Have you changed your mind about your tattoo? Maybe you have decided to remove your ink entirely. Or maybe you are considering a cover-up, that is, placing a new tattoo over your old one. Either way, covering the tattoo is always easier when the ink is faded.
There are different ways to lighten a tattoo. Professional services can cost thousands of dollars, so many people try natural methods first. You can learn how to lighten your tattoo using the sun, lemons, and exfoliation. But, using a natural method to fade a tattoo isn't an easy fix. It will take time and effort for the ink to fade. In addition, there are reasons to be cautious about trying to remove your ink on your own and why laser tattoo removal might be a better option.
3 Ways to Lighten a Tattoo Naturally
The great thing about natural methods for tattoo fading is that most of the things you need are already close at hand. Keep in mind that consistency is key for these methods to work. You need to make sure the natural methods are applied daily. Additionally, your skin and how you react to the agents also come into play. These methods won't work on some skin types.
Lighten a Tattoo With Sun
It is common knowledge sun fades tattoos. As an aftercare procedure, you should always wear sunscreen on your ink. However, if you want to fade the work naturally over time while saving up for a removal treatment, then skip on the sunscreen. But don't stay out too long unprotected; you don't want to get scorched.
With this method, you will notice that over time (typically months), the colors of the work will naturally fade. This is because the UV in the sun's rays breaks down some types of inks. However, while you might see a difference in blacks, some colored inks are hard to fade.
Fade a Tattoo Using Lemon
Another common painless natural method to lighten a tattoo is the use of lemon juice. Lemons are a commonly known lightening agent. And it is a simple method that many DIY tattoo enthusiasts try. However, the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology points out that no studies have been done on the effectiveness of this method.
To lighten your tattoo with lemon, you simply add pure or fresh squeezed lemon juice to your skin up to three times a day. After several weeks, you might notice the ink starting to lighten. This is most apparent on darker colors like black. It could fade to brown.
Exfoliation and Hydrogen Peroxide for Tattoo Fading
Exfoliation removes dead and excess skin. When you combine this process with hydrogen peroxide, it can possibly work to fade a tattoo. However, the results vary from person to person.
To try this method, exfoliate your skin first. A great natural way to do this is with a salt scrub or with a natural sugar scrub like sugar and coconut oil. After a few minutes of exfoliating the skin, dab hydrogen peroxide on the area with a cotton swab.
Like all natural methods, this tattoo lightening method takes time. However, over weeks or months, you might notice a lightening in the darker blacks and greens of the tattoo. It's essential, however, to make sure you don't overly scrub the skin. You want to get rid of the dead cells, not make yourself bleed. Therefore, if the skin gets pink, stop.
The Best Way to Fade a Tattoo
A study questioning the effectiveness of sun, lemon juice, or other natural home remedies showed that that these methods caused little to no lightening on tattooed rats. However, there are media reports of people who have tried these methods and saw results. But, while these methods might be successful in fading surface ink, deeper set ink will need to be faded professionally.
So what are the best professional treatments to lighten a tattoo? According to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, methods like dermabrasion or salabrasion have shown effectiveness for tattoo fading. But these methods can be quite painful and may require a numbing agent.
If you are looking for a proven way to remove your tattoo, then seeing a professional tattoo removal center is your best option. These methods are proven to lighten and remove tattoos completely. Additionally, since the ink resides below the epidermis, natural or painless methods can create no change or cause an allergic reaction and, in some instances, scarring.
In most instances, someone looking to fade their tattoo is thinking in terms of getting a cover-up. Fading using home methods can take months to see a difference, but it can help to lighten DIY tattoos and black lines that can be harder to hide during a cover-up session. Your artist can often help you work with your new design and decide if the cover-up you are considering is even feasible in that area with fading or if the old tattoo will still be too visible.