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Sunscreen for tattoos: How to choose and apply the right protection


Are you tired of watching your vibrant tattoos fade away under the scorching sun? Are you constantly worried about the long-term effects of UV radiation on your prized ink? Choosing the right sunscreen for your tattoos and applying it correctly can be a confusing task. With so many options available on the market, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure where to begin.

So, in this guide, we'll delve into the essential factors to consider when selecting sunscreen for tattoos and provide you with expert tips on how to apply it for maximum protection. It's time to take control and shield your tattoos from the sun's harmful rays like never before.

But why stop there? Explore our range of tattoo aftercare products. Our specially curated collection is designed to nourish, protect, and preserve your ink, ensuring it stays vibrant and bold for years to come.


MTS Tattoo Balm


How to apply the right amount of sunscreen for tattoos

  • The general recommendation is to use a a shot glass full of sunscreen or about one ounce to cover your entire body. For just your exposed areas, such as your arms with tattoos, you may need less, but it's better to err on the side of more.
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen evenly over all areas of your tattooed skin, ensuring no spots are missed. Pay attention to any intricate details or areas where the tattoo might have crevices or uneven surfaces.
  • Don't skimp on the sunscreen. Apply an even, thick layer to your skin. This ensures that you're getting the SPF protection indicated on the product.
  • We recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you're sweating heavily or swimming. If your tattoo is exposed to water or friction (like from clothing), the sunscreen can wear off more quickly.
  • Pay special attention to areas around the edges of your tattoo, as well as any areas where the skin might be thinner or more delicate. These areas can be more prone to sunburn and fading.
  • If you're worried about applying too much sunscreen and it feeling heavy or greasy, consider using a moisturiser with SPF built-in. This can be a good option for daily use, especially on tattooed areas.
  • For added nourishment and protection, consider incorporating Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion into your skincare routine. This specially formulated lotion not only provides SPF protection but also moisturises and soothes tattooed skin,

How to choose the right sunscreen for tattoos

SPF (Sun Protection Factor)

Find for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays, while higher SPFs block slightly more. However, SPF 50 or higher doesn't offer significantly more protection and can sometimes lead to a false sense of security.


Opt for sunscreens with ingredients that are less likely to irritate your tattooed skin or cause allergic reactions. Some common active ingredients in sunscreens include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene. If you have sensitive skin, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic formulas may be preferable.

Broad-Spectrum Protection

Make sure the sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVB and UVA rays. UVA rays can premature skin ageing and can penetrate deeper into the tattooed skin, while UVB cause sunburn and skin cancer development.

Mineral vs. Chemical vs. Film Sunscreens

  • Mineral Sunscreens: These contain physical blockers like zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and reflect or scatter UV rays away from the skin. They are generally considered gentler and less likely to cause irritation good choice for sensitive skin or tattoos.
  • Chemical Sunscreens: These contain organic (carbon-based) compounds that protects from UV radiation and convert it into heat, which is then released from the tattooed skin. Common chemical sunscreen ingredients include avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, and homosalate. While effective, some people may be sensitive to certain chemical filters, and there's some concern about their potential environmental impact.
  • Film Sunscreens: These specialised films act as a second skin, providing a barrier against UVA and UVB rays while also promoting optimal healing during the tattoo's initial stages. They offer convenience and long-lasting protection, making them a popular choice for preserving tattoo vibrancy and clarity.


Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block - Protective Tattoo Film (Pack of 5)


Water Resistance

If you'll be sweating or swimming, choose a water-resistant sunscreen. Keep in mind that even water-resistant formulas need to be reapplied after swimming or sweating, according to the product's instructions.

Additional Features

Consider other features such as whether the sunscreen is oil-free, non-comedogenic (won't clog pores), and suitable for your skin type (e.g., dry, oily, combination).

Do old tattoos still need sunscreen?

Old tattoos still need sunscreen. Despite the ageing of the tattoo and potential changes in pigment intensity over time, protecting the skin with sunscreen remains crucial. Sun exposure can accelerate the fading of tattoo colours and blur the fine details of older tattoos.

Therefore, regardless of the age of the tattoo, incorporating sunscreen into daily skincare routines is essential for preserving both the appearance of tattoos and overall skin health.

When can you put sunscreen on your tattoo?

You can apply sunscreen to a new tattoo once it has fully healed. Typically, this healing process takes around four to six weeks, but it can differ depending on individual factors and the size and complexity of the tattoo.

It's essential to wait until the skin has completely healed, with no scabbing, peeling, or tenderness, before applying sunscreen. Applying sunscreen too early can interfere with the tattoo healing process and may increase the risk of irritation or infection.

Once the tattooed skin has healed, applying sunscreen is crucial to protect the tattoo from the damaging effects of UV rays, which can cause fading and distortion of the tattoo colours over time.

Our best sunscreen for tattoos

Our top recommendation for sunscreen tailored specifically for tattoo protection is the Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block. This innovative barrier film acts as a second skin, effectively shielding tattoos from the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays, thereby preventing fading and damage. Not only does it offer exceptional sun protection, but it also creates a moist healing environment during the initial stages of tattoo healing, to reduce the risk of infection and promoting optimal healing.


Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block - Protective Tattoo Film (Pack of 5)


Moreover, the lightweight, flexible, and stretchable design makes it easy to apply to various body parts, ensuring comprehensive coverage. With each pack containing five pre-cut sheets, Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block offers convenience and practicality for use.

For those looking to safeguard their tattoos and maintain their vibrancy, Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block is the ultimate solution.

Protect your tattoos with the right sunscreen

Safeguarding your tattoos from the sun's harmful rays is paramount to preserving their vibrancy and clarity over time. Remember, protecting your tattoos isn't just about maintaining their aesthetic appeal; it's also about promoting skin health and minimising the risk of premature fading or damage.

So, take the necessary steps to shield your tattoos from the sun, and enjoy your ink with confidence for years to come.


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  • Mark Joshua Luz