Best Places Get A Tattoo to protect your tattoo’s longevity, one of the most important things to consider is sun exposure. “While you can always protect your tattoos with sunscreen, it may be a good idea to choose an area of your body that’s usually covered up by clothes if you want your ink to stay looking fresh for years to come — especially if you’re getting a color other than black,” Leo Palomino, a tattoo artist at Atomic Tattoos in Florida, tells Bustle.
1. Best Places: Outer Collarbone
If you’ve been daydreaming about getting a tattoo on your upper chest, it may be a good idea to go for the outer collarbone. This area tends “to be least expose to the sun,” Palomino says since it’s easily cover up by shirts and scarves. Unlike the middle part of your chest, it’s not as likely to bake in direct sunlight, and fade as a result.
It’s also an area where skin is least likely to stretch as you get older, which is another factor that can affect how a tattoo holds up over time. The skin on your collarbone tends to stay right where it is, making it a great place for a long-lasting tattoo.
2: Best: Inner Arm
If you’re always out in the sun, you may want to avoid getting a tattoo on your outer arm, and instead choose a more protected spot. “Your inner forearm is practically immune when it comes to sun exposure,” Palomino says. Without the constant onslaught of UV rays — which break down the ink and cause it to fade — tattoos in this location tend to stay looking fresh.
The upper inner arm is also a great spot, and has the add benefit of being easily cover and protect by shirt sleeves, so you can keep it even safer.
3. The Best Places: Back
Again, thanks to the fact it’s often cover up by clothing, the back tends to be a prime spot for tattoos. This area isn’t “typically expose to UV rays on a regular basis,” Palomino says. And it tends to hold up well as aging occurs.
Unlike the abdomen, for example, which can stretch as your weight fluctuates, or if you’re pregnant, the back is relatively stable, especially around the shoulder blades. If you’re worry about a tattoo warping over time, ask your tattoo artist if they think this would be a good spot.
4. Best Places Get A Tattoo: Upper Thighs
Similarly, Palomino says the upper thighs tend to be protect from the sun, so if you want ink that’ll stand the test of the time, this may be your best bet.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to hide your tats under clothes all the time, or worry 24/7 about how they might look in twenty years. Akermo says that “using a SPF 50 or higher sunscreen on these body parts will help mitigate [tattoo] aging from sun light.” So lather up your favorite sunblock and you’ll be good to go.
5. The Best Places Get A Tattoo: Upper Ribcage
A tattoo on your ribs […] that doesn’t extend too far out towards your abdomen is a good location,” Palomino says, since it’s often covered up with clothing, and thus protected from the sun.
But even more important, if you get pregnant, this is one spot on the abdomen that isn’t as likely to stretch. Of course, if that does happen, it’s not a big deal. But if it’s something you’re concerned about, talk with your tattoo artist to figure out a way to avoid areas that may stretch or fade over time.
This may be the best spot to get a tattoo if you’re set on getting one on your abdomen, but want it to experience the least amount of change.
6. Best Places Get A Tattoo: Hairline
If you’re looking for a more unique tattoo location, as well as one that’ll pretty much always look good, consider the back of your neck.
“A tattoo right below your hairline on your neck will stay looking newer longer as it doesn’t have a lot of sun exposure,” Palomino says. And this is especially true if you have longer hair that you tend to wear down, as that’ll help protect it even more.
This is a spot that’s easy to forget about, though, when applying sunscreen. So if you’re going to be hanging around outside for the day, be sure to cover it up with SPF, to give it a fighting chance.
7. Best Places Get A Tattoo: Shoulders & Calves
Since the skin on the shoulders and calves isn’t as affected by aging, tattoos in these areas tend to stay put, Palomino says. Compare this to the areas that tend to see a lot of change over the course of your life, like your abdomen. While your stomach may stretch during pregnancy, for example, your calves and shoulders often won’t. And it can come as quite the relief that you can live life, and do whatever you want to do, without worrying about how it’ll impact your ink.