Best Tattoo Sunscreen
If you treat yourself to one thing in life, then make it a tattoo. If you can do anything to keep that tattoo looking nice, then wear some sunscreen. Sunscreen in general keeps your health up, ensuring the harmful rays of the sun do minimal damage to your skin. It makes sense that something which protects your skin also protects your tattoo! But did you know that companies create specific types of sunscreen just for inked skin? This article guides you to the best tattoo sunscreen for your specific needs. Whether you want something Vegan, hypoallergenic, or even something gentle to people with eczema, we cover you.
The Best Tattoo Sunscreen Products in 2018
|Product Name||Product Type||Strength||Where to get it|
|H2Ocean Sea Life Sunscreen||Tattoo Sunscreen||SPF 45|
|The Original Tattoo Goo Color Guard||Tattoo Sunscreen||SPF 30|
|Ed Hardy Tattoo Stick||Tattoo Sunscreen||SPF 50|
|CannaSmack Ink Guard||Waterproof Tattoo Sunscreen||SPF 30|
|Coppertone Tattoo Guard Lotion||Specialized Tattoo Sunscreens||SPF 50|
|Kiss My Face||Vegan Tattoo Sunscreen||SPF 30|
|Coppertone Tattoo Guard||Tattoo Sunscreen Spray||50 SPF|
|Ed Hardy Bronzer Tattoo Fade Protection||Suntan Tattoo Lotion||Tanning Lotion|
|Ed Hardy Bronzer Tattoo Fade Protection||Suntan Tattoo Lotion||Tanning Lotion|
|Australian Gold JWOWW Natural Black Bronzer||Suntan Tattoo Lotion||Tanning Lotion|
Browse through each section according to your needs. Along with sunscreen information, we also give you valuable knowledge about tattoo fading and how long your tattoo lasts. With careful attention, you prevent your color inks from disappearing and your black inks from turning blurry and green. If you need more information about tattoo care in general, then check out the Ultimate Tattoo Care and Tattoo Aftercare Guide![toc]
In a hurry? Don’t have time for the full article? No worry I got you covered, here are my most favorite tattoo care products for all stages of the healing and care prozess:
How do you keep your tattoo looking new? A lot of work goes into it besides sunscreen, you know! Avoid working out, swimming, drinking alcohol, or using soaps containing alcohol on your skin. Well…for most people, including me, that’s a little much. I mean, working out prolongs your life in general, and swimming defines the whole season of summer. How could we go without?
Quite frankly, while you can shut yourself in a dark room and avoid all kinds of physical activity to preserve your tattoo, there’s no point if you can’t show it off. For all the normal people out there—who take good care of their bodies, who enjoy sunlight, and who love to swim—sunscreen makes up the most important and reasonable way to prevent fading. How quickly do tattoos fade? That depends on your type of tattoo. Black tattoos last forever, but with improper care, light fades them into a green color. Other colors and inks last different lengths of time, based on how much water they contain, the size of their pigment, and how they reflect light.
Why do black ink tattoos turn green, and why do colors disappear at all, if tattoos are permanent? Simply put, intense forms of light break down the particles on a physical level. The body carries small particles away, creating small patches of regular skin. Without a solid layer, black ink appears green through your skin. Likewise, color patches disappear altogether, given enough time. Laser removal works by targeting your ink with light on a very fast scale, rather than a natural one.
So, how do you keep your tattoo from fading? Sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen.
Now that we know what causes tattoo fading, let’s focus on how to keep tattoos looking new. Does sunscreen protect tattoos? Absolutely, and magnificently, so today I want to share several types of sunscreen with you. With the emergence of tattoos as art, companies quickly created sunscreens and soaps that filled in the needs of inked people. Unlike regular sunscreens, these ones contain no chemicals that potentially damage your tattoo! Since you need to treat tattoos daily—and not just when you swim—the special formulas make a huge difference.
H2Ocean SPF 45 Sea Life Sunscreen
H2Ocean Sea Life Sunscreen delivers protection for everyday use and use during swimming. The water-resistant formula contains clear zinc oxide, which protects your skin and tattoo at the same time. In fact, most of these sunscreens contain clear zinc oxide. Despite its ambiguous name, this ingredient ranks as the best among tattoo-safe sunscreens. On top of that, the clear substance shows off your tattoo without the characteristic ‘white layer’ that other sunscreens leave behind. Since H2Ocean uses zero oil, application feels nice and smooth, rather than greasy or oily. The bottle looks small, but it lasts a long time. It also lacks that nasty sunscreen smell.
The Original Tattoo Goo Color Guard SPF 30 UV Sunscreen Stick
This tattoo sunscreen stick comes from one of the best tattoo care companies in the world. Along with protecting your tattoo from fading, it also enriches your tattoo’s color. Many tattoo starter kits include this product because of its amazing effectiveness. Unlike H2Ocean, use this sunscreen stick generously. The more you apply, the longer its effectiveness. At the same time, if you overdo it, prepare yourself! While it creates no residue, it leaves behind a bit of a greasy touch.
This sunscreen works best for casual excursions or daily routine. At SPF30, it protects a shorter spectrum than H2Ocean. However, its price reflects this! This affordable sunscreen lasts for two whole years, even for huge sleeves or chest tattoos.
Ed Hardy Tattoo Stick Black (or Pink) Protect UV Fade Sunscreen
Available in two colors for your convenience, this minimal sunscreen stick cuts out the frills and flashes of the other sunscreens and simply offers you amazing protection. Shaped like a deodorant dispenser, this sunscreen matches all of your daily essentials. Whether you put it in your pocket or your purse, no one asks questions about this bit of care. It leaves no grease behind and works in swimming situations.
They both use light tropical scents, thanks to the inclusion of Shea Butter. Shea Butter smells magnificent—at least, in my opinion—and the smell never overpowers your air space. Both sticks offer amazing SPF 50 UVA and UVB protection while saving your tattoo from fading.
Best Waterproof Sunscreen
Of course, more specialized sunscreens exist for people with different needs. In example, perhaps you work as a life guard and need to constantly protect your tattoo from both water and sunlight. The best water resistant sunscreen fits into the pockets of your swimsuit (at least, if you use swim shorts) and goes with you wherever you need to. The stick applicator makes spot protection easy. So, without further ado, let’s check out the best waterproof sunscreen for swimming!
CannaSmack Ink Guard
At first, this sunscreen seems bland. This SPF 30 tattoo sunscreen and fade shield offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, just like all the rest. However, unlike many, this sunscreen truly takes care of your skin. It contains premium hemp seed oil, multiple omega vitamins, and vitamins A, B, D, and E. When you add all of that together, you find a concoction of the very best vitamins for your skin. Plus, all of them will absorb directly into your skin. Not only does the stick protect against damage, but it heals any damage that occurred before application! This sunscreen lasts up to eighty minutes in water—far longer than other tattoo sunscreens.
Specialized Tattoo Sunscreens
Before I go further into specialized sunscreens, let me explain a little bit about how I chose them. First—and naturally—I chose what worked best for me. However, some of them blend attributes, so pay attention to what suits your needs. In example, CannaSmack Ink Guard formula works well for sensitive skin, but I found that our next sunscreen topped it. Focus on which sunscreen feature you need most, then read the other properties in order to find the perfect sunscreen. Testing multiple sunscreens against each other works, as well.
For the best sunscreen for sensitive skin, I really struggled to find one that worked. When I use the wrong type of sunscreen, my eczema flares up, leaving behind an itchy red rash that lasts for days. Obviously, I started looking for a hypoallergenic sunscreen for babies, since I thought nothing else would work. With most other beauty products, I single out baby products due to their ‘softer’ ingredients. Well, by pure luck and thanks to a friend, I stumbled upon a sunscreen for sensitive skin! Eczema and psoriasis-approved, this sunscreen leaves no rashes behind and feels lovely to apply.
Coppertone Tattoo Guard Lotion SPF 50
As I just mentioned, Coppertone Tattoo Guard Lotion works spectacularly for sensitive skin. One of my friends with psoriasis even commented on how nice this lotion felt! This SPF 50 lotion protects you from both UVA/UVB rays and moisturizes your skin. Along with that, the aloe extract it contains soothes your skin on hot days.
However, I want to make one thing clear. Sometimes, this ‘lotion’ feels more like an ointment. To prevent the lotion from running, shake thoroughly before use. A single drop of this stuff goes a long way, so it lasts forever! Avoid squirting a bunch in your hand and then applying, unless you want to waste some extra lotion or look like a ghost. Allow fifteen minutes for your sunscreen to set before swimming, then reapply after eighty minutes. Like most sunscreens, this works in water for a short time.
Honestly speaking? My skin reflects sunlight like tinfoil, so I seriously need a soft sunscreen. Ultimately, I always carry a bottle of this around for daily use and use during tanning. It protects my tattoos wonderfully!
Best Vegan Sunscreen
Continuing on, we all need to do our part to protect the world we live in. Most sunscreen companies use animal testing to ensure the safety of their products. While that sounds innocuous, it actually includes feeding animals exorbitant amounts of the stuff, pouring it into their eyes, and making them swim in sunscreen baths for hours. Not good, you know? Thankfully, modern companies all move away from cruelty practices. While classic brands stick to their guns, new brands learn from their mistakes.
This list contains many sunscreens that don’t test on animals, but this one tops the cruelty free sunscreen list thanks to its vegan ingredients. A vegan sunscreen uses no animal products in the ingredients, either. Everything comes from natural plant oils or minerals, plus all of them enhance your skin. Of course, this sunscreen also provides amazing protection for your tattoo’s color. This sunscreen works best for any vegans, vegetarians, and nature-sensitive individuals. It even goes soft on your skin, so even people with sensitive skin can use it.
Kiss My Face Tattoo Shade Sunscreen SPF 30
This lotion shows up in PETA’s favorite skin health products, and we know why. With no animal ingredients or testing, along with no paraben preservatives, artificial colors, or even artificial fragrances, this sunscreen offers the best natural sunscreen for sensitive skin. With natural ingredients, it smells quite interesting. Almost like a blend of carrots and green tea…or maybe a fresh garden smell. I personally adore it, but if you prefer scentless sunscreen, take solace in the fact that the scent fades quite quickly.
This tattoo works best for day-to-day use. At only SPF 30, and with no animal products to keep it from slipping away while sweating, try to reapply this often. Every forty minutes works great for a day in the sun.
Best Spray Sunscreen
Sometimes, we need to work the whole day outside. Taking the time to spread a lotion or a stick across your whole body detracts from your valuable break time. Rather than spend fifteen minutes applying a sunscreen lotion, check out sunscreen sprays. You can easily apply them to your whole body in less than a minute. If you feel you missed a spot later on, it only takes seconds for spot protection. Unfortunately, not many tattoo-friendly companies explore the world of sunscreen spray. Maybe they want to stick to lotion…or maybe the competition proves too stiff.
You see, this brand already made the list in lotion form. On top of that, I love it the most out of all of these, since it goes easy on my sensitive skin. The ingredients all work well on tattoos and guard your ink from damage. Application to large tattoo sleeves or back covers takes mere seconds. On top of that, one canister of the stuff lasts forever. This stuff sells out on Amazon pretty frequently, so grab it quick!
Coppertone Tattoo Guard Continuous Spray
This sunscreen offers a whopping 50 SPF, despite its spray form. That means you only need to apply it every eighty minutes or so. After application, you notice the difference instantly. Your tattoo ink feels less hot, along with the rest of your skin. The difference between sunscreen and tattoo sunscreen is that Tattoo Guards like this one use no petroleum products. Petroleum damages tattoos—especially new ones. On top of that, the solution is photostable, allowing it to last for ages.
Best Suntan Lotion
Generally, extra light works against your tattoo. This puts habitual tanners in a bind. Bronzing your skin gives your skin depth and a healthy vigor. If you stop tanning because of a tattoo, how do you achieve that lovely look again? Well, quite simply, tanning lotion for tattoos. A tattoo tanning lotion protects your ink while enhancing your color. Use them in conjunction with sunlight or a tanning bed for the ideal tan.
Ed Hardy Bronzer Tattoo Fade Protection Tanning Lotion
Available in two varieties, these amazing lotions offer protection for your tattoos during their greatest trial—the tanning bed! With a characteristic ‘manly’ scent, they provide a very cool sensation to the skin when you first apply. It only takes one session for the color to set in, but several small sessions seem to work best. Multiple sessions allow you to adjust the amount you use in sensitive places like your ankles, face, elbows, and knees. The Black Elixir formula contains anti-aging ingredients and moisturizes your skin. However, the Get Ripped Cooling Bronzer contains no oil, which works wonderfully for sensitive skin.
Australian Gold JWOWW Natural Black Bronzer with Ink-Drink Complex
Arguably the best suntan lotion for tanning, this tanning lotion lasts eighteen months after opening the bottle. Like Ed Hardy’s Bronzers, JWOWW offers a tone difference after just a single session. Its fresh ingredients almost sound tasty—with things like yogurt, pear extract, black currant oil, Vitamin E, and even Shea Butter showing up in its formula. Use this tanning lotion to go a few shades darker than your base tan. Get it here.
In the end, I hope this list helps you find the best tattoo sunscreen for your needs. If you need help finding a sunscreen with particular features or ingredients, just ask us. Our years of experience in the tattoo world acquainted us with all kinds of tattoo sunscreen brands. For more detailed tattoo aftercare information, you can read the Ultimate Tattoo Care and Tattoo Aftercare Guide. You can also check out the rest of 101-Tattoos for quality content on all aspects of the tattoo world!
May your tattoo shine,