If you’ve got freckles, most of us have, you might be wondering if you can get tattooed.
I chatted to Em Gormley (@oh.emgtattoo), tattoo artist and co-owner of Sweet Peach Tattoo (@sweetpeachtattoo), Merseyside to find out if you can get tattooed over freckles.
Read on for our guide to everything you need to know about freckles and tattoos including tattooing over freckles, ink colours and healing.
What are freckles?
Everyone’s skin is unique and of course beautiful! With normal skin texture, marks and bumps it can sometimes be hard to tell what’s a freckle and what’s not.
Freckles are small marks on the skin that range in colour from tan to brown. They’re caused by your genes or sun exposure, and people with freckles tend to be more sensitive to the sun. They’re more common on your face, neck, chest and arms but you can have them all over your body.
How to tell if it's a freckle or a mole?
Our skin isn’t perfectly airbrushed like the world would have us believe. It’s really common to have scars, wrinkles, stretch marks, freckles and moles. But with our skin being so unique it may be hard to know what’s what and if your skin will stop you getting the tattoo you want.
The Cancer Council explains that moles are usually raised from the skin’s surface, so you’re likely to feel them if you run a finger over them. Whereas freckles lie flat. If you think you have a mole where you want to place your tattoo read our guide to tattoos covering moles for more info. If you think you have a freckle keep scrolling to discover whether you can tattoo over freckles or not.
Can tattoos cover freckles?
Image: Tattoo over freckles by Em Gormley
If you’re planning your first tattoo or wanting to fill a freckled piece of skin you might be wondering if a tattoo can cover your freckles. Tattoo artist Em Gormley gives us the good news we’ve been wanting to hear:
“Yes you can tattoo over freckles.”
But there are a few things you may want to consider.
Tattoos and freckles: Things to think about
Tattooing over freckles can be as easy as tattooing over non-freckled skin, although there are a few things you should think about:
- Do your freckles go a darker shade in the sun?
- Do more freckles appear in the summer?
- How close together do your freckles cluster?
If you know the answers to these questions you should let your tattooer know too. They’ll take these into consideration when they design your tattoo, discuss placement with you and the colours.
Do freckles show through tattoos?
If you’re after a colour tattoo you may need to discuss your ink options with your tattooer. Em explains that “depending on the colour of the ink” your freckles could show through your tattoo, she adds that “if the freckle was darker than the ink colour it would show through, if it was lighter it wouldn’t.”
You’ll also want to keep in mind whether your freckles darken in the sunlight as this could also affect how much they show through your tattoo later on. You might not mind your freckles peeking through your tattoo which would give you more colour options too. We think it would look pretty cool!
If you’re getting a black linework tattoo your freckles will show through in the spaces that aren’t inked. Which in our mind is a great way to celebrate your skin.
How do colour tattoos turn out on freckle skin?
Colour tattoos on freckled skin look like any other tattoo - totally amazing! As long as you research your artist, settle on a design you love and take care of your new tattoo it’ll look good.
Em reassures us that it doesn’t matter if a freckle is under a tattoo; "the only way they affect the colour in the tattoo is if the freckle is darker than the colour, then it would show through… but I don’t think it looks bad." Neither do we.
How do tattoos heal on freckled skin?
Tattoos heal exactly the same on freckled skin as they do on skin that doesn’t have freckles. Like we’ve mentioned before, the only minor difference is that freckles can show through. Within a month your new tattoo will be healed and you’ll know if your freckles will still be visible. If they are and you want to change the colour or make it darker speak to your tattoo artist.
Find out everything you need to know about healing your tattoos in our what to expect after getting inked blog.
Tattoo designs for freckled skin
Now we know that your freckles won’t affect your tattoos you can start thinking about the design. Your freckles shouldn’t really influence the tattoo design you want or choose. However, if you want your freckles to be totally covered you may want to choose darker inks or black work.
Speak to your tattoo artist about your ideas, placement and budgets. Read our blog on how to message a tattoo artist for all the information you need.
Can my artist design a tattoo around my freckle?
Sure they can! Just let your tattooist know this is what you’re after when you book your tattoo or have a consultation. They’ll be able to let you know if it’s possible to tattoo around your freckles or if your design needs to be changed at all.
How to care for your new tattoo
Now you’ve got a new tattoo over your freckles you’ll need to look after it. Make sure to always follow the aftercare advice given to you by your tattoo artist.
This may include:
- How long to leave the clingfilm on
- Which aftercare cream to use
- How and when to wash your new tattoo and what tattoo washes you can use
- How to spot any signs of infection
Once your tattoo is healed it’s a good idea to moisturise your tattoo every day with a cream like our Daily Moistursier and wear SPF to stop it fading.
Now you know that you can get tattoos on freckled skin - what are you waiting for? Get that new tattoo booked today!