One of the most oft-heard and annoying remarks tattoo enthusiasts hear from skeptics is some variation of, “Sure, it looks cool now, but how will that tattoo look 40 years from now?” If you’ve ever had to face that kind of criticism, you know it can be frustrating because there is at least a small kernel of truth to it: tattoos do change as we grow older and our skin changes. There’s no guarantee that when you get tattoos here in Victoria, TX, or anywhere, that they’ll stay exactly the same over time. But that doesn’t mean embarrassment is inevitable! Here are some tips to help you and your tattoos age gracefully.
- Protect your tattoos from the sun. Of course you want to show off your ink, but you need to do it in a way that won’t cause fading. The ways to take care of your tattoos in the sun are basically the same things you should already be doing to protect your skin: use sunscreen liberally, tan in moderation and try to use an umbrella or some other type of shade if you’re out in the sun for a long period of time. Also, you definitely want to make sure your new tattoo is completely healed before exposing it to the sun at all.
- Consider location carefully. If you want to keep your tattoo looking as fresh as possible through the years, then you’ll want to be very cautious about where you place new tattoos. A 22-year-old woman might have a perfectly tight stomach, but what about if you plan to have kids 10 years from now? Both men and women should be realistic about where they expect stretch marks and varicose veins to appear before settling on a tattoo location. Lower arms, shoulders, and feet are generally safer areas, but only you know what’s best for your body.
- Don’t rely on retouching or removal. You may think that tattoo care isn’t important when you’re young, because you can always have your ink retouched or removed when it starts to fade or embarrass you. Don’t make this all-too-common mistake. Think of it this way: tattoos are basically healed wounds, or scars. You can try and mask or ink over scars, but they’re always going to be there, one way or another.
While keeping all these tips in mind, you should also be realistic and accept that imperfection is a reality. Your skin is going to expand, stretch, wrinkle, freckle, burn and tan over time, and it won’t always be in predictable ways. Faded or regrettable ink is a part of life for all tattoo lovers, but that shouldn’t discourage you from getting them. Think of an old tattoo as a symbol of who you once were, and who you’ve grown to be. Change over time might even make your tattoo more interesting or unique to you and your body. As with most things in life, balance between caution and acceptance is key when it comes to aging with tattoos in Victoria, TX.