Can I Tan After Getting a Tattoo?

tanning with tattoos

As Summer approaches, the warm weather and sunshine-filled days make it hard to stay inside. There’s nothing quite like feeling the warm rays on your skin, but sun protection is also essential-especially if you have a tattoo. When you’re out baking in the sun for hours, or even for a couple of minutes in one of our beds, be sure to properly protect your new tattoo. 

Can Tanning Impact Your Tattoo?

So, you’re thinking about getting a new tattoo. We recommend you stop in and prep your skin with a nice tan before your tattoo and then visit us after while using caution. You are going to want to cover the tattoo or use very high SPF before going into a tanning bed after getting your tattoo. Tattoos are usually considered well-healed after about 3 months.

Tanning Beds

It’s important to know that even the tanning bed can irritate your new tattoo if you do not prepare properly. A protective cover or use of sunscreen is critical in tattoo healing process. 

SPF is Key

Ultraviolet rays, while adding a nice bronze tone to your skin, can drain the life out of a tattoo. The more you tan, the more the ink fades, and it slowly goes from brilliant to boring.

Does that mean your tanning days are over? NOPE. Good news is, there are plenty of ways to protect your fresh ink. Find the highest SPF level you can find and re-apply often if you’re going to spend a lot of time outside. If your goal is to go out and get some color, make sure you at least protect your tattoos with as much sunscreen as possible. If you’re indoor tanning, be sure to constantly moisturize and preferably get your tan on prior to getting your tattoo. 


Luckily, spray tans are a safe option to achieve a golden glow if you have a healed tattoo. As long as your tattoo is completely healed, you can apply lotion or tanner to it like you would other parts of your body. Because spray tanning doesn’t have UV-rays, there’s no risk to your tattoo. When you get a spray tan, you may notice that some areas of your tattoo appear darker, but this is not permanent and will fade over a couple of days, with the natural lifespan of your spray tan. To prevent the temporary darkening, you can clean the skin where your tattoo is immediately after getting a spray tan. 


You want to avoid tanning in the sun and in UV bed for 3 months after getting a new tattoo. The best ways to stay bronzed during this time is to get a few UV bed sessions in before your tattoo appointment and then switch over to spray tanning until the tattoo heals. This will give you the best results and your tattoo will heal properly. Check out our single visit and membership prices!

One comment on “Can I Tan After Getting a Tattoo?

  1. Plush on

    The sun – it is the fundamental ingredient for all life forms. Through its light, warmth and radiant energy, the sun provides the basis for all life on our planet. It stimulates the mind and the soul. It provides a sense of inner peace and well-being that both comforts and energizes. When the sun is shining, spirits are lifted and rejuvenated.
    Regular exposure to sunlight can:
    • strengthen bones
    • regulate blood pressure
    • reduce stress and tension
    • keep hair, skin, and nails strong and healthy
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