Think before you ink! Getting a tattoo in summer might not be the best idea. Protect your new tattoo from the sun, and consider colder months.
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to getting a tattoo in the summer is that the Sun is your friend.
Though the Sun does provide many health benefits when it comes to the dermis and overall health – such as cancer prevention, increased serotonin levels, unlimited Vitamin D, and improved moods – the Sun is not your friend when it comes to healing your new tattoo.
Warmer weather brings about less clothing. That means more direct exposure to the harmful effects of the Sun.
A new tattoo is essentially a raw wound, susceptible to burning at lower temperatures than regular skin, causing the tattooed skin to fade, crack, peel, and even blister.
This is why the best time to get a tattoo would ultimately be in the colder months – ie. Fall, Winter, and Spring (depending on where you live).
Why Do People Get Tattoos in the Summer?
It’s just one of those things.
Regardless of the reason – or reasons you decide to get a tattoo, at some point, you want someone to see it, you want someone to acknowledge your bravery.
A part of you wants people to ask you, why? What does it mean? How much did it hurt? Where did you get it done?
Hint: The answer for that one should be ‘North York Ink’ 10 times out of 10.
So, regardless of WHY you got it, you will be showing it off.
For that reason, it is important to be aware of the health risks associated with exposing your tattoo to too much sunlight and be prepared to combat those risks with the information below.
The Effects of the Sun on Your Tattoo
It goes without saying that the UV rays of the sun are extremely powerful and can damage your skin after long periods of exposure.
This is why we wear sunblock when laying on a beach on vacation or even going just for long walks on a hot summer day.
It is not recommended to apply anything but the suggested aftercare provided to you by the professional tattoo studiowhile your new tattoo is healing – and unfortunately, tattoo aftercare is not a good sunblock substitute.
With that being said, your new tattoo will be exposed to harmful amounts of UV rays, causing them to absorb and essentially break up the pigment in your tattoo design.
Once the tattoo is fully healed, however, we do recommend applying SPF50 sunscreen at the very least to your healed tattoo in order to protect it from the sun as you would any other part of your skin anytime you will be exposed to long durations of sunlight.
Why Can’t I Just Cover It Up?
Well, the short answer is you can – and for the most part, that is what we recommend anytime you get a new tattoo.
However, imagine being out on the beach hiding from the sun while all of your friends are out swimming in the water, playing beach volleyball, building sand castles, and having a blast – that wouldn’t be ideal.
Also, very few people have that type of discipline, FOMO is real!
On top of that, your tattoo needs to breathe. Suffocating your tattoo in layers of clothing to protect it from the sun might do more harm than good in warmer weather.
Our bodies are prone to sweating in hot weather, it’s one of those weird things we do as humans.
We sweat to control our body temperature – meaning if we are too hot, we start to sweat, and as the water in our sweat evaporates, the surface of the skin cools.
All of that happens naturally, without the addition of extra layers.
Take your new permanent tattoo, for instance – as we mentioned earlier, your ‘raw wound’.
If you cover it up on a hot day to protect it from the sun, you are essentially creating a heat pocket on an open wound, and you can bet on it that heat pocket will generate more sweat than anywhere else on your body.
The sweat will irritate your tattoo, expose it to a higher risk of infection, and as a result, damage the design.
Won’t the Colder Months Cause My Tattoo To Be Too Dry?
The age-old question of ‘Would you rather be too hot or too cold’ comes into play here. My personal answer is always too cold because you can always layer up.
You cannot, however, remove enough layers to cool yourself down. I mean, you can, but depending on where you are, it might be inappropriate.
The winter months provide a little bit more control when it comes to regulating body temperature and protecting your skin.
Of course, the colder months are also the dryer months, but there are ways to combat that.
For the most part, your skin is always covered when you’re outside (unless you’re a freak of nature who wears t-shirts in negative 30-degree weather).
And unlike layering up in the summer months, layering up in the winter is actually done to create your perfect internal/external body temperature.
You can choose how warm you want to be, ultimately creating a perfect climate for your healing tattoo.
And when inside, you can remove those layers and let your tattooed skin breathe in your cozy climate-controlled environment.
Also, if your tattoo seems to be drying out – just apply the aftercare. That’s what it’s for.
Tattoo Studios Are Typically Slower in the Colder Months
Now this does not necessarily have anything to do with the effects of the sun and your tattoo, but it is a good little tattoo hack.
Typically tattoo studios are slower in the winter months for a number of reasons.
The big one is, as we talked about earlier, people rush to tattoo studios in the summer so they can immediately show off their badges of honor, which again is not recommended but is the reality.
But what that means for you, the informed reader, is that it is very likely that your tattoo artist will have more availability.
No long queues or waitlists – chances are you can get in for your appointment sooner rather than later.
To be honest this is the ideal time to get a permanent tattoo!
Think about it, you’ve already bypassed the tattoo shop waitlist, you’ve got the perfect climate to heal your tattoo and now by the time summer hits you can go outside without looking like a freak in a million layers and show off your tattoo ink without worrying about the adverse effects of the sun!
It’s a win-win!
Protect Your Tattoo Ink from Sun Damage: Consider Winter Tattoo Sessions with North York Ink
Don’t let the sun ruin your awesome new tattoo pigment!
While summer may seem like the perfect time to show off your new body art, it’s important to keep in mind the harmful effects of UV rays on your new tattoo.
Instead, consider getting your tattoo during the colder months, when you can regulate your body temperature and protect your skin.
Plus, tattoo studios are typically slower during the winter months, making it the perfect time to make an appointment with North York Ink for your next tattoo experience.
So, protect your ink and book your appointment today!