"This is my ex-girlfriend," the star said of the tattoo, which is widely believed to be of Gomez. "I kinda tried to cover her face up with some shading, but people still know."
Bieber and Gomez were an on-again, off-again couple for several years before splitting again in 2014. He revealed he and the 23-year-old singer "don't talk often" but are "cordial," and admitted he isn't interested in a committed relationship for now.
"I don't want to put anyone in a position where they feel like I'm only theirs, only to be hurt in the end," the star said. "I know that in the past I've hurt people and said things that I didn't mean to make them happy in the moment."
Bieber denied he and rumored girlfriend Hailey Baldwin are exclusive, but called the 19-year-old model "someone I really love." The singer wasn't sure if he was over Gomez when he spoke to Access Hollywood in November.
"I'm never going to stop loving her," he asserted. "I'm never going to stop checking in on her. I don't think if you end a relationship, you should end that, unless it was super toxic ... We always respected each other, and we still respect each other."
Bieber released his fourth studio album, Purpose, in November, which features several songs inspired by Gomez. The record debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and includes the singles "What Do You Mean?" and "Sorry."