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Tattoo Inks and its effects on skin


They say wear your heart on your sleeve, but other people choose to wear it on their skin. For some, tattoos are a way of expressing a part of who they are. Aside from that, tattoo is a great form of art. Having a tattoo may not be everyone’s cup of tea because of the risks that come with it. With so much articles written online, it's pretty confusing which ones to take seriously. One of the commonly discussed factor that scares most people who haven't had a tattoo is the ink and the components used to create it.


Tattoo ink is a liquid that contains one or more colourants and other ingredients in the form of adjuvants, such as binding agents, additives and solvents. It is abundant of different chemicals. This is why every tattoo ink is different and might have different effects on the skin. If you get two tattoos in the exact shade, but get them at different times and from different artists who use different inks the chemical compositions probably won’t match. Tattoo inks include pigments, which can contain a variety of metallic salts, like oxides, selenides, sulfides, organic dyes, or plastics, and the carriers with which they are mixed to help provide an even application of the ink.

Inks are usually either alcohol-based or water-based. It may include ethanol, methanol, and glycerin products as mediums for transferring the pigments in the inks. Below are some of the benefits that these types of tattoo inks contain.


  • Non- toxic inks 

Non- toxic inks are made from organic pigments. It has been developed recently, after certain chemicals previously used to make traditional tattoo inks were linked to cancer. This type of tattoo ink is different since their pigments are all made from ingredients that come straight from nature.


  • Water based tattoo inks 

Water- based inks produce flexible, dynamic pigments in reliably bold, beautiful colours.


  • Vegan tattoo ink 

Another type of tattoo ink that is now popular to the majority is the vegan tattoo ink. These inks don’t use any type animal by-products for colour or carrier solutions. Using a vegan tattoo ink is beneficial because it lasts longer compared to regular inks. The ink does not contain chemicals that are harmful for your skin, and for your tattoo artist's health. Research also shows that tattoos with vegan and non-toxic inks have faster healing time because of it's natural ingredients.


  • Glow in the dark and backlight tattoo ink 

Both inks have been used for tattooing. Glow in the dark ink absorbs and retains light and glows in darkened conditions by the process called phosphorescence. Blacklight ink does not glow in the dark, but reacts to non-visible UV light, which produces a visible glow by fluorescence.


  • Black henna 

Black henna is normally applied externally for temporary “Mehandi” tattoos, rather than being injected beneath the skin as a permanent tattoo. It is a temporary tattoo that has an ingredients that can also be found on hair dyes.

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  • Matthew Nelson