The sun can give us lots of benefits including Vitamin D and a whole lot of health and skin benefits, too. Basking underneath the glorious sun can immediately make you feel glowing and tan, which many people tend to dream of having.

However, spending too much time under the sun can also cause a lot of harm to your skin. The UV rays can be harmful to the skin, which is why you would have to slather lots of sunscreen before basking under the glorious sun.

Now, let us get to the ultimate question: do tattoos and tanning mix? If you have a tattoo or tattoos, there are a few things that you would have to consider before basking under the sun.

Avoid Tanning if you Just Got a Tattoo

If you literally just got a tattoo the day before you go to the beach, then you should altogether avoid basking in the sun for too long. A healing tattoo is super sensitive and it is not advisable to slather sunscreen on it.

The sun can also cause your tattoo to peel and get sunburnt, which can be extremely painful. If you need to go the beach after getting a new tattoo, then remember to stay under a huge umbrella and wear the right type of clothing. Make sure that your tattoo will be fully covered to avoid it from getting sunburnt or infected.

When to Apply Sunscreen

If your tattoo is fully healed and you need to go to the beach, then go ahead and slather lots of sunscreen on it. Make sure to use something with an SPF of 30 or higher to properly protect your tattoo.

However, you still should avoid basking under the sun when it’s still super hot, which is during noontime. If you ever need to, just slather lots of sunscreen on and wear proper clothes to avoid exposing it to the sun too much.

Dark-Colored Tattoos Will Burn Easily

Tattoos with darker colors tend to burn easier than those with lighter colors. The sunlight is just naturally attracted to darker colors, which is why you would have to protect it more than your lighter-colored tattoos.

Those tattoos with darker colors can easily fade and weaken when directly exposed to the sun, so make sure to slather lots of sunscreen on it when you need to tan directly under the sun.


Always keep a moisturizer handy when you need to go out in the sun. Make sure to slather lots of shea butter to your old or new tattoo every single time, and most especially before and after basking under the sun to tan.

This will keep your tattoo looking vibrant and will prevent it from fading and weakening.

Tanning Beds

When it comes to tanning beds, you still have to fully protect your tattoo from it. Tanning beds have the similar amount of UV rays as the sun, if not even more. It can also contribute to the fading and weakening of your tattoo, so make sure to put on lots of sunscreen before going inside a tanning bed.

Spray Tanning

If you really want to get a tan, a good alternative is spray tanning. This would not hurt your tattoo and if it does fade when sprayed on, you should remember that this is only temporary.

However, if your tattoo is not fully healed and it is relatively new, then you should wait a few weeks before using a spray tan. New tattoos are still sensitive and slathering different products on it an easily infect it. Make sure to wait until it is fully healed before using a spray tan directly on it.

If you do not want to get the spray tan on your tattoo, then make sure to wipe it off right after if you ever get some on it.

Sunburnt Tattoos

If it is way too late and your tattoo already got sunburnt from the sun, then grab a bottle of aloe vera product and slather it on your tattoo. If you have pure aloe vera plant with you, then peel the plant and get the juice. Carefully put it on your tattoo to help it heal.

Aloe vera has soothing properties and will immediately give you some type of relief after applying it directly on the sunburnt tattoo. If the sunburn persists and it seems to be getting more and more painful, then go visit your doctor right away.


Always take good care of your tattoo and moisturize it every single time. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and try different types of sun tanning instead. Always be a responsible tattoo owner!

Author Bio

Jason Hamilton has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon.

150-character meta description: Curious whether you can go tanning even with a tattoo? Read this guide to make sure your tattoo would not fade when tanning!