Keeping Your Tattoos Safe in the Sun

My motivation for staying sun safe.

As a young adult I never gave much thought to my skin, I never really suffered from acne, didn’t sunburn and had an even complexion. I was one of those early 20 somethings that also LOVED the tanning bed! I went 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a session in the winter. I craved the warmth. I never thought I would stop tanning-then I started my tattoo collection.

Going through the process of getting a tattoo is (or should be) more involved that you would think. You have to decide what you want to get, choose a great tattoo artist, pick the placement and design and lastly sit through the hours of irritating pain. It’s a big (permanent for the most park) decision that also costs a significant amount of money. I LOVE my tattoos, they all have meaning to me. I typically choose to get tattoos after I’ve achieved a milestone in my life, that way they’re significant and I will always love the meaning behind them. I started off small with a treble clef on the back of my neck when I was 16 and started getting full sleeves when I was 24. It was at that time when I chose to take better care of my skin-this included giving up tanning.

After spending thousands of dollars on my ink I want to protect my investment. A sunburn causes your skin to peel much quicker and more vigorously, there is a higher chance of your tattoo fading at a faster rate due to small ink particles being peeled away each time this process occurs. ( In addition, long term tanning will fade and damage a brilliant tattoo quite quickly. The last thing I want is to spend money re-touching old tattoos because they faded in the sun. I would much rather spend that money on new ink.

My tattoos aren’t my only motivation for staying sun safe, it’s no secret that skin cancer is on the rise. While I am fortunate in this moment not to have any sinister spots, I am much wiser now than I was in my tan addiction days and I have come to realize the importance of sun screen. It was my tattoos that sparked my desire to stay protected from sun damage-what’s your motivation?


Kami joins CSCF as the new Coordinator of Education and Outreach. Kami has worked with the Youth Advocacy Training Institute in Toronto as the Youth Engagement Coordinator as well as the Social Media and Campaign Manager in conjunction with the Lung Association of Alberta and Evolvement. While working in Alberta, Kami executed two youth focused, tobacco free campaigns. In addition, Kami was on the advocacy board for the Youth Empowerment and Support Services and worked as a youth worker, and community advocate, for five years. Kami graduated from the University of Alberta in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Music. When she’s not mobilizing youth for positive health initiatives she is advocating for positive social change through her original music. ​​