5 Reasons Why Tattoos Fade – How to Make Your Tattoo Last Longer

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Have you ever wondered why do tattoos fade over time? Tattoos are a permanent form of body art that can last a lifetime or fade away in only a few years. There are a number of factors that can contribute to the fading of tattoos, such as sun exposure, lifestyle choices, and improper care. In this article, we’ll explore why do tattoos fade and provide tips on how to make your tattoo last longer.


How Long Do Tattoos Last?

How Long Do Tattoos Last?

Tattoos are an incredibly popular form of body art that can last for years, decades, and even a lifetime. But how long do tattoos last?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the type of ink used, the size and location of the tattoo, and the overall health of the tattoo wearer. While some tattoos may last for a lifetime, others may fade within a few years.

The type of ink used for a tattoo can significantly impact how long it will last. Professional, high-quality ink will generally last longer than cheaper, lower-quality ink. The size of the tattoo is also important, as larger tattoos tend to last longer than smaller ones. The location of the tattoo can also play a role, as tattoos on areas of the body that are in constant motion may fade quicker than tattoos on parts of the body that don’t move as much.

The overall health of the tattoo wearer can also impact how long a tattoo lasts. Those with healthy immune systems are less likely to experience fading or other issues with their tattoos. Additionally, taking proper care of your tattoo can help extend its life. Things like keeping tattoos out of direct sunlight, avoiding certain skin care products and lotions, and not picking at or scratching the tattoo can all help to keep it looking vibrant for years to come.

In general, tattoos can last anywhere from a few years to a lifetime, depending on the type of ink used, the size and location of the tattoo, and the overall health of the tattoo wearer. Taking proper care of your tattoo and making sure to use high-quality ink can help ensure that your tattoo looks great for many years.

What Causes a Tattoo to Fade?

What Causes A Tattoo To Fade?

There are several factors that can cause a tattoo to fade over time, including sun exposure, improper aftercare, and even the type of ink used.

Sun Exposure – Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause tattoo ink to fade and blur. If a tattoo is exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period, it can cause the ink to break down and fade.

Improper Aftercare – Proper aftercare is essential for preserving the vibrancy of a tattoo. Not following the recommended aftercare instructions can lead to fading and discoloration. This includes using harsh soaps, not using a moisturizer, and not properly protecting the tattoo from the sun.

Type of Ink – The type of ink used in the tattoo can also have an effect on how long it lasts. Some inks, such as those with heavy metals, are more likely to fade than others. In addition, some inks are more prone to fading due to their chemical composition.

Why Is My New Tattoo Fading?

Why Is My New Tattoo Fading?

Tattoos are meant to be a permanent form of self-expression and art, however, many people find that their new tattoos start to fade soon after the healing process is complete. This can be extremely frustrating, as it can make the tattoo look less attractive and can leave you feeling like you wasted your money.

The Causes of Fading Tattoos

There are several potential causes of fading tattoos:

Cause Explanation
Poor Quality Inks Low quality inks may fade quickly, leaving your tattoo looking dull and faded.
Incorrect Aftercare Tattoo aftercare is essential for keeping the ink vibrant and preventing it from fading. Not following the aftercare instructions properly can lead to fading.
Sun Exposure Excessive sun exposure can cause the ink to fade much faster than normal. It is essential to keep your tattoo covered and protected from the sun.
Age As you age, your skin changes and the ink in your tattoo can start to fade.

In addition to these potential causes, the placement of the tattoo can also play a role in how quickly it fades. Areas of the skin which are constantly in motion, such as the wrists, ankles and neck, tend to fade more quickly than other areas.

How to Prevent Fading Tattoos

If you want to keep your tattoo looking vibrant and prevent it from fading, there are several steps you can take:

  • Use high quality inks when getting your tattoo.
  • Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist.
  • Keep your tattoo covered and protected from the sun when outdoors.
  • Avoid areas of the skin which are constantly in motion.
  • Use moisturizer regularly to keep your skin healthy.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your tattoo will stay vibrant and look its best for years to come.

Why Does My Tattoo Look Faded After a Month?

Why Does My Tattoo Look Faded After A Month?

Tattoos naturally fade over time, but many people find that their tattoos have already begun to fade after just a month. This is because the healing process of a new tattoo can cause it to look faded. During healing, the body produces new skin cells. As the skin cells form, they push the ink particles further away from the surface of the skin, making the tattoo appear faint. Additionally, the immune system may try to reject the ink, causing it to fade. Lastly, if proper aftercare isn’t followed, it can cause the ink to fade more quickly. This can happen if the tattoo is exposed to direct sunlight or if the skin is not kept moisturized.

It’s important to remember that most tattoos will appear to fade over time, even within the first few months. However, proper aftercare can ensure that the tattoo lasts longer and looks vibrant for years to come. Sunscreen, moisturizing, and avoiding direct sunlight can help keep a tattoo from fading too quickly. Additionally, it’s best to keep the area clean and covered for the first few weeks of healing. By taking the necessary steps, you can make sure that your tattoo looks great for years to come.

What Does a Faded Tattoo Look Like?

What Does A Faded Tattoo Look Like?

A faded tattoo looks significantly different than a brand new one. Common signs of a fading tattoo include:

  • Colour loss – the ink becomes significantly lighter and the colours may appear washed out
  • Blurring – the crisp lines and details of the tattoo become blurred, making it difficult to make out any of the design
  • Fading – gradually, the tattoo will become less and less visible, eventually becoming almost invisible

Fading tattoos can be hard to spot, but it is important to take care of your tattoo to keep it looking vibrant for years to come.

Which Tattoos Fade the Fastest?

Which Tattoos Fade The Fastest?

Tattoos that are exposed to the sun, have little to no shading, and are made with colors that are prone to fading are more likely to fade faster. Tattoos with red and yellow colors fade the quickest, while those with blue and green inks tend to last longer. Tattoos on areas like the neck and hands, which are constantly exposed to sunlight, are more prone to fading. Both the type of ink used and the technique of the tattoo artist can also affect the longevity of a tattoo.

Type of Ink Fading Potential
Organic Inks High
Non-Organic Inks Low

Organic inks have higher fading potential, as the color pigments are not as stable as non-organic inks, and they tend to break down and fade more quickly over time. Professional tattoos are done with non-organic inks, making them less prone to fading. However, if a tattoo artist is inexperienced or uses cheap inks, it can result in a tattoo that fades quickly.

How to Make Your Tattoo Last Longer

  • Use a high-quality tattoo ink. Inks not formulated for tattoos will fade more quickly.
  • Follow your artist’s aftercare instructions. Thoroughly washing and moisturizing your tattoo will help it heal properly and prevent fading.
  • Protect your tattoo from the sun. Sun exposure will cause your tattoo to fade more quickly, so make sure to keep your tattoo covered up when you’re outdoors.
  • Avoid swimming or soaking your tattoo. Swimming pools and hot tubs contain chlorine and other chemicals that can cause your tattoo to fade.
  • Stay away from abrasive surfaces. If you have a job or hobby that requires contact with rough surfaces, make sure to protect your tattoo with clothing or a protective cream.
  • Visit your tattoo artist for touch-ups. Touch-ups can help to restore color and prevent further fading.
  • Don’t pick at your tattoo. Picking at your tattoo can cause scabbing, which will lead to fading.

Permanent tattoos can last for years and even decades, but they can also fade over time. To keep your tattoo looking its best, it’s important to take steps to prevent fading and preserve the color. Proper aftercare, protection from the sun, and touch-ups can all help to make your tattoo last longer and keep it looking vibrant for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Main Causes of Tattoos Fading?

Sun Exposure: UV rays from the sun are the primary cause of tattoo fading. Sun exposure degrades the ink and can cause colors to lighten or disappear completely over time.

Lack of Care: Neglecting to care for a tattoo can cause it to fade more quickly. Applying moisturizers, avoiding harsh soaps and detergents, and protecting a tattoo from the sun can help keep it looking vibrant and prevent fading.

Poor Quality Ink: Low quality ink is more prone to fading, which is why it is important to research artists and find one that uses high quality inks.

Improper Tattooing Technique: An inexperienced artist may not properly apply the ink or use the right equipment, leading to fading.

How Can I Ensure My Tattoo Lasts as Long as Possible?

To ensure your tattoo lasts as long as possible:

  • Protect It from the Sun: Wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher when exposed to direct sunlight and other sources of UV light.
  • Keep It Clean: Wash your tattoo with antibacterial soap and warm water and pat it dry with a clean towel.
  • Moisturize It: Apply a thin layer of body lotion or ointment to your tattoo to keep it hydrated and prevent fading.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools or hot tubs, as well as exposing your tattoo to harsh chemicals such as detergents, solvents, and other cleaning products.
  • Don’t Pick at It: Resist the urge to pick at your tattoo, as this can cause it to fade or become infected.

Are There Any Tips for Preserving the Colour of a Tattoo?

1. Keep It Out of the Sun
UV rays from the sun can cause tattoos to fade much faster than expected. To prevent your tattoo from fading, it’s best to keep it out of direct sunlight. If your tattoo will be exposed to the sun, make sure to cover it up with clothing or a sunscreen that’s specifically designed for tattoos.

2. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining the vibrancy of your tattoo. Keeping your skin well-hydrated will help it remain healthy and prevent fading. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is a good way to keep your skin hydrated and preserve the colour of your tattoo.

3. Keep It Clean
It’s important to keep your tattoo clean and free from dirt, oil, and other debris. Gently wash your tattoo with soap and water a few times a week to keep it looking vibrant.

4. Avoid Excessive Use of Products
Using too many products on your tattoo can cause it to fade faster. Avoid using harsh soaps, lotions, and other products on your tattoo. If you must use a product, use one that’s specifically designed for tattoo care.

5. Moisturise Regularly
Using a quality moisturiser can help keep your skin hydrated and your tattoo looking vibrant. Choose a moisturiser that’s designed specifically for tattoos and apply it several times a week.

Are there any precautions I should take while getting a tattoo?

It is important to take proper precautions when getting a tattoo to ensure that your tattoo looks great for longer. Before getting a tattoo, research the artist and make sure they are reputable. Make sure the artist follows proper safety protocols, such as wearing gloves and sterilizing their equipment. Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds to protect the tattoo from fading. Additionally, make sure to moisturize the tattoo regularly to keep the ink from drying out and fading.

Are there any special products or treatments available to help keep my tattoo looking vibrant?

Yes, there are a number of products and treatments available to help keep your tattoo looking vibrant. Aftercare products such as moisturizers, sunscreens, and oils can help keep your tattoo from fading. Professional treatments like laser tattoo removal and chemical peels can also help to restore color and vibrancy. Additionally, tattoos can be touched up by a professional artist to keep them looking fresh.


Tattoos are a popular form of self-expression and art, but their beauty can fade over time. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your tattoo lasts longer, such as investing in high-quality ink, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and keeping your skin moisturized. With a few proactive measures, you can ensure your tattoo looks as vibrant and beautiful as the day it was inked.


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