How to Keep Your Tattoo Colors Bright

by Anne Marie Bailey ; Updated September 28, 2017

You want to keep your tattoo as fresh and bright as the day you got it. It's natural that the colors will fade over the course of time. There are several precautions you can take to keep your colors brighter longer. The most crucial time is during the healing process. Avoid losing any color while the tattoo is healing by taking steps to ensure it heals properly.

Follow all care instructions dictated by the tattoo artist. He will recommend an ointment to use. Make sure to ask any questions regarding brands, alternatives and application.

Remove bandage as often as instructed to wash your tattoo. Always use clean hands and an anti-bacterial soap. Remove any blood with light pressure to avoid scabbing.

Apply ointment. The tattoo should be covered and moist, but not goopy. You should barely be able to see any ointment.

Avoid scabbing as much as possible. Pulling a scab could result in pulling color from the tattoo. Wear loose clothing around the inked area to avoid any catching or pulling of a scab.

Keep skin moisturized. Once your tattoo is healed, continue to use a moisturizing lotion whenever the area feels dry. To keep your color fresh take care of your tattoo as you do the rest of your skin.

Stay out of the sun. Exposure to sun fades color more than anything. Always apply a high SPF sunscreen to the area before exposure.

Re-touch the color as needed.


  • Consult your tattoo artist if any problems arise. Never pick at a scab when the tattoo is healing.

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About the Author

Based in Southern California, Anne Marie Bailey has been a freelance writer since 2008. She has been published in "EAT Magazine" and is a regular contributor to and eHow. Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado.