The Shady Truth behind the social media craze…

The tattoo industry has seen a rise in hyper-realistic tattoos in recent years. Modern techniques and equipment means tattoos can be applied with the highest levels of precision. This opened the door for talented artists to apply their ink in extreme detail to skin, much like they would to paper and canvases, making hyper-realistic artistic tattoos something very achievable.

Many of these tattoos go viral on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook for their artistic value and great level of detail, naturally making them more desirable to younger audiences using these platforms.

Being in the tattoo game for over 30 years, you’ll be hard pushed to find a type of tattoo fix job our Skin Illustrations Team haven’t been asked to deal with. We are often approached by customers looking to have a tattoo covered up, touched up, and in some cases removed entirely. But we’ve seen an increase in the number of hyper-realism tattoo fixes we’ve been asked to perform in recent years.

So we thought we’d shed some light on the situation and put together


in the cases we’ve seen. These are for you to consider before booking your next tattoo, so you can make a more informed choice before spending your hard earned cash on your next ink session.

1) Ink is spread too thinly or low quality Inks used

Traditionally, tattoos were made to last a lifetime. This meant using a high quality ink and applying it in a way that would last. The introduced complexity and need for whisper thin shading means that ink is spread too thinly and will therefore naturally fade over time. We also commonly see low-quality inks used which are prone to fading, especially if they are being used sparsely for this kind of shading. If in doubt, ask your tattoo artist about the quality of inks being used

2) Sufficient aftercare is not given to these tattoos

Aftercare is arguably the most important part of the tattoo process, ensuring that what the tattoo artist brought to life on the skin heals without becoming infected and lasts a long time. After a tattoo, the skin has become irritated and needs to heal and be kept sanitary in the same way as any other irritation to the skin would have to be. Not following the correct aftercare procedures, or not being given sufficient information is another reason why we have seen these tattoos go wrong in cases brought to us.

3) Intricate lines blur over time

The nature of a lot of hyper-realistic tattoos means that lots of intricate lines are needed close to each other in order to create the high detail photo-realistic effect. The problem is that lines applied too closely together can seep into one another as the skin ages and ink naturally leaks causing a blurry mess and unrecognisable blob where hyper-realistic tattoos once were.

4) Skin can stretch and sag

Skin is the largest organ in our body. It is living and moving just like the rest of our bodies, meaning that it is prone to stretching and sagging over time. A lot of the cases of disfigured tattoos brought to us are because the skin has naturally moved, stretched or sagged as the customers body has over time. Although there is no real way to prevent this natural process, you can reduce the effects this has on tattoos by considering getting realistic tattoos in places that are less prone to stretching or sagging in coming years.

5) Holidays and tanning beds cause fading

High-factor sun cream is essential for any tattoo exposed to the sun or tanning beds. Much like your skin, the pigments found in tattoo inks are photosensitive to ultraviolet rays and can change colour or fade if exposed too often or for too long. To reduce the chances of your tattoo fading, you should be sure to apply high-factor sun cream liberally to tattoos before exposing them to the sun or tanning beds.

How Skin Illustrations service differs…

Aftercare and upholding proper hygiene standards are an essential part of the service we offer. Giving sufficient aftercare and offering a free checkup to any of our customers experiencing problems ensures that the majority of the tattoos applied in Skin Illustrations studios stay in tact for years to come with minimal fading, discolouration or disfiguration.

We are experienced, with over 30 years and operating in 4 locations (Sittingbourne, Maidstone, Canterbury and Whitstable) across Kent, we’ve seen just about all there is that could go wrong with tattoos over the years and know exactly what to avoid. You’re in safe, experienced hands when you visit us for a tattoo. Don’t just take our word for it though, see what our reviews say, and leave us one of your own.

Do you have a cover-up job or hyper-realistic tattoo you need a professional opinion on how to best fix? Our artists operate in 4 different locations throughout Kent and the South East of England, offering an obligation-free check and impartial advice on how best to correct a tattoo that’s faded or is now unrecognisable, so why not get in touch today?