What Is Tattoo Ink Made Of?

What Is Tattoo Ink Made Of

Have you ever wondered what is tattoo ink made of? Apart from the motif, style, and placement, learning about the ink is among the primary considerations for a person getting a tattoo. 

Our guide discusses the composition and ingredients of different inks. Once you have all the details, it will be easy to choose the most fitting option. 

Here’s what you need to know about making tattoo ink!

What Is Real Tattoo Ink Made of?

The two main components include tattoo ink carriers and pigments. The ingredients in both categories will depend on the desired tattoo and your preference. During a professional consultation with the artists, you can discuss suitable options for the desired body art piece.

Tattoo Ink Composition

Although pigments might seem like the primary ingredient, carriers are equally important. Their task is to ensure optimal ink mixture and consistency. Carriers protect the composition from pathogens and help apply pigments to the skin.

Alcohol is the common base option for tattoo formulas. It improves skin permeability and assists in transporting pigment into the skin. Some black inks use ethyl alcohol, while others add methanol or propylene glycol to the mix. Other common carriers include distilled water and glycerin. Tattoo artists who create personalized mixes add vodka to the ink ingredients.

Pigments Used in Tattoo Ink

If you ask, “what is tattoo ink made of,” the majority will begin by discussing pigments. It’s because pigments serve to make the body art colorful and vivid. Ancient tattoo artists used ash or ground-up carbon as a pigment. Today, you’ll find mineral but also vegetable-based inks.

Black inks are the easiest to make, but it’s harder to achieve other colors. The process includes adding additives and colorants to the tattoo ink ingredients. Some formulas include heavy metals, which is the topic of controversy in the industry. For example, tattoo ink manufacturers could use cadmium or mercury for red shades, chromium for green, or iron for brown. 

Common lightening agents that can decrease the tattoo ink cost are titanium or lead. But the truth is the heavy metal content is minimal. The best proof is that metal detectors, and MRI scanners won’t identify them in the tattoo.

What’s the Best Tattoo Ink to Use?

What’s the Best Tattoo Ink to Use?

Research suggests that over 200 ingredients can be in the tattoo ink. Your task is to find the most suitable option, and the process comes down to two steps:

  1. Discuss it with your tattoo artists. Don’t hesitate to ask, “how is tattoo ink made?” Reputable artists only use formulas from prestigious manufacturers. That means the box should have a clear ingredient list, expiration date, and other production details. Some artists create their own tattoo inks. They usually do that to ensure the highest ingredient quality.
  2. Consider a patch test. Even a tattoo ink made of high-quality substances can cause a bad skin reaction. We all have unique skin, so it’s best to do a patch test. The process involves applying a couple of drops of the desired ink to your skin to see if there are any allergic reactions. It usually takes 24 hours to see if there’s a potential bad reaction. Although this minimizes the risk, it doesn’t mean you can’t have an allergic reaction days or months later.

What Is Vegan Tattoo Ink Made of?

For some people, being a vegan is an integral part of their lives. Apart from eating vegan food, they also use only cruelty-free products. It’s why they’ll appreciate the option of using vegan inks.

Ethanol, witch hazel, and plant-based glycerin are common base options for these inks. Logwood and carbon are popular as black tattoo ink ingredients. Apart from being vegetable-based, the compounds in these inks have never been tested on animals. You’ll find several reputable brands making vegan and organic inks.

Are Organic or Vegan Tattoo Inks Safer?

Some experts suggest that using these inks comes with a reduced risk of causing allergic reactions. The results you get would be equal. The tattoos will look great and preserve an excellent appearance for a long. 

Organic and vegan formulas might also avoid some ingredients that might be considered “toxic,” although usually not in the amount found in inks. Some popular vegan and organic tattoo ingredients include aluminum (blue), turmeric (yellow), carbazole (purple), and naphthol (red).

Your primary focus should be on confirming the ingredient quality. 

The best tattoo shop in West Covina will always tell you about the ink ingredients, production process, regulations, and testing that ensure maximum product safety. That guarantees you picked the best tattoo ink option for your body art piece.

Are Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoo Inks Safe to Use?

Are Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoo Inks Safe to Use

It sounds cool that your tattoo can glow in the dark. For this to happen, the formula needs to have ingredients that react to ultraviolet light. That adds another ingredient type that could cause an allergic reaction. 

Some glow-in-the-dark tattoos have ingredients that contain phosphorus. There’s no FDA regulation, and that element is toxic for humans in large amounts. Before you choose to go with a UV or blacklight tattoo, discuss the ingredients with your artist to confirm the ink quality.

Are Tattoo Inks Regulated by the Food and Drug Administration?

According to FDA, a tattoo is permanent makeup. It puts it in the category of cosmetic products, so tattoo inks aren’t directly regulated. The FDA also mentions there’s no approval to use henna or hair dye on the skin or inject inks into it.

Additional regulations regarding tattoos depend on the state. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Los Angeles tattoo artists to learn about regulations and other tattoo ink details. 

A professional artist will answer any question you might have and help you pick the best ink, style, and other options for your tattoo!



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