The Ultimate Guide to Waterproofing Your Tattoo for Swimming


For many people, swimming is an essential part of summer fun. But for those who have recently gotten a new tattoo, it can be a worrisome experience. Whether you’re heading to the pool or the beach, you want to make sure your tattoo is safe from the water and the sun. But how can you do that?

In this ultimate guide, we will explore the best ways to waterproof your tattoo for swimming, as well as some common mistakes you should avoid. From DIY methods to tattoo-specific products, we’ve got you covered.

The Ultimate Guide to Swimming with a New Tattoo: How to Waterproof Your Ink

Waterproofing your tattoo simply means protecting it from water, so it doesn’t get damaged or discolored. It’s especially important if your tattoo is new or still healing. Here are some options you can use to keep your tattoo dry:

Waterproof Bandages

This is the easiest way to keep your tattoo dry. Simply apply a waterproof bandage over your tattoo before getting in the water. Be sure to use a bandage that is large enough to cover your tattoo completely. You can find waterproof bandages at most drug stores or online retailers.

Tattoo-Specific Products

There are several tattoo-specific products you can use to waterproof your ink. Tattoo sealant sprays and tattoo sunscreen are popular options and are designed to keep your tattoo protected from water and sun exposure. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully when using these products.

Tips on Which Methods Work Best

When choosing which method to use, consider the size and placement of your tattoo. If your tattoo is small, a waterproof bandage may be your best option. If your tattoo is large or covers a significant portion of your body, a tattoo-specific product may be a better choice.

5 DIY Methods to Waterproof Your Tattoo for the Pool or Beach

If you prefer a more natural approach, there are several DIY methods you can try to keep your tattoo dry while swimming. Here are 5 great options:

Cover with Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap is an inexpensive and easy-to-find option for waterproofing your tattoo. Simply wrap the plastic around your tattoo and secure it in place with medical tape. Be sure to cover the entire tattoo area to avoid any water seeping through.

Natural Remedies

Aloe vera gel and olive oil are great natural remedies that can help protect your tattoo while swimming. Apply a thin layer of the gel or oil over your tattoo before getting in the water. Be sure to reapply as needed.

Creating Your Own Waterproof Bandages

If you don’t want to buy waterproof bandages, you can easily make your own. Simply cover your tattoo with a non-adhesive gauze pad or fabric, then secure it in place with medical tape or self-adhesive wrap.

Use Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is an inexpensive option that can be found at any drug store. Apply a thin layer of the jelly over your tattoo before getting in the water. Be sure to reapply as needed.

Use Beeswax Salve

Beeswax salve is a natural and effective way to protect your tattoo while swimming. Apply a thin layer of the salve over your tattoo before getting in the water. Be sure to reapply as needed, especially if you’re swimming for an extended period of time.

What to Do After Swimming with a Tattoo? Tips to Keep Your Ink Safe and Dry

Once you’ve finished swimming, it’s important to take proper care of your tattoo to avoid any damage or infection. Here are some tips to help keep your ink safe and dry:

Pat Your Tattoo Dry

Use a clean, soft towel or paper towel to gently pat your tattoo dry. Avoid rubbing as this can cause irritation. Make sure the tattoo is completely dry before applying any ointment or lotion.

Apply a Thin Layer of Lotion or Ointment

After your tattoo is dry, apply a thin layer of lotion or ointment to help moisturize the skin. Be sure to use a product that is gentle and unscented. Avoid applying too much ointment as this can clog pores and cause irritation.

Tattoo Cover-up for Swimming: How to Cover Your Ink and Waterproof It

If you’re looking for extra coverage, there are several swimwear options that can help protect your tattoo from the sun and water. Here are some tips on how to find suitable swimwear:

Look for UPF Clothing

UPF clothing is designed to block UV rays from the sun and protect your skin. Look for swimwear that has a UPF rating of at least 50, which offers the highest level of protection.

Swim With Long-Sleeve Tops and Leggings

If you prefer a more conservative look, long-sleeve tops and leggings are great options. They provide extra coverage while still allowing you to swim and have fun.

Consider a Waterproof Tattoo Cover-up Swimsuit

Finally, if you want to protect your tattoo while swimming and still look stylish, you can invest in a waterproof tattoo cover-up swimsuit. These swimsuits are specifically designed to provide extra coverage for your tattoo while keeping it safe from the water and sun. They come in a wide variety of styles and colors, so you’re sure to find one that suits your taste.

The Dos and Don’ts of Swimming with a Tattoo: Avoiding Common Mistakes

While swimming with a tattoo, it’s important to take extra care to avoid common mistakes that could damage your ink. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

DO Use Tattoo-Specific Products

When waterproofing your tattoo, use tattoo-specific products such as tattoo sealant sprays or tattoo sunscreen. These products are specially designed to protect your tattoo from water and sun exposure.

DO Clean Your Tattoo After Swimming

After swimming, be sure to clean your tattoo with a mild soap and water. This will help remove any bacteria or germs that may have entered the skin while swimming.

DON’T Use Regular Sunscreen

Regular sunscreen can damage your tattoo and cause it to fade. Instead, use a tattoo-specific sunscreen that is designed to protect your ink.

DON’T Scrub or Rub Your Tattoo

When cleaning your tattoo, avoid scrubbing or rubbing it too hard. This can cause irritation and damage to the skin.

Swimming with a Tattoo: A Quick Guide to Keeping Your Tattoo Dry

Here’s a quick summary of the most effective tattoo waterproofing methods:

  • Waterproof bandages
  • Tattoo-specific products like tattoo sunscreen or tattoo sealant sprays
  • DIY methods like plastic wrap or natural remedies like aloe vera gel or petroleum jelly
  • Swimwear that provides extra coverage or investing in a waterproof tattoo cover-up swimsuit

Remember to pat your tattoo dry and apply a thin layer of lotion or ointment after swimming to avoid any damage or infection.

Protecting Your Tattoo During Swimming: Tips from a Pro Tattoo Artist

We spoke to a professional tattoo artist who offered some expert advice on how to keep your tattoo safe while swimming:

Use Sunscreen

Use sunscreen with at least SPF 50 to protect your tattoo from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Apply it at least 20 minutes before going into the water and reapply it every two hours.

Avoid Chlorine

Chlorine can damage your tattoo, so it’s best to avoid swimming in chlorinated pools or hot tubs. If you must swim in chlorine, be sure to rinse off your tattoo with clean water as soon as you’re done.

Be Patient

It’s important to wait until your tattoo is fully healed before swimming. This usually takes around two to four weeks depending on the size and placement of your tattoo. Swimming before it’s healed can cause serious damage.


Swimming is a fun and refreshing activity, but it can be challenging for people who have recently gotten a tattoo. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can keep your tattoo safe and beautiful while still enjoying all the benefits of the water.

It’s important to remember that proper aftercare is essential to maintaining the longevity and quality of your tattoo. By taking the necessary precautions and following the advice of a professional tattoo artist, you can ensure that your tattoo will last a lifetime.

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