Want to know how to keep your tattoos from fading? Wear sunscreen! Here, our friend, mom and all-around beauty queen Jessie Serra, shares the story behind some of her favorite tattoos, why she always protects them with SPF and why she loves using Glow Stick every day to do so.
Why is it so important to protect your tattoos with sunscreen? Because the ink in your tattoo is prone to fading and UV exposure will break down the ink faster, causing quicker degradation. You don’t want all that money and beautiful art to look not-so-great in only a few years!
Take it from Jessie Serra. The famous microblade artist and owner of J.Serra Cosmetics lives in sunny California and applies sunscreen to her tattoos daily. Below, we chat with her about her tattoos and why she thinks Glow Stick SPF 50 is the perfect SPF pairing for them.
When did you get your first tattoo? What was it of and why did you get it?
I was 18 when I got my first tattoo. My great-grandma always used to tell us when she passed away to not to miss her because all of our loved ones come back as butterflies to visit us. When she passed, I got a tattoo of a butterfly on a rose in remembrance of her.
Did you know then that you should protect your tattoo with SPF?
Although I worked at Estée Lauder at the time and was very knowledgeable about skincare and how to take care of your skin with sunscreen, I didn’t realize until I was 21 how important sunscreen was for your tattoos. Sadly, it wasn’t until one of my tattoos had faded a lot that I thought about applying sunscreen to them. From that point on, I was very consistent with my sunscreen application and made sure I slathered it on especially well if was going to be in the sun!
How often do you put SPF on your tattoos now?
Every day! If I know I’ll be in the sun for even an hour I’ll put it on, just to play it safe.
Have you noticed a difference in the appearance of your tattoos ever since you started putting SPF on them?
My biggest worry with aging is having blurry tattoos so I make sure I do everything I can to keep them looking fresh. Making sunscreen a part of my daily routine has helped them so much! It keeps the color so bright and the lines still crisp. Even the tattoos I’ve had for 10 years look brand new, just from using sunscreen.
Why do you like using Glow Stick on your tattoos?
Glow Stick keeps them looking so bright and new. I also have microbladed brows and I don’t put any makeup on them, so Glow Stick really helps to keep my microblading fresh and bright, while protecting them from the sun, too.
Could you share the stories behind a few tattoos that are the most meaningful to you?
One of my most meaningful tattoos is the phoenix on my hip. Growing up, I always felt like a lone wolf. I was awkward-looking, bullied, and when I moved out at 16, I had to grow up very fast. As you can imagine, life was very challenging. The phoenix represents a rebirth from my struggles – coming out more confident and truly finding myself.
Another special tattoo is the portrait of my grandma on my calf. She was a very important person in my life and was the glue in our family. She was beautiful, full of grace and loved everyone and everything so much. Having one of my favorite photos of her on me makes me so happy — it’s like she’s my guardian angel who’s always with me.
I also love my hummingbird tattoo. Growing up, my dad and I would see hummingbirds all the time. They represented good luck and joyfulness. When I was 16, we actually saved one together. He was on the floor and his beak was tangled in cotton. We untangled him and he flew away completely unharmed. Now, hummingbirds always remind me of my dad and our time together.
+ Have more questions about how to use sunscreen for your tattoos? Leave them in the comments!