Tattoo Ink

Tattoo inks an Introduction

Here you will be able to read everything there is to know about tattoo inks, from how to make your own, what brands are the most famous and popular and all kinds of information about a particular brand that you might be interested in learning more about.

We will also cover various topics that can help you in your future career and hobby as a tattoo artist. How to shade and how to color .

Tattoo ink is in a range of colors which can be thinned or combined to produce a whole range of other colors and shades.

Most  professional tattoo artists buy pre-mixed ink, while some tattoo artists mix their own ink with dry pigments and distilled water.

Most tattoo inks are permanent and Tattoo removal is difficult, painful and the degree of success depends on what kind of ink was used. Some newly developed inks claim to be relative more easy for the laser to remove but this might just be a claim.

Pigments bases
Manufacturers are not required to disclose their ingredients and how they are tested, and their recipes. Professionally ink may be made ​​from iron oxide (rust), metal salts, plastic. Prison ink made ​​from ordinary ballpoint ink, soot, dirt, blood, or other ingredients that can  obviously not be used. Take heed, however, that it is the manufacturer who will bear the consequences of the result. 
If it comes to yourself or a client you must be careful with the choice of ink. The market is full of cheap copies made ​​of dirty factories made with hazardous ingredients.  Liver failure, total collapse of the lymphatic system and cysts are just a small part of the undesirable effects which may arise from this carelessness so be sure that you get a solid brand ink from a legit source. 

Heavy metals used for colors include mercury (red), lead (yellow, green, white), cadmium (red, orange, yellow), nickel (black), zinc (yellow, white), chromium (green), cobalt (blue) , aluminum (green, purple), titanium (white), copper (blue, green), iron (brown, red, black), and barium (white). Metal oxides used within the scope of ferrocyanide and ferricyanide (yellow, red, green, blue). Organic chemicals used contain azo chemicals (orange, brown, yellow, green, violet) and naphtha Chemicals (red). Carbon (soot or ash) are also used for black. Other compounds used as pigments containing antimony, arsenic, beryllium, calcium, lithium, selenium and sulfur.
Ink manufacturers blends typical heavy metal pigments and / or use lightening agents (such as lead or titanium) to reduce production costs.


The carrier acts as a solvent for the pigment, to “carry” the pigment from the needle to the surrounding underlying of the skin. The carrier holds the ink smoothly and evenly mixed in the bottle so the results is the best possible. The most typical fluids which represents the so called carrier is ethyl alcohol or water, but denatured alcohol, methanol, propylene glycol and glycerin are also used. When alcohol is used as part of the carrier base in tattoo inks or disinfecting purposes to the skin before tattoo application, increase the skin absorption, which helps transport more chemicals in the blood.



Tattoo ink
Some of the most famous tattoo inks



Most ink reacts sharply against direct sunlight, and this usually leads to bleaching. To prevent aging of the tattoo is always important , and remeber to apply sunscreen on the tattoo when its exposed to direct sunlight might be a good idea. It is also very important to stay away from strong artificial UV radiation, eg solarium. Exposure to the ultraviolet rays damage and bleaches, in this case the tattoo. Tattooing ink is removed by laser light. The light breaks down the pigment particles into fragments small enough for the body to remove. Tanning or prolonged exposure to sunlight produces the same effect over time.


Luminous and UV inks

Both UV and fluorescent inks have been extensively used in tattoos. Luminous paint absorbs and retains light, and
then lights in dark places by the phosphorescence process. UV ink shines not in darkness, but reacts to non-visible UV light, producing a visible fluorescent glow. No one can say for sure that these are toxic. But it would be wise to test on a small area before investing in something big.

Tattoo ink