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Keep Your Ink At Peak Brightness This Summer


A tattoo is a significant investment in terms of money and time (not to mention pain). So if you’ve got one, you obviously want to do all you can to keep it looking brand new. But summer sun can be hard on your art.


First, there’s fading. The color can be dulled by UV exposure in the same way that fabrics fade in bright sunlight. But there’s another element that affects the quality of your ink, melanin, aka a tan.


The ink does not live in the outer layer of your skin. If it did, it wouldn’t be too long before it disappeared through the normal process of cell turnover. The ink resides in an intermediary layer of tissue that joins the outer (epidermal) and inner (dermal) layers of skin. This is known as the dermo-epidermal junction.


The epidermal outer layer is where pigment appears when skin is exposed to UV radiation. So it lies on top of, and obscures, the ink. It’s going to look muddy. It’s going to look dull. It’s going to look less than sharp. The UV exposure can also cause photodamage like collagen loss, wrinkles and age spots, none of which will enhance the look of your body art.


To preserve your investment, a broad-spectrum, physical sunscreen that reflects UVA and UVB rays is a must. But there’s more that you can do. Tyrosinase inhibitors, normally used to target hyperpigmentation, age spots, melasma, or just generally brighten skin, can help keep your tat in tip-top tone. You can apply products with these ingredients over your tattoo when you’re out of the sun as part of a one-two anti-pigmentation punch.


Kojic acid, mandelic acid, and hydroquinone are all ingredients that block the production of the tyrosinase enzyme that’s responsible for the production of melanocytes (melanin cells) in skin. Niacinamide is also beneficial because it acts to block the transfer of melanocytes. 


Typically used for the face, Vivant’s Exfol-A or 8% Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Serum can do double-duty to protect body art as well. Vivant’s Skin Nourishing Toner with mandelic acid and niacinamide is brightening and refreshing.


You should also use a combination of vitamins C & E, applied topically. The synergistic combo creates an antioxidant shield and enhances the photoprotective effects of sunscreen. Vivant’s Spin Trap Antioxidant Serum leverages this potent combination in a concentrated daily serum that is a must-have for every skin, tattooed or not.


Spin trap in the morning, sunscreen during day, brighteners at night for the ultimate tattoo preservation.


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