Have you noticed that the weather is hot and girls are dressing less, and checking out the fellas to tell ’em who’s best? Are you riding around in your Jeep or your Benzos, or in your Nissan stting on Lorenzos? Then you know what time of the year it is!
“Summertime” lyrics aside, the solstice is indeed upon us and while many are planning a wave of summer activities and itineraries, a good number of you have a new tattoo on the mind. After all, you’re going to be flashing a lot more skin in the 2.5 months ahead and adding a little something to your surface is a great way to celebrate the season. But alas, you’ve also heard some say that a tattoo in the summer is a bad idea. It’s not. It’s completely fine as long as you’re armed with a plan, and that’s what we’ve laid out for you below.
5 Tips to a Successful Summertime Tattoo
1. Prepare Your Skin Well Before Your Appointment
If you’re getting your tattoo early in the season here in Vancouver or Toronto your skin should be primed. That said, some of you may have been enjoying the early good weather of spring more than others and developed a pretty good base tan in the process. Before getting a tattoo, cover up the zone and wait until your skin returns to its natural tone so that there is no peeling (no matter how minor) or significant lightening to come. Tattooing on a heavy tan or slight burn is not a great idea, as when the skin heals, it may chip away at the integrity of the recently applied tattoo, or make it hard to apply the tattoo in the first place. While a tattooist will recognize most instances of concern, you know your skin tone best – if it’s unnaturally dark, wait until your true colors come shining through before getting inked. View our tips on how to prepare your skin for a tattoo, which apply more during this season than any other time of the year.
2. Keeping Out of the Sun Is Tough, But…
Summer equals sunshine and sunshine is fresh ink enemy number one. The math is pretty simple. Now we know, staying out of the sun in a traditional UV-starved city such as Vancouver and Toronto (as of late) can be a challenge, but it is so key to tattoo aftercare that you need to take this part of your protocol very seriously. You need to wear UV protectant clothing over the area of your tattoo for at least three weeks before exposing it to the sun, and once the initial healing phase (3-5 days) is complete apply an eco-friendly (less likely to cause a chemical reaction) sunscreen to the area, even when you have a shirt over top.
Good luck with the above, right? If you know that you won’t be able to follow this rule to the tee, and neglect to keep your tattoo out of the sun for the weeks after getting it inked, then reconsider where on your body you want to get it done. If you wear tank tops all summer, skip the shoulder and outer arm ink. If you adorn shorts all season, forget the shins and calves, and save those options for the post-season and get the summer design done on a part of your body that will see less natural light.
3. Don’t Go in the Water?
For three to four weeks after getting a tattoo, assume that there is a great white shark epidemic in the ocean near you, even if it’s in BC where the only sea life you’ll encounter are orcas, otters, seals, and purple starfish. This is the thing that keeps many #oceanlovers from getting an awesome anchor tattoo (etc.) in the summer. But fret not, because you can still enjoy a dip in one or more of the countless fresh watering holes (no, not that kind) around Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto. For most people, fresh water lakes and streams are ready for entry in about two weeks after getting inked, but make sure that you monitor water quality reports for wherever you plan on going because bacteria counts can aggravate your healing epidermis. View more about getting into a body of water after getting a ink on your body.
4. Mitigating Summer Travel Issues
You’ll be traveling more in the season. But traveling after getting a tattoo is not always fun, which is why you need to take extra care before booking that summer vacation. If you’re getting the tattoo on a spot of your body that will experience discomfort while sitting in a cramped cabin for hours on end, you may rethink that form of transportation or at least invest in a comfortable cushion to bring along for the ride. Also remember that planes, trains, and automobiles don’t always offer the most sanitary environments, so if traveling while healing, take frequent pits stops and breaks to inspect and clean your tattoo as needed. You may also need to reconsider the activities planned on your vacation as they too may impact the integrity for your new design. Of course, most of the above can be mitigated by getting the work done a full week or two before departure. View more on how to plan your trip after getting a new tattoo.
5. Getting a Tattoo to Get You Beach Body Ready
Some of you are stressing about being beach body ready. We’re not going to get into the particulars of societal impact on body image – this isn’t the platform for that. Instead, we’re here to simply let you know that when done right, and by the right artist, a new tattoo can enhance your healthy physique, bringing out the contours of your natural muscles and celebrating the hard work you’ve done all autumn, winter, and spring. In addition, a tattoo can be used to cover up stretch marks and even scars. View more on how a well-placed and designed tattoo can enhance your physique so that you can “dress less” with even more pride this summer season.
More questions? Contact a studio near you to set up a friendly consultation.