Each tattoo holds a special place in your heart and your skin. Unfortunately, tattoos can fade over time due to sun exposure and aging. The problem might also stem from poor quality ink or improper ink placement by an inexperienced artist. But don’t worry! This article explains how to make your tattoos darker. Let’s start with the things you can do at home.
- Darken tattoos with moisturizer
- Exfoliate dry skin to brighten up an old tattoo
- Practice proper tattoo aftercare to prevent fading
- Wear sunscreen to prevent tattoo fading
- Things out of your control that cause tattoos to fade
- A professional solution to make tattoos darker: touch-up
- Final thoughts
Darken tattoos with moisturizer
Something as simple as putting on lotion can make a tattoo look better. Here’s why.
Tattoo ink is laid down in the dermis. That’s the level of skin underneath the epidermis or surface. When you view the tattoo, the epidermis is like a window. If your skin is dehydrated, it obscures the ink. But when your skin is moisturized, it makes the tattoo look clearer and brighter.
Badger – Tattoo Balm
This tub of balm is made with certified organic ingredients like tamanu and coconut oil. It’s petroleum-free and fragrance-free. The natural scent comes from the botanical ingredients.
Apply a thin layer of tattoo balm daily to keep the ink vibrant and the skin healthy. Not only does it keep old tattoos looking good, but it also helps new tattoos heal. It’s formulated to reduce itching, speed up healing, and ward off infection.
Exfoliate dry skin to brighten up an old tattoo
What happens when you clean a dirty window? You can see through it a lot better. Once your tattoo is healed, you won’t harm the ink if you exfoliate. Instead, you’ll make it easier for moisturizer to penetrate and make your tattoo look darker.
There are a couple of different choices when it comes to exfoliating. You can use a scrub or loofah or you can use a chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid or salicylic acid. The former mechanically removes dead skin cells right at the moment. Meanwhile, the latter dissolves the bonds between dead skin cells so they shed more easily over the next few days.
Neither method damages the tattoo because the ink is in the dermis, not the epidermis, and exfoliating doesn’t reach it.
Dove Exfoliating Body Polish
This exfoliating scrub is gentle on the skin and moisturizing at the same time. It has a creamy texture that buffs away dry skin with rice milk and macadamia. Moreover, the formula is paraben-free and was never tested on animals.
Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
If your tattoo is in a sensitive spot, you might prefer exfoliating gel. This one is mild enough to use twice a day because it was designed for the face. However, you can use it anywhere on the body to fade old scars and brighten up tattoos by getting rid of dead skin. It also helps reduce acne.
Practice proper tattoo aftercare to prevent fading
When you get a new tattoo, help it heal properly so that it stays dark and clear. Keep it clean and hydrated.
Tattoo Goo Aftercare Kit
This kit is the easiest all-in-one solution for a small to medium tattoo. It comes with antimicrobial soap, tattoo balm, and fragrance-free lotion. Wash your hands and then the new tattoo twice a day with soap. Use a paper towel to pat the skin dry before applying a thin layer of balm. After the first three or four days, you can switch to the lotion. Keep cleaning and moisturizing for at least two weeks until the surface has healed. For best results, continue to moisturize daily to keep the ink looking great.
Saniderm Tattoo Aftercare Bandage
New tattoos leak ink, blood, and fluid. They can’t be submerged in water and need to be protected against abrasion. The easiest way to manage all of this is to use a medical-grade bandage. Saniderm’s tattoo wrap lets the skin breathe while guarding against infection and damage to the ink.
Wear sunscreen to prevent tattoo fading
Although modern black tattoo ink doesn’t usually turn blue or green anymore, other colors are more susceptible to fading. If you spend a lot of time tanning or out in the sun, your tattoo is likely to fade. The straightforward solution is to apply sunscreen. Not only does it keep the ink vibrant, but it also prevents wrinkles and skin cancer down the road.
Devoted Creations Tattoo Fade Protection Stick with SPF 50+ UVA-UVB
It doesn’t really matter what sunscreen you use. Pick the one that you are most likely to apply. If it’s greasy or sticky, you’ll probably leave it in the medicine cabinet. Try something like this stick sunscreen instead. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily residue. Not only that, but it has a high level of sun protection and can be worn while swimming.
Things out of your control that cause tattoos to fade
Unless you are an artist or an expert on tattoo ink, you can’t blame yourself if your tattoo fades because the ink was cheap. But now you know that you should check the next time you get a tattoo. Ask the artist what they use and insist on high-quality tattoo ink.
For example, reputable brands like Kuro Sumi and Dynamic make highly-pigmented ink that is fade-resistant.
Also, be aware of the limits. Some inks like UV-reactive colors naturally fade faster.
If you let your buddy practice on you, you might end up with a tattoo that fades all too soon. Inexperienced artists might not lay the ink down evenly in the dermis. If the ink is in the epidermis, it will fade faster as the skin cells exfoliate. Of course, if it wasn’t your favorite design, that might not be a problem.
A professional solution to make tattoos darker: touch-up
If exfoliating and moisturizing don’t make your tattoo look crisp and new, there’s another way to make it darker. Consult with an artist about getting a touch-up. They can give you an estimate of how much it would cost to renew the tattoo.
In summary, the first step to darkening a faded tattoo is to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. This involves exfoliating dead skin and applying moisturizer daily. However, if you’re still unhappy with the way the ink looks, talk to an artist about getting a touch-up.