There are several things that can cause a tattoo to fade but almost invariably it’s the sun. If you get a lot of sun the colors of your tattoo will start to bleach out, much like a colored piece of paper or fabric. Anything the sun touches tends to bleach quickly, but choosing the wrong product when healing your tattoo can also cause it to fade because it pulls the color out. Similarly, if you’re getting tattooed on an area where the skin takes a lot of damage or is thicker it can be hard to get the ink to stay meaning the tattoo is much more likely to fade.
Your arms naturally get more sun than the rest of you, apart from your face. Think about how often you put your arm on the door of the car. Even 15 minutes is enough because if you do that 5 times a week suddenly that’s over an hour of sunlight! Similarly, if you’ve got short sleeve tattoos on your arms will get sun exposure. Your skin there tends to be much darker on the outside of your arms so this is where you’ll see the most fading.
Elbows are notoriously hard to tattoo, and getting the ink to stay can be tough in the first place. Elbows take a lot of knocks and bumps and the skin is very thick. This means there’s a higher likelihood, especially if you don’t use a lot of moisturizer on your skin, it’s likely the ink will come out and fade. Not to mention the fact that the elbow, being part of the arm, gets more sun.
Feet take a lot of wear and tear, they’re constantly rubbed by shoes, socks, and the ground. Tattoos on the toes and especially on the sides of the foot are very prone to fading because they’re likely to be rubbed out. The skin there can also get thick and dry which means that the tattoo may look faded, but with a little bit of moisturizer comes right back to life.
While it’s less likely you’re going to get a tattoo here, cosmetic tattooing on the face is only guaranteed for 2-3 years. The face gets a lot of sun exposure which is why it’s so important to buy products with SPF when choosing a moisturizer. Even if you’re not getting a cosmetic tattoo and just a star on your cheek or a mandala then you’re still likely to see it fade here because of the sun. Wear sunscreen.
Like the face, your hands see almost constant sun exposure so any tattoos here will fade, but like the elbow the skin is quite thick and tough. This means that the ink isn’t going to be as bright or colorful, especially on the fingers, once it’s healed. The sides of the fingers are almost guaranteed to fade or fall out as soon as they heal.