Although your tattoo is permanent, it doesn’t mean it will look the same forever.

Time takes its toll on all things, including your tattoo. Especially in terms of brightness and boldness. Tattoos are subject to all the other changes your body goes through, including aging skin, weight gain, sun damage, etc. Investing in your ink is important to keep your tattoo bright and healthy for years to come… and not just from the days after your session. Taking care of your tattoo, from pre-tattoo, to tattoo aftercare, as well as ongoing tattoo care, is vital.

While the quality of tattoo ink is an important factor to getting quality work — as well as getting your piece from a reputable artist — here are 5 ways to protect your tattoos from aging and fading over time.

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1. Keeping Up With the Aftercare Regimen 

While you should always follow the aftercare instructions your artist gives you, as there is no “one size fits all” with tattoo aftercare, there are general rules to follow.

Keep your new tattoo clean and moisturized. After letting the ink settle in your bandage, wash it with lukewarm water and a mild antimicrobial soap. Pat dry, never rub.

Use antibacterial ointment, such as Tattoo Goo or Aquaphor. Never petroleum jelly. Your focus in this stage is to heal an open wound.

After the first few days, continue using a mild moisturizing lotion until the scabbing is gone, and the tattoo fully heals. We love Lubiderm’s Tattoo Daily Care lotion, because it checks off all of our boxes: water-based and unscented… as well as pretty packaging. It takes about a month for your tattoo to be fully healed.

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2. No Sunscreen? No Tattoo Preservation

Being outside without sunscreen is inexcusable. Even on a cloudy day, the UV rays reach our skin. This train of thought should also be applied to wearing a T-shirt in the sun, thinking your ink is protected.

While sunscreen should ALWAYS be on your skin like a lover during the honeymoon phase, it is important to use it on your tattoos for the rest of your life, to prevent aging and fading. Not only for color tattoos, but especially with color tattoos. Blues, greens, and yellows are the quickest to fade.

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3. After-Ink Tattoo Oil

Ink spreading is due to natural collagen loss. While you can’t completely stop this process, you can slow it down, just as you do on your face. This is why many turn to supplements and essential oils to maintain tattoo coloring.

After-Ink Tattoo oil is hands-down one of our favorites. This 3-step program of essential oils is designed to aid in the recovery, repair, and maintenance of tattooed skin.

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4. Ink the Original

Van Halen frontman launches skincare line, Ink The Original, to protect and brighten tattoos and keep them from fading. We are thankful David Lee Roth is Hot for T̶e̶a̶c̶h̶e̶r̶ Tattoo Care, especially backing a product that offers a range of products made with organic ingredients, and is committed to being environmentally conscious and cruelty-free.

Roth says, “The product that we’re dealing with now goes hand-in-hand with what I think is the true Esperanto: It’s a language – ink –that everybody shares, especially if you don’t speak the same language.”

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5. Pure Hemp Tattoo Aftercare Cream

Pure Hemp's Tattoo Cream is a terrific item to buy if you just got a tattoo, or even if an older tattoo isn’t quite as bright as it once was. CBD infusion will help expedite your recovery, and can help protect your new tattoo from the elements. Pure Hemp's cream is the right combination of moisturizer and healthy minerals. They use Avocado Oil, which is known to act as a natural sunblock, reduce inflammation, and accelerate wound healing.

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