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How Long Will Your Tattoo Be Shiny? Causes and Solutions

How long will my tattoo be shiny

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You can expect your new tattoo to be shiny for around 2-8 weeks. Looking shiny after being inked is completely natural. Your skin is shiny because the tattoo process breaks off all of your old skin and the new skin underneath is still fresh and shiny. Some artists amusingly refer to this shine as “onion skin” because the top layer fell off to show the shiny layer underneath. Once your body has enough time to age the new skin and grow more layers of skin underneath, your tattoo will lose its shine.

Why is Your Tattoo Shiny After Peeling?

Your tattoo will appear shiny after peeling because your top layer of dead skin peeled off and revealed the shiny under layer of skin. Your new skin is naturally shiny and it looks dull because it typically has several layers of dead skin covering it. Shiny skin isn’t only seen in tattoos – you may also notice it when you get a burn or other injury. You may have also noticed that scars become shiny. This is all completely natural.

Why Does Your New Tattoo Look Shiny and Faded?

Before your new tattoo looks shiny, it will look faded or dull. This is also completely natural. During the tattoo process, the top few layers of skin become damaged. It takes some time for this damaged layer to shed off. During this time, your tattoo will look extra faded because of the layer of dead skin covering it. Once your tattoo begins to scab and peel, it should transition from the faded phase into the shiny phase.

What To Do if Your Tattoo Is Still Shiny After 4 Months

Tattoos can remain shiny for the duration of the healing process. While most tattoos finish healing around the 3 month mark, it’s not unusual for tattoos to take longer than that. Healing is different for every person and every immune system. Still, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re allowing your tattoo to heal as fast as possible. Drinking plenty of water is vitally important for skin health and is the problem many people have. If you’re picking at your tattoo’s scabs or peeling off the skin, that will delay the healing process. Similarly, using a lotion that contains alcohol will dry out your tattoo and delay healing.

How To Keep Your Tattoo Shiny

Keeping your tattoo as shiny as it is while it’s still healing is unsafe and should not be attempted. However there are several things you can try to keep your tattoo vibrant. The most important thing you can do to keep your tattoo looking fresh is keeping it moisturized. Applying lotion and sun screen every day, as well as drinking plenty of water, is vital to your tattoos appearance. If your tattoo is older, you can get a touch up to make it look brand new.

While it is somewhat controversial in the tattoo world, if your tattoo is old enough, you can use an exfoliating gel to bring back the shine. This will shed off the top layers of dull skin and bring back the shiny new skin. However, you have to be careful with this gel because if you leave it on too long and don’t follow instructions, you could damage your tattoo.


A shiny tattoo is completely natural. Your tattoo will remain shiny throughout the healing process – typically 2-8 weeks. Don’t worry if your tattoo is taking longer to lose its shine, just make sure you’re taking optimal care of it by not picking at it and keeping it moisturized. The shine is due to the new skin being visible after the top layers of dead skin are shed off. If you want to keep your tattoo shiny, you can risk using exfoliating gel to shed off this top layer of skin.