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Protecting Your Tattoo From Sun Damage

With summer just around the corner, our minds are daydreaming of outdoor activities, grill outs with friends, and laying out in the sun listening to those cool ocean waves. It’s also the perfect time to show off your body art, as the nice weather allows us to trade sweaters and jeans for tanks, shorts and swimsuits. When it comes to your ink, how can you protect it from sun damage? Do you really need to apply sunscreen every single day? Though it may not be the first thing on your mind, our tattoos are extremely susceptible to sun damage caused by harsh UV rays. Keep reading to learn more about protecting your tattoos from the sun.

When you first get your fresh tattoo, we know the first 48 hours are critical. Caring for your new ink is key, and the sun can negatively impact this healing process. During these first few days, make sure you follow tattoo aftercare instructions so that your open wound heals properly - this will help prevent scabbing and potential tattoo blister. Remember that it’s important to keep your tattoo out of the sun while it’s healing. Your ink is still a wound at this point, so wear protective clothing when you’re out and about, stay away from direct sunlight and avoid any sunblock products. Once your tattoo is fully healed (usually in three to four weeks), you can feel free to get your Sun Protection Factor (SPF) on.

Protecting yourself from the sun is always important, but what role does it play when it comes to your body art? Can it really do that much harm to my tattoo? The short answer is yes, and here’s why:sSun damage can cause skin cancer, sunburn and premature aging - that’s right, the sun is responsible for most of those fine lines and wrinkles we start to see on our skin as we get older. For these reasons, we should always put sun lotion on when we’re outside, and it’s especially important to protect our tattoos from the sun. Applying sunscreen to our tattoos helps fight premature aging, prevents skin discoloration and combats tattoo fading. 

There are two types of UV light that are key contributors to sunburn and ultimately skin cancer: Ultraviolet A (UVA rays), causes skin aging and Ultraviolet B (UVB rays), associated with skin burning (The Skin Cancer Foundation). Spending a lot of time in the sun increases your exposure to these types of UV light, which increases your risk for skin cancer. Invest in your skin early on in life, and avoid a potentially painful future. Have that one friend that just won’t give up the tanning bed? While many perceive tanning beds to be safe and different than laying out in the sun, that’s not the case. Think twice before hitting the tanning salon, as tanning beds also emit harsh UV radiation (The Skin Cancer Foundation). Getting that beachy glow on isn’t worth it when the future of your skin is on the line.

But wait, what if I’m just going outside for 15 minutes for a quick walk? This sun exposure can still cause damage, even if you’re only out for a short amount of time. Of course, the longer you’re outside, the more susceptible you are to the harmful sun rays, but even a brief period out of the sun can have an impact. So take a step back, and lather on some sunscreen before your outing.

As many of us know, the tattoo fade over time is real. We all want to maintain the vibrancy and colorful pigment of our tattoos, to avoid the inevitable fading. In addition to making the efforts to enhance and repair your tattoos, add a step in to defend your healed tattoos. Sunscreen is your partner in the fight against the sun's rays, and helps protect your tattoo ink from fading. Taking the time to apply sunscreen to your ink can help you avoid unnecessary touch-up visits from your tattoo artist. When your tattoo is fully healed (timing can differ depending on the size and complexity of your new ink), start applying sunscreen regularly (we recommend SPF 30+) - make it a part of your daily routine. Cloudy day? Don’t be fooled, the sun still causes damage, even when it’s hiding. You invested time, careful thought, and went through pain to get your body ink, so think of sunscreen as an investment in your future, and thank yourself later.

As we mentioned earlier, the sun can be a major contributor to premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. Who wants that? It’s never too early to start caring for your skin, as it’s much easier to work on preventing sun damage, rather than reversing it once it’s too late.

What should you look for when choosing the right sunscreen for your body art? Choose a sunscreen that has SPF 30+ and has real, natural ingredients. Hard to pronounce, toxic ingredients listed? Yikes...add that on the do not buy list, you want the best protection for your tattoos. You want a strong, clean sunscreen, with a broad spectrum to protect against the harmful UV rays. 

So you found the ideal sunscreen for my tattoos, now what? Make it a part of your daily routine - it’s vital for your best results. Apply your sunscreen often - about every two hours. When you can, limit activity outside when the sun at its strongest hours, 10 am - 2 pm (U.S. FDA). 

Our SPF Protection is designed to protect inked skin without damaging your living art. Mad Rabbit makes tattoo aftercare easy, with the right products to take on your ink journey. Shield your skin from the sun, maintain vibrancy and color with our all-natural sunscreen before stepping out under harmful UV rays.

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