How to Keep Your Tattoo Vibrant

When you take the time to sit for a tattoo artist to ink the bright colors of a tattoo onto your skin, the last thing you want to happen is premature fading. While tattoo artists will advise you that eventually the tattoo ink will fade to a certain degree, there are some things you can do to keep your tattoo looking vibrant for as long as possible. Both the way that you initially care for your fresh tattoo and how you protect it after it heals make a difference in your tattoo's vibrancy.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Fragrance-free, dye-free lotion
  • Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher


    • 1

      Wash a tattoo that's new with mild soap and water, and avoid submerging it in water for more than the time it takes to finish a brief shower or bath. Never use abrasive tools -- such as a loofah or even a washcloth -- on a new tattoo that's healing. After 2 to 3 weeks, you can go back to your regular bathing routine. (See Reference 3)

    • 2

      Keep a new tattoo moisturized with fragrance-free, dye-free lotion while it's healing. Never pick at the scabs or you can damage the final outcome of the tattoo. (See References 1 and 3)

    • 3

      Keep tight or constricting clothing away from your new or older tattoo. The friction can damage it. (See Reference 3)

    • 4

      Slather sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more onto your tattoo whenever you plan on exposing it to the sun. The sun can fade the colors over time. (See Reference 3)

Tips & Warnings

  • Yellow, orange and red fade faster than blue and green. Black is the most fade-resistant tattoo color. (See Reference 2)
  • If your tattoo eventually fades, see a tattoo artist for a touch-up. (See Reference 2)
  • Wait until your tattoo is completely healed before exposing it to the sun. (See Reference 1)
  • Even with consistent use of sunblock, your tattoo will eventually fade. (See Reference 2)
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  • Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

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