How to Keep Your Ink from Fading Over Time


A few years have passed, and your sleeve isn’t looking as vibrant as it once was. Lines are broken, and whites are a little duller. After several years, you can’t expect your piece to look as bright as it did after walking fresh out of a tattoo shop. Why tattoos fade is due to various factors that you can work around to improve ink quality.

  1. Design Placement

Areas on the body that rub against other parts are more likely to cause fading. Thus, if you’re tattooing your favorite song lyric on your inner thigh or under your arm, don’t expect to sing along to a readable line after some time!

Areas affected by weight loss can also cause fading if extreme fluctuations occur.

  1. Ink Quality

Tattoo ink that comprises low-grade components or is too diluted won’t last as long as highly concentrated materials. A reliable artist will insert the needle into the correct skin layer to give your piece a chance to look its best for as long as possible.

The lighter the ink, the quicker it’ll meet its demise. If you’re banking on your tattoo’s longevity, select a design that is darker and heavily textured. Lighter colors, such as pink and yellow, are also more likely to dull rapidly.

  1. Healing and Aftercare

Your tattoo is like a sapling. Neglect it and it’ll wither away. Ink takes a few weeks to set. Hence, the initial month of aftercare is critical. Your piece will go through various stages of healing—it’ll peel, scab, and itch.

As much as possible, leave your peeling tattoo be and let flaking skin fall on its own. Apply the appropriate cream or lotion as recommended by your artist. Avoid scented products, which are often rife with chemicals and can cause your skin to patch.

Keep the area bacteria-free by covering it up when you’re on-the-go. Trust us—an infection is something you don’t want to risk!

  1. The Sun and the Elements

If there is anything that blurs a tattoo best, it’s the sun. If you’re an outgoing individual, do your best to keep your piece out of direct sunlight for at least 2 to 3 weeks.

Most sunscreens contain ink-irritating chemicals that can make or break its quality, so you’ll want to avoid SPF at least until your tattoo peels.

  1. Natural Aging

Most everything will lose quality as it ages, and tattoos are no exception. You probably know too well that there is no way around aging, and that your piece will only look as good as the skin it’s sitting on.

Moisturize your ink as frequently as possible and keep hydrated. Eat a healthy and balanced diet to keep your skin looking young and elastic.

How to Fix a Fading Tattoo

The best way to give your ink an upgrade is a retouch. If you’re on the market for rejuvenating your ink, schedule a touch-up session with the same artist or one with a similar aesthetic. Your artist will pack ink into faded areas and recreate depth and texture with new highlights.


Tattoos are for life, but the issues that come with it shouldn’t have to be. Nothing keeps your tattoo from fading like thorough aftercare—never skimp on your artist’s instructions. One of the best tattoo shops in Buffalo, NY, Lucky Deville Tattoo Co is more than ready to apply an award-winning tattoo on your spot of choice. If you have a piece that needs touching up, don’t hesitate to give us a shout.