Protect Your Skin With The 13 Best Sunscreens For Tattoos In 2021

by Kirtana Divakar
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We hate to break it to you, but all those summer getaways you are dreaming of may ruin your tattoo! And if you have freshly-inked your body, then get ready to take cover as any contact with the UV rays can damage the wound, fade the color or even lead to patchy ink! Getting a tattoo breaks the skin’s natural barrier making it vulnerable to the harmful rays of the sun. So, what’s the solution? No summer trips? The good news is that with the right protective sunscreen, you can confidently flaunt your tattoo on that sunny beach vacation.

Sunscreens provide broad-spectrum sun protection against harmful exposure by forming a protective shield over your skin. Getting a tattoo leaves the skin vulnerable and in need of some tender loving care, and a soothing sunscreen is just the answer. Wondering where to start looking? Check out our carefully curated list of the 13 best sunscreens to protect your tattoo in 2021 and let the glowing goddess in you get out and frolic in the sun without a care in the world.

Top 10 Products
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Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face And Body Stick
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Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen
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Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen
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Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen
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Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion – Ultra Guard
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MDSolar Sciences Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30
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BullFrog Land Sport Quik Gel Sunscreen SPF 50
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Tattoo Care Sun Protection
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Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
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Australian Gold SPF 50+ Tattoo Stick
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13 Best Sunscreens For Tattoos You Must Try In 2021

1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face And Body Stick

When it comes to sunblock, Neutrogena takes the crown for its broad-spectrum protection. And this one is no different. Non-greasy, ultra-sheer, and powered by Helioplex technology that protects from direct sunlight, consider your tattoo protected. With SPF 70, this sunscreen stick is lightweight, glides smoothly, is non-comedogenic, and free from PABA. Trusted by doctors, this tattoo safe sunscreen from Neutrogena is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and can be used while chilling in the pool or at the beach.

PROS

  • No-mess application
  • Non-greasy, ultra-sheer, and glides easily
  • Non-comedogenic and PABA-free
  • Formulated with Helioplex technology
  • Lightweight and water-resistant

CONS

  • Some might find that this body stick might break easily.

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2. Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

If only you could turn your skin into reflectors, then you wouldn’t have to worry about tans, sunburns, or distorted tattoos! Unfortunately, that’s not possible, but Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen can protect you with its broad-spectrum SPF 30+. Infused with active zinc oxide, which is hailed as one of the best mineral compounds to block UV rays, this tattoo guard sunscreen has no harsh chemicals like parabens and is free from synthetic fragrances too. This makes this sunscreen gentle and suitable for sensitive and tattooed skin. This new tattoo sunscreen is reef-safe, lightweight, and water-resistant for up to 40 minutes.

PROS

  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection
  • Free from parabens and fragrances
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Reef-safe, lightweight, and water-resistant
  • Dermatologist recommended

CONS

  • Some might find that this sunscreen leaves a bit of white residue.

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3. Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen

Sounds cute, doesn’t it? This sunscreen from Supergoop Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen is powerful with broad-spectrum SPF 50 sun protection, which helps protect your skin from UVR-induced damages while preventing your tattoo from fading prematurely. Recommended for daily use, what makes this a good sunscreen for tattoos is its oil-free, weightless, and ultra-hydrating creamy formula. Plus, it does not clog pores. And lest we forget, it is water-resistant and safe to use on your child’s skin as well!

PROS

  • Protects from UV-induced damage
  • Oil-free, weightless, and non-comedogenic formula
  • Infused with sunflower and rosemary leaf extracts
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Waterproof upto 80 minutes

CONS

  • Some might find the texture of this sunscreen a bit thick.

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4. Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen

Are you planning to indulge in water sports this summer? Protect your tattooed skin with Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion! Indulging in outdoor sports means prolonged exposure to harmful radiation. This broad-spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen ensures maximum protection from UVA/UVB rays, and it is clinically proven. Also, its lightweight and breathable formula won’t weigh you down but will protect your tattoo while you have fun in the sun. Sweat and water-resistant, sunscreen lotion for tattoos guarantees to stay whether you are in the pool, ocean water, sand, or extreme heat. It is a must-have for all sports enthusiasts!

PROS

  • Suitable for prolonged sun exposure
  • Designed for daily use
  • Lightweight, breathable, and water-resistant
  • Clinically proven to protect from UVA/UVB rays

CONS

  • Some might find that the consistency of this sunscreen is a bit thick.

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5. Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion – Ultra Guard

If you are going to stay out in the sun for long, you’ll need something strong to shield your tattoo. Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion – Ultra Guard is known for its intense defense that blocks UVA/UVB rays up to 98%! With SPF 70, it stays waterproof for up to 80 minutes, which means even if you sweat, your sunblock stays intact, making it a must-have on a sunny day. It nourishes the skin as well with vitamin E and other moisturizing ingredients.

PROS

  • Intense defense formula
  • Blocks up to 98% of sun rays
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Lightweight
  • Nourishes and hydrates the skin.

CONS

  • Might not be best suited for those with very sensitive skin.

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6. MDSolar Sciences Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30

Not a fan of glossy sunscreens? Here’s one with a matte finish and a silky-smooth texture. It not only protects your tattooed skin with naturally derived eco-cert zinc oxide but also doubles up as a primer for your make-up! Also, reducing the risk of photoaging and skin-related diseases, this sunscreen for fresh tattoos has antioxidants that nourish the skin keeping it soft and supple throughout the summer. Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, it is non-comedogenic and suitable for sensitive skin types.

PROS

  • Protects skin against harsh sun rays
  • Doubles up as a primer
  • Reduces the risk of photoaging and skin cancer
  • Antioxidants nourish the skin
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Non-comedogenic and smooth texture.

CONS

  • Some might find the scent of this product a bit unpleasant.

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7. BullFrog Land Sport Quik Gel Sunscreen SPF 50

Fight those harsh UV rays with this extremely light, non-greasy, no-mess gel sunblock that has both men and women raving! It absorbs into the skin faster than other lotions, offers broad-spectrum UV protection with SPF 50, and is sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Promoted as long-lasting by the brand, this new tattoo sunscreen assures effective protection for tattooed skin while also nourishing skin with antioxidants and other rich plant extracts.

PROS

  • Ultra-light, quick-absorbing, no-mess formula
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50 sun protection
  • Water and sweat-resistant for upto 80 minutes
  • Long-lasting and nourishing

CONS

  • Some might find that this sunscreen doesn’t wash off easily.

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8. Tattoo Care Sun Protection

Say goodbye to unsightly faded tattoos with this versatile sunscreen, which not only provides broad-spectrum sun protection but also moisturizes and highlights tattoo colors so you can flaunt your ink art with style. Dermatologically-tested for safety, this SPF sunscreen for tattoos has high vitamin E levels, which provide deep moisturization and prevent your skin from drying out in the sun. This cream is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it the ideal pick for a sunny day at the beach.

PROS

  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection
  • Free of parabens and harmful chemicals
  • Water resistant up to 80 minutes
  • Cruelty-free

CONS

  • Some might find the consistency of this sunscreen a bit sticky.

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9. Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Don’t just enjoy the summer, smell like it, all thanks to Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion. A non-comedogenic lotion with SPF 50, it offers maximum protection to all skin types, even tattooed skin and keeps you refreshed all day. Planning a getaway to the beach? Trust Sun Bum’s water-resistant and oil-free formula to keep your skin protected from intense sun rays. This sunscreen is hypoallergenic and free from parabens and gluten, making it an ideal choice for allergy prone inked skin.

PROS

  • Pleasant fragrance and lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic ingredients
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50 sun protection from UVA/UVB rays
  • Water-resistant and hypoallergenic
  • Infused with skin-nourishing antioxidants.

CONS

  • Some might find that the texture of this sunscreen is a bit greasy.

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10. Australian Gold SPF 50+ Tattoo Stick

This one’s a keeper for all those mini tattoos! Formulated with Ultimate Fade Protection, Australian Gold SPF 50+ Tattoo Stick’s anti-discoloration and anti-fade features will not disappoint you. It has nourishing ingredients that will make your beautiful body art look brighter and as good as new! This sunscreen is suitable for all skin types and is designed for daily use, making it an ideal choice for the entire family. Portable and easy-to-use, try it, and you’ll thank us later!

PROS

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50+ sun protection
  • Anti-discoloration and anti-fade protection
  • Portable and easy-to-use.

CONS

  • Some might find that this tattoo stick is a bit small to apply on big tattoos.

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11. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen

When it comes to stepping out in the sun, always play safe. The damage-inducing sun rays can be harmful for sensitive or tattooed skin. While other sunscreens assure protection from UVA and UVB rays, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen has Cell-OX Shield XL Technology that neutralizes free radicals, thereby minimizing skin damage. An antioxidant formula, this melt-in milk formula is rich, smooth, and fast absorbing and imparts a velvety feel to your skin. Trusted by dermatologists worldwide, you can enjoy the effects of this sunblock in water for up to 80 minutes!

PROS

  • Protects from UV rays and free radicals
  • Rich, smooth, and velvety texture
  • Quick-absorbing formula
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
  • Free from parabens and fragrances
  • Water-resistant for upto 80 minutes.

CONS

  • Some might find that the scent of this product is a bit overpowering.

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12. Waxhead Skin Nourishing Sunscreen

If you’re looking to nourish your skin with a clean sunscreen which is not only good for you, but is also safe for the oceans, here’s your pick. Reef and ocean safe, this sunscreen allows you to enter the water guilt-free while staying protected against harmful sun exposure. Formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, this mineral sunscreen is infused with jojoba oil, shea butter, and vitamin E which deeply moisturize and hydrate the skin, and will also have your tattoo looking its absolute best.

PROS

  • Broad-spectrum SPF 32 sun protection
  • Made with certified organic and non-GMO ingredients
  • Non-toxic and fragrance-free
  • Free of petrochemicals and oxybenzone
  • Reef and ocean safe
  • Cruelty-free.

CONS

  • Some might find that this sunscreen leaves a bit of white residue.

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13. Tattoo Care Sun Protection



This summer, go get that tan without letting the sun ruin your tattoo! While you enjoy the glorious tanning, let your ink bask in the nourishment of Tattoo Care Sunscreen’s natural ingredients and water-resistant sun protection formula with SPF 30+. From preventing fading to moisturizing the tattoo with bisabolol, calendula and vitamin E, this sunblock promotes quick healing too. Hypoallergenic and free from parabens, this sunscreen is ideal for those with sensitive skin problems.

PROS

  • Prevents fading of tattoo
  • Hypoallergenic and free from parabens
  • Promotes quick healing and prevents drying
  • Water-resistant
  • Soothes itchiness and inflammation.

CONS

  • Some might find that the consistency of this sunscreen is a bit thick.

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Now that we’ve had a look at our list of the 13 best sunscreens to protect your tattoo in 2021, let us look at some things to consider when picking a sunscreen to ensure your tattoo keeps looking as good as new.

How To Choose The Best Sunscreen For Tattoos To Prevent Fading

Sun protection

Applying an appropriate sunscreen is essential when spending any time in the sun. One of the first things to consider when picking a sunscreen to protect your tattoo is the level of sun protection required. Ideally, you should choose a product that offers broad-spectrum sun protection against harmful UVA/UVB rays. Generally, it is recommended to s a sunscreen labeled as at least SPF 30. It is essential to apply it generously on your tattoo 15 minutes before exposure, making sure you reapply every 2 hours.

Ingredient list

A quick look at the ingredient list will tell you volumes about the product you’re picking. If you’re environmentally conscious, select a product that is reef and ocean safe and made without harmful ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate. If you’re looking for a sunscreen, which protects your tattoo while nourishing the skin. Pick a mineral sunscreen made with non-nano zinc oxide and enriched with skin-loving ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and coconut oil which will infuse moisture into dry and dehydrated skin.

Texture

When picking a suitable sunscreen, the texture of the product is vital to consider and is generally a matter of personal preference. If your tattoo is small and easily accessible, you can consider a stick sunscreen which you can quickly roll on before you head out in the sun. For tattoos in hard-to-reach areas like the back, a spray sunscreen might be more appropriate. If you want a sunscreen that doubles up as a moisturizer, pick a thick, creamy sunscreen that nourishes and protects your skin.

The tattoo you got in college on a fun night out doesn’t have to look like a faded replica of its former glory. With a little bit of care and the right products, you can make sure your tattoo looks as nice and shiny as the unforgettable day you first got it. Tattoos, after all, are an expression of one’s personality and individuality and should be celebrated as such. Don’t let the fear of a faded tattoo make you hide behind cover-ups and umbrellas. Wear a good sunscreen and flaunt your ink art with the confidence and style it truly deserves. Our guide of the 13 best sunscreens to protect your tattoo in 2021 can be your starting point to getting your glow on while making sure your dazzling tattoo can continue taking center stage.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Is SPF 30 enough for tattoos?

Generally, SPF 30 will provide you and your tattoo with adequate protection against harmful sun exposure as long as it is reapplied every 2 hours.

Are zinc sunscreens bad for tattoos?

Sunscreens made with zinc oxide are recommended for tattoos as they are less likely to irritate the skin while providing broad spectrum sun protection.

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Kirtana Divakar

Kirtana developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was a little girl after reading the brilliant works of Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. She completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A fashion enthusiast who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about beauty, skin care, fashion, and just about anything else.
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