pigmentation. So how can you keep your skin clean and your tattoos vibrant? A gentle skin care routine would be the best answer.   

Regular Smoking

Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs and heart. It harms your skin as well. Smoking affects your skin elasticity much more than aging or drying. Smoking can cause your tattoos to fade by changing the elasticity of your skin. How?  Smoking inhibits the production of collagen in the human body. This substance is essential to maintain the elasticity of your skin. Reduced collagen production can lead to the ink pigmentation bleeding out. So if you want your tattoos to last longer (and live longer too) quit smoking.  

Losing Elasticity

While we are on the subject of skin elasticity, let’s take a look at what it is and how you lose it. When you lose skin elasticity, your skin starts to change. The body generates new skin over the sagging skin (including your tattoos) as it warps. There are two main reasons for skin elasticity to change. Aging and dehydration. There’s no cure for aging as yet, but what you can do is continue to moisturize your skin. Also, make a point of staying hydrated throughout the day.

Excessive Sweating

It is usually a big mistake to get tattoos in places where you sweat excessively. Many tattoo artists take sweating into consideration when you ask for advice on your ink. Certain body parts are more prone to fading tattoos than others, like the foot. Excessive sweating, thinner blood flow, and thin skin are to blame. The same goes for the palm of your hands.

Messing with the Healing Process

Always follow your tattoo artist’s advice when it comes to the healing process after getting inked. Trying home remedies or internet advice can actually interfere with your tattoos. Some oils, lotions or slaves can actually draw out the ink from your tattoo. This will mess up the colors of your tattoo when it finally heals. Most of the time, all you need is soap and hot water. If you absolutely need to use another product, make sure you research it thoroughly. You don’t want to mess with your tattoo coloration.

Excessive Friction

Friction, along with sweating can also cause your tattoos to fade. So when you’re choosing the place to get your tattoo, make sure to take this into account. You want to think about the pain threshold, aesthetics, and the ability to be covered. But you also want to think about how often that place will have friction against skin or fabric. This is also one of the reasons why feet, ankles, fingers, and shoulder blades don’t make good places for tattoos.

UV Rays

You need to avoid ultraviolet light as much as you can. UV rays harm the skin and your tattoos as well. Tanning beds are a BIG no! They may be even worse than sunlight. Tanning beds cause your skin to absorb even more UV rays than normal. This can seriously mess with the way your tattoos look.

Not Using Sunscreen

UV rays, whether from artificial sources or from the sun, are bad. You should avoid direct sunlight, especially when you get a new tattoo. But it is also important to maintain good sunscreen habits even after your tattoo has healed. You can’t realistically avoid sunlight forever. So sunscreen is your best bet. If you don’t cover your tattoos with sunscreen outdoors, you speed up the aging process.

Well, these are eight tips that were prompted by a genuine, informal conversation with a client. When I was looking at TeamViewer pricing, I never thought it would lead me to inspiration. Avoid these eight things and help your tattoos last longer. For more content like this, stay tuned to this blog. Let us know in the comments if you have any other tattoo tips to share.  

Author's Bio: 

Rosie Harman is a senior content strategist at Visi One Click, specializing in Technology. She holds a Master's in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington and has spent the majority of her career working in tech giants in Texas.
When she escapes her computer, she enjoys reading, hiking, and dishing out tips for prospective freelancers on her blog.