Top Tips for Summer Tattoo Care

Top Tips for Summer Tattoo Care

Jun 14th 2022

Summer Tattoo Care

Whether you are considering getting your very first tattoo or you have a full bodysuit, taking proper care of your skin this summer will ensure that your tattoos will keep looking great for years to come. These tips won’t just help you keep your tattoo looking great, they will also keep anyone considering a new tattoo safe in the sun, sand, and surf!

How do I take care of my healed tattoos?

The good news is that with proper care, people with healed tattoos can enjoy all their favorite summer activities. To keep your tattoos looking their best, it is important to take a few precautions. A few things to remember:


For anyone going out in the sun, the  Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Make sure to choose a broad-spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB rays) mineral sunscreen free from parabens, and phthalates. The higher the SPF, the better!

Cover Up: While sunscreen is measured in SPF (sun protection factor), clothing is measured in UPF (ultraviolet protection factor). Most clothing has the equivalent protection of SPF/UPF 5. However, clothing designed specifically for sun protection usually has a UPF of 50 or higher. So covering up with lightweight clothing made for sun protection can offer the benefits of sunscreen without the mess or the need to reapply. Cleveland Clinic Dermatology Residency Program Director,  Alok Vij M.D. recommends choosing “a mixture of both sunscreen and clothing to get the best possible protection.”

Opt for UV Free Tanning: 

If your tattoo is fully healed, spray tanning is a great safe alternative to spending time in the sun without any damage to your tattoo. While it may make the colors in your tattoo look a little darker temporarily, there are ways to avoid this. You can use a barrier cream on your tattoo before you tan to keep the spray away from the tattooed area. You can also wipe the tanning solution off of your tattoo as soon as it is applied to make sure it does not tan the tattooed area. Even if you do nothing and your tattoo colors darken a bit, your tattoo will return to normal after about a week as the tan fades. If your artist used bright, vibrant colors for tattoo ink, they should still look great that week even if they are a little muted. However, it is important to note that spray tanning is NOT an option with a fresh tattoo.

Stay Hydrated:

While this is generally good advice all around, it is especially true for those with tattoos. It is especially important to remember to hydrate in hot weather when you lose extra fluid due to sweating. Make sure to drink plenty of clear fluids to keep your skin looking its best.

Use Moisturizer:

When you are exposing your skin to environments that may be drying or damaging like sun, sand, salt water, or chlorinated pools, it is especially important to use a good moisturizer. Pay careful attention to tattooed areas where dryness can cause a faded or cracked look. Using a natural product with both moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties can keep your tattoo in top shape, even after exposure to the elements.  Quantum Natural Tattoo Aftercare can also be used on healed tattoos to help keep your skin moist and radiant and your tattoo looking great.

What if I want to get a new tattoo this summer?

Tattooing is not off-limits during the summer, but it may mean that you have to wait to participate in some of your favorite summer activities until you heal. In addition to following any aftercare instructions given to you by your tattoo artist, these tips will help ensure that your new tattoo heals well and looks great this summer:

Stay Out of the Water: 

Having a new tattoo is essentially 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. While chlorinated pools have harsh chemicals that can lead to more pain, swelling, peeling, and bumps, open water (like the ocean, rivers, or lakes) contains bacteria that can lead to infections and scarring.

While many artists will tell you that you can submerge your tattoo 2-3 weeks after you get it, dermatologists disagree.  Dr. Sherber, a Dermatologist and assistant professor at George Washington University, advises “The general recommendation is to wait at least four weeks (or until your tattoo is fully healed) before submerging it in water. If you have a compromised immune system, due to medications or illnesses, you may need to wait longer, since your risk of infection is even greater.”

Use an Aftercare Product & Stay Hydrated:

We mentioned using Quantum Natural Tattoo Aftercare anytime to keep your tattoo looking great. This product is specially formulated to be safe to use on freshly tattooed skin. It will help ensure that your skin stays moisturized throughout the healing process and beyond.

When you are about to get or have just gotten a new tattoo, it is more important than ever to make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and promote healing.

Avoid Sun Exposure

Sunscreen is not an option when a tattoo is brand new and most likely to be extra sensitive to UVA and UVB rays. Staying in the shade or bringing an umbrella are great ways to protect your new tattoo from the sun. Covering up using clothing with built-in UPF, as previously mentioned, adds an additional layer of protection. Plus, keeping your tattoo covered by clothing this summer can also help keep out sand and other particles that may irritate your tattoo and lead to infection.

Do Your Research: 

It can be incredibly tempting to get a tattoo as a souvenir from your vacation. Especially if you will be in a location that is unfamiliar to you, it is vital to do your research before you go. Research the artist, the studio, and the availability of medical attention if something were to go wrong. Make sure that wherever you go, the tattoo artist that you choose is using  high-quality ink for tattoos, machinery, needles, and other supplies. Regardless of the location and the tattoo style you choose, make sure that the artist uses the best black tattoo ink. If your destination is in Europe, make sure that the artist is using  EU REACH Approved tattoo ink

Key Takeaways

Having a healed tattoo is totally compatible with participating in all of your favorite summer activities. However, getting a brand new tattoo may mean you have to pause activities that take place in water and take extra precautions this summer. If you plan to get a new tattoo this summer, it is vital to think ahead and keep in mind the activities that you have planned like drinking, hiking, swimming, surfing, diving, boating, etc., and make sure that they are possible and advisable with a brand new tattoo.

For more tattoo tips and resources or to learn more about our organic vegan tattoo ink, follow us on Instagram and Facebook or check out our FAQ section.