So you’ve spent time planning your tattoo, not to mention spending all that money on getting inked, so you’ll want to look after the finished product. Remember, the whole idea of a tattoo is that it’s for life, so don’t give yours a half-life by letting it lose its colours too early. We explore how you can keep those colours brighter for longer.

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Early care

Looking after your tattoo from the get-go is the easiest way to keep those colours brighter for longer. This is a critical stage in the life of your tattoo, so you need to follow the instructions of your tattooist to the hilt. Ideally, they should have instructed you to keep it clean, wash it only with antibacterial soap to prevent infections and to moisturise it.

Now the moisturising is important here. Make sure you only use fragrance-free and dye-free moisturiser. The dyes and fragrances that are put into creams to make them smell and look nice rely on chemicals such as solvents and other volatiles. Unfortunately, these can impede the healing of the skin and should be avoided for the first few weeks after your tattoo.

Any good tattooist will know where to buy the best professional tattoo supplies in the UK that they can sell on to you. Companies such as Jungle tattoo supplies sell aftercare balms, creams, oils and serums which can actually be bought directly from the company’s online store if your tattooist doesn’t have any in stock.

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The sun

The sun doesn’t just give you wrinkles, sunburn and skin cancer, it can also reduce the brightness of your tattoo. The sun’s dangerous rays include UVA, UVB and IR rays. These can damage healthy skin, but can really damage tattooed skin by breaking down the actual pigments in the tattoo dye. Furthermore, when you tan, those tanning cells rise to the top layer of skin, right through the tattoo and further cause the colour to fade. The answer of course, is suncream, and plenty of it.

So remember to look after your tattoo well in those first few weeks and avoid fragranced or dyed moisturisers at all costs. From then on try to avoid getting your tattoo out in the sun and if you do, apply a total block suncream to it at regular intervals.