Can A Tattoo Artist Lighten A Tattoo If It’s Too Dark?

In our lives, it’s common for many things to not go according to plan. This explains why it can get a bit frustrating when there is no proper solution to it. The same case goes for tattoos. Sometimes, your tattoo may not turn out the way you wanted it to, or you no longer feel the same passion for it as you used to.

Whether you got a tattoo because of peer pressure or because you used to be an avid fan of something, it’s clear that you no longer want the tattoo. There is a solution to this.

You can get your tattoo lightened or covered-up. Or even both at the same time. Tattoo lightening is quite a simple process, depending on the size of your tattoo and its color intensity.

You can lighten your tattoo naturally at home, but it’s best to get it done by a professional tattoo artist who will smoothly carry out the process. Tattoo artists can lighten tattoos. However, most people prefer doing it from home on their own as it costs a lot to go to a professional.

If you’re stuck in a similar situation where you hate your tattoo for some reason and want to change it, you can get your tattoo lightened as well. Learn more about tattoo lightening and if it actually works by reading further below.

How Does It Work?

Tattoo lightening is similar to the process of tattoo removal, which happens through laser treatment. The main function of tattoo lightening is not to eradicate the tattoo but fade it lightly so that the tattoo artist can create another design. Or they can make minor adjustments to the previous tattoo.

Usually, tattoo lighting is your opportunity to get an even better tattoo by testing your creative abilities.  The laser treatment involves pulses of light energy to lighten the tattoo at a slower pace. The treatment increases in intensity if you want a proper tattoo removal process.

How Many Sessions Does It Take?

The number of sessions to lighten a tattoo depends on a few things, such as the size, colors, and tattoo design. Some people go for a removal process right after the lighting process.

If you’re going for a standard tattoo lightening process, it should take around 3-6 sessions. Sometimes, it may take even just one session, depending on the color of your tattoo and if you intend to opt for removal after that.

It’s best to consider the size of your tattoo before going for a lightening process, especially if you don’t want to go through multiple sessions. The bigger and more complicated your tattoo is, the more sessions you will have to go through.

But, no matter how many sessions you go for, you can get adequate results based on how much you want your tattoo lightened.

Will A Tattoo Lighten As It Heals?

In some cases, tattoos lighten on their own during the healing process, but this depends on how well you follow aftercare instructions your tattoo artist gives you.

If you’re lenient with the aftercare and expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for an extended period of time, you may notice your tattoo lighten. Sometimes, tattoos tend to lighten due to allergies that occur during the healing process. Your tattoo can lighten during the healing process for a couple of other reasons:

Lack of Collagen in Skin

Sometimes, you may lack adequate collagen in the skin. Collagen is a protein that gives skin its elastic feel. It keeps the skin tight by supporting other cells in the body. Once you start losing collagen, the skin becomes stretchy and loses its tightness. In turn, your tattoo starts to fade slightly or lighten up.

Tattoo Placement

Some areas of the body rub against each other more and face a greater exposure to sunlight, which causes them to lighten quicker during the healing process. This is regardless of how much aftercare you implement. This applies to placements on some of the body’s most sensitive areas, such as the fingers and inner thighs.


If you’re prone to allergies, you might face an allergic reaction with the ink in the tattoo. If you’re having an allergic reaction to the ink, your immune system tries to work its way into removing pieces of ink from your body. In turn, this results in a lightened tattoo.

Distressed Skin

During the tattoo process, your skin gets through a lot of trauma after having needles punctured through it. Sometimes the skin tends to die out and has a new skin layer growth. When the new layers start to appear, the tattoo will blur and lighten.

Sun Exposure

As mentioned earlier, when you expose your tattoo to the sun for a long time, the skin absorbs the sun’s UV lights. This ultraviolet light causes the ink particles to break in the skin, which results in a lighter tattoo.

There are a few ways you can reduce your tattoo’s chances of getting lighter during the healing process. You can protect it by limiting sun exposure and ask your tattoo artist to ink you in a less sensitive area.

However, most of these side effects are natural. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to stop them no matter how regular you are with the aftercare. If you want your tattoo to lighten, then this definitely works in your favor.

Are There Other Ways To Lighten A Tattoo?

You can lighten your tattoo through a few natural methods. However, this may take longer for your tattoo to lighten compared to a lightening process carried out by a professional. Mentioned below are a few things you can do on your own at home to help lighten your tattoo:


Lemon juice is a natural way to lighten your tattoo as it already has skin-lightening properties. Hence it may help fade the colors present in your tattoo to some extent. For this to work, all you have to do is squeeze a bit of lemon juice on your tattoo at least thrice a day.

Within a few weeks, you will notice excellent results. If you very dark colors on your tat such as brown, you will notice it fade to a lighter shade of brown.

Removal Creams

You can also use removal creams to lighten your tattoo if you want to do it the easier way. You can use creams such as a wrecking balm or EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector (Amazon Link).

Enaskin helps lighten the skin, but it does take a lot of time. So if you plan to use this removal cream, you will have to be a bit patient. Using it for at least three weeks is a minimum to see the results you want. These creams are effective to a certain point. You will have to spend a lot on these creams and use them regularly if you want effective results.


You can try out exfoliation with hydrogen peroxide to naturally lighten your tattoo. Exfoliation is best for removing dead skin. Hence this works for lightening tattoos as well. You have to exfoliate your skin with a natural sugar scrub made from coconut oil and sugar for the best results. You can also use a salt scrub, whatever is convenient for you.

Leave the scrub on for at least 10 minutes. Then apply a bit of hydrogen peroxide on the tattoo area with a cotton swab. This is one of the most natural ways to lighten a tattoo. But you have to stay patient as exfoliation takes a lot of time, and you have to do it regularly.

If you have a darker tattoo, this will take more time, but you should notice some lightening in the first two weeks. When exfoliating, make sure you don’t rub your skin too hard, as this could lead to bleeding.

If you try out these methods regularly at home, you will definitely see some results. The best part is that these are super safe. The best option would be to go to a professional and get your tattoo lightened from them. You may find this more expensive, but then you will also achieve effective results in no time.

If you don’t want to go through this, you can use safer alternative ways that will temporarily help lighten your tattoo. You can also cover it up for the time being, especially if you don’t want people to see it in certain situations.

The best alternative would be through the power of makeup. You can apply a small amount of concealer to your tattoo by dabbing it slightly. Next, cover it up with some setting powder and setting spray. If you do this regularly, you will notice your tattoo lighten over time.

Benefits of Lightening Your Tattoo

Sometimes lightening is much better than covering or removing your whole tattoo as this process is much cheaper. You can lighten your tat through so many ways, and if you continue to follow the right methods, your tattoo will be as good as gone. The lighting process is also much safer. However, for a less complicated process, it’s best to go to a professional if you can, instead of doing it on your own.


Knowing that you can lighten or remove your tattoo if you dislike it for a particular reason is a relief. Now it’s up to you to decide whether you would want to go to a professional or try lightening your tat on your own. With the help of this article, you will hopefully be able to make that decision and maybe achieve an even better tattoo.