Protect your ink with the best sunscreens for tattoos. You can still tan and spend time outdoors without worrying that your body art will fade.
When you choose a sunscreen to protect tattoos, opt for one that moisturizes. If you keep your skin healthy and hydrated, the ink stays vivid for longer.
As for other features, you might prefer a formula that makes the tattoo pop and appear more vibrant. Then there’s the choice between mineral or chemical sun blockers. Also, think about whether you would rather use a stick, cream, or spray.
Top Sunscreens for Tattoos
We rounded up the top sunscreens for tattoos and reviewed them here for you. We hope you find one that you enjoy today.
INK Tattoo SPF 50+ Stick
INK Tattoo offers this straightforward solution for your tats. It’s just what you need whether you’re tanning indoors or outside, and it’s available in two sizes. Since it’s water resistant for 80 minutes, you can enjoy it in the pool, too.
Most tattoo artists will tell you to use at least SPF30 or greater. Moreover, this one offers several benefits besides broad-spectrum protection. First, it hydrates and conditions your skin with aloe and Vitamin E. Second, it has no fragrance and dries clear without leaving a residue. Third, it has antioxidants to prevent photo-aging. Fourth, it’s a stick so you don’t make a mess when you apply it. And fifth, it’s free of parabens, petroleum, artificial dyes, and oxybenzone.
INK Tattoo Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+ Water Resistant
If you have a lot of art to cover, try this spray version of the INK Tattoo Sunscreen. It’s reef-safe, which means you can swim with it in the ocean without fear of poisoning corals. Plus, like the stick format, it dries to a clear finish with no residue.
Australian Gold SPF 50 Tattoo Stick
If you’ve ever used Australian Gold sunscreens or tanning lotions, you’re acquainted with their classic CocoaDreams fragrance. That’s what this tattoo stick smells like. It’s rich in shea butter that provides plenty of moisture without making your skin greasy. The pocket-size applicator is convenient to bring along so you never get caught unprotected.
CannaSmack Ink Guard SPF 30 Tattoo Sunscreen & Ink Fade Shield Stick
CannaSmack’s sunscreen stick has SPF 30 protection which blocks 97% of the sun’s rays from reaching your tattoos. It’s a hypoallergenic formula that’s free of parabens and gluten. It’s based on beeswax, coconut, and hemp seed oil plus chemical sunscreens. Hemp seed oil is specifically helpful for tattoos as it enriches your skin with omega fatty acids.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Non-Greasy Sunscreen Stick for Face & Body
Neutrogena’s stick is mild enough to use on your face and powerful enough to protect your body. The sunscreen features superior SPF 70 protection with Helioplex technology that prevents photo-aging and sunburn alike. It won’t leave your skin oily and it stands up to 80 minutes in the water.
Devoted Creations Tattoo Stick SPF 50 UV Protection
Devoted Creations sells both tanning lotions and this sunscreen stick with plenty of protection for your tats. It stays put in water, doesn’t feel greasy, and moisturizes with shea butter so it won’t clog pores.
Waxhead Zinc Oxide Sunscreen – EWG Rated 1
Fans of Waxhead’s sunscreen are quick to point out that it’s possibly the purest and safest option on the market. It’s rated a “1” for very low hazard on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. That’s because it lacks all the common toxins found in similar products, like parabens.
The formula features 25% non-nano zinc oxide that physically blocks the sun’s rays from your skin. Because it uses regular size particles, it doesn’t absorb into your bloodstream. It’s safe for sensitive skin, even if it’s prone to eczema. And it’s eco-friendly, not dangerous to use in marine environments where certain sunscreens are prohibited (like Hawaii).
Other ingredients in this American-made sunscreen include organic beeswax, vitamin E from non-GMO sunflower seeds, vitamin D3, and organic extra virgin olive oil.
H2Ocean SPF 45 Sea Life Sunscreen
If you hate having a white sheen from your sunscreen, try this one from H2Ocean. Once it absorbs into your skin, the clear zinc oxide formula won’t come off in water or run off if you sweat.
Tattoo Care Sunscreen
The Tattoo Care Sunscreen provides SPF30 broad-spectrum protection while it hydrates your skin. It’s made to protect new tattoos on either your face or body. Each small tube covers small to medium -sized tats a couple of times.
This one is paraben-free and full of natural moisturizers and skin conditioners that promote healing. For example, it has anti-microbial Bisabalol, a derivative of chamomile. This single ingredient has been proven to regenerate cells damaged by the sun.
Kiss My Face SPF 30 Hot Spots Sunscreen
Kiss My Face created their Hot Spots Sunscreen to cover up all those delicate places like the tips of your ears and your nose. That’s what makes it excellent for covering up tattoos. It blends active ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate with organic natural moisturizers. It keeps skin in top condition with aloe, shea butter, coconut oil, calendula, and beeswax.
MDSolarSciences Mineral Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 40
MDSolarSciences blends 6.6% zinc oxide with 8.1% titanium dioxide to literally prevent the sun’s rays from harming your tattoos. It stays on in water for up to 80 minutes and it’s mild enough for everyone but infants.
The compact stick is just the right size so you’ll never leave it behind. And the oil-free, fragrance-free formula is packed with Vitamin C to keep skin cells healthy.
Banana Boat Sport Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Stick with SPF 50
Banana Boat created this Sport Sunscreen Stick for ocean adventures. It’s reef-safe because it lacks octinoxate and oxybenzone, to chemical sunscreens that potentially harm coral and wildlife. It’s also mild enough for your lips and face. Furthermore, it’s water-resistant for up to an hour and twenty minutes.
Sun Bum Premium Sunscreen Face Stick
Sun Bum makes a variety of sunscreens. This stick is tested and approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation. It’s free of oils, parabens, gluten, and the chemical sunscreens that harm corals. But it’s supplemented with plenty of Vitamin E to prevent premature aging.
CeraVe Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
CeraVe’s products provide an essential benefit for your skin: ceramides. This component reinforces your skin’s natural barrier against moisture loss and environmental pollution. Of course, this sunscreen stick contains ceramides along with microfine zinc oxide that dries clear. It’s water-resistant for up to 40 minutes and gentle on acne-prone skin.
Thinkbaby Sunscreen Stick
This stick from thinkbaby might make your tats look a little pale as it has non-nano zinc oxide. But the trade-off is that you’ll have a safe and effective sunscreen that stays on in water for up to 80 minutes. It’s free of parabens, phthalates, and other chemicals that trigger rashes and acne.
Thinkbaby Thinksport Sun Stick SPF 30
The adult version of the sunscreen stick is just as mild and powerful as the baby version. It relies on 20% zinc oxide with no parabens or petroleum. It dries almost clear and won’t leave skin greasy.
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Stick for Face and Body
Neutrogena’s kid’s sunscreen in a stick won’t make you break out so you can use it anywhere on your face or body. It has SPF 70 protection with Helioplex, a proven proprietary technology. The main advantage of this particular stick is that you can easily apply it with your skin is wet or dry.
Supergoop! Skin-Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40
Supergoop! is another smart choice if you have tattoos that are healing. It contains olive polyphenols to reduce redness and calm irritation even on very sensitive skin. Meanwhile, squalane and sunflower seed oil condition the skin to prevent dryness. Moreover, this is a mineral sunscreen that won’t clog pores or leave a white residue.
SPF 30 Sunscreen Stick by L’AUTRE PEAU
Here’s another sunscreen stick sized to slip in a pocket. It has a pleasant tropical scent and it dries clear without making the skin sticky or greasy. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t love their product.
Zinka – Clear Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 50
No sunscreen review would be complete without including Zinka. They created the first-ever colored zinc oxide formula and have been in business for more than three decades.
This face stick has 5% zinc oxide and no harsh chemicals. It holds up in water for up to 80 minutes and withstands sweating, too. One customer commented that they spent two weeks in Hawaii and successfully protected their tattoos and the rest of their skin with it.
Your tattoos are important to you. That’s why it’s worth it to spend a little money and time taking care of them. Use a tattoo sunscreen to keep them from fading whether you tan in a bed or lay out by the pool. Keep them sharp and vivid by moisturizing your skin and preventing UV radiation from leaching their colors.