How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming

For those who love to spend lots of time in the pool, a tattoo may present some difficulty. A tattoo that has not been properly prepped can be damaged by the chlorine, exposure to the elements, and other factors in a pool or pool-like environment. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to how to waterproof a tattoo for swimming, including what products to use, tips for application, and other related advice. Read on for a comprehensive guide to ensure that your tattoo looks perfect no matter how many laps you take!

Prepping Your Skin Before Swimming:

Before you waterproof your tattoo for swimming, it is important to properly prep your skin. Ensure that your tattoo is properly healed and clean by showering or bathing prior to applying the waterproofing. Additionally, cleansing the area with a mild liquid cleanser or soap will remove excess oils, sweat, and other debris that can interfere with the waterproofing process. After your tattoo has been cleansed it is important to wait for the skin to completely dry before applying any waterproofing.

Choosing the Right Products:

When selecting the right product to waterproof your tattoo it is important to find one that is specifically designed to protect your tattoo against elements such as UV rays and chlorine. A few products to consider using are Tattoo Armor, Aquaphor, and Tattoo Goo. All of these options are non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, ocean safe, and great for protecting both color and black ink tattoos. Additionally, these products have been developed to protect tattoos from water, sweat, and friction, making them an ideal choice for swimming.

Safeguarding Your Tattoo with Application:

When applying the waterproofing to your tattoo, it is important to take your time and be precise. Start by applying a thin and even layer of the product to the entire surface of the tattoo. Allow the product to smooth over the tattoo, but be careful not to rub or massage it in. After the product has been evenly applied, ensure that all areas of the tattoo have been covered, including any delicate lines and creases.

Alternative Waterproofing Method:

For those who want to take extra precautions when waterproofing for swimming a few alternative methods can be used. Before showering put a waterproof bandage or wrap over your tattoo using medical adhesive tape. Additionally, you can use a waterproof sunblock which will guard your tattoo against both UV rays and chlorine damage. When using either of these methods, be sure to remove the wrap or sunblock every few hours to prevent moisture build-up and to ensure the skin is not being irritated.

Additional Tips for Waterproofing Your Tattoo:

Waterproofing your tattoo for swimming is fairly easy when following the steps outlined above. However, there are other tips that can help keep your tattoo looking its best. After entering the pool, shower immediately and apply a gentle moisturizer to moisturize the skin and prevent further contact with the chlorine. Furthermore, when lying on the pool deck or leaving the pool stay covered and apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin, including your tattoo. For color tattoos, it’s a good idea to avoid extended exposure to the sun and wear light, breathable clothing to prevent fading. Finally, while swimming, do your best to paddle away from direct chlorine contact, as this can cause discoloration or damage to your tattoo.


By following the steps outlined in this article and taking precautions to keep your tattoo safe in the pool, you can enjoy swimming for years to come without worrying about damaging your tattoo. Take the time to waterproof your tattoo for swimming and ensure that your bold designs remain vivid and stunning!