The Best Sunscreen for Tattoos


Tattoos are becoming more and more popular. As many as 36% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one of them.

If you’re one of them, then you’ll need to take good care of your tattoos to ensure they last as long as possible. One of the most important parts of that is making sure that they don’t fade when you’re out in the sun.

Choosing the best sunscreen for tattoos can make sure that doesn’t happen. So keep reading to learn what to look for in a sunscreen for tattoos and to find some specific product recommendations.

What to look for in a sunscreen for tattoos

You can’t just put any sunscreen on and expect it to protect your tattoos from sun damage. Instead, it’s important to look for products that offer each of the following features.

High SPF level

You need sunscreen with a high level of SPF protection to ensure that your tattoo doesn’t fade or get damaged in the sun. Because of that, it’s best to look for sunscreens with at least 30 SPF.

But you may want to choose a product with even more SPF protection than that if you’ve got fair skin or are otherwise prone to sun damage.

You can take whatever SPF level you normally use and kick it up a notch or two if you want to make sure that you’re protecting your new tattoo from sun damage.

Moisturizing ingredients

Experts say that it’s really important to moisturize your tattoos regularly. This is especially important during the first few weeks after you get a new one.

That’s why it’s also a good idea to look for sunscreens that feature moisturizing ingredients. These will help you protect your skin’s moisture levels while also safeguarding it from the sun.

At Australian Gold, we use all-natural moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil in products like our plant-based sunscreen. This is exactly what you should be looking for in sunscreen for tattoos.

Broad-spectrum protection

Some people don’t realize that there are two different types of UV rays that you need to protect your skin from – UVA and UVB.

When a sunscreen product offers protection from both types of UV rays, it’s called broad-spectrum protection. Make sure to look for options that feature this descriptor while you shop so that you don’t inadvertently miss out on an important piece of protection for your tattoo.

High-quality formula

After you get a new tattoo, it’s important to do your best to replenish the skin that’s been damaged by that process. Buying the right sunscreen will help you do this.

Some sunscreen products contain ingredients like carrot oil, aloe vera, sunflower seed oil, and Kakadu Plum. These products don’t just moisturize the skin – they’re also full of powerful vitamins to replenish it.

It’s always a good idea to look for products like these in your sunscreen. But they can be especially helpful after you’ve just gotten a new tattoo.

Manufacturing Practices

Finally, not every company that makes sunscreen for tattoos follows the same practices. Some might test their products on animals. While others may use harsh chemicals in their formulas that are bad for your skin and the marine environment.

That’s why a company’s manufacturing practices are one last check that you should make before purchasing its products. Doing so will ensure that you’re spending your money in a way that conforms with your beliefs.

When can you start putting sunscreen on your new tattoos?

Before we get into some specific product recommendations, it’s important to note that you can’t put sunscreen on a new tattoo right away.

Instead, you need to wait until the tattoo has healed completely, which should take about 2-4 weeks.

Sunscreen can pose several problems when it’s applied to fresh ink, including:

  • Fading of the ink
  • Irritation
  • Infection

So just keep in mind that even the best sunscreen for tattoos shouldn’t be applied to your new one right away.

The best sunscreen for tattoos

Australian Gold Plant-Based SPF 30 Lotion

Price: $12.99


  • Plant-based formula
  • Broad-spectrum coverage
  • High concentration of aloe vera
  • Coconut oil for moisturization
  • Hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free

What we love about it: 

We may be a bit biased, but we can’t imagine you finding a better option than our Plant-based Sunscreen for your new tattoo. 

It combines the SPF 30 protection that you need to protect your tattoo with the moisturizing qualities that you need to extend its life. Plus our formula is 100% plant-based and available for under $15.

Can you use normal sunscreen for tattoos?

As you look through our list of the best sunscreen for tattoos, this is a question you may be asking yourself.

The answer is, yes. If you have a tattoo, there’s no need to buy a sunscreen product that says it’s for tattoos on the packaging.

That’s because when you have a tattoo you just need a sunscreen that:

  • Offers broad-spectrum 30 SPF protection or higher
  • Includes ingredients that will moisturize your skin

There are plenty of sunscreens out there that fit this bill. So you definitely shouldn’t feel like you need to spend more on a sunscreen that says it’s for tattoos when there are so many normal types of sunscreen that will get the job done just as well.

Should you use after-sun products on tattoos?

It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of using after-sun care products on your tattoos. These typically help to moisturize your skin and enable it to heal faster from sun damage.

Features like these can help to delay tattoo fading so that yours look the way that you want them to for as long as possible.

When it comes to after-sun products for tattoos, soothing aloe vera is always a good bet thanks to the moisture that it offers.

But you may also want to consider options like an after-sun moisturizer with hemp to give your skin extra nourishment or a moisture-lock tan extender to maintain your glowing complexion while also taking care of your tattoo.

Is it okay to use a sunless tanner with tattoos?

Some people like to apply sunless tanner before an outdoor adventure to give their skin a healthy glow. If you enjoy these types of products, then you may be wondering whether you need to stop wearing them once you get a tattoo.

It’s okay to use these products. But the same rules apply for sunless tanner as they do for other types of sunscreen.

That is, you need to wait until your tattoo is 100% healed before applying any sunless tanner to it. Otherwise, you risk damaging the ink and causing an infection.

Final Verdict: What’s the Best Sunscreen for Tattoos?

When it comes down to it, our favorite sunscreen for tattoos is one that we make – our plant-based SPF 30 lotion.

It stands above the rest for several reasons:

  • It offers high-level and broad-spectrum SPF protection
  • It includes all-natural moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil and aloe vera
  • Its plant-based formula is hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and vegan
  • When used as directed, its been shown to reduce the risk of early skin aging
  • It’s affordable!

When you put it all together, it’s an easy choice for the top sunscreen for tattoos overall.

Looking for more sun care products that are perfect for tattoos? You can check out our online shop to find them.