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Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

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I recently got my first tattoo about two weeks ago. I really want to get back in the tanning bed; is it too soon? If not what do I put on the tattoo?

By Jamie from Winchester, KY


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By nellie03/11/2011

Well, to actually answer your question with something helpful, because I don't think you asked for a lecture about UV exposure, I have a lot of ink, and I tan a lot and find the stick is the easiest, and for some I place the towel over it. They just came out with a tanning bed lotion that actually protects your tattoos called Hellbent by Australian Gold. I haven't tried it yet, but it has 10 bronzers and protects tats.

By freshgreengrace02/28/2011

I might be a paranoid Aussie (we have world's highest skin cancer rate) but please tell me you know that tanning beds are even worse than the sun for the content of UV rays the pump over you? I know that tans look better, but please please realize that the reason it mutates and fades tattoos is that it is mutating and damaging your skin cells. please get any moles or skin changes checked and look into the horrifying research about tanning beds. I have several friends who have had skin cancer in their mid twenties!

By Alizaren [1]02/26/2011

Tanning is not good for you, and will damage your skin. (Farrah Faucet had terrible, wrinkled, leathery looking skin from sun-damage by the time she was 50...) But that choice is yours and if you want to tan, your tattoo should be covered with a sunscreen product that is SPF 30. That is what was recommended to me when going to beach a week after getting a small tattoo on my back. Though I always wear sunscreen anyway.

By Elaine [129]02/25/2011

I agree with Dusty, stay away from them all together. If you want a tan go buy a good tan from a bottle. You will regret the tanning later in life. It will give you wrinkles beyond belief not to mention skin cancer. I know that if you are young, you think you are invincible but it will catch up with you.

By Jess [108]02/24/2011

I would just use a high SPF sunscreen and coat it very well. It will definitely fade if you don't take care of it. Recoloring hurts as much and costs as much as the original. I have a large tattoo on my shoulder and I always slather the sunscreen on it all summer long. It is usually pale around it but I want to keep it beautiful and vibrant for as long as possible.

Good luck

By Sharon [20]02/24/2011

Stay away from tanning salons and tanning beds. That should take care of the problem. They are seriously dangerous!

By Anonymous [848]02/24/2011

Ask the person who did the tattoo if it's too soon to tan. In my personal opinion the beauty of a tattoo is in it's natural aging/fading. It gives them character but if you're really worried about it fading just put a little sunscreen over it. :-)

By Deanj02/24/2011

Why do you a protective material. Reason I ask is what do people who have tattoos and go to the beach for sun bathing use? Or the folks who have tattoos and work outside use? Just curious.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

I have just started tanning (indoor) and have a tattoo that is bright and I don't want it to fade. Does anyone know of any way to protect it? Also, I am looking for a cheap alternative to tanning lotion.

Nailfanatic from Poteau, OK

RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

I would think something like Desitin would work. It's that thick white creamy diaper rash ointment and I'm pretty sure it's the "white stuff" lifeguards use on their noses. It's mostly, if not all, zinc oxide. It would be easy to control where you put it and you could just wipe it off when you're done tanning. (03/29/2006)

By farap

RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

I don't know about the tattoo but, I just purchased some lotion at Walmart for $5.00 and it's working great, and cheaper than the tanning salons. It's called Ocean Potion for extreme tanning and has instant bronzer in it and it's for indoor tanning or outdoor. Hope this helps! (03/30/2006)

By smathis123

RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

I ran into the same problem, and I was told to use chap stick with sunscreen in it. I always put it on my lips before tanning anyways, so you just put it over your tattoo when you do the lotion. I tan regularly and my tattoo is 4 years old, still looks brand new! (03/30/2006)

RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

Purchase sunscreen with zinc oxide, and cover the tattoo area thoroughly. Don't skimp on the sunscreen you use to cover your tattoo. Make sure it is strong and of good quality. Protect your investment! (03/30/2006)

By Ree 127

RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

I also heard that chap stick (with sunblock in it) is great for covering tattoos when tanning. Also, sunblock with the highest SPF you can find will work great! As far as the tanning lotion goes, I too am an avid tanner in the salon and I came across this website. I swear it is the best site on the net with the best deals on designer lotion you would find at the salon, but half the price. CHECK IT OUT: (08/13/2007)

By Samantha

Archive: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

I am looking for a tanning lotion to put on my tattoo to keep it from fading when tanning outside and in the tanning bed.


RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

If you feel you need to protect your tattoo from the sun and tanning bed the Chapstick with sunscreen sounds like the best idea. But as one who had her one and only tattoo done on 02/20/1980 (which has never been subjected to the sun or a tanning bed) your tattoo is going to fade in a fairly short period of time no matter what. Trying the Chapstick might lessen the time between ink touch-ups. (01/28/2009)

By Deeli

RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

A good sunscreen. No exceptions! Cheap isn't the way to go when you are protecting a tat. Tats aren't cheap, so why wouldn't you be willing to spend say, $10 on a bottle of good sunscreen to protect them? (01/30/2009)

By Shelly

RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

A former lifeguard with 8 tattoos suggests zinc oxide, or SPF 50+. Desitin will work, but it will get sandy if at the beach, and it stinks. Sunblock sticks (rather than lotions or sprays) tend to work great. I personally like NO-AD, it is $10 for a huge bottle. (01/31/2009)

By garbage3mail

RE: Protecting a Tattoo When Tanning

Miami Ink makes lotions that work very well! (02/04/2009)

By Emily

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