The Best Tanning Lotions For People With Tattoos

There are many different tanning lotions out there, from bronzers to ones with different oils and scents. When considering your options, there are a few properties you should keep in mind to choose the top options for people with tattooed skin. You don’t want to use anything that might cause fading.

A woman in a bathtub with colored back tattoos.


In this article, we’re going to discuss the top tanning lotions with fade protection that will help keep your artwork long lasting and looking good.

Things To Look For In A Tanning Lotion

Many people ask, “Are tanning lotions harmful?” As long as you use one with high-quality ingredients, you should be fine. Do note that tanning lotions are different from tattoo sunscreens. They come in all sorts of varieties. The best tanning lotions for tattoos will depend on you personally. Some of the things you might want to have are anti-aging ingredients, ingredients that won’t agitate sensitive melanin production or melanin formation in your smooth skin. These include shea or cocoa butter, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, other natural oils, coconut milk, coconut butter, color fade protectors, paraben-free bronzers, dark tanning activators, and high levels of nutrients that will help keep your skin soft. These ingredients will also help you keep your skin firm and protect against free radical damage. If you don’t leave the house much, you might also want to consider an indoor option.

Is Your Tattoo New?

If your tattoo is new, then do not apply product to it. You should not use any product, even if it’s sunscreen, and artists would prefer if you just physically covered it with fabric in the first three months you have your tattoo (at least). During that time, there is still healing going on, and it’s the most prone to fading.

Once your tattoo is more than three months old, you can consider moving on to tanning lotions. However, especially in times of extended sun exposure or when you tan indoors, it can never hurt to cover up. You can always bronze later if you need to.

It is important to choose the best tanning lotions for your tattoos

Outdoor Or Indoor Tanning?

Tanning lotions are often made for either indoor or outdoor use. Be sure to choose one that’s appropriate based on how you’re going to tan to secure the skin’s increased melanin production.

Some of our favorite indoor options to protect tattooed skin are Ed Hardy Tanista Indoor Tanning Bed Bronzer with Tattoo Protection and European Gold Dark Star 100X Ultra Indoor Tanning Deep Wave Bronzing Technology. For indoor and outdoor use, we like Devoted Creations #Tanlife Hydrating Tanning Butter. The Ed Hardy Triple Black XXX Dark Tanning Lotion is also a good option since it has an ingredient that counteracts orange tones (anti orange technology), giving you a natural long lasting tan.

If you’re not convinced that these will be enough to protect your art, you can also use a tattoo stick, like Australian Gold SPF 50. Sticks help you quickly and accurately apply sunblock to protect your skin. The top sunscreens can protect both black and colored tattoo inks.


Bronzer Tanning Lotions

Whether you’re staying inside or outside, you may want a bronzing lotion instead of a regular one. If that’s the case, you should still pick options that have properties that work well with tattooed skin since some options will muddy your tattoo’s appearance, while others can make it stand out. A bronzer often helps you achieve more tan more quickly. If you’re in need of a more significant change, you can look at more intense bronzers or a dark tanning lotion instead.

Our favorite bronzing lotions include: Jwoww One and Done, White Bronzer, With Ink Drink Complex and Devoted Creations Camo Queen Bronzing Lotion.


Frequently Asked Questions On The Best Tanning Lotions For Tattoos

Can You Use Tanning Lotions On Tattooed Skin?

You can use tanning lotions on tattooed skin to get that golden glow. There are tanning lotions out there specifically made with tattooed skin in mind. When indoors, one of our favorite products is Ed Hardy Tanista Indoor Tanning Bed Bronzer with Tattoo Protection. When it comes to outdoor use, we love Ed Hardy #Beachtime Dark Indoor Outdoor Coconut Infused Tanning Lotion. If you want something you can use both indoors and outdoors, you can check out Devoted Creations #Tanlife Hydrating Tanning Butter.

Ed Hardy has a whole line of great lotions that are perfect for newly tattooed skin. Another good one is Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses. This golden tan has a protecting formula that gives you a natural tan while making your tattoo color last longer. There are also color intensifiers in the mix without any harsh bronzing agents. You can find Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses right on Amazon at a very reasonable price, too. You can find more reviews here too:

How Long Do I Wait To Tan After Getting A Tattoo?

In general, direct sunlight or direct UV rays is never ideal for a tattoo, no matter how old it is. You should use sunblock to cover it when possible. If you prefer, you may use lotions made specifically to protect tattooed skin instead, and a higher SPF is always preferable.

Additionally, tattoo artists do not recommend using a lotion or sunblock directly on your new tattoo until it is at least 3 months old. That is because it takes approximately 3 months until your tattoo is completely healed, so any product could interfere with that process. In that time, you should physically cover the tattoo with SPF-rated clothing.

If you decide to tan indoors with a new tattoo, ensure that you cover a new tattoo while you tan with a physical barrier. This material should ideally be SPF-rated to get adequate protection. After that, you may use one of many different lotions out there made specifically with tattooed skin in mind. The top tanning lotions will ensure long lasting protection from color fading.


Can I Tan With A New Tattoo If I Cover It?

Yes, you can tan with a new tattoo if it is completely covered. Ideally, the tattoo should not just be covered with normal cloth but rather with a material that is made to block out sunlight (at least SPF 30). This is because thin materials still let sunlight through.

You should not use a lotion or sunblock directly on a tattoo while it is healing. Instead, follow your artist’s instructions as to what products to use on it while it heals, and cover your new tattoo with SPF-rated fabric if you decide to go out in direct sunlight, especially for long periods of time.

A tattoo is considered healed after three months, so after three months, you can use normal sunblock and special tanning lotions on your tattoo to protect the skin from wrinkles and damage while you prefer dark tan. It is always preferable to use something with advanced matrixyl synthe 6 and higher SPF to avoid skin conditions.

Do Tanning Beds Affect Tattoos?

Just like tanning outside, getting a tan indoors does affect tattooed skin because both processes involve UV rays, which have an effect on the tattoo’s ink. Over time, exposure to those rays, either from the sun or when you tan indoors, will break down the ink in your skin type, causing it to become blurry, faded, or even discolored.

When you tan – either outdoors or indoors – it is a very good idea to cover your tattoo with sunblock, tanning lotion, or a physical material to keep it hidden from the sun’s rays. Many people who tan indoors often prefer lotions that allow them to pinpoint the area where they want to cover and appreciate the other properties lotions have that help combat the effects of UV rays. If you’re going to lay in a tanning bed right after you get a tattoo, it’s super important that you cover it completely. That intense exposure to UV light will certainly cause color fade.


How Do You Cover A Tattoo From The Sun?

Any sort of clothing that comes between your tattoo and the sun is a good start toward protecting it. Ideally, you should pick a fabric that is SPF rated 30+ for everyday use.

You can cover your tattoo with normal clothing (like pant legs, sleeves, etc.) if that is feasible based on your situation and tattoo placement. If that is not possible, either due to location or the activity you are doing in the direct sun, you can also consider using some sort of sterile bandages (that even come in waterproof options) to cover your tattoo.

If your tattoo is brand new, be aware that you should not put any product or chemical directly on it besides the ones that your artist suggests, and if you must cover it with a bandage, ensure that the adhesive areas of the bandage do not touch the tattoo as to not interfere with the healing process.

How Do I Protect My New Tattoo When Swimming?

If it is possible to cover your tattoo with your swimwear, then that is ideal. If not, consider a waterproof sterile bandage to cover it. This is not ideal, especially for brand-new tattoos because it is not great for the healing process, but it can work for swimming for relatively short periods of time.

If you must swim with a new tattoo, then you should minimize the time that the tattoo is directly underneath a bandage and, when possible, keep it underneath SPF-protected clothing when you are not in the water. Even better, keep your body in the shade when not in the water to protect the tattoo.


What Are The Best Tanning Lotions For Tattoos?

  • Devoted Creations Black Obsession Black Bronzer – This comes with a plethora of benefits for your skin. It contains a melanin synthesizer and has anti-aging ingredients, ingredients for evening out skin smooth tone, tightening properties, and plenty of color fade protection. Black Obsession by Devoted Creations has a triple black bronzer formula that allows you to get dark almost instantly. Devoted Creations Black Obsession Black Bronzer is meant to be used indoors in a tanning paradise bed. It also has a tan odor eliminator that keeps your skin deodorized after you tan.
  • Australian Gold JWOWW Natural Black Bronzer with Ink Guard – The JWOWW Natural Black Bronzer by Australian Gold has tons of beneficial and natural ingredients that will work wonders for your skin hydration and skin elasticity. The ink guard formula includes shea butter, raspberry, and beeswax that staves off color fade. The shea butter works along with vitamin E to create anti aging effects, as well. Australian Gold is a leader in the industry and this Black Bronzer is just another example of why. Australian Gold JWOWW Natural Black Bronzer with Ink Guard is one of our top picks.
  • Supre Tan Supre Snooki Girl Boss Dark Black DD Bronzer – This black bronzer by Supre Snooki has a Tattoo ColorShield Technology that uses aloe vera and algae extract to maintain the color of your tattoo. It also includes a healthy dose of shea butter moisturizer to help moisturize your skin while you tan. You’ll get instant color from the Black DD Bronzer (more info here).
  • Devoted Creations #Tanlife Hydrating Tanning Butter – If you have incredibly sensitive skin, this butter by Devoted Creations is a good option. It will give you the most hydrated feeling you can get when you tan due to its quad tyrosine blend. It’s tanning butter that’s based on shea butter and tyrosine activity and other ingredients add to its anti-aging abilities. Devoted Creations also created their butter to be hypoallergenic with tattoo and color fade protection as well. What’s more, this Devoted Creations product won’t cost you much. You can get a bottle of this stuff for under $20. Devoted Creations #Tanlife Hydrating Tanning Butter is one of our front runners.

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How Long Should You Keep A New Tattoo Out Of The Sun?

What Happens If You Go In Saltwater With A New Tattoo?

Does Tanning Make Tattoos Fade?

Does Fake Tan Make Tattoos Darker?

What SPF Is Best For Tattoos?

How Do I Keep My Tattoo From Fading?

How Do You Use Tanning Lotion?


The Best Tanning Lotions For People With Tattoos

Other Resources

Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by Patrick Magtaan

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a

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