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Toronto & Vancouver tattoo artists reveal how to keep tattoos from aging Time takes its toll on all things. Although your tattoo is permanent, that doesn’t mean it looks the same forever. From moisturizers to makeovers, we use endless products and care to keep our faces from aging. But what are we doing to keep our tattoos looking bright and healthy? Tattoo fadings occur naturally. The once vibrant colours lose their boldness over time. But, with proper care tattoo fading is preventable or, at least, minimized. Some people actually seek out tattoo fading for the purpose of a cover-up tattoo. This makes it easier for the artist to work with the surface. This, however, is best performed by lasers. Today we focus on what you can do to keep your tattoo looking it’s best for longer.  

How to keep tattoos from fading

Most people’s focus on preventing tattoo fading begins and ends with tattoo aftercare. This is an important time, but everything that comes before and after this point has an impact on fading as well. There are three time slots to consider in preventing tattoo aftercare: 1. Pre-Tattoo 2. Tattoo Aftercare 3. Ongoing Tattoo Care  

1. Pre-Tattoo: Choosing your tattoo

One of the most important aspects to prevent fading is choosing the right tattoo. The type of tattoo you get, where you get it, and who does it, all play big roles in the longevity of your tattoo.  

Colour tattoo vs black & grey

Watercolor Tattoo Sparrow Black and grey are the hardiest tattoo colours. They are dense and bold and their appearance lasts longer than colours. In contrast, the most vibrant colours such as hot pink, yellow, light green tend to fade faster. Darker colours, such as deep reds, are more fade resistant. The colours in watercolour tattoos are the shortest-lived. The tradeoff is that they are very striking designs with vibrant colours. Despite fading relatively quickly, watercolour tattoos remain very popular. To keep them looking their best, they require frequent touchups. Although they are beautiful designs, if your goal is longevity, they are hardly the choice tattoo type for you. That being said, don’t let this stop you from getting the colour tattoo you’ve always wanted. There are many more aspects to preventing tattoo fading. And touch-ups are always an option. Remember, tattoos are permanent, so it’s worth getting the ones you want.  

Ink Quality

The quality of tattoo ink is just as important as the colour used. A lower quality ink may not last as long. In addition to a fading concern, this is also a health concern. Tattoo inks are unregulated by the government, it is not uncommon for them to contain heavy metals. Reference the Cosmetic Hotlist to identify potentially harmful ingredients. Going to reputable tattoo shops is the best way to ensure high-quality inks. These shops and artists hold the quality of their equipment to a higher standard. The best tattoo artists use better inks because their reputations are built on your tattoo. Your health & satisfaction with your new tattoo affects their reputation.  

Tattoo Placement

Tattoo placement has a direct impact on how your tattoo will wear over time. We’ve discussed which tattoo location hurt most and least. But what about how location affects fading? Toronto & Vancouver Tattoo Artist A basic rule is the more friction, the more wear. For example, tattoos on the inside of your thighs fade faster than others. As you walk your thighs rub against each other, wearing your tattoo down over time. Combine this with tight pants and it’s the perfect storm of tattoo fading. The best placements to prevent tattoo fading are where the body doesn’t rub up against itself, or where it is not constrained by tight clothing.  

2. Tattoo Aftercare

Tattoo aftercare is one the most effective ways for you to keep your tattoo looking it’s best. This is critical to ensuring your tattoo remains healthy and does not fade. A good tattoo artist always provides tattoo aftercare recommendations specific to you. But there are general basics to follow:
  • It is important to keep your new tattoo clean and moisturized.
  • After removing the bandage covering a fresh tattoo, the area should be gently washed with lukewarm water and a mild antimicrobial soap. Splash water on the tattoo instead of running it directly under the water. Be gentle so as not to risk scratching or scabbing. Pat dry the area with a light towel, don’t rub it dry.
  • Use an antibacterial ointment recommended by your artist, such as Tattoo Goo, for the first few days following your tattoo.
  • There will be some scabbing, don’t worry, it’s part of the healing process. After the first few days continue using a mild moisturizing lotion until the scab is gone and the tattoo fully heals.
Asian Koi TattooProper tattoo aftercare includes both what to do, and what to avoid. Here are a few things to avoid during tattoo aftercare:
  • Keep the tattoo out of direct sunlight. UV rays are harmful on a fresh tattoo.
  • Avoid soaking the tattoo until is fully healed.
  • Do not scratch the tattoo. Yes, it’s tempting to pick away at the scab, but it prevents proper healing. Other than applying ointment, it’s best to avoid touching your tattoo altogether during the aftercare period.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol soon before and after a new tattoo. It is best to avoid them the day of and an artist will turn you away if you are clearly inebriated. Until the tattoo heals they increase the odds of infection.
  • Avoid situations that wear on your new tattoo while healing. For example, wearing tight clothes or going to crowded clubs and concerts.

Our Favourite Tattoo Aftercare

After Inked

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer delivers effective skin moisturization and helps to preserve the colours of your tattoos. There’s no petroleum so it won’t stick to or stain your clothes. This moisturizing skin lotion, enriched with Grape Seed Oil, can also be used on any permanent makeup procedure on lips, brows, eye liner, and areola, as well as an after-laser tattoo removal moisturizing lotion. After Inked is Dermatologist tested, non-allergenic and non-irritating.

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PurSan

PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.

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3. Ongoing Tattoo Care

Keeping your tattoo healthy doesn’t stop with aftercare. Just like the rest of your skin, keeping this area healthy requires ongoing care. Your ongoing tattoo care is the difference between a tattoo staying brilliant for a few years or for a lifetime. Your tattoo is worth taking care of.  

Moisturize Your Tattoo

How do you keep your skin looking young and healthy? You moisturize! Same applies to your tattoo. A well-moisturized tattoo stays brighter and bolder for longer. Most of us already moisturize our hands and face, so it’s hardly a burden to include your tattoos as well. Use unscented soaps and moisturizers to keep your tattoo healthy and vibrant. There are products specifically for moisturizing your tattoos. However, most natural, non-abrasive moisturizers are sufficient.  

Use Sunscreen

Protect your tattoos from the sun’s harmful UV rays. While the FDA recommends sunscreen of at least 15 SPF, it is best to use 30 or higher to protect your tattoo. Especially for a new tattoo. The more you can avoid direct exposure to sunlight the less tattoo fading will occur. That being said, you don’t have to miss out on sunshine activities. Just be sure to practice smart sun safety.   Tattoo Touch Up

Getting a tattoo touch up

Preventing tattoo fading is all well and good. But what if your tattoo has begun fading already? The good news: it’s not too late. There is still an option to restore your tattoo to its former glory with a tattoo touch up. Most Toronto & Vancouver tattoo shops offer touch-ups. As with most things, this option is more expensive than preventative measures. But it still isn’t as costly as the initial tattoo. The artist is essentially tracing the existing ink, not designing a whole new piece. It is best to have the original artist return to do the touch-up. If that is not an option, presenting your tattoo artist with the initial sketches and/or early photographs of the tattoo is best. That way the artist can visualize what it the piece should look like.    ]]>