How to Prevent Tattoo Fading

tattoo on arm

You’ve finally saved up enough money to get the tattoo of your dreams. 

You’ve done your research, found a great artist, and you’ve scheduled your appointment. You have tons of friends with tattoos, and though you love them dearly, the one thing you’re nervous about is having the amount of tattoo fading many of them do now. 

The good news? 

There are lots of ways to educate yourself about how to prevent tattoo fading, and the process isn’t as tough as you think. 

In this post, we’ll tell you how to keep your tattoo from fading, so that you can continue to enjoy a beautiful design for years to come. 

Making Smart Choices

If you want to prevent tattoo fading, go to a professional artist that uses high-quality (and yes, expensive) ink.

This makes a huge difference and ultimately will cost you the same or even less than a cheap tattoo that you have to get retouched several times. 

If you can, opt for tattoo placement with as little friction as possible.

For example, things aren’t always the best option, as they rub up against each other. However, your chest or the sides of your ribcage will work well to prevent fading, as there’s little friction happening in those areas. 

If your number-one priority is a tattoo that lasts for a long time without fading, choose either black or grey ink. Lighter pastels colors tend to fade pretty quickly.

Immediate Aftercare

Aftercare, or the way in which you care for and treat your tattoo during the initial healing process, can do a lot to prevent fading tattoo ink. 

First, make sure that you religiously follow all of the instructions your tattoo artist gave you. This means that you’ll need to apply the special aftercare product you’re given in order to keep the tattoo damp as it heals. 

Your artist will also provide you with a soap to clean it. Make sure you wash it, at minimum, three times a day. 

This doesn’t just help to prevent fading. It also protects you against getting a dangerous infection. 

One thing that many people aren’t prepared for when they get a tattoo is how much it will itch. You’re going to want to scratch it, trust us. However, you need to resist if you want it to look good in the future. 

If you scratch and dislodge scabs once they’ve formed, the tattoo will fade much faster than normal. One trick to avoiding scratching? Slightly pat/hit the itchy area instead.

Stay out of the sun in the first two weeks after you get your tattoo, as well. Wear sunscreen on the area every day, even if you’re inside most of the time. 

Finally, avoid wearing excessively tight clothes for the first few weeks after you get your tattoo, as they can rub the tattoo and damage it. 

Caring for Your Tattoo in the Long Run

Remember that proper tattoo care doesn’t stop once your tattoo has healed. 

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of applying moisturizer to your tattoo every evening before bed. This will keep it healthy and happy, preventing flaky, dry skin that makes ink fade. 

You should also make sure that you always wear sunscreen (the pros say at least SPF 15) when you’re going out in the sun. Your tattoo is now a part of your body, so take care of it the same way you would the rest of your skin. 

If You Already Have a Fading Tattoo

Maybe tattoo fading is already a part of your reality. 

Especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun, have a smaller tattoo, or even if you went to more of a…budget-friendly place to get your tattoo, it’s normal. 

When this happens, you have a few options. 

First, you could just go back to the tattoo parlor where you got it and ask for a touchup. Essentially, they’ll just recolor the tattoo — and it won’t be as expensive as it was when you first got it. 

You could also cover up the old tattoo with a new one (check out these tattoo coverups for a little inspiration.) Be aware that depending on your initial tattoo design, some parts of the first tattoo may still be visible under the coverup. 

In some cases, the tattoo is just beyond repair. You might even be glad you have fading tattoo ink because you hate the design. Your best bet here is laser tattoo removal

Yes, it’s expensive, but it’ll be well worth it for the peace of mind it brings you. Plus, while it does hurt, it’s not nearly as painful would have you believe.  

Fixing Tattoo Fading Is Possible

While dealing with tattoo fading is an annoyance, the truth is that it’s something that happens to pretty much everyone with a little bit of ink.

Going in for a touchup or getting it covered up are two great ways to fix things, but preventative care is your best get. 

Make sure you take great care with your tattoo, especially in the days and weeks directly after you get it, to prolong its color. 

Looking for some ideas for your next tattoo? Maybe you’ve always wondered what it would be like to become a tattoo artist yourself. Perhaps you just want to know what to look for in a good artist. 

Our blog provides the answers to all things body art and modification, along with countless other pieces of lifestyle advice. Bookmark our page so you don’t miss out!

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