How to Prevent a Tattoo From Fading? (9 Easy Tips!)

A tattoo is a lifelong commitment, so it’s essential to ensure that your tattoo looks its best.

You can prevent your tattoo from fading by taking proper care of it.
After getting a tattoo, keep the area clean and moisturized. Avoid direct sunlight and excessive rubbing of the tattoo.

This blog post will discuss how to prevent a tattoo from fading and some tips for taking care of your ink, so if you want to learn more, read on.

Key Takeaways

  • Your tattoos will never completely fade, but they can gradually degrade and become less visible.
  • You can slow down the tattoo-fading process by taking care of your skin.
  • Aftercare is essential for preventing tattoo fading.

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Why Do Tattoos Fade?

Before I get into how to prevent your tattoo from fading, it’s essential to understand why tattoos fade in the first place.

Several factors can cause tattoo fading, but the three main culprits are sunlight, improper care, and age. Let’s take a closer look:

1. Sunlight

One downside of tattoos is that they can fade over time, particularly if exposed to sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight can BREAK down the pigments in tattoo ink, causing them to fade.

tattoo is fading but how to prevent a tattoo from fading

In addition, sun exposure can also cause tattoos to become BLURRY or washed out.

To help prevent your tattoos from fading, taking precautions when you’re spending time in the sun is essential.

Pro Tip: Try to limit exposure to direct sunlight and wear sunscreen when you’re out in the sun.

2. Improper Care

Improper care of tattoos can lead to a faded tattoo and even the loss of the tattoo entirely. The first step in tattoo care is ensuring the area is CLEAN and free of potentially harmful bacteria.

Once the area is clean, you should use a moisturizer with SPF to keep it HYDRATED and avoid damage from the sun.

3. Tattoo Placement

The placement of the tattoo can also have an impact on its longevity.

If the tattoo is placed in an area of the body that is exposed to friction and movement, such as the elbows or knees, it can be more prone to fading.

For this reason, consider locations that are less likely to experience wear and tear over time.

4. Age

Age affects the fading of your tattoos. The ink in tattoos breaks down over time.

This process is ACCELERATED by exposure to sunlight, which is why you often see older tattoos that are faded and blurry.

Additionally, our skin becomes THINNER and less elastic as we age, which can also cause tattoos to fade.

If you’re concerned about your tattoo looking its best as you age, you can do a few things to slow down the fading process (which I’ll discuss in more detail below).

Pro Tip: If you’re getting a tattoo in an area prone to sagging with age, such as the inner arms, consider getting a smaller design that won’t be affected by sagging.

Don’t forget to check our guide on permanent makeup fading.

How to Prevent a Tattoo From Fading

Now that you know what can cause tattoos to fade, let’s look at some tips for preventing this:

1. Moisturize Your Skin

Keeping your skin MOISTURIZED is a crucial step in preventing tattoo fading. When the skin is dry, it can lead to cracking and flaking, which can cause the tattoo ink to lift and fade.

To keep your skin hydrated, apply a moisturizer regularly (or a tattoo lotion), and DRINK plenty of water.

Pro Tip: Skin health is key to keeping your tattoos looking vibrant, so ensure you’re using a moisturizer with SPF for further protection.

2. Clean Your Tattoos Regularly

It’s essential to keep your tattoos clean to PREVENT infection and fading.

Be sure to wash the area with mild soap and warm water at least once daily. You can also use a specific tattoo aftercare product if you prefer.

Pro Tip: Avoid harsh chemicals, scrubs, or exfoliants on your tattoo, as this can cause the ink to lift.

3. Don’t Smoke

In addition to other health risks associated with smoking, this habit can also cause your tattoos to fade. This is because cigarette chemicals SUBLIMATE the tattoo ink, causing it to fade.

According to a study, heavy smokers are much more likely to have faded tattoos than non-smokers [1].

4. Eat A Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is essential for overall health but can also help prevent tattoo fading.

Certain NUTRIENTS are necessary for the body to heal correctly, and if you’re not getting enough of these nutrients, it can cause the tattoo ink to fade.

Some essential nutrients for tattoo healing include zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin A [2].

5. Use Sunscreen

While sunscreen won’t completely prevent tattoo fading, it can help SLOW down the process.

When choosing a sunscreen, select one that is SPF 30 or higher and provides BROAD spectrum coverage.

It’s also essential to apply sunscreen generously and reapply it every two hours or more frequently if you’re sweating or swimming.

6. Avoid Picking At Your Tattoo

Picking at your tattoo can cause the ink to LIFT, leading to fading. It can also lead to SCARRING, which can be permanent.

It’s essential to resist the urge to pick at your tattoo, even if it’s itchy.

Pro Tip: If your tattoo is itchy, apply a moisturizer to the area to help reduce itching.

7. See A Dermatologist Regularly

If you’re concerned about tattoo fading, it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist regularly.

They can provide you with specific ADVICE on how to care for your tattoos and can also monitor them for any changes.

8. Get Touch-Ups As Needed

Once you have a tattoo, getting touch-ups as needed will keep the ink looking FRESH.

Touch-ups are usually needed every one to five years, depending on the location of the tattoo and your lifestyle.

women getting tattoo touch up

If you notice any fading, talk to your tattoo artist about getting a touch-up.

9. Avoid Tight Clothing

Tight clothing can cause friction on the skin, which can lead to fading. So, wearing LOOSE-FITTING clothing that won’t rub against your tattoo is important.

Additionally, try to avoid activities or sports that will put a lot of pressure on the area for at least two weeks after getting a tattoo to allow the full healing process to take place.

Looking for guidance on how to come up with an original tattoo idea? Our comprehensive guide provides expert tips and tricks to help you unleash your creativity and create a unique design that perfectly reflects your individuality and style.

How To Choose The Right Artist and Shop

There are a few things you should take into consideration when choosing an artist and shop for your tattoo. The first is making sure to find an artist that has plenty of EXPERIENCE in tattooing.

women getting tattoo from an artist

The second thing you should look at is the QUALITY of ink that the shop uses. Ask the shop what KIND of ink they use and research them to ensure they’re good quality and will not fade fast.

Quality inks play a vital role in PREVENTING your tattoo from fading too fast, so it is crucial to choose an artist and shop that uses them.

The third thing to consider is the AFTERCARE of your tattoo. Ask the shop what kind of aftercare they recommend and follow their instructions closely.

Importance Of Aftercare

Getting a tattoo is a big decision. Not only is it permanent, but it’s also expensive. That’s why taking CARE of your tattoo after you get it is essential.

Aftercare helps to prevent your tattoo from FADING too fast and keeps it looking its best.

When you first get your tattoo, the artist will clean the area and apply a thin layer of ointment. You’ll need to keep the area clean and moisturized for the next week.

Once the tattoo has healed, you’ll need sunscreen to prevent fading. Your tattoo artists will also recommend using a special tattoo cream or lotion to keep your ink looking fresh.


Does The Location Of A Tattoo Affect Fading?

Tattoos on areas of the body that get a lot of sun exposure, such as the hands, feet, and face, tend to fade more quickly than tattoos in other locations.

How Often Should You Moisturize A Tattoo?

You should moisturize your tattoo daily, using a lotion or cream designed for tattoo aftercare. This will help keep your tattoo looking its best and prevent fading.

Can You Use Vaseline To Moisturise A New Tattoo?

Yes, you can use Vaseline to moisturize a new tattoo.
However, choosing a product specifically designed for tattoo aftercare is essential, as these products will be more effective in preventing tattoo fading.

Do Certain Colours Of Ink Fade More Than Others?

Some tattoo inks are more likely to fade than others. In general, lighter colors, such as yellow and green, tend to fade more quickly than darker colors, such as blue and black.


Your tattoos are meant to be permanent, but they will begin to fade over time.

Remember, you can slow down the tattoo fading process by taking care of your skin, avoiding sun exposure, using sunscreen, and following your aftercare instructions.

By following these simple tips on preventing a tattoo from fading, you can enjoy your beautiful tattoos for many years to come.

tattoo on shoulder is fading but how to prevent a tattoo from fading

So, did you find the guide helpful? Let me know in the comments section!


  • Roggenkamp H, Nicholls A, Pierre JM. Tattoos as a window to the psyche: How talking about skin art can inform psychiatric practice. World Journal of Psychiatry. 2017;7(3):148-158. doi:10.5498/wjp.v7.i3.148
  • How Food Can Affect Your Tattoos | CUSTOM TATTOO DESIGN. Custom Tattoo Design. Published 2022. Accessed November 21, 2022.,you%20want%20to%20strive%20for.
About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and Twitter. Learn more about her HERE.