Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Don't Fade Away: Protect Your Tattoos This Summer

  1. Begin
    OPener
    Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.

    202

    SHARES

    comments
    See All Slides

    Sunbathing is risky — you know that. But, take in some rays when you’ve got a tattoo and you’re just asking for trouble. Namely, dull ink.

    Here's why: Your tattoo resides in a middle layer of skin, called the dermoepidermal junction. When you get a tan, it’s because melanin is secreted into the top layer of skin, the epidermis. Because the epidermis lies above the dermoepidermal junction, this UV-triggered melanin can make an otherwise brightly colored tattoo look muddy and dull. Probably not what you were going for when you got your ink.

    To help prevent this look — as well as, you know, cancer — broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must. However, to really keep your tattoo super bright, there’s another type of skin-care ingredient you can add to your routine: tyrosinase and melanocyte inhibitors.

    Tyrosinase is an enzyme in your body that, when exposed to UV light, ultimately triggers the melanocyte cells responsible for producing skin pigment, melanin. So, tyrosinase and melanocyte inhibitors, like hydroquinone, kojic acid, and licorice extract — the very ingredients you may be using to treat hyperpigmentation — actually block melanin production. So, SPF the hell out of your tattoos when you are in the sun, and then apply one of those like a spot treatment at night to prevent that murky look.

    Luckily, there are a number of products on the market containing these melanin-blocking ingredients. Click through to see the most effective brightening ingredients and some of the best products that feature them — your ink will thank you.


    Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!
    Begin Slideshow

MORE SLIDESHOWS

Weddings

The Classic Glamour Of This Brooklyn Wedding Is Dreamy

Deciding which photos to use from Jillian Dresser and Joe Del Senno's online wedding album was no piece of cake. And, trust us, we see a lot of the same-old, same-old wedding party shots. Photographer Jacob Arthur captured their obvious gorgeousness and sweet moments against the perfect old-school glamour of 501 Union read

Styling Tips

The Bored Girl's Guide To Tying Winter Scarves

The thought of putting on your winter coat, your winter scarf, your winter hat, and your winter gloves is enough to make you want to hibernate entirely — or purchase a new winter outerwear wardrobe. Unfortunately, neither option is feasible since you have to engage in the ritual upwards of five times a day and don't read