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Understanding your skin, tattoos and the effects of the sun

by Chill Caballero – 2nd April 2020

Studies show that happiest people are the ones who are always out amongst the elements, the ocean, fresh air and sunshine, and while we all need a little bit of sunshine at the moment, below is an overview of how you can protect your fresh ink from the effects of UV. Your tattoo is a part of your body — when you have a good understanding of how to treat your skin right, you can also treat your ink right. It’s a no brainer – sunlight will breakdown your tattoo. There are many different types of rays present in sunlight. The rays that are most damaging to our skin are called ultraviolet.  


UVA. Also known as UV – AGING. You cannot feel UVA rays (unlike UVB which is hot). UVA rays go all the way down to the deep dermis. UVA rays are responsible for the break down of collagen, cause a tan, start skin cancers, melanoma, and the ageing process. UVA stays constant from sunrise to sunset, whether it’s a cloudy day, raining or 27’C and sunshine. 

UVB. Also known as UV-BURNING. These are the rays you can feel, they are hot! Especially when the sun is highest in the sky between 12 to 3pm. These rays are responsible for sunburn and sun spots.  


The ink is deposited into the dermis layer.  


There are 2 types of sun protection fomulated by skincare companies worldwide: A Chemical and A Physical. 

Let’s start with chemical, which is more common. Chemical sunscreen ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and octinoxate, get absorbed into the skin, which then work by absorbing UVA & UVB into the skin and dispersing the heat in there. Sensitising and irritating, not the best protection in our opinion. Also not the safest for our bodies, and the environment.  
A physical sunscreen, has zinc or titanium dioxide as an active ingredient. These are the only 2 ingredients deemed by the FDA as safe for human bodies. These 2 ingredients sit on top of your skin as opposed to being absorbed inside it, and literally act as a physical shield from UVA & UVB. A great bonus is that these ingredients are minerals found in the ground, they aren’t harmful to our environment and our oceans when they wash off our bodies, zinc is anti-inflammatory and great for sensitised skin, and skin that’s healing, perfect for post care after a tattoo. A sole physical sunscreen cannot be formulated higher than a 30+, if it is 50+ you can rest assured that is has some chemical blockers in it too. 

In conclusion, stay out of the sun when UVB is strongest, between 12 to 3, sit under a tree! Look for a Physical Sunscreen 30+ with zinc or titanium oxide and apply onto your skin whenever it will be in direct sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and slip, slop, slap! SHARE ON