Tattoos used to be hugely frowned upon, but nowadays they are personal statements as much as the clothes we wear. Some people get them because they want to show their inner self on the outside, others get them for meaningful reasons.
Perhaps to remember someone who has passed on, show love for a pet, or a word or phrase that sticks close to their heart. Whatever the case, people love tattoos now and they are their own art form.
There is only one issue. They are not necessarily vegan! Shocking right? You’d think that they would be, but there is a hidden secret to tattooing, and while some artists use vegan ink for tattoos, not all do.
Curious and befuddled? I was too. Let me tell you what I found out when I delved deep into the tattoo world.
Are Tattoos Vegan Friendly?
PETA did an investigation into tattoos and it turned out that not all tattoo inks are vegan. In fact, tattoo inks that are not vegan can include anything from bone char, which can increase a pigment, all the way to gelatin from animal hooves, glycerin found in animal fats, and even insect parts.
Most of the time, unless you are informed that tattoo ink is vegan, you should not assume that the ink is vegan.
So, to be frank, no, tattoos are not technically vegan-friendly.
What Is Black Tattoo Ink Made Of?
You might think that black tattoo inks would come from squid ink. This is not the case. Actually, black inks usually are made from soot, it contains all types of products from combustion, known as hydrocarbons.
This means that black inks can actually contain the bones of animals that have been burned down into a charcoal substance. So technically this does mean you can find bone char in the tattoo ink.
If you are skeptical about this, I would suggest approaching black tattoo ink with the same attitude you approach sugar with.
What Are Vegan Tattoos?
So, can vegans have tattoos? Yes, because you can get vegan tattoos. Vegan ink will use carbon, or sometimes logwood to create the black color. The glycerin in this ink will be vegetable-based and then add witch hazel or ethanol.
This is what makes them vegan, substitutes for the animal products found in normal tattoo inks are substituted for plant products.
Is There Such A Thing As Vegan Tattoo Ink?
Of course! The world is becoming more open and accepting of veganism, and now there are few things that do not have a vegan counterpart. So, you can get vegan tattoo ink. Brands such as Eternal Tattoo Ink, Intenze Tattoo Ink, and Silverback Ink are vegan ink makers.
These brands have been making vegan-friendly tattoo inks with vegan-only products in them for many years now.
What Is Vegan Tattoo Ink Made Of?
Non-vegan tattoo inks will use shellac acid which comes from beetles, and glycerin to stabilize the ink.
Vegan inks are different; they use witch hazel, ethanol, logwood, or carbon to get the black ink color. They also use plant-based glycerin instead of animal-based glycerin.
How Long Do Vegan Tattoos Last?
Do not worry, vegan tattoo ink will last as long as any other. If a tattoo fades it will fade because of sun exposure, or if the skin needs exfoliation regularly. Another reason for fading would be poor-quality ink.
However, vegan or non-vegan ink can be of poor quality. Tattoos will always fade over time as well, this is just normal and fact. Your tattoo will always fade eventually, it will never be as vibrant as it was on day one after some time.
Just know that vegan ik should last as long as any other ink would. The fact that the ink is vegan does not impact the quality of the ink at all.
What Is The Best Vegan Tattoo Ink?
There are quite a few brands that sell vegan tattoo ink, so generally, you can pick any from a list. However, if you are specific, and want to know exactly what kind of ink you will get, you can ask for a specific ink to be used. It is your body after all.
Here are some of the best vegan ink brands for tattoos:
- Feldman INK.
- Fusion Tattoo Inks.
- Good Color Ink.
- Intenze Tattoo Ink.
- Kuro Sumi ink.
- Silverback ink.
- Workhorse irons ink.
- Waverly ink.
There are some other brands but these are definitely my favorites. Although out of all of these Intenze is probably my favorite vegan tattoo ink. Do you have a preference?
Want to know more? I know you do. Having a tattoo is a dedication. Unless you fancy laser removal in the future, it is best to be totally certain about the tattoo you are getting, and therefore the ink that is used.
So, here are some of the most frequently asked tattoo questions!
Are Vegan Tattoos Healthier?
Vegan ink is never going to be healthier or safer than any other kind of ink. There is no solid proof that it is healthier. However, World Famous Tattoo Ink, a very popular tattoo ink company, makes some claims about this.
They claim vegan ink is more reliable, and better for immunity, but this is just a claim, there is no proof to back this up. So I’d take it with a pinch of salt.
Are Vegan Tattoos Worse?
Vegan inks are no better or worse for you than normal inks. Some have their opinions but there is no evidence to state that they are any worse or better for you.
What Are The Safest Tattoo Inks?
The safest inks are black inks. Blues and greens are also safe. Black tattoos remain to be the safest colors. However, there is no one brand that is considered ‘safest’.
Overall, not bad news! Vegan tattoos are possible, you will just need to speak to your tattoo artist on whether or not they use vegan ink or not. If not, you may need to find an artist that does!