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The sun is the number one enemy of tattoos. Your once impressive tattoo can fade or get wrinkled when exposed to the sun. A sunscreen will save the day as it helps keep the ink and subsequent fading. It also prevents the sun from damaging the skin, which will cause your tattoo to fade.
If you’re searching for the best sunscreens for tattoos to protect & prevent fading, the market has plenty of those to offer. For this reason, it’s difficult to decide on what will work best for you.
Fortunately, we’ve rounded up the best products to enhance your shopping experience. Let’s jump straight into the discussion.
Tattoo Sunscreen vs. Regular Sunscreen
Most sunscreen marketed as ‘’tattoo safe sunscreens’’ actually have the same ingredients as regular sunscreen. Be sure not to fall for this marketing gimmicks. Instead of specifically looking for tattoo sunscreens look for broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF of 30 or higher.
But not all sun screens are equal and choosing the best type of sunscreen for tattoo is important. Higher quality sunscreens will much better for your skin and tattoo than regular sunscreens.
Most importantly, look for sunscreens are made without harsh chemicals which means they have a lower chance of them irritating your skin.
The best sunscreen for tattoos will specifically designed to offer full protection for your delicate tattooed skin and ink.
They have gentle ingredients that are moisturizing, soothing, and perfect for sensitive skin which is exactly what your tattoo needs. Basic sunscreen products in the market won’t do quite the same job.
6 Best Tattoo Sunscreen to Protect & Prevent Fading
1. INK-EEZE Ink Shield UVA / UVB Blocking Tattoo SunScreen
Next on this list of best sunscreens for tattoos more protection would be the INK-EEZE Sunscreen SPF30 3.3oz Airless Pump.
This company continues to produce highly effective sun care that have found their way into the hearts of many tattoo enthusiasts.
2. Tattoo Care Sunscreen – 1.35 Oz UVA UVB Sun Protection Formula SPF
Additionally, this best for new tattoos helps highlight on that tattoo and makes it sparkly standout.
The natural ingredients on this best natural sunscreen for tattoo more protection too have a pampering and moistening effect on your skin. You will not only feel safer with sun protection after getting that body art.
This tattoo aftercare sunscreen lotion also does not irritate sensitive skin and thus would give you peace of mind.
To ensure that you get enough sunscreen tatoo lotion for several applications, the 30+ sun protection factor comes in a travel-friendly 1.35oz or 40 ml packaging. With this best waterproof sunscreen for body art, you will only need to apply a small amount for protection.
3. Zinka – Clear Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 50
Coming third on this list of best sunscreens for your tattoo is the Zinka SPF 50 .49oz tattoo stick. With its unique natural ingredients and combinations, you will find this convenient option, especially if you are an outdoor person.
So why would we rate the Zinka sunscreen SPF 50 in the list of best sunscreen face stick for tattoos? Read on.
4. SPF 30 Sunscreen Stick by L’AUTRE PEAU
The high level SPF 30+ Sunscreen tattoo stick by L’AUTRE PEAU would also be an excellent pick in our review of best daily sunscreens for tattoos.
5. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Water Resistance Sunscreen Stick
Finally, on our list of the best sunscreens is the Neutrogena SPF 70, 0.47oz. This sunscreen containing the SPF formula is ideal for sensitive tattooed skin.
This is a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen and is safe for kids which also means its good enough for sensitive tattooed skin.
6. CannaSmack Ink Guard
With this cannasmack ink guard, you increase the vibrancy of your tattoos. It contains the broad spectrum protection SPF 30+, a unique photosensitive UVA and UVB hypoallergenic, and unique water resistance formula, making it ideal for application, especially on facial tattoos.
Conforming to the CannaSmack tradition, this stick does not contain any harmful additive. It is Paraben-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, and color-free, making it one of the best type of sunscreens stuff for tattoos.
This stick guarantees you a mess-free application due to its sleek and handy design. The easy to use applicator makes it easy to control when applying it to the tattooed skin area.
7. Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
You will absolutely love the extended protection from the Sun Bum. Sun Bum Original sunscreen lotion offers a cool 80 –minute’s water resistance for when you need to swim a bit more or are engaged in a sweaty outdoor activity.
This factor may very well make it the best waterproof sunscreen for tattoo. The long water resistance makes it convenient for all weather conditions too.
Developed by a reputable firm with over 30-years of experience in the industry, Sun Bum Original offers the best non-greasy and lightweight formula, which is suitable for all types of tattoos.
With a convenient shape, this Sun Bum Original is conveniently sized for easy application. You will also find it easy to slide in your pocket or backpack without worrying about space.
Additionally, this Sun Bum is made in the USA and has undergone vigorous tests in the FDA laboratories, ensuring that it is suitable for your health.
8. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 100 +
Here is another sun protection factor spf 100 + sunscreen formula when you apply this Neutrogena Ultra Sheer on the skin, you are guaranteed long-lasting protection from sunburns and harmful rays for a maximum of 80 minutes. After this, you will need to dry your skin and reapply the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer.
These ingredients are not harmful to the skin and hence highly recommended for sensitive tattooed skin such as young as two weeks.
The specially formulated Neutrogena Ultra Sheer produces no-whitening or dripping effect on the skin, whether applied on wet or dry skin.
9. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen
The Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen ingredients contained in the sun protection factor or SPF 30+ by L’AUTRE PEAU actively produce a light, pleasant tropical scent.
Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen makes it fun to enjoy your day with the aura of being in the tropics. Additionally, this is safe for use in all skin types.
Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen contains active ingredients, and that includes Avobenzene 3.0%, Octisalate 2.0%, Octinoxate 5.0%, and Oxybenzone 3.0%. These have a special effect on the skin, making it one of the best sunscreen sticks for tattoos.
Some consider this stick as the best sunscreen for tattoos protection and you can carry it anywhere without much concern about space. It comes in a 0.7oz/ 70 ml size, and that is also easy to apply on the skin.
With this sunscreen product, you get a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee if it does not meet your expectations.
The Ultimate Buying Guide and Tips According to the American Academy of Dermatology to Picking Best Tattoo Sunscreen
Why is Sunscreen Important for Your Tattoo?
Taking proper tattoo care will ensure that it heals faster and remain vibrant, crisp, and exciting to look at for years to come. So why, sunscreen?
Applying sunscreen protects your skin when you need to step out outside. Tattoo ink fades and changes color when exposed to the sun. Most people who go outside without applying sunscreen start noticing their tattoos fading after some time.
Exposure to UV rays breaks down and degrades the pigment’s chemical structure, causing fading, color spreading, or scarring.
It also distorts your nicely done line work, making your tattoo looking dull and lifeless. Therefore, the best sunscreen for color tattoos protects your ink to keep it looking new and detailed over time.
Sunscreens protect your tattoo by filtering out UV radiation from your skin. Inorganic components such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide form a physical barrier that reflects UV rays, while organic ingredients absorb the UV radiation and release the energy as heat.
Is sunscreen OK for new tattoos?
Tattoo artists recommend keeping your new tattoo wholly covered from the sun with loose clothing for two weeks after getting the tattoo, to allow for it to heal.
Freshly tattooed area is extremely sensitive to a lot of things that normal healed skin would handle just fine, so do not apply sunscreen on your tattoo until it has healed. Basic products in the market can irritate your fresh tattoo wound and alter its healing process.
Most products are discouraged on new tattoos mainly because of the following;
Chemicals and artificial colors/scents used in sunscreen can cause irritation, redness, and rashes on your new tattoo.
Most types of products are thick, sticky, and non-absorbent, which deprives your fresh tattoos of its much-needed oxygen to regenerate a new protective layer efficiently.
Sticky products also have a strong tendency to connect and hold on to dust, girt, and dirt four hours after applying them.
Thick sunscreens create a warm and humid environment on the skin, which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs to thrive, hence increasing the risk of infection on your tattoo.
However, best sunscreen for week-old tattoos boasts of several beneficial properties such as being scent-free, oil-free, and sweat-resistant.
The best sunscreen for new tattoos should be based on mineral ingredients that protect your skin, also provide it with the nourishment to heal faster, which makes it ideal for applying on a one week old tattoo.
How soon can you use sunscreen on a tattoo?
You should apply the best type of sunscreen for tattoos after your skin has healed from the damaging process done by your tattooing process.
When getting a tattoo, your skin is punctured with hundreds of needle prick, which damages the protective layer of the skin area.
Your skin then starts forming a new protective layer during which time the skin may peel, carb or flake to exfoliate itself.
You know the healing process is done after the shedding has stopped. Most tattoos heal within 2 weeks -1 month, although the timeline varies with each person and the type of tattoo given.
Can I Put Sunscreen on My Tattoo After It Has Healed
Yes. Once your tattooed skin area has healed, choose the best sunscreen for fresh tattoos and apply it carefully before going outside.
Professional tattoo artist and dermatologists advise you to spread sunscreen with SPF 30 and above over your tattooed areas once they have healed to retain your design’s color, potency, and freshness.
So What Should I Do To Protect My New Tattoo In The Sun?
Despite the likely itch to flaunt off your new tattoo to family and friends, nothing could be worse than exposing it to the sun.
After getting your tattoo, sunlight can cause it to blister and bleach some of the unsettled colors from your design. So just hang in there and wear light clothing to cover your ink until your skin is fully healed. It’s going to be worth the wait.
Look for loose, lightweight fabrics that are good enough to block UV rays but, at the same time, not too thick to graze your tattooed area.
Stay away from flimsy see-through fabrics that offer minimal protection from the sun. You should also stay away from the sun during peak hours, usually from 10:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
As mentioned above, the best natural sunscreen for tattoos has beneficial ingredients that protect and nourish your skin to speed up the healing process.
The best types of natural sunscreens can be applied in at least one week. The best type of sunscreen for one-week-old tattoos should be unscented, non-oily, sweat-resistant, and moisturizing.
Furthermore, moisturize your new tattoo at least 3 times a day after cleaning it to bump your tattoo protection in the sun. Even the smallest amount of time in the sun can cause flaking on your new tattoo.
Moisturizing keeps your design intact without distorting like most chemical sunscreens. Check our reviews above to help you choose the best moisturizer and sunscreen for tattoos.
Once your tattoo is healed, and the ink has settled in, it’s ready to deal with some sunlight as long as you use a high SPF tattoo sunscreen.