Can You Get A Tattoo Over Freckles? Is It Safe To Tattoo Freckled Skin?

Written by: Claudia

Freckled skin is a beautiful thing, and whether you have them year long or simply get them after staying in the sun for too long, they’re generally perfectly fine to tattoo over. There are a few things you should take into consideration about tattooing over freckles before you proceed to do so, though.


What are Freckles and Why Does it Matter?

Freckles are cells that contain more pigment than other cells in the skin. They form in small batches that can make up freckles of a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Sometimes, many form very close together, making the skin look like a heavily pigmented space.

Freckles are usually genetic and while they are lifelong tan or brown spots on the canvas that is your skin, some do experience fading with age. Sun or UV exposure also has the tendency to darken this pigmented skin.

Types of Freckles

There are two types of freckles:

  • Lentigines - These are often called sun spots, age spots, or liver spots. They appear as you age and can be anywhere on your body. These freckles do not disappear over time and are just a result of natural aging and sun exposure.
  • Ephelides - These are the freckles you are born with, and they’re caused by your genetics. They can appear anywhere on your body and can be in a wide variety of colors, such as red, brown, or light brown. These freckles can dissipate with age and may darken with UV ray exposure. They’re usually quite tiny, but they can gather and appear larger in size.

Is It a Freckle or a Mole?

While freckles are safe to tattoo, tattooing over moles should be avoided. There are ways to differentiate between moles and tattoos.

  • Ephelides freckles don’t appear over time; they are there since birth. While a mole may appear anywhere on the body at any time.
  • Moles are generally raised off the skin while freckles are flat on the skin.
  • Moles change shape over time while freckles generally do not change shape.

Moles cannot be tattooed over because they need to be monitored by doctors for skin conditions.

Things to Consider With Freckles and Tattoos

Although freckles are safe to tattoo over, there are a few points you should keep in mind before hopping into that artist’s chair.

Design and Color

The first thing you need to consider when choosing to tattoo over your freckles is whether your intention is to hide your freckles or accentuate your freckled skin. This will help determine what colors and styles are best for your tattoo. You also need to keep in mind that depending on the color and intensity of your freckles, it may be difficult to get enough ink deposited into the dermis in a way that covers the freckles.

Dark colors generally cover up freckled skin effectively, while lighter colors enhance them. In addition, many people like to choose designs that work well with or around their tattoos, such as constellation designs, adding doodles between the freckled skin, or natural botanical pieces that work well with the warmth of the freckles.

Tattoo Artist

The next thing you’ll want to keep in mind is whether the artist you’re interested in has had experience working on tattooed skin before. They will likely want to look at your placement idea in order to adjust your design for the intensity of your freckles in that region. A professional and experienced artist will also know how to check for any moles in this region which could complicate the process.

Sun Exposure and Sensitive Skin

We all know how bad UV rays are for tattoos and tattooed skin, but this issue is amplified if you have freckles. Not only will freckles darken with exposure to the sun, altering how your tattoo will look, freckled skin is generally more sensitive to UV rays as well.

This sensitive skin issue also means that, if you’re freckled, you’ll need to be even more rigid on your aftercare routine so your tattoo heals safely. Check out our guide, Tattoo Aftercare Advice - How Do I Care For My Tattoo?

The Newest Trend - Tattooed Freckles

Freckled folks, rejoice! Freckles are in - so much so that many people are choosing to get tattooed freckles on their face. This procedure is called cosmetic tattooing, and you should:

  • Go to someone who is licensed and registered in this particular domain;
  • Color match the freckle ink to your skin tone, always going a little bit lighter;
  • Never choose black ink for freckles;
  • Be aware that freckle tattoos are usually semi-permanent and need a reapplication process in two to five years;
  • Be prepared for pain, as tattooing your face is never an easy process.

Our Final Thoughts

Freckled skin may be pigmented differently, but it’s not really different from any other epidermis. The important things to keep in mind when tattooing freckled skin is to ensure you are not tattooing over moles, to choose color and design carefully, to pick an experienced and knowledgeable artist, and to be extra cautious about UV ray exposure and your aftercare procedure.

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