Not All Sunscreen Is Equal | Protecting Your Tattoos & Skin Year Round

Summer is here, vacations have started and trips to the beach and even just the backyard to layout and get some sun and vitamin D are in full effect.  It’s also time to understand a little more about how to protect your skin and tattoos when you’re exposed to the sun, and this applies year round, not just the summer.  Even more crucial, keep fresh tattoos or recently treated laser tattoo removal sections of your body completely out of the sun until fully healed.

Summer Suntanning

For 2013, Consumer Reports has released a really interested report on sunscreen, the cheaper store brands are actually better than expensive, designer brand sunscreens.  At the top of the pack, Target’s Up & Up Sport Spray SPF 50, followed by Walmart’s Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50 lotion.  Also missing from most sunscreen bottles this year, waterproof, as no manufactures have been able to convince the FDA that they are indeed waterproof.

What else should you look for in a sunscreen?  UVA and UVB protection, and some bottles say broad spectrum indicating both.  Almost more important, apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before you’re exposed to the sun and reapply every two hours.  If you’re sweating heavily or spending time in a pool, ocean or river, reapply the sunscreen after you’re out and dried off.

We’ve previously told you about Coppertone’s Tattoo Guard, it’s assumed it wasn’t included in the Consumer Reports study because of it’s specialty, and being new to the market.  It does offer broad spectrum protection though and because it’s available in a stick form, may be perfect for covering small tattoos.

Just because it’s summer now doesn’t mean you should stop with sunscreen and protection come fall though, especially for anyone who works outside or is exposed to the elements on a regular basis.  Taking a few extra minutes will help reduce the risk of skin cancer, but also keep your skin healthy and looking youthful, and your tattoos vibrant for much longer.

For anyone who is going through laser tattoo removal treatment, or thinking about it, it’s important to take care of your skin before, during and after treatments for a faster healing time and more significant fading between treatments.  There are also several clothing companies that make shirts, pants, shorts, hats and accessories with UVA / UVB sun protection built into them, perfect for when you’re hiking, running or do other outdoor activities.