December 23, 2022 17:19
Everything you need to know about tattoo ink
What is tattoo ink made from?
Tattoo ink is usually made from one part pigment and one part carrier solution to create permanent tattoos on the skin. The ink is injected into the dermis layer of the skin using a tattoo needle. The ink can be made up of a variety of different ingredients that ensure the colour lasts in the skin over the years to come, including:
It's important to note that the specific ingredients in tattoo ink can vary from one brand to another, and some inks may contain additional ingredients or differ in their proportions to create their own proprietary blends.
Artists often have their favourites depending on what their style is and what they’re aiming to achieve.
What’s the best tattoo inks to look for?
Urban Retreat’s tattoo artist in residence Terrie Karam is a big fan of using “vegan vegetable inks made from plant-derived ingredients” in her tattoos.
And these days, vegan tattoo inks often have high-quality colour payoff and provide good results, even without the use of animal by-products to preserve the pigments.
These inks don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients like:
Instead, they’re often made from:
If you’re vegan, you might also want to look for a brand that doesn’t test on animals and is vegan-certified. More and more tattoo artists and studios offer vegan tattoo ink as an option for those who prefer it.
Her favourite vegan ink brand?
Solid Ink, made from a custom blend of natural pigments, distilled water, hamamelis (witch hazel) and vegetable glycerin, is one of the top brands she recommends. It’s vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic and comes in a variety of vibrant colours.
What inks to avoid
These are often made with a heat-resistant plastic found in appliances, luggage and pipes called Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) to intensify colour. The chemical ingredients can make this ink prone to reaction once in the body.
These are inks that are designed to respond to ultraviolet lights and give off a glow. They’re become more trendy lately, but often have chemical and potentially radioactive ingredients with unknown long-term effects.
Can I get an allergic reaction to tattoo ink?
Yes, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to tattoo ink. Some people may be allergic to one or more of the ingredients in the ink, while others may develop an allergic reaction over time.
Here are some possible causes of an allergic reaction to tattoo ink:
It's important to note that allergic reactions to tattoo ink are relatively rare, but they can occur. If you are considering getting a tattoo and have a history of allergies or sensitive skin, it may be a good idea to discuss this with your tattoo artist and potentially do a patch test with a small amount of ink before getting a larger tattoo.
If you've had a reaction to the ink, the best thing to do is to get it removed as soon as the tattoo is healed. We recommend using laser tattoo removal, specifically the LightSense™. It's the world’s most effective laser tattoo removal technology that doesn’t damage the skin, and it's only available at NAAMA. To learn more, request a callback with one of our experts here.
If you’re getting ready for a tattoo, here’s some things to keep in mind when it comes to tattoo ink:
- Tattoo ink stays for a long time in the body, so your best bet is to choose the cleanest option you can find. Non-toxic inks made from vegetables are a great option without sacrificing on colour payoff
- If you’re vegan, ask your studio and artist if they carry vegan-friendly inks ahead of your appointment
- If you have any known allergies, let your artist know ahead of your session to help rule out chances of a potential reaction to inks