Woman with tattoos in the sun
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Tattoo sun cream: how to protect your new tattoo from sun fade

Need a tattoo sun cream for your new ink? Discover how to protect tattoos from sun fade as we introduce the best sunscreen for tattoos.

By Hannah Mepham

6 Minute read

Need a tattoo sun cream for your new ink? Discover how to protect tattoos from sun fade as we introduce the best sunscreen for tattoos.

Why do I need to protect my tattoos from sunlight?

Applying sunscreen over your tattoos not only shields your skin against future sun damage but also helps to reduce your chances of tattoo fade.

All tattoos can be vulnerable to decolourisation after sun exposure, but new tattoos are particularly at risk and should not be exposed to direct sunlight until your skin has started to heal.

Once your skin has healed, apply a high-factor sunscreen every day. This reduces your chances of tattoo sun damage and protects your newly inked, sensitive skin from the sting of sunburn.

Did you know that some inks fade more easily than others? Light pigments can be easily broken down by sunlight and may fade faster than dark-coloured tattoos.

What is the best sunscreen for tattoos?

When choosing a tattoo sun cream, we suggest choosing a mineral SPF such as our Scent Free Mineral Sun Cream SPF30. This is rich in moisturising actives and contains Zinc Oxide, known for its healing properties. It can be used on the face and body.

It's high-factor, scent-free and ultra-gentle, so it's a great choice for skin that’s feeling a little sensitive after a new tattoo.

Unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb sunlight, our mineral sun filters reflect and scatter sunlight away from the skin so that it cannot reach and discolour your body art.

It’s also alcohol-free, making it a great sunscreen for new tattoos that may be easily irritated by skin-drying alcohol.

One downside of mineral SPFs is that they are not invisible and may initially sit on your skin. To avoid this, gently tap your skin as you apply it.

Holiday tips for new tattoos

Are you planning a new tattoo ahead of your summer holiday? Many tattoo studios advise against getting a tattoo just before you travel, so leave plenty of time for your skin to heal before you jet off.

If you’re planning your first tattoo and are unsure how your skin might react, perhaps wait until you get home before you get inked.

Why? Newly tattooed skin is still recovering and can be vulnerable to dryness and irritation. For this reason, you should avoid swimming in pools packed with skin-drying chlorine while away.

If you travel with a newly healed tattoo, pack plenty of light linen clothing that covers the tattoo while allowing your skin to sweat and breathe. This will help you avoid overheating in hot weather and reduce your risk of experiencing prickly heat, a stinging skin rash.

You’ll need to pack plenty of high-factor SPF, and it is also a good idea to pack an after sun with insect repellent as holiday insect bites can cause you to itch and scratch your tattoos.

To help reduce the risk of holiday bug bites, we formulate our After Sun with Natural Insect Repellent with a soothing Aloe Vera core and Citrepel®75. This is DEET-free insect repellent that’s gentle on the skin but proven to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects for up to 4 hours, and that’s with just one application.

Anneli's top tips for protecting your tattoos from sun damage

Anneli looks after our social media pages. We asked her how she protects her tattoos from sun damage and she shared these top tips for keeping tattooed skin safe in the sun.

  • New tattoos fade very quickly in the sun. Ideally, you should keep a new tattoo completely protected from the sun for at least 4-6 weeks.
  • Do not apply sun cream to a new tattoo - it's an open wound that needs time to heal.
  • Tattoos that are well moisturised regularly will look their best in years to come.
  • Always consult your tattoo artist for aftercare advice.

We hope that you found this guide to tattoo sun cream helpful. Find the best SPF for you with our SPF finder. For further SPF advice, speak to our friendly customer care team at 01403740350 or @GreenPeopleUK.

Reviewed by:

This blog post has been reviewed by Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of Green People, who has 25+ years of experience in the natural and organic beauty industry. A recognised leader in the field of organic beauty, Charlotte helped inform the UK's first organic beauty standards and was voted the People’s Choice in the 2023 list of Who’s Who in Natural Beauty. A published author, she wrote the organic beauty bible ‘Naturally Gorgeous’. Previously, she qualified as a nurse and spent over 10 years working in pharmaceuticals.


The contents of this blog post should be treated as information only. Please consult a medical professional if you have any health-related concerns or symptoms.

If you wish to republish this content, please credit Green People as the original creator with a link to "Tattoo sun cream: how to protect your new tattoo from sun fade” Please do not use an affiliate link.

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