Is the Sun Your Enemy?
The sun is both a blessing and a curse. Many people patiently and sometimes not so patiently trudge through winter all the while dreaming of that first spring day signaling the onset of summer and those glorious sun-drenched days at the beach, on a boat or lounging on a building roof top. Sun worshiping — we all heard of the benefits of the spending time soaking u the rays of the big red ball — it triggers the body’s production of vitamin D, lower’s high blood pressure and improves brain function.
And yes, we also know of the harmful effects that the sun can have upon us, most notably skin cancer, cataracts, and severe sun burns. However, we up the ante of what can happen to you and your tattoo once summer gets here and you hit the beach or the black top for an afternoon of blazing glory. So, with that said we are going to run down how to keep your tattoos and the rest of your body safe from the harmful rays of the sun.
First off you have to realize that your skin is actually the largest organ of your body and because of that you need to protect the entire “thang” from your head to your toes — whether you’re tattooed or not. But if you are tattooed what is one of the concerns that worry you most? Fading, right? Well, it’s fact of tattooed life, your tats are going to fade and you have three options. Let them fade. Get them reworked. Or keep the out of the sun. Now, keeping them out of the sun won’t stop the inevitable, but it will delay the fading process considerably.
This is even more imperative when you have tattoos. Tattoos will naturally fade over time, but sun exposure and lax skincare can accelerate fading. As the owner of two tattoos, I want to protect my lifelong investment. Here are the best ways to keep your tattoos looking bold and bright.
Let’s start with the most obvious. The simplest and the one that most people don’t do for two reasons. One, they want to show off their ink and/or two they just simply forget. We are talking about covering up your tattoos. Yes, wear a light weight long sleeved shirt or long shorts to keep those tattoos covered. Girls there are a host of “breathable” leggings out there that will keep you kind of cool even when it’s hot outside.
Second on the agenda is something you should be doing in both the summer and winter and that’s using moisturizer. If your tattoo is fresh, make sure that you use a moisturizer that is fragrance free or one of the many great aftercare products out there today. If your tat is healed just make sure you use something, anything! Dry skin is a tattoo’s worst enemy.
This next tip could be a life safer and not just for your tattoos, but for your entire body and general health. Stay hydrated. Loading up on fluids — and water will do just fine — is essential for staying healthy throughout the year. The increase in fluid intake in the summer is only because of the potential of excess sweating, but many times in the winter, when you are bundled up or participating in a winter sports you can lose just as much fluid as a day at the beach.
In addition to the general health benefits staying hydrated keeps your skin clear and moisturized from the inside out. Combined with using lotion, your tattoos will look more vibrant.
All suntan lotions and SPF’s are not created equal. Read the bottles and pay attention to the application directions. Reapply no longer than what it says, and there are very few lotions that are water proof. You go into the pool or surf, not only are you vulnerable to the sun when you come out, but odds are while you are in the water the protective properties of that suntan lotion are all but gone. So, when you come back to land reapply!
I don’t believe we are writing this, but if you are one of those people that just absolutely must look bronzed in the summer, then we suggest you use a tinted moisturizer or better yet seek the services of a professional and get yourself spray tanned at a salon. It’s not our bag, but we understand if it’s yours.
Believe it or not, but there are foods that actually help fight UV damage. There are a host of vegetables that contain vitamins and organic compounds that help rebuild damaged skin. Bell peppers, tomatoes, and carrots that contain these vitamins and compounds. Also, if you can get your hands “and mouth” on water-heavy foods like cucumber and watermelon it can be a delicious way to stay hydrated. Remember, a healthy, moisturized skin makes for the best looking tattoos.
Ironically staying out of water is one rule you must abide by when you have fresh ink. That means no ocean, sea, pool and absolutely no hot tub action! We’re talking a good two to three weeks before you let that sucker get submerged and exposed to all the nasty little things that are found in bodies of water. In addition to the bacteria that may be in there, the chemicals used to help keep the water free of diseases can also wreak havoc on your new tattoo.
Look there are plenty of ways to enjoy the summer in a heavily tattooed body. Just make sure you follow some of these tips and you can have as much fun in the sun as, well, someone who is not tattooed! Gotta go, surf’s up!