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January 20, 2022 11 min read
Tattoos fade with time unless you either:
Unless you're Dracula or H.G. Wells, your tats are going to fade. (See what I did there? Dracula doesn't age or go out in the sun; a two-fer!) And if you do own a time machine, please tell me you are using it for FAR more interesting shenanigans than popping back in time to admire your non-faded tattoos!
I've always wondered, actually, why someone hasn't invented a tattoo that purposefully fades. OK, settle down! I know part of the traditional tattoo experience is the very fact that it is permanent and requires commitment. But what about make-up tats, like eyeliner, that may go out of style? Or having your boyfriend's name inked in an intimate spot? Many will shout, "Blasphemy!" at the very idea of a purposefully fading tattoo. However, the folks at a company calledEphemeral are banking on the non-tattooed half of the adult US population opting for one of their 18-month tats. Currently, they are very pricey and only available in black, so it'll be a while before they are common.
Someday, though, faded tattoos might be normal. But today is not that day! True, even the best tattoos fade, but with proper skincare, hydration, and proper tattoo care, even an older tattoo can retain its beauty, meaning, and vibrancy.
Tattoo artists use creative and artistic skills to create permanent markings on the skin using ink and needles. Tattoo ink is deposited into the second layer of the skin known as the dermis. The ink is purposefully formulated to have particles that are too big for the body's white blood cells to run off with. After scabbing over, the wound and the skin heal, keeping the color under the new layer. These changes in the skin’s pigment can be used to create almost any image imaginable and on any body part. More than fifty colors are used in tattoo studios by licensed tattoo artists today.
Throughout history, people have sought to adorn themselves and distinguish themselves as members of a tribe, as initiated adults, or members of an elite group. Today the reasons for getting tattoos are numerous and varied. They still include an indication of group membership, but also include religious reasons, for protection, as a source of power, as a status symbol, as an artistic expression, for permanent cosmetics, and/or as an adjunct to reconstructive surgery. Whether it be a memorial piece or one that expresses interests, hobbies, or even love themes, tattoos are rich in cultural history!
The healing process for a new tattoo takes about two weeks, depending on your skin type and climate. This is the time required for the top layer of your skin to heal. You can minimize the risk of infection by only touching the tattoo to gently clean the skin until it heals. Follow the aftercare routine properly; you can start preventing tattoo fading the moment you receive the tattoo. Immediate aftercare is essential!
Be sure to follow your tattoo artist's aftercare instructions, but remember that there are many tattoo aftercare products on the market. He or she may have a favorite tattoo lotion that they sell, but it might not necessarily be the best one for you. For instance, "Ask a Tattoo Artist: The 12 Best Lotions For Healing a New Tattoo," lists a wide variety of aftercare lotions, most of which are available from Amazon.
Har! Except now you have an answer to that childhood joke: "Heck yeah it is, I'm sportin' a new tat!"
As you well know, your skin is your largest and second favorite organ. Taking good care of it is essential to keeping new tattoos from looking like old tattoos. One of the reasons that tattoos fade is because your skin ages. Your skin’s ability to produce collagen and elastin decreases with age. Combined with gravity’s constant pull, this leads to wrinkles, and sagging, thinner skin. Sweat and oil gland function also begins to diminish over time, which also contributes to dry skin and decreased skin quality.
However, there are many contributing factors that can speed up the aging process. Excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged sun exposure, and smoking have all been proven to cause premature aging, which will change the look of your tattoo, as well as your skin.
Collagen is a protein that serves as one of the main building blocks for your bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is what keeps our skin from sagging. The body's ability to make collagen decreases with age. Even in our 20s, we slowly begin to lose collagen, but it is especially true as we reach later-adulthood. For example, women can lose up to 30% of their collagen production in the first 5 years of menopause.
Because we lose collagen as we age, many are using collagen supplements as part of an anti-aging beauty regimen. Because skin is largely collagen, it makes sense to eat the building blocks of collagen. Not all collagen is the same, of course. Your skin is very different than your bones, for example. However, they all use the same amino acids. Amandean’s marine collagen and collagen peptides contain a rich source of Type I and III collagen for healthy skin and bones.
Meat, fish, and eggs are high in collagen. Bone broth is another excellent source of collagen as it is made from the bones and connective tissues of animals. You can either buy it at the store (even Walmart sells a bone broth!) or make it yourself. A quick search online or even on Pinterest will yield some great recipes.
If you are vegetarian/vegan, your body's biggest challenge to making its own collagen is getting hydroxyproline, an amino acid only found in animal food sources. However, your body can make it from proline and vitamin C. To help your body make its own collagen, these foods/nutrients are helpful:
My first experience seeing tattoos when I was a kid were the ones on old WWII veterans. I remember thinking how gross they were, all fuzzy and monochromatic. I have a clear image of an old one on a gentleman's arm that was a big green blob. What a pleasant surprise it was when "Tattoo Culture" took off and beautiful, crisp multi-color tattoos became in vogue!
If your tattoo artist used inferior ink and/or injected it too deep or too shallow, migration of the ink may be inevitable. Also, if your tat is in a place that receives a lot of friction, such as your shoulder and you carry a shoulder-bag, the image may fade and/or blur. However, if your faded tattoo is simply the victim of normal ink degradation, there are ways to rejuvenate that beloved tat!
Exfoliating: Exfoliation lifts off the outermost layer of your skin. Even for non-tattooed skin, dead skin cells dull the overall complexion. Removing them makes the skin look clearer and healthier. Don't worry about removing the ink when exfoliating. An old tattoo is well beyond the healing process and your tattoo ink is deposited way too deeply in the middle layer of skin, the dermis, to be affected by removing dead skin cells on the surface. Getting rid of all the grimy dead skin cells will uncover the supple, new skin under it and increase the vibrancy of the image.
Physical exfoliants include exfoliating mitts/gloves, loofahs, microfiber or terry cloths, cleansing brushes, and scrubs. Exfoliating scrubs for tattooed skin are available, such as Stories and Ink available on Amazon. Chemical exfoliants use chemicals or acids to gently dissolve or dislodge stubborn old skin cells. Exfoliating moisturizers or body washes with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) such as lactic acid or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) do a great job of eradicating dead skin and help lifeless looking tattoos appear richer in color saturation and vibrancy.
Tattoo Balms, Lotions, and Ointments: Balms, lotions, and healing ointments are usually associated strictly with tattoo aftercare. However, they can be just as important for keeping old tattoos looking bright and colorful. Specialty tattoo lotions will keep your old tattoos looking bright, healthy, and fresh. They will also help slow down the fading process.
For example, Ed Hardy INK Tattoo and Color Fade Moisturizer Tan Extender, uses shea butter, essential oils, vitamin E, and vitamin C to help bring back faded tattoos. And Tattoo Goo, mentioned earlier, is another paraben-free moisturizer specifically formulated for tattoo aftercare and long-term care. It uses cocoa butter instead of shea butter, is petroleum-free, and won't clog pores. For more details on these and other tattoo care products, seeBest Lotions for Old Tattoos in 2021 – Revive Your Faded Tattoos!
Touch Ups: It may seem like the shotgun approach, but most reputable tattoo artists offer free touch ups. As long as the ink hasn't migrated due to improper injection, friction, or poor aftercare, touch ups offer a way to rejuvenate old tattoos. A touch up essentially means tattooing over your existing tattoo to fix any problems with it. Unlike getting a new tattoo, a touch up usually involves adding small details or a bit of color to the existing ink. They're typically quick jobs that don't require you to spend much time under the tattoo gun. They still require proper tattoo aftercare, but are a way to bring back the vibrancy of an older tattoo.
If a tattoo is too badly faded, stretched, or blurred from repeated tanning, it may require a complete re-do or cover-up. A cover-up tattoo is done over an existing tattoo. Although virtually any size, design, or color can be covered up, certain designs and colors are more amenable to being covered. A skilled tattoo artist can cover-up almost any tattoo and leave you with new ink that you’ll want to show off, not hide.
Cover-up tats are really a reworking of the original tattoo. The ink of a tattoo does not function like paint on a canvas, where successive layers can hide the original. Instead, a tattoo artist uses specialized skills including color blending, shading, and detailing to create a new image. Any tattoo can be covered up, although it may need to be faded with laser tattoo removal first. This usually only requires two or three sessions. Even if you have a large, solid black tattoo, a good cover-up tattoo artist will work with you to create a strategy for covering it with a new, exciting design.
Consider these following factors when deciding on covering up an old tattoo:
As opposed to invasive techniques such as excision, dermabrasion, or salabrasion, lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors with a high-intensity light beam. This allows your body's white blood cells to run off with the smaller particles. There is some discomfort but most people don’t need anesthesia. It's common to apply a topical anesthesia cream beforehand and an ice pack immediately afterwards to soothe the treated area. Similar to a new tattoo, aftercare is important and requires the application of an antibiotic cream and bandaging.
Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths, making it the easiest color to treat. Other colors can only be treated by selected lasers based upon the pigment color. Removing every trace of a tattoo is time-consuming and expensive. It is also impossible to say with any certainty whether or not any residual pigmentation will remain. Top-of-the-line laser tattoo removal, currently the most effective option, costs thousands of dollars, requires between twelve and fifteen sessions, and can take up to two and a half years!
A WebMD article,Laser Tattoo Removal: What to Know, lists these possible side effects:
The Complete Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare Routine
Marine Collagen and Tattoos: Skincare for Fresh Ink
New Tattoos & Sun Exposure: Prevent Fresh Ink From Fading In the Sun
Collagen & Tattoo Skincare: Why you need to take collagen after you get inked.
April 13, 2022 3 min read
March 09, 2022 16 min read
"Mom, Dad, I got my acceptance letter! I'm going to Collagen College, home of the fighting Polypeptides!"
In recent years, the benefits of collagen have begun to be recognized among those who are serious about their health and perhaps are wanting to explore an "alternative" diet like keto or paleo. If you already follow a paleo or keto diet, you might be interested to know how collagen and collagen peptides can ensure that you've got your amino-acid bases covered.
You might also be wondering if intermittent fasting is a passing fad, like television or the internet. Maybe you've got no one to discuss your autophagy with or whether your ketosis will prevent you from passing the MCTs. Relax, pour yourself a cup of bulletproof coffee, and let's take a little collagen break together. Your Collagen College orientation is about to begin!
March 04, 2022 4 min read
Liquid collagen is a buzzy new take on the cult classic dietary supplement, collagen. Collagen supplements are used by skincare enthusiasts, new mothers,ultra-runners, recovering athletes, and bodybuilders alike. Liquid collagen was originally intended to be taken orally. Now, rather than just adding a bit of collagen to a moisturizer or eye cream, many people are wondering if you can get the same benefits by applying it directly to the skin. Though it's a fairly new product, here's what we know!
Become Superhuman with our Collagen Pro-Tips Guide