In the following reviews, we give you the best sunscreens for tattoos to receive the ultimate protection of the skin and its tattoos, at all times.
When you get a tattoo, the care for it does not just end with the special ointments or creams, or whatever aftercare the artist recommended. There are always many risks that could damage the tattoo of course, but among the most serious ones are the sun and the damage it causes to the skin.
Do you have tattoos? And do you want your skin to be healthy? If you answered yes, we know that you care enough to find sunscreen and protect the skin from the awful sun damage.
But, the market nowadays offers a ton of products, all different scents, ingredients, prices, so finding the right one that truly protects, is a challenge. We narrowed down a list for you below, containing the potentially best sunscreen for tattoos you could find! So, let’s begin!
These were our top 3 choices for the most suitable sunscreen for tattoos. We covered all of their features; how are they used, what formula type is it, ingredients, and more. In the sections following this one, you will see each detail for each sunscreen reviewed.
Read also: Best Lotion for Tattoo Aftercare
Why do you need sunscreen for tattoos?
Sunscreen is essential for healthy skin because we all know that sun exposure is extremely harmful to the skin; it makes it look saggy, wrinkled, strangely pigmented, and appearing older – not to mention the awful health risks it poses down the road. So if this is the effect of the sun on the skin, imagine what it would do to the ink? Ink would fade and crack, the skin will be dry and
Sunscreen is for everyone, period! It is taking care of your skin, your health, shielding your skin from the damaging sun rays, and keeping up as much of a youthful, healthy look, as possible – and for longer. But, sunscreen is even more of a must-have for tattooed people. Without sunscreen, the tattoos would lose the vibrancy of color or appear ‘dryer’ and more wrinkled in the long run.
Read also: Best Tattoo Cover Up Makeup
The Best Sunscreens for Tattoos in 2021
1. Aveeno Positively SPF 50 Sunscreen Stick
If you want skin protection that contains the well-known hemp extract in the form of oil enriched with vitamins – this is it. You will have a nourished, vibrant tattoo for a longer time!
We start with the best overall pick, the amazing and protective SPF 50 of the brand Aveeno. This concoction is made with hemp seed oil that soothes any possible skin irritation. Also, there are vitamins A, B, D, E – all of them nurturing the skin with essential ingredients. So, with this, you know you get good skin protection that is also non-cruelty toward animals! The tattoos will be brightened and more vividly colored for a long time, even with a lot of sun exposure. It has no scent, no artificial colors, no sulfates, no parabens – no skin harmful elements!
Package dimensions are 1 x 1 x 4 inches, with a total weight of 0.96 ounces.
- Hemp seed oil for fast soothing
- Brightening / reviving colors
- Vegan / no cruelty
- High SPF
- No melting in the heat
- Stick / semi-greasy formula
- Reapplying could be needed often
2. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Daily Sunscreen
If you want to nourish the skin with something like antioxidants and have a massively large SPF of 70 – this is your pick. You will know for sure that the skin gets the best because it is approved by dermatologists as well.
As our premium pick, we chose the lotion formula from Aveeno. Here you get an astonishing SPF of 70 and it is enriched with antioxidants (oats) too. It is a formula that is very lightweight and easy to apply, and it is resistant to sweating or contact with water. It doesn’t contain any oils, so it will promote good hydration without a greasy feeling. After application, it instantly softens the skin, and it is good for both the face and body. As a final attribute, it is approved by dermatologists and medical experts.
Package dimensions are 1.55 x 3 x 8.42 inches, with a total weight of 8 ounces.
- High SPF of 70
- Both for face and body
- Antioxidant oats
- Softens well
- Approved by dermatologists
- Water-proof with a full effect for at least 80 minutes
- Oil and cream could separate within the container (shake and mix well)
- Could leave a white residue temporarily
3. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
There is nothing better than protecting the skin with an SPF of 100+, and this is the sunscreen you need for ultimate skin health. But, foremost, if you dislike creamy or greasy cosmetics, this ‘dry’ formula is perfect.
For third place, we have the runner up by Neutrogena, a very light formula that is not greasy or heavy on the skin. Here we have an amazing SPF of 100+. This lotion is water-proof, so heat or sweating won’t be an issue for you. The dry-touch technology here means a nice ‘dry feeling, not moist or greasy on the skin, with a light matte finish. There are no heavy chemicals used here, and it’s also approved by dermatologists.
Package dimensions are 5.9 x 2.3 x 1.35 inches, with a total weight of 3 ounces.
Read also: Best Tattoo Aftercare Products
- SPF of 100+
- Special ‘dry-touch’ technology
- No chemicals
- Approved by dermatologists
- Reapplying could be needed often
- Spreading is a bit complex; apply thoroughly
4. H2Ocean Surfers Choice Tattoo Care Sunscreen
If you want an incredibly light formula as a spray in a bottle, super-easy to apply, this is the sunscreen you need. An easy application like this is the most practical usage you could seek.
From the brand H2Ocean, we have their spray of good SPF 50. This formula is water-proof and protects the body and face skin well. It leaves the skin glowing and looking healthy and fresh. It is hypoallergenic as well because it’s fit for all skin types. You will enjoy its waterproof effect for at least 80 minutes, and your skin will be softened due to the aloe vera extract.
Package total weight is 6 ounces.
- SPF 50
- For face and body both
- All skin types
- Effect at least 80 minutes
- Glowing, fresh feeling of the skin
- Enriched with aloe vera
- It could require reapplying / respraying if you need the effect for a longer time
5. Sun Bum Original Sunscreen
If you want a trusting brand that cares for the environment and the animals, this could be it. Your skin will be hydrated and smelling amazing, while at the same time it is going to be well hydrated.
The Sun Bum brand has produced a sunscreen lotion of SPF 30 that is also vegan and eco-friendly. There are no harmful ingredients here like oxybenzone and octinoxate, as the manufacturer labeled, so your skin will get good ingredients as nourishment. The formula is enriched with vitamin E, and it is suitable for everyday skincare too. The scent is refreshing and pleasant, and it’s a non-greasy formula good for all skin types.
Package dimensions are 4 x 6 x 2 inches, with a total weight of 9.6 ounces.
- SPF 30
- Good ingredients
- Enriched with vitamin E
- Nice scent
- Needs more amount and reapplying for ultimate protection
6. Australian Gold SPF 50 tattoo Stick
Are you constantly on the move in the summertime? Then if yes, you will adore this sunscreen because it’s practical to carry around. With ease, you can take this out and go over the skin in a second, anywhere, anytime!
We have another stick formula on the list, by the brand Australian Gold. This stick is more like a balm formula that deeply hydrates while it protects too. It is very compact and practical to carry around with you at all times. It offers good protection, and it smells sweetly like coconut if the scent matters to you.
Package dimensions are 2.95 x 1.57 x 0.79 inches, with a total weight of 0.49 ounces.
- Good hydration
- Practical stick formula and package
- Coconut scent
- SPF of 50
- The size is a bit small
- The coconut scent could be strong for some
7. Tattoo Care Sunscreen Ointment
If you want a formula in between ointment and cream, this is the perfect blend. And it would be a good pick for you if you also like the gorgeous tropical scents like coconut and natural ingredients.
From the Tattoo Care brand, we have the ointment formula with an SPF of 30. It is a light ointment/cream formula, so the hydration will be just perfect. It keeps the skin protected, and the ink color vibrant. It is made with all-natural ingredients, such as calendula extract, coconut butter, vitamins A, E, also jojoba – all ingredients that nourish the skin in general.
Package dimensions are 4.69 x 1.57 x 1.18 inches, with a total weight of 1.35 ounces.
- Ointment creamy formula
- Preserving ink colors
- Natural ingredients (coconut butter, vitamins, and more)
- Good moisturizing
- No parabens
- Tropical, coconut scent
- The formula could be a bit thick for spreading
- The tube is small (look good for the specifications)
8. Coppertone SPORT Sunscreen Spray
If you want to be sure you get the best possible sun protection, you can rely on the fact that for 80 minutes or so, your skin is safe against at least 98% of the harmful sun rays. Enjoy skin nourishment with the crucial skin-vitamin, E, and you’ll protect the skin, as well as hydrate it.
From the well-known brand Coppertone, we have their spray sunscreen. This sunscreen is available as a lotion and as a spray at the same time within the same package, and it will protect your skin well with its SPF of 50. You won’t worry about getting in water or sweating, because this formula is water-proof and very durable in a moist environment.
It’s easy to apply to, and it leaves the skin feeling ‘light’ and fresh. What makes it amazing is that it protects from 98% of the harmful sun damage. For around 80 minutes, you can enjoy its effect. This formula is also enriched with vitamin E (crucial for skin health).
Package dimensions are 2.13 x 4.25 x 7.38 inches, with a total weight of 1.2 pounds.
- Both available as lotion and spray
- SPF of 50
- 98% protection
- 80 minutes effect
- Vitamin E
- No returns allowed (if not satisfied)
- The expiration date is not too extended
9. Supergoop! Everyday Play SPF 50 Lotion
Supergoop! is here to change the way you think about sunscreen. No longer a sticky, tacky, smelly mess you put up with at the beach, SPF is the most important thing you can do for your skin, Every. Single. Day.
Next is the Supergoop! brand and their SPF 50 lotion. This lotion is a gentle formula made suitable for all skin types, most sensitive skin of course. It is waterproof too, and a very light formula that is not sticky on the skin. The scent is gorgeous and pleasant, and there are no stinging effects whatsoever. This formula has rosemary leaf extracts that offer antioxidant power, and also sunflower extract, and rice bran too.
Package dimensions are 6.5 x 2.75 x 1.5 inches, with a total weight of 2.4 ounces.
- SPF 50
- Fit for sensitive skin and all skin types too
- Not sticky
- Amazing scent
- Natural / antioxidant ingredients
- Calming effect
- Some tubes arrive with different ingredients listed
- For those with greasy skin, the formula might seem a bit oily
10. INK-EEZE Ink Shield Sunscreen Spray
If you prefer sprays over lotions or creams, and you like them to smell amazing, pick this sunscreen. It will refresh you anywhere and anytime, and leave the skin non-greasy and safe!
Last on this list, and not the least, of course, is the INK-EEZE brand and their spray formula. This spray sunscreen has an SPF of 50 and is made with a special technology ‘ink barrier’, protecting the ink to remain vibrant and the skin safe. This is also an eco-product with a gorgeous aroma of coconut.
Package dimensions are 6 x 3 x 3 inches, with a total weight of 8.32 ounces.
- Spray formula (practical)
- Ink barrier technology
- Eco-product and package
- Nice coconut scent
- Dries fast once applied / no residue
- The nozzle could be ‘weak’ in some batches of packages
- Customer service is not always available
How we picked and tested sunscreens for tattoos
The sunscreen has to offer impeccable quality, and as many good features as possible. For example, we list the following features as crucial ones:
- Natural ingredients
- Keeping color vibrancy
- High SPF value
- For face and body use
- Skin hydration
- Approved by dermatologists / medical experts
- All skin types
Sunscreens for Tattoos Buyer’s Guide
Can tattoos get sunburnt and what to do about it
Yes, tattooed skin is just the same as non-tattooed skin, meaning, it could damage or burn just as easily if not protected. The difference here is that if a tattooed skin burns, depending on the quality of the ink and tattoo, the ink could be more faded, distorted, damaged, and similar. And sadly, the cause for this is improper (usage of) sunscreen.
The main symptoms to recognize are redness, swelling, blisters, or even thickening of the skin that signals serious sun damage. The solution for a less serious burn would be to instantly remove clothing, jewelry, and cool off the skin with water. Do not touch the sunburnt inked skin, because often picking at it can result in scarring or slower healing. You should also gently cleanse the skin and cover that area with sterile, clean gauze. But, for more serious sunburns over the inked skin, you should of course seek medical help immediately. Otherwise, the sunburnt tattoo is like regular skin sunburn – avoid touching, have good hygiene, and wear light fabrics over it for the next 2 weeks more or less.
Should I use sunscreen on new or old tattoos?
You should use sunscreen all the time, all year round, as much as possible on all exposed, and even clothed/covered skin areas. And, there is no rule for old or new tattoos – they both equally need sunscreen! New tattoos are even gentler and prone to sun damage, because the skin there has recently been ‘traumatized’ with the tattooing, and the sun would only aggravate the redness or sensitivity.
What is better a spray, ointment, or stick formula?
All of them are amazing! All of them offer protection from the sun, so that is the starting point. The formula depends on what you prefer. For example, the spray is perfect for fast applying at the last minute. The ointment would be perfect for those with naturally quite dry skin. The stick is amazing if you constantly need sunscreen on smaller areas, and you can carry it easily, even in your pocket!
All of the 10 sunscreens above offer attractive features, but let’s recap this. The winnerthat has hemp extract to soothe sensitive skin. Then, the has antioxidant oats that nourish the skin. And as third, the with an amazing SPF of 100+!
It is never a bad time to protect the skin from the sun, and the sunscreen you choose has to be very protective and a good texture – like the ones reviewed today! Prepare yourself for the sun and love your tattoos!