Long Term Tattoo Care: Follow These 10 Tips

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Now that your new awesome-looking tattoo is fully healed, it’s time to take steps for long term tattoo care and keep it looking great for years to come. Neglecting your tattoo can cause the ink to fade and lines to blur over time, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’ll share ten easy tips for long term tattoo care that will keep your ink looking fresh and vibrant.

10 Tips For Long Term Tattoo Care

Take care of your tattoo to ensure it looks great for years. You can also how to preserve its appearance with our comprehensive guide on tattoo aftercare instructions. Now, we’ll share ten essential tips to keep your ink looking vibrant:

#1 Avoid Direct Exposure to Sunlight

Exposure to direct sunlight or tanning beds can cause your tattoo ink to fade over time. To protect your tattoo, it’s important to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or tanning beds, especially during peak hours.

If you can’t avoid the sunlight, consider wearing protective clothing or use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

Be sure to reapply every two hours, especially if you’re spending extended time outdoors.

#2 Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Keeping your tattoo moisturized is key to long term tattoo care. Apply lotion or ointment regularly, especially in dry or cold weather, to prevent cracking and fading. Be sure to choose a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizer to avoid irritation.

moisturizing tattoo good for long term tattoo care

#3 Don’t Soak Your Healing Tattoos

Swimming or soaking in water for long periods with a healing tattoo can cause the ink to fade or blur. Avoid chlorinated or saltwater pools and hot tubs, and limit your time in the shower or bath.

#4 Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for keeping your tattoos looking great long term. When your skin is dehydrated, it becomes dry and flaky, which can cause your tattoos to fade or even peel off.

TIP💡 To keep your skin and tattoos healthy, drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Drinking water keeps your skin moisturized from the inside out, preventing it from becoming dry and flaky. It also helps flush out toxins that can damage your skin and cause your tattoos to fade.

tattooed person drinking water

#5 Avoid (If Possible) Weight Changes

Significant weight changes can damage your tattoo, causing stretching or blurring of the lines. To prevent this, maintain a stable weight and avoid getting tattoos in areas prone to change, such as the stomach or thighs.

If you plan to undergo significant weight loss or gain, it’s best to wait until after the process before getting a new tattoo.

#6 Wear Loose Cloothing

Wearing tight or abrasive clothing over your tattoo can cause irritation or damage to the skin. Choose loose-fitting, breathable clothing to allow your tattoo to breathe and heal properly.

#7 Don’t Scratch or Pick Your Tattoo

Scratching or picking at scabs can cause scarring or loss of ink. It’s important to let the healing process happen naturally and resist the urge to scratch or pick.

#8 Keep Your Tattoo Clean and Healthy

Keeping your tattoo clean is crucial to preventing infections and maintaining its longevity. Gently wash your tattoo with mild soap and warm water, avoiding any harsh or abrasive scrubbing. For more details on this, see our article on how to clean your tattoos.

#9 Avoid Exposing Your Tattoo to Dirt

Exposing your tattoo to dirt or grime can cause infections or damage to the ink. Avoid exposing your tattoo to dirty or dusty environments, and keep it covered when necessary.

#10 Consider Touch-Ups

Over time, tattoos will fade and lose their vibrancy, that’s just how it is.

Consider getting touch-ups or color refreshing every few years to maintain the vibrancy of the ink and keep your tattoo looking its best.

BONUS: If Something’s Off, Consult With a Professional

If you notice any changes or issues with your tattoo, such as fading, scarring, or irritation, it’s important to consult with a professional tattoo artist or dermatologist. They can help diagnose any issues and provide recommendations for long term tattoo care.


By following these simple tips for long term tattoo care, you can ensure that your tattoo stays looking fresh and vibrant for years to come.

Remember to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun or tanning beds, keep your tattoo moisturized, and avoid soaking it in water for extended periods. Additionally, avoid tight or abrasive clothing, scratching or picking at scabs, and exposing your tattoo to dirt or grime. If you notice any changes or issues with your tattoo, consult with a professional tattoo artist or dermatologist.

By taking care of your tattoo properly, you can enjoy it for a lifetime.


What happens to tattoos after a long time?

Over time, your tattoo will inevitably fade as macrophages, cells from your immune system absorb and disperses the ink. Sun exposure, friction, and improper care can speed up this process.

Should I moisturize my tattoo forever?

You don’t have to moisturize your tattoo forever, but keeping your skin hydrated can help it look good for longer. Drinking plenty of water and keeping your skin healthy can also help your tattoo look better over time.

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