Body art and tattoos are all the rage among people of all ages these days. Attractive patterns and designs in an array of colors, which mean something to those who wear them- the very definition of tattoos itself is beautiful.

And that is the reason why many people opt for getting not one, but multiple tattoos on their bodies. Getting a tattoo is easy, however, the part that is actually tough is protecting it.

Tattoos are sensitive, and even more so during the first few months of getting them. Protecting them from chemicals and sunlight is important, as they can cause serious irritation to the skin, as well as lead to a decrease in the colour and brightness of the design itself.

As such, many sunscreens are available on the market, which is specially designed to protect tattooed skin, without themselves being too harsh on the design.

These sunscreens may be made from materials that are less irritating to the skin, and are rapidly promoted for use directly after getting a tattoo.

Top 10 Best Sunscreen For Tattoos

To help you while you look to buy your post-tattoo sunscreen, to protect you from the harmful UV rays of the sun, we have compiled a list of some of the best products available on the market.

We have also included detailed descriptions and the pros-to-cons comparison after every review.

Best Sunscreen For Tattoos

1] Badger – SPF 30 Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Cream

Badger is a well known brand of sunscreens, and produces a whole range of sunscreen products. Despite being composed only of 5 ingredients, this product is very efficient in protecting the skin from radiations, especially with its SPF 30. This makes it very safe to use, and suitable for all skin types. Additionally, it is hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic as well.

This sunscreen is mineral-vased, and the zinc oxide used is non-nano, and instead comes in larger crystals, which spread over the skin surface and absorb the radiations. Being wide spectrum in nature, it is capable of absorbing both UVA and UVB rays.

The larger size also prevents it from penetrating your skin and entering your blood. Also, it remains resistant to water for at least 40 minutes, making it ideal for use at the beach or in swimming pools.

Another plus point is that this product has been tested to be safe on coral reefs (which, by extension, means that it is also safe for human skin). It does not contain any oxybenzone, and so, is biodegradable without harming marine life.

Moreover, it is certified as per the EWG sunscreen guide. 98% of the formulation is made using organic products, to keep the skin healthy, and provide moisture and antioxidants. It is GMO-free, fragrance-free, has no parabens, dyes, and other artificial agents.

Ingredients: nano zinc oxide, organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, sunflower vitamin E, and organic seabuckthorn extract

Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 0.4 inches

Product Weight: 3.2 Ounces

Pros

  • Contains only 5 ingredients, and is 98% organic, for healthy skin.
  • Doesn’t contain oxybenzone, and is safe for marine corals and for human skin.
  • Wide spectrum and water-resistant for better efficiency.

Cons

  • Being made of zinc oxide, it has a gritty and greasy feel.
  • The zinc oxide leaves skin too white. 

2] Australian Gold SPF 50 Tattoo Stick 14 g

One of the best things about this product is that it is designed as a stick, instead of as a cream or lotion. As such, it is largely free of the greasy feel associated with creams. Moreover, its SPF is very high, at SPF 60, and the Ultimate Fade Protection feature is sure to keep your tattoo design intact.

Moreover, it also supplies moisture to the tattooed skin, making the colours brighter.

Contains: 14 g product

Product Dimensions: 2.95 x 1.57 x 0.79 inches

Product Weight: 0.49 Ounces

Pros

  • The SPF is very high at SPF 60.
  • Ultimate Fade Protection to keep tattoo design intact.

Cons

  • Very small size of the product at only 14g.
  • Expensive compared to the small size.

3] Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch

Another well-known brand, Neutrogena is known for making quality products. This sunscreen, with an SPF of 100, is no exception. Due to its Dry-Touch Technology, it gets rapidly absorbed into the skin, providing a clean finish which is light in weight and non-shiny, and doesn’t have a greasy feel.

Moreover, it is broad-spectrum, made with the Helioplex Technology that allows it to absorb both the UVA rays which cause ageing and the UVB rays which cause burning.

Also, it is free of PABA, a chemical that is known to damage skin and is also non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores). The package is travel-sized and TSA compliant, and remains water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it perfect for use in pools and at beaches.

Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.3 x 1.35 inches

Product Weight: 3 Ounces

Pros

  • Very high SPF at SPF 100, and broad spectrum.
  • Remains water-resistant for very long (80 minutes).
  • Dry-Touch Technology for light, non-greasy feel.
  • Doesn’t clog pores, and is free of PABA. 

Cons

  • Can cause flare-ups and psoriasis.
  • Needs frequent re-application.

4] Tattoo Care Sunscreen – 1.35 Oz

Designed specifically for protecting tattoos from the sun’s harmful radiations, this product has an SPF of 30+, which is adequate for blocking out the UV radiations. It also rejuvenates the skin and helps the tattoos stay brighter and more vibrant for longer periods.

It also has a distinct summary smell which is very pleasant to use and is easy to apply. It also remains resistant to water for long periods.

This sunscreen has been produced using a special technology which provides dual protection to the skin against harmful rays. It is broad spectrum, and is capable of acting as a filter for both UVA and UVB radiations.

It also has special agents to provide nourishment and moisturisation to the skin, protecting it from drying and cracking, and keeping the tattoo ink more vibrant.

It is made from a number of natural ingredients, which are packed with nutrients and vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin E, which possess anti-ageing and anti-oxidant properties. It is free of allegens, and does mot contain any parabens. Moreover, it has been tested to be dermatologically suitable for all skin types.

It remains water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and has been shown to reduce signs of flare-ups or inflammation. It also brings back the natural elasticity of the skin and promotes growth and rejuvenation.

Ingredients: Contains specially chosen ingredients, including Bisabolol, Calendula, Cocoa butter, Jojoba, and Vitamin A and E.

Product Dimensions: 4.72 x 1.73 x 1.06 inches;

Product Weight: 1.35 Ounces

Pros

  • Pleasant to use summery smell.
  • Packed with anti-ageing and anti-oxidant vitamins.
  • Promotes skin growth, rejuvenation, and elasticity.

Cons

  • SPF 30 is lower than some other products available.

5] Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

The SPF 30 formulation of this product provides adequate protection from the sun’s radiations. Moreover, it is broad-spectrum, and is capable of preventing both UVA and UVB rays from harming the skin.

Being non-comedogenic, it doesn’t clog the skin’s pores. It is oil-free and enriched with Vitamin E. It is water-resistant as well, which makes it good for use in pools or at beaches, and the reef-friendly formulation ensures that it doesn’t harm marine life unnecessarily.

This formulation is hypoallergenic, and is free of harmful chemicals such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Gluten, PABA, Cruelty and Paraben.

Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.00%, Homosalate 10.00%, Octisalate 5.00%, Octocrylene 10.00%, Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Hydrated Silica, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Dimethicone, Polyester-8, Caprylyl Methicone, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Trideceth-6, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Fragrance, Sodium Polyacrylate, Behenyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Capramide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Xanthan Gum, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone

Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches

Product Weight: 3.53 Ounces

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and packed with Vitamin E. 
  • Free of chemicals like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Gluten, PABA, Cruelty and Paraben.

Cons

  • Causes eyes to burn.
  • Not very effective in very strong sunlight.

6] Loving Naturals Clear Body Non-Nano 100% Natural Zinc Sunscreen

This product is made of natural ingredients only, and so, being 100%, natural, it provides the skin with the required nourishment and protection, without being too harsh on it. Actually, this product has also received a high rating by he EWG for being safe to the skin. Having no synthetic or artificial chemicals or agents, it is perfectly safe for both children and adults.

Moreover, it remains resistant to water for at least 40 minutes. The best thing is that it is free of any cruelty and hasn’t been tested on animals. Also, it is completely gluten-free. Having a broad-spectrum action, this product protects the skin from UVA and UVB radiations.

This is achieved through the use of non-nano zinc and organic oils, which are combined to achieve an excellent synergism. Also, the formulation quickly gets absorbed onto the skin, without making the skin look white. Being sweat resistant, it needs only a single application.

Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 2 inches

Product Weight: 2.89 Ounces

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly, doesn’t make skin too white.
  • Cruelty-free, gluten-free.

Cons

  • Has a greasy feel on the skin.

7] Goddess Garden Organics SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

Being fully organic and biodegradable, this product is packed with nourishing agents like sunflower oil and aloe vera. So, apart from being friendly to nature, it is also good for the skin. Along with an SPF of 30 and a broad-spectrum action, it capable of blocking out the UVA and UVB rays. Moreover, it is reef-safe, free of cruelty and gluten, is fully vegan, non-nano, and free of GMO.

Ingredients:

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 6.4%, Zinc Oxide 6.0%

Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Oil, Iron Oxide, Lavendula Augustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum Certified Organic

Product Dimensions: 1.75 x 3 x 6.75 inches

Product Weight: 7.2 Ounces

Pros

  • Fully vegan, GMO-free, nano-free, cruelty-free.
  • Packed with nutrients from aloe vera and sunflower oil.

Cons

  • Leaves a white film on the skin.
  • Has a gitty texture.

8] Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

An excellent mineral-based sunscreen, this product has an SPF of 30, and is designed using zinc oxide, which can provide protection from up to 97% of the sun’s damaging rays, by reflecting them away from the skin.

Additionally, it is free of any irritating chemicals, fragrances, and parabens. Also, it remains water resistant for at least 40 minutes, needing lesser re-application.

This sunscreen does not contain any oxybenzone and octinoxate, and so, is safe for coral reefs. One of the most creative features of this product is that it has been packed using a specialised technology, known as the Blue Bottle Technology.

It turns blue whenever it is exposed to UV radiations, reminding the user to apply the sunscreen. This is facilitated by the handy size of the pack, which can easily be carried.

Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.8 x 1.4 inches

Product Weight: 5 Ounces

Pros

  • Blue Bottle Technology to remind the user to wear sunscreen.
  • Reflects up to 97% of the UVA and UVB radiations.

Cons

  • May be harsh for sensitive skin.
  • Creates a very white appearance.

9] CannaSmack Ink Guard SPF 30 Tattoo Sunscreen

With an SPF of 30, this product protects the skin frm UVB radiations, and keeps the tattoo designs vibrant and long-lasting. Supplied as a stick for easy use, this sunscreen is enriched with Hemp seed oil, which is rich in many nutrients, including Omega-3, Omega-6, Vitamin A, B, D, & E, and has a silky and light formulation.

Moreover, being water-resistant, it is efficient for providing protection against solar rays. It also supplies moisture to the skin, keeping the ink vibrant for longer periods, by preventing photo-degradation, and blocking out 97% of the harmful radiations.

It does not contain added fragrance, and the smell arises from 100% natural agents. Moreover, it is cruelty-free, as certified by Leaping Bunny. It doesn’t contain any sulfated or phosphates, and is free of gluten and parabens.

Artificial colours are also absent, as are harmful preservatives. Petroleum by-products are also not present. Additionally, it remains hypoallergenic and doesn’t clog pores, as it is non-comedogenic.

Ingredients: Inactive Ingredients: Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, Vitamin E Acetate, Vitamin E. Active Ingredients: Oxybenzone (5%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Meradimate (5%), Octisalate (5%).

Product Dimensions: Dimensions 1 x 1 x 4 inches

Product Weight: 0.96 Ounces

Pros

  • Supplied as a stick for easy application.
  • Infused with hemp seed oil, which is rich in fatty acids and many vitamins, to keep the tattoo more vibrant.
  • Cruelty-free, fragrance-free, no sulfated, phosphates, or parabens.

Cons

  • Smell coming from natural agents is not very pleasant
  • Very small in size. Not for too many tattoos.

10] Kokua Sun Care SPF 50/80

Pros

  • Enriched with many Hawaiian ingredients which are packed with antioxidants.
  • Remains water-resistant for up to 80 minutes (FDA tested).
  • Has a high percentage (25%) of zinc oxide.

Cons

  • High percentage of zinc oxide may cause a gritty effect. 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUNSCREENS

Sunscreens are very important after getting a tattoo design done, and come in two major types, depending on the type of agents that are used to prepare them. Here we briefly describe the different types of sunscreens available.

Chemical Sunscreens

These types are some of the most commonly found ones and are basically composed of certain chemicals which are capable of absorbing the UVA and UV-B types of radiations and forming certain harmless compounds. This prevents these radiations from coming in contact with the user’s skin, thereby protecting the tattoo design. Agents such as PABA (Para Aminobenzoic Acid), some salicylates, and behenic acids are capable of absorbing UV radiations, and hence, belong to this category.

Mineral Sunscreens

These types of sunscreens, on the other hand, are made of minerals like Titanium Dioxide and can reflect or transmit the UV-A and UV-B radiations, and thus protect the skin from the radiations. They are generally much less used, as they come with a gritty feel and may be slightly uncomfortable to use. Moreover, they are usually less efficient in protecting the skin from the sun than chemical variants.

Apart from the above classification based on the type of agent used for making sunscreens, another classification can be made based on the form in which the sunscreen is supplied. Normally, the most commonly used type is the cream type, as it is the easiest to apply. However, lotion types are also quite easily available, and are decent enough to apply.

Other forms like gels are usually not very popular, as the feeling provided by them is not very pleasant.

Best Sunscreen For Tattoos Buyer’s Guide

While looking to purchase the perfect post-tattoo sunscreen which suits your needs and skin type, there’s always a couple of things you need to keep in mind. This helps you ensure that you get the best value for your money and items of good quality in your kit.

Here we have compiled a quick guide of the important considerations while buying your sunscreen/sunblock, to help you know the things you need to check before you buy.

Check which type of sunscreen it is

Is it a chemical-based sunscreen or a mineral-based one? It is always advisable to know what the base of your sunscreen is. Generally, chemical-based ones are better suited and preferred for use as compared to mineral-based ones, since they are much more efficient at protecting the skin from the sun’s UV-A and UV-B radiations. Moreover, mineral sunscreens are more uncomfortable to use, because of the gritty feel they bring along with themselves.

Check the Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

This one is a must. Make sure your product has a high SPF (at least 30). This ensures that your sunscreen is capable of protecting you against highly intense solar radiations.

Check if the sunscreen suits your skin type

This is very important, and even more so because you are going to be using your sunscreen for protecting your tattoo. As tattooed skin is even more sensitive than normal skin (due to the abrasion), it is more prone to being irritated by the sunscreen, and especially if the sunscreen doesn’t suit your skin type. Say, for example, your sunscreen is herbal. And you know you are allergic to herbs. Then stay clear of the sunscreen. Moreover, chemical types are more prone to adversely affecting your skin, and causing acne, rashes, and even pigmentation.

Check the price of your product

Knowing the price of what you are buying is always important, as it helps you figure out if you can find a better deal by spending a few extra bucks, or searching some more.

FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS

Why do I need to use sunscreen on my tattoo?

Tattoos are very sensitive, especially because they are made by abrading the skin. The sun’s rays can harm and irritate the skin under the tattoos, and can also cause a decrease in the brightness of the design. So, protecting them is needed.

Should I wait before stepping into the sun after I apply my sunscreen?

Mineral-based sunscreens generally work instantaneously, and usually do not require any lag time before you can step out into the sun. However, they