How Do Tattoos Age? What Can You Do?

How do tattoos age? Fading, realigning, and wrinkling are a few of the signs that the skin and therefore your tattoo is aging. It all boils down to your skin. Tattoos will age according to how skin ages period.

All things age. Everything has an expiration. The same goes for tattoos. They tend to lose their vibrancy over time. Tattoos being permanent, are expected to be on your skin when you reach old age. They will be, but they will be far less vibrant.

From a brighter perspective, tattoo aging can be delayed. Your tattoo need not look your age. Your skin too. Just because you are in your fifties doesn’t mean you have to look fifty.

Correct skin care is the key. 

how do tattoos age

Several factors promote tattoo aging. To keep the dynamic look of your tattoo, you need to prevent the things that can trigger aging. 

What Promotes Tattoo Aging?

Direct UV Exposure

The sun can age the skin fast. The harmful UV rays can diminish the quality of tattoos. Too much sun exposure can break down your skin’s elasticity. Then, it results in sagging and wrinkling. Hence, aging skin with tattoos exhibits faded distorted skin art. 

Poor Aftercare Routine

Tattoo aftercare is crucial. It is essential to follow a good aftercare routine while the tattoo is healing. Not being able to do so often results in a dull, blurry tattoo. Aftercare tattoo routine also results in faster tattoo healing. It also prevents the tattoo from acquiring skin infections. 

Poor Ink Quality

The ink pigment is another vital factor. Cheap inks may not be able to look as delightful as good-quality ones. Bad ink pigments can also lead to adverse effects. Hence, opt for ink pigments with high quality. Perhaps a vegan ink? It’s plant-based and made sustainably. Sounds like the ideal option. 

The Tattoo’s Location

Tattoos located in areas prone to fading are bound to age quicker. Choosing the right tattoo placement is one important aspect. Areas prone to moisture are not the best place to have tattoos. As well as areas often experience friction. 

Body parts that change due to weight gain and loss are also susceptible to change. Hence, it makes the chest, back, and upper arms ideal for skin art. 

The Ink Colors

Black ink pigments fade slower than colored inks. Colorful pigments mixed with white are the ones to fade fastest. Bright colors such as red and yellow also dim quicker than blue hues. Thus, watercolor tattoo designs may look trendy; however, they tend to soften faster.

old man with colorful arm and chest tattoos

The Tattoo Details

Tattoos with intricate fine-lined details do not last long. It is a fact even your tattoo artist won’t deny. Tattoos cramped with too many details will somehow show signs of aging first. It will not stand the test of time. Thicker and bolder lines, however, can. 

A Poor Lifestyle

Keeping your body consistent and in good shape will keep your tattoo intact. A healthy lifestyle promotes healthy skin. Healthy skin prolongs tattoo quality. So, hydrate, exercise accordingly, and eat healthily! 

The Artist’s Skills

Tattoos require precision. The way your artist made the tattoo will either make or break it. The artist plays an essential role in terms of tattoo longevity. Being able to hit the right skin layer is crucial. Thus, pick the best artist you know to do your skin art. Not only will you be satisfied with the results. An expert artist can also give the best skin aging prevention tips. 

How To Prevent Tattoo Aging?

Wear Sunscreen When Outdoors

As mentioned,UV rays have adverse effects on the skin. When the skin is exposed to direct sunlight often, it can age fast. When the skin ages, the skin art on the skin will age too. The effects of the harmful UV rays on the skin ripple to your tattoos. Thus, tattoo aging will appear sooner. 

Stay Hydrated

The simple act of drinking water can maintain your skin’s elasticity. Keeping your body hydrated will keep your skin younger-looking. If so, your tattoo will look good as new too. Why not add drinking water to your aftercare routine?

bearded man with arm tattoos

Following the Right Aftercare Routine

Here are some simple yet effective tattoo aftercare routines:

  • Keep it bandaged for a day.
  • Wash it with mild soap.
  • Moisturize it with organic products. 
  • Avoid it from direct sun exposure. 
  • Wear loose clothes while the tattoo is healing. 

Replenish Collagen on Your Skin

Collagen is what keeps the skin firm. Aging can slow down the production of collagen in the body. Boosting it with oils or collagen supplements can keep your skin plump. Hence, your tattoo will stay intact too. 

Tattoos will blur, fade, and age. It is unavoidable. Giving it a thought before having them can help. The design is one thing to think about. The artist is another. Where to put the tattoo is also crucial. 

Worst Areas to Get a Tattoo

  • Leg
  • Stomach
  • Chest
  • Wrist
  • Feet

Best Areas to Get a Tattoo

  • Nape/back neck area
  • Inner forearm
  • Chest area near the shoulder blades
  • Lower back
girl with arm and back shoulder tattoos

Kinds of Tattoos That Age Well

Tattoos in Low-Friction Zones

Tattoos located in low-friction zones last longer. Less friction means more years of vibrant tattoos. If you tend to do a lot of physical activities, wearing loose clothes is fitting. Sure-fire areas for tattoos that gain less friction are the shoulders, back, thighs, forearm, and upper arm. Tattoos in these areas can withstand the test of time. 

Black and Grayscale Tattoos

As was mentioned, tattoos made with darker hues fade last. In contrast to tattoos with bright colors, black tattoos stay pristine for a long time. Grayscale tattoos are timeless. You can never go wrong with having skin art as simple as black and white tattoos

Colored tattoos may look trendy; however, they tend to age badly in time. On the other hand, black and white tattoos can last decades without fading. 

Bold Tattoo Designs

Bold tattoos can be quite a lot for some. It exhibits an intense appeal. Bold tattoos are common in the male population. Females, however, love delicately drawn tattoos. Tattoos in fine line style are expected to fade faster. 

Bold designs may not be your style of choice. But, you can look for a design that balances bold lines with soft aesthetics. Perhaps a customized tattoo design? Every tattoo artist love to modify tattoo designs for their clients. 

Tattoos Made by an Expert Artist

If the artist has already earned years of experience, hitting the right spot is a breeze. Where the ink pigments are etched is crucial. The tattoo will definitely not look good if it’s too shallow or deep. 

How precise the artist was when penetrating the ink pigment greatly matters. The results will depend on your artist’s skills. Missing that one-millimeter spot can either lead to early fading or tattoo blowout. 

male tattoo artist doing arm tattoo

Large Tattoos

Large tattoos make all the difference when it comes to longevity. However, it does not necessarily mean a huge backpiece. Something large enough is good. Small tattoos with intricate designs do fade faster. Larger ones give you room for touch-ups in the future. 

Dotwork or Steepling Tattoos

Dots ages best and hold longest. The space between dots also creates gradation that can still look good over time. Dotwork tattoos may take longer to tattoo. But it will also last longer on your skin too. 

Dotwork tattoos can be done in multiple colors. But it looks best in black ( in our opinion). Additionally, its location will also delay fading. The fingers, palms, and feet are not ideal for dotwork tattoos. Dotwork tattoos look delicate. However, it doesn’t share the same quality as fine line tattoos in terms of longevity.  

How Do Fine Line Tattoos Age?

Fine line tattoos are growing its popularity. Many are opting for that exquisite style. Fine-lined tattoos do look sophisticated, minimalist, and quite unique. But, the thing is, it can fade faster than any other style. 

Since fine line tattoos demand thin lines, ink pigments injected are also limited. Hence, it has a higher chance of fading faster. Perhaps choose an artist expert in fine line tattoos?

How Do Watercolor Tattoos Age?

girl with watercolor tattoo

Multicolored tattoos fade quicker than grayscale ones. What more with tattoos done in washed watercolor style? It can fade in a short period. Touch-ups can be an option, but how many times do you really want to do it?

Colors such as red, yellow, and green will fade before you know it. It is the nature of colored pigments. Thus, for watercolor tattoos, the fading might be gradual. But it is likely to age within a decade. 

How Do Tattoos Age? – Conclusion

Tattoos are bound to age. Of course! It is unlikely that they won’t. If you are aging, your tattoo will be aging too. But, the real question is, how soon? The skin is our biggest organ. It is only right to safe keep it from the harmful UV rays by using a good quality sunscreen.

A basic skincare routine isn’t that bad either, your skin will thank you for it! Drinking water is even good for you, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will garner you all the benefits. Doing such things does not only promote better-looking tattoos in the years to come, it will make you feel great!

On top of all of that, you will be reaping a healthy skin, body, and mind balance.