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Ink It Now, Pay Later With Afterpay

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Tattoo Care: Protecting Tattoos In Summer

Published January 3, 2024
By Celebrity Ink

With summer in full swing, tattoo enthusiasts must understand how to protect their tattoos from the harsh effects of the Australian sun. Exposure to intense sunlight can not only fade the vibrant colours of a tattoo but also damage the skin around it.

In this article, we’ll explore practical and effective ways to protect old and new tattoos during the warmer months and summer tattoo ideas for those thinking of getting inked this season.

From sunscreen to post-sun exposure care, we’ve got all the essential tips to help you enjoy the summer without compromising the beauty of your tattoos.

Healing A Fresh Tattoo in Summer

Summer is a fantastic time of year: the weather is great, the temperatures are high, and it’s the perfect time to hit the beach unless you’ve got a new tattoo. While getting a new tattoo isn’t off-limits in summer, it just means you’ll have to wait a little longer to enjoy your favourite summer activities.

New tattoos are more susceptible to damage, and if you hit the beach or lay in the sun in summer, it can have negative effects. So, what are the best ways to take care of a fresh tattoo in summer?

Avoid sun exposure

The best way to protect your tattoo and promote healing in summer is to avoid the sun. Some of the ways to still enjoy the summer weather but not be in the sun include sitting in the shade, sitting under an umbrella or wearing long-loose clothing with built-in UPF.

Stay out of the water

When you get a new tattoo, it’s like having an open wound. Not only will submerging your tattoo right away make it fade faster, but it can also compromise the healing process and lead to infection.

Chlorinated pools are full of harsh chemicals that can lead to swelling, peeling and bumps. Whereas open water (ocean, rivers and lakes) contains bacteria that, if it gets into the wound, can lead to infection.

So, if you’ve recently got a tattoo and are thinking about heading to the beach for a swim, think again. To ensure proper healing and prevent infections, it’s best not to submerge your new tattoo for two weeks.

Stay hydrated

When you’ve got a new tattoo, and it’s summertime, ensure you’re drinking plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Dehydrated skin is more likely to burn or be damaged by the sun. It’s especially important to stay hydrated in summer with a new tattoo as you lose extra fluid due to sweating in the heat. Staying hydrated will also keep your tattoo looking fresher for longer, as it’s essentially moisturising your tattoo from the inside out.

Other ways to keep hydrated include eating moisture-rich foods, such as watermelon or cucumber.

Protecting A Healed Tattoo In Summer

If you got a new tattoo in the months leading up to summer and it has only recently healed, here are a few ways to protect your fresh tattoo against sun exposure.

Cover your tattoo

You shouldn’t wear sunscreen for the first four weeks after getting a tattoo. However, if you’ve had your new tattoo for over four weeks and it has healed, sunscreen is a great way to protect it in summer.

Another way to protect your fresh tattoo against sun exposure is by wearing long-sleeved shirts or pants. Most clothing has the equivalent protection of SPF5. However, there are clothes specifically designed for sun protection with an ultraviolet protection (UPF) of 50. So, covering your tattoo with lightweight clothing made for sun protection can offer the same benefits of sunscreen without having to reapply.

Opt for UV-free tanning

If you can’t go through summer without a glowing tan but don’t want to damage your tattoo in the sun, why not get a spray tan?

If your tattoo is fully healed, a spray tan is a safer way to take care of a tattoo in summer than spending time outdoors in the sun damaging your skin.

While the spray tan may make the colours of your tattoo look a little darker temporarily, there are ways to avoid this. For example, you can use a barrier cream when getting the spray tan or simply wipe the tanning solution off your tattoo as soon as it’s applied.

Eat nourishing foods

Summer is the perfect season to spend time outdoors, whether it’s at the beach or a barbecue. However, it’s not recommended to have your tattoo (even if it’s healed) in direct sunlight, as it could damage it.

However, there are some things you can do to increase your skin’s natural defences against UV harm, and one of those includes eating nourishing foods. Consuming foods rich in vitamin A can help the body fight against inflammation (such as sunburns) and increase collagen production, which decreases the skin’s normal signs of ageing. Eating foods rich in vitamin C can also boost the skin’s natural sun protection as well.

Foods rich in vitamins A and C include

  • Fish products
  • Meat and dairy
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes

Summer Tattoo Ideas

If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo and want it to be summer-inspired, here are some tattoo ideas for you:

Beach scenes

What screams summer more than a beach tattoo? A beach tattoo can be fun, nostalgic or even romantic and inspire the feeling of freedom that comes with the summer months.

There are many popular motifs that can be featured in a beach tattoo, such as waves, palm trees, a beach ball, a sandcastle and seashells.

Marine life

If you’re a lover of sea animals and marine life, the options are endless when it comes to tattoos.

Turtles, dolphins, starfish and other sea creatures are popular motifs among summer tattoos.

Flowers and nature

Summer is when trees and flowers are in full bloom, bringing colour to the warmer months.

Flower and nature tattoos are popular under the summer tattoo umbrella as there are so many designs that can be created. Flowers, such as frangipani and hibiscus, are the perfect summer-themed motifs.

If you want a more intricate design, why not combine your favourite summer flower with other plants and animals that come alive during the warmer months?

Get Inked This Summer at Celebrity Ink

Are you thinking of getting a tattoo this summer? Why not book an appointment at your nearest Celebrity Ink tattoo studio?

Whether you’re looking to get a dainty flower or a summer-themed sleeve, our experienced artists are passionate about bringing your idea to life.

We look forward to seeing you in the studio soon!

Get your next tattoo at Celebrity Ink

The team at Celebrity Ink can provide you with not only a tattoo that tells your story but also detailed aftercare information that goes beyond the question of how long does a tattoo take to heal.

Our team sets standards in tattoo design while working alongside you to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re seeking traditional tattoos, realistic designs, mandalas, or any other, we have artists specialising in a range of tattoo styles that can provide you with the tattoo you have envisioned.

Book a consultation to discuss your tattoo design, get in contact with the crew at Celebrity Ink, and we will lock you in for your next ink session.
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