So, there’s that one tattoo you’ve gotten a long time ago and you want to give it a fresh new shine. Lucky for you, this is the right place to learn how!
In the following paragraphs, we’ll talk about something people tend to forget when it comes to tattoos; they will eventually start to fade and lose their initial bold pigment. Tattoo fading happens for numerous reasons, some of them including exposure to sunlight, clothes rubbing against the tattoo, skin aging, and simply put time. And, when people notice their tattoos getting lighter, they look for solutions.
Darkening a tattoo isn’t a crazy idea, and there sure are some options people utilize happily. So, we’ll go over all of the options and hopefully help you revive your tattoo and make it look brand new. Let’s get started!
Tattoo Fading – Explained
Why Do Tattoos Fade?
As we have mentioned in the introduction, tattoo fading is simply inevitable. Even if you take the best care of your tattoo, you may postpone the fading for some time, or prevent premature fading, but you can’t do it forever. But, why exactly does it happen? Here are some of the main reasons tattoo fading occurs;
- Tattoo body placement – if you’re tattoo is located on your hands/fingers, shoulder blades, the face, inner thigh, feet, or other high-friction locations, it is more likely to start fading super early compared to other tattoo body placements. Tattoos don’t like friction, so try to prevent early fading by simply choosing a low-friction location where the tattoo will be minimally exposed to clothes rubbing, water, and even sweat.
- Exposure to sun/sunbathing – Sun is not your tattoo’s friend. Excessive exposure to sunlight, especially in the summer, can contribute to early and quick tattoo fading. Sunscreen is a must when it comes to tattoo protection, but the best would be to keep the tattoo location covered to prevent premature fading.
- Immune system – from the first moment the tattoo artist starts tattooing you, for the rest of your life, your own immune system will work hard to get rid of the ink.; after all, the ink is a foreign object in your skin. The macrophage cells from your immune system will work to absorb all of the ink, diffuse it, and get rid of it. This contributes to tattoo fading but does take a really long time to occur.
These would be the main reasons why tattoos fade. Sure, there are many others, including clothes rubbing against the tattoo, or even improper tattoo aftercare. Tattoos that have been infected, or cases where people have experienced allergic reactions are more like to fade prematurely as well. Investing in a good sunscreen, and keeping the tattoo protected and well taken care of is essential to prevent premature fading. However, eventual fading is inevitable; your own immune system is working on it as you read this. But, there are some ways to darker and revive the tattoo a little bit. Keep on reading for more information!
How Do I Renew and Darken My Tattoo?
Keeping your tattoo bold, pigmented, and vibrant isn’t easy. However, you should check out some of our recommendations on how to darken up your tattoo and maybe try them out!
- Exfoliating the tattoo – this is a simple solution, but it is not a long-term one. But, we need to start with the basics, like exfoliation. Removing dead skin cells is essential for the skin, even the tattooed parts of it. You can use an exfoliation gel to remove the upper layer which is usually comprised of dead skin cells. Once removed, the skin will start to renew, giving your tattoo a fresh and vibrant appearance, even if it’s an old one.
- Tattoo touch-up – this one requires a professional, so will have to go back to the tattoo studio. Tattoo touch up is a quick and inexpensive way to renew an old, faded tattoo and darken it up a little bit. We definitely recommend utilizing both exfoliation and touch-up sessions for the best results. If you’re doing your touch-up with the same tattoo artists that have done the tattoo, you may even get it for free.
- Tattoo cover-up – now, this is the most extreme solution to this problem (darkening faded tattoos), but sometimes it simply has to be done. Some tattoos just lose all of their shine and color, so much so that the design isn’t even recognizable. So, don’t be shy to set up a new tattoo appointment with a specialized tattoo cover-up artist and see what can be done. The tattoo artist will work over the old tattoo, covering it up with a new, fresh coat of ink. It will make you forget you even had a tattoo before the new one.
There are, unfortunately, only three options for tattoo darkening. The tattoo industry hasn’t really come up with some magical darkening gel for tattoos that will make them look new after only one application.
It is simply impossible to do anything on a surface level because the ink is set in the skin dermis, so deep in the skin. Without a proper touch-up or even cover you can’t expect too much. However, regular exfoliation is essential in keeping the tattoo looking fresh and new, regardless of the color and shade you’re going for.
Hopefully, you’ve learned about tattoo fading and touch-ups from our brief little article. Tattoo darkening is a straightforward process, and you need to know that tattoos require regular care and even touch-ups. It is simply a lifelong dedication to keep a tattoo looking fresh and new, even long after it has been done. What we can advise you is to always work with a professional, experienced tattoo artist. Their good work will make your tattoo look fresh and new for a longer time. The same applies to touch-ups and cover-ups; always work with people who are pros at their work. That is the only way your investment can be worth the money, time, patience, and dedication.