Can Tattoos Cover Up Wrinkles? What You Must Know


Getting tattooed in your early twenties leaves little thought on the subject of wrinkles. Only later you can think about this when you are past your 30 🙂 With this in mind, you might wonder, can tattoos cover up wrinkles? What you must know.

Tattoos cannot cover up wrinkles. Unlike cosmetic procedures that may reduce wrinkles’ appearance on the skin, tattooing has no significant effect on wrinkles. Tattoos can be placed over skin that is already wrinkled but becomes more difficult as age reduces elasticity and collagen production in the skin.

Tattoos cannot cover up wrinkles
Tattooing has no significant effect on wrinkles – picture from redinctattoo.co.uk

Having tattoos done on skin that already has wrinkles will not hide the wrinkles or make them disappear; it also has certain associated risks. Tattoos that were done in your 20’s and 30’s will naturally age with your body and skin, well looked after tattoos will remain bright, and lines will still appear sharp. Below we look at tattoos, wrinkles, and what you must know.

Why Does Skin Wrinkle?

The natural process of aging starts to show primarily on the skin; fine lines appear on the side of the eyes and mouth. The hands can start to become more wrinkled, and the skin looks thinner. There are internal and external factors that determine the speed at which skin will become wrinkled. Listed below are some causes;

  • Smoking. A smoking habit may accelerate the skins’ aging as nicotine may have a negative effect on the production of collagen.
  • Facial expressions. Repeatedly squinting or frowning will cause certain lines to appear faster in areas. Between the eyes when frowning or around the eyes when squinting repeatedly.
  • Age. The production of collagen starts slowing down as we age, causing the skin to become less elastic and supple. Deeper fat layers start to disappear, leaving the skin to appear saggy and wrinkly.
  • UV light exposure. Repeated exposure to the UV light when in the sun causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin; this accelerates the aged and leathered appearance of skin.
  • Skin disease. Certain skin conditions like eczema can accelerate the skin’s aging, usually due to the rapid regeneration of cells in those areas compared to the rest of the body.
example of tattoo on a wrinkled skin
Example of tattoo on a wrinkled skin from reddit.com posted by r3load

There are certain steps you can take to prevent early aging signs and keep your skin supple for longer;

Although there is nothing to stop the process of getting wrinkles altogether, you can take certain preventative measures to slow it down;

  • Enriched diet.  When eating a diet rich in nutrients, antioxidants and healthy proteins will help the body keep free radicals to a minimum and boost collagen and elastin production.
  • Sun exposure. Limiting your time in the sun will greatly decrease the aging process on areas that are more likely to be exposed, like the face, chest, forearms, and hands.
  • Sunscreen. Use a moisturizer or sunscreen with a good SPF factor for areas that are typically exposed. Always apply generously to your tattooed skin areas when in the sun.
  • Smoking. If at all possible, reducing or quitting smoking will greatly combat early wrinkling of the skin.

Why Can Tattoos Not Cover Up Wrinkles?

Applying a tattoo on older skin is impossible; however, certain factors make it a little more difficult. Skin that has already become wrinkled lacks the collagen of younger skin, which makes tattooing easy. The wrinkles you already have cannot be covered up by tattoos like a scar, for example, because, unlike a smooth scar, wrinkles are permanent skin folds that cannot be smoothed out unless you undergo a cosmetic procedure.

When applying a tattoo on older skin, the following things can happen;

  • Skin tearing. As the skin is less elastic, the tattoo artist will have to stretch the skin a lot more to ensure smooth application. This action can cause the skin to tear as the needles penetrate.
  • Bruising. Wrinkled skin will be a lot less plump. When the skin undergoes trauma, it usually releases collagen to repair the areas. Because older skin has less fat underneath, the blood vessels are more exposed, and excessive bruising can be common.
  • Bleeding. Thinner and wrinkled skin can be prone to bleed more as the tattoo ink is deposited into the dermis layer.
Tattoos can't smooth a wrinkled skin
Tattoos cannot smooth a wrinkled skin

Areas like the face, neck, and chest are more common for cosmetic procedures or surgery to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. These are also areas where typically, women would not consider getting tattoos for various reasons.

What Can Tattoos Cover-Up?

The cosmetic industry that supplies wrinkle reduction, anti-aging procedures, and lotions is massive and keeps growing every year. Until recently, using tattoos to cover up or mask certain scars or marks was uncommon. There are many men and women that are turning to trusted tattoo artists to help them cover up several imperfections and help them gain their self-confidence back. The following examples can be covered up using tattoos;

  • Mastectomy scars. Many women are turning to tattoos to cover up mastectomy scars. Tattooing the areola gives many women their self-confidence back. As long as the scar is more than 12 months old, tattooing over it should present no problem.
  • Spider veins. Many men and women have fine spider veins on their legs, behind the knees, and around the ankles. Tattooing over these can effectively hide their appearance.
  • Burn scars. Tattooing over burn scars will take a specialist artist who understands the way burns change the skin. Tattooing can successfully cover the scarring. Excellent aftercare protocol and hygiene need to be adhered to.
  • Stretch marks. Pregnancy and weight gain stretch the skin over the hips, stomach, and under the armpits. Tattooing over these marks is very effective.
  • Skin blemishes. Small skin blemishes can easily be erased with tattooing over them; many women use this technique to give them more confidence and a sense of normalcy.

Is Tattooing Bad For Wrinkles?

Tattooing over wrinkled skin will cause the skin no harm unless you have susceptible skin and are prone to bruising or excessive bleeding. There is no reason for tattoo ink to cause your skin any harm unless you are allergic to some of the ink ingredients.

What Is The Difference Between Tattooing And Micro-needling?

PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma facials have been used for several decades in the surgical cosmetic industry as a means to stave off aging and give skin a younger, more youthful appearance. Micro-needling is used to cause trauma to the skin, much like tattooing, but instead of injecting ink, the platelet-rich plasma gets applied and pushed into the skin’s dermis layer.

The trauma caused by the micro-needling releases collagen to repair the broken skin, and a few days later, the skin appears plump and smooth.

TATTOOINGMICRO NEEDLING
Deposits ink into the dermis layer of the skin.Causes trauma to the dermis layer of the skin with the intent to release collagen.
Not considered a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles.Considered a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles.
It can cause scarring.Does not cause scarring.
Used to cover up scars.Used to break up scar tissue.

Places More Likely To Wrinkle On Your Body

The placement of your tattoo is essential, especially considering the areas more likely to form wrinkles first. Areas on the body where there will be more friction should be the last choice The areas most likely to be affected will be relevant to each person and how they age, and whether they are prone to pick up weight in places more than others for example;

  • Hands
  • Chest
  • Neck
  • Upper arm
  • Forearm

Men and women pick up weight and wrinkle differently, which can adversely affect the look of your tattoos in the future. Losing weight rapidly can also make the skin appear wrinkly as it shrinks and regains elasticity.

Some of my favourite designs, tattoo books and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Deasign and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my Clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my Clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):

Looking for more info about tattoos? I might have them covered!

I have written almost 100 articles about tattooing – with details about each body part, problems that you might have with your tattoo, designs, styles, aftercare, and much more.

Have a look at the search option and see if you can find what you need here.

other posts from  InkArtByKate
Some of my other articles, check them and see if you could find what you are looking for!

Conclusion

Although tattooing cannot cover up wrinkles in a cosmetic way that makes them disappear or makes the skin look smoother, there is nothing to stop you from getting a tattoo on the skin that already has wrinkles. As you age, your tattoos will age with your skin, and the wrinkles will become a part of the journey and memories.

Recent Posts