With literally thousands of tattoo shops popping-up like mushrooms across the US and Europe, tattoos start with knowing your ink. Now, why is this important to let your clients know what kind of ink your use? The answer is that many new ink brands are getting recognized faster and are more in demand. The call for safety and quality is a major debate in some cities and states. With the creation of tattoo ink, standards that must be observed are nearly identical in the US and EU.
But how does this affect your business and which ink can turn into repeat customers? Within this helpful article contain the answers you can learn from. But as every tattoo artist will tell you, it’s not just about the ink that goes in- the artistic talent needs to be there too.
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Which Tattoo Ink is the Best?
Not to give any spoilers here, but this section will give you the immediate links to the best tattoo inks. Based on their category, you can go right to the Amazon page where they are sold. This will also tell you why they are the best in their category. Aside from anything relevant that will also be presented to you about each ink will be added. As for each type of ink used, we will give you an idea why and how they are used.
US and EU Brand Tattoo Inks
Even though tattoo ink is not a food or beverage, tattoo ink is intended to be embedded under the skin. So it needed to be regulated by national government authorities for health and safety regulations instead. This allowed smaller government divisions to maintain higher standards for what types of tattoo ink are considered safer or healthier. As seen in California, where tattoo inks have the highest amount of rules and standards.
Even so, the basics of health and safety regulations are often debated by select interest groups. This has driven the industry further as the demand for vegan or animal-free products within tattoo inks is addressed.
Vegan is a term that is used to describe a person who is a vegetarian but doesn’t consume animal products. This developed into an extension of including all by-products such as cheese or butter, etc… The modern vegan has now adopted a total lifestyle that includes the checking of toilet paper for being vegan. Tattoo inks are now labeled vegan or animal-free vegan. The colors are mostly plant-based and the liquid is animal bone and gelatin free.
This is still making waves as some ink will have animal-based glycerin. Some will switch to plant based-glycerin. Many modern vegan tattoos that need color can even benefit from using and artists that use the best rotary tattoo machine to apply these inks. Since these machines are friendlier sounding than the buzzing coil guns
Some of the best tattoo ink for vegans includes:
Some tattoo colors are going to be more spectacular than others. But they all suit one purpose in giving a tattoo a rich filled burst of the extraordinary. Here are some kit colors that are among the best. While most of these are offered in small kit sets, you can also buy larger quantities. Up to 1oz bottles if that’s a color you use often. As with anything else, a starter kit is always the best way, to begin with first.
UV Effects and Pastels
Nome tattoo colors will need special effects that need UV blacklight to give more pop. Then again some people like the smooth non-threatening pastel colors. Here are fine examples of both. UV tattoo inks have come a long way since they first appeared over 20 years ago. Now they have higher resilience to lasting longer and not fading so easily. The same applies to pastels that would often go-flat after a couple of years, now they are improved much more.
Greywash and skin Tones
When it comes to various shading needs, these are considered to be the top brands. Greywash is often a matter of intensity, so these two have excellent shades available. When portrait work is done the World Famous line offers the best ink kit for this work. Greywash is a delicate touch to get the shadowing just right, but these colors have been formulated to last nearly a lifetime. As for portrait ink work, that can be a process that takes twice as long.
Factors to Consider - Best Tattoo Ink
In the tattoo world, there are many talented people. But understandably there are hundreds more who are simply terrible at making a good tattoo. But this is due to the lack of quality control. While it’s not a regulated industry per-se, it does have organizations that help shut down mushroom studios that tend to pop-up. It is a major problem in the US and all across Europe.
Not to mention the risks and dangers outside these zones including Southeast Asia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Many tourists have gotten a tattoo for much cheaper than in Europe or the US. Sadly they will often spend a week in the hospital if needles weren’t clean or the ink had gone bad. Here are some of the potential risks from inks that come from these regions.
Cheaper imported ink from Asia
Here lies the problem with the tattoo ink industry. There is always an import brand that is cheaper and looks nearly the same. The problem is that you don’t know where this ink was made or how it was made. It can contain chemicals and/or animal contents. Some tattoo ink that says Vegan on the label isn’t regulated in countries that continually break the US and EU safety rules. Because of this, don’t choose tattoo inks that are being sold from overseas!
Large industrial countries including China have never been regulated for tattoo inks. It can be a danger to use imported ink that is a copycat brand as well. There is a higher risk for skin infection, loss of color, and lower color quality overall. It’s just not worth the risk of buying anything that isn’t carefully monitored for quality control. Even the large companies that order quality material through Taiwan, it makes checking for quality even harder to spot.
Non-regulated 3rd party US or EU tattoo inks
There has always been an old trick in the tattoo industry and it comes from cutting the ink. It’s always been a common practice for bartenders to water-down their liquor. It saves money and that’s the bottom line. For any top tattoo studio, an artist is responsible for the ink they bring into the salon. But for most factory tattoo parlors, the boss supplies the ink and that’s the ink to watch out for.
Since a majority of new customers who stumble into a tattoo studio are unaware of the kinds of ink used, anything goes. Cheaper substitutes that usually import brands are poured back into brand name bottles. It’s a revolving door business that often includes laser removal of a tattoo. If it’s bad ink, it will most likely be removed much easier. Sadly this is more common than legitimate studios will ever admit.
The Vegan ink debate
The vegan craze didn’t kick into high gear until around 2010, over a decade ago. The lifestyle that is defined by a vegan is no longer a food issue. It comes down to clothing, shoes, aftershave, and anything that includes animal by-products. When it comes to the best tattoo ink, natural colors, extracts, and plant-based materials were always used. Deep pigments such as black are often hard to reproduce unless something is burnt.
Carbon is a good substitute when bones are burnt you will get bone char. This is added with other pigments that give a deep black color. Vegan tattoo ink developers will find alternative materials that include metals and plant-based pigments. While these are still relatively new formulations, time will tell if they are problematic. Passing the levels for health safety, no extensive tests are monitored to show if vegan ink is safe for long-term health effects.
Top brand name kits
Not to sound too downbeat when it comes to the big tattoo ink companies, there should always be a word of caution. If you want to find out about their company history, that should be easy to find. That company should have an extensive background in tattoos and research into better inks. At least one of the tattoo artists should have a scientific background, chemistry education, or understanding of colors and pigments that are non-toxic.
This is a problem when it comes to tattoo inks since many isolated countries used what was natural. The often included bone char and plant-based pigments. Look at the Pacific Asian Islanders, they had no access to western materials and would make ink for themselves. Top brand tattoo inks should give excellent detail on what goes into their ink formulations. Otherwise, there is the risk of skin irritation, allergies, and all sorts of complications.
Best tattoo machine for filling-in colored ink
Most people do not understand that color tattoos are best filled using a rotary machine. It has less of a chance to create a tattoo blowout. This is caused by those who are using a dual coil machine. It acts like a jackhammer and goes too deep into the skin. The result is a tattoo that has ink bleed-off. You will need to search for the best rotary tattoo machine to have color fill-ins. These newer designed machines have a smoother rotation of the needles.
In most cases, the near-silent rotary tattoo machine is usually gentle on the skin, then a coil gun can be. It’s not so common that the best rotary tattoo machines will be recommended in many modern tattoo salons either. The issue is time and many salons seek to counter this with the speed of a coil tattoo gun. This is why so many new artists will get the dreaded blowout if they don’t know how easily these gun damage the skin.
Best ink for fixing-up or altering old tattoos
Let’s face it, tattoos will fade over time, and as your skin absorbs the ink that was put in. Other factors are also at work such as the power of the sun. The sun emits UV rays that work on your skin if your skin is exposed. Going to the beach or the park is a nice place to relax but it damages your skin too. This is why sunscreen was developed but is going to do little to reduce a tattoo into a faded-blur- years later.
Commonly what most people will do is get a refreshed tattoo with new overlays of color, liners, and highlights. The best inks for this are Kuro Sumi, which used strong black ink that stands out. It also tends to override older ink that’s faded. One thing that seems to be more popular with refreshing old tattoo is adding restored lines and plenty of white highlights. Just like rolling back the miles on the odometer, it gives new life to a tired old tattoo.
The California tattoo safety regulation
This might sound like it would be a great idea for a movie already, but sadly the regulations for California laws are already a touchy subject. California is full of many complicated laws that entail safety and health. The reason that tattoo ink is especially touchy is that the tattoo craze was underestimated. The sheer number is cased where clients were exposed to dirty needles and sickness was growing.
Local state officials were faced with regulating the tattoo trade with very strict guidelines. This was due to many new tattoo artists that had little or no professional training whatsoever. Some tattoo shops had no idea what an Autoclave sterilizer was. This was in the early 90s when the tattoo trend was just starting to spike. Now it is full of fierce competition for new artists to pass professional training and try to make a name for themselves.
Mixing your tattoo ink
Which tattoo ink is the best, is usually the one that a smart tattoo artist will invent. This is an artist that has experience with pigments and knows the biology behind it. Perhaps there is also some knowledge of chemistry or research into a medical-related field. Those who take the time to understand how a tattoo ink works will do their homework. Understanding the material and toxicity is why tattoo ink is safe to use.
It will be a must to understand botany and chemistry before the benefits of inventing a new tattoo ink are revealed. Some of the natural elements and color formulation need to be tested before they are used as tattoo ink. There are such cases where young Russian tattoo artists were poisoned by using the wrong type of natural color extracts. This is why botany and chemistry are an absolute must in terms of health and safety.
Which are the best colors that last longer?
Over time, as colors will fade; there is the question that always comes to mind. Which color lasts the longest? This is the color black since it has the darkest of the outline that is used. If it comes to an actual color other than black, then deep reds are often the next in line for lasting a long time. But it will depend on how much time you expose your skin to the sun too. This will make a tattoo fade in less time than you can blink.
Not to mention the sun damage from wrinkles and age spots. Taking care of a tattoo will depend on moisturizing and where the tattoo is located. But it doesn’t mean that a tattoo will last longer just because it was cared-for. Everyone is aging at a different rate, so the elasticity of the skin will change for men and women over the years. As for which color will be best for a tattoo, in the long run, is most likely one that is black and grey.
Why do UV and white ink colors fade so soon?
This is a two-part question since UV is not falling into the same category as white ink. But this is how UV ink works in general. UV tattoo ink is good for about 5 years until it starts to fade. The older UV inks tended to last 2 years or more but with advancements of UV sensitive pigments have improved this. These are better for skin safety than before as there were random cases where people had random skin reactions to the pigments used.
Currently, the pigments used from Skin Candy’s: Bloodline UV inks are very safe and long-lasting. There is a UV glow red color from Kuro Sumi that works the best under blacklight. There are also tattoo colors from Millennial Mom’s Nuclear UV colors that also work excellent for glowing with UV light. But as everything fades over time, these UV colors would also need fixing up after a certain amount of time is over.
Now when it comes to white pigment this is a sticky subject. Not just because white ink is harder to get into the skin, but because it reacts differently to all skin colors. Lighter skin will have a different effect on white ink than dark skin will. It also takes more passes to get white to go into the skin itself. This can be more painful than the black liner that was put onto the skin itself. Now everyone will have the same result after white ink is applied.
It can take months or weeks before the white ink is starting to fade. It depends on how the ink stays in the skin. This is one color that cannot overpower other color factors, such as your skin color. Often, the white is the first color that fades on a tattoo, and in UV light it will fade much faster. As for glowing under UV light, it would need UV tint added for it to show up at all. But sadly this just makes a white tattoo glow as a bluish or greenish color.
Now it is worth getting a white tattoo at all if the color fades so quickly? Depending on the right color skin type and the amount of white pigment used, it can be. Not so much that it will last years and years, but this color can be refreshed if it does fade. By that time it will be easier to add fresh colors and highlights to fix up an older tattoo anyway. So comparing UV to white tattoo ink is similar but to be fair, UV color does last a bit longer than white ink.
We hope this info has helped you to learn more about which tattoo ink is the best to use. With so many brands that are offering better quality ink, the time that a tattoo can last is worth the effort. Many people have tattoos that feel they’ve invested in some kind. These tattoos do need fixing-up from time to time and can be improved in most cases.
Other times a bad tattoo can be covered over with a restoration cover-up. Often the restoration of a bad tattoo looks better as a result. Along with a combination of high-quality tattoo inks, you will have to decide which tattoo ink is the best for your tattoo studio to use.