If you’re a fan of body art and also love your skin to have that sun-kissed look, knowing about the implications of tanning might be on your mind. When is the best time to get a tan after getting inked? Or, can you even tan? We’ll find out.
How Long Should I Wait to Tan After Getting a Tattoo?
Many love to use their body as a canvas for art and pull it off beautifully. However, every tattoo comes with a very necessary healing process, where you’ll see different stages, including peeling, almost as if you were sunburned. So, it’s only natural that you wonder if tanning is something you’ll ever be able to do again.
The Truth About Tattoos and Sunlight
If your tattoo is brand new, soaking up the sun is not exactly something anyone would recommend. Consider this: when you get a tattoo, your skin is wounded until the healing process ends. Whenever you lay out in the sun with damaged skin, it’s a recipe for disaster, because it won’t be able to block out UV rays, so you’re prone to sunburn. Even if it’s not natural sunlight, like that of a tanning bed, it is still pretty risky after getting a tattoo.
In addition to this, light interacts with ink in a rather particular way. In high concentrations, light can go into your skin and break down ink molecules, much like what happens with those laser tattoo removal procedures. Although, the amount of light you’ll be subject to when tanning is not going to be that excessive, it can still cause fading, and that is not what you want when you just got a cool new tattoo.
So, When Can I Tan?
Don’t worry. Not all is lost. You will be able to tan again, just not right after getting that tattoo. Your skin needs time to heal, and by time, we don’t mean a day or two. This usually takes from six weeks to a couple of months. By then, your skin has recovered, it’s no longer flaky or itchy, and it conceals moisture.
Once you cross that bridge, for the sake of keeping your tattoo —and the skin it’s on, you can cover it with a cloth. Applying sunscreen to the cloth is a way to make sure covering up is actually effective, since not all fabrics will block UV rays. Another alternative is using a tattoo-safe tanning lotion, or even sunscreen, directly on your skin before you expose yourself to natural sunlight or decide to lay in a sunbed. Spray tans are also a great option. Although, they might darken your tattoo a bit, it is a temporary effect, so you can wipe it off after, or tone it down the next time you go in for a spray tan. Whatever you do, make sure your skin has healed properly before you make a move.