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Are Tattoos Vegan? The Tattoo Artists Reply

Every now and then I get asked how vegan or vegan friendly are the tattoo products we use in tattooing. So I did some research to see if we really are a vegan tattoo shop.

So are tattoos vegan? Most tattoo studios still use non vegan tattoo inks and consumables. But lately there are more and more companies that are taking this into considerations. Getting a vegan tattoo doesn’t only refer to the ink, but also to other products like transfer paper and stencil cream.

Many customers nowadays are only wanting vegan friendly tattoos. There is actually a lot more to this and finding out if your local tattoo studio is vegan friendly can be quite tricky. In this article we will cover all the aspects of a true vegan tattoo and the tattoo products I have found to be truly vegan.

What Tattoo Inks Are Vegan

I am very pleased to say that nowadays more and more tattoo ink manufacturers are interested in creating vegan tattoo ink and also in protecting our little non spoken friends.

As one of my vegan friend found out, tattoo studios also have a hard time in knowing if the inks that they use are vegan or not. So I have done some research and these are a list of vegan tattoo ink brands that I found.

1. Kuro Sumi – this is an excellent black ink tattoo that have the carbon black pigment derived from burning a plant that is found in Japan. The manufacturing process is plant based from start to finish and this makes it all vegan. This carbon pigment is used in the Kuro Sumi Outline Ink and also in the Kuro Sumi Greywash Ink.

2. Silverback Ink – this company has found the vegan tattoo ink niche in the market and has developed this ink to make sure that all their vegan friendly customers are 100% served with quality ink.

3. CrazyHorse – this is a 100% American tattoo ink produced only with organic ingredients

4. Eternal Inks – this company has refused to use glycerin carriers derived from animal fats or use any animal products in their color sets and also in their greywash sets, and we salute them as this company is one of the big players on the tattoo ink market

5. Intenze Inks – usually in the beginning of the company it was rumored that they were using crushed bones for their black pigments, but since the company had a makeover they have removed anything to do with animal products and are now 100% vegan products. They have now some of the best inks on the market, both in the Greywash Kits and the Color Kits.

6. Dermaglo Inks – this company is so selective that it does not sell any of their products to anybody except professional tattoo artists and tattoo studios. They also insist that none of their products have been tested on animals and that they are strict against those type of testing.

7. Fusion Tattoo Inks – this is a family run business that puts the animal friendliness of their products on a very high place. They boast with some of the higher concentrations of pigments in their inks, yet are dedicated to remain 100% vegan.

Does Vegan Tattoo Ink Fade Faster

There were times that vegan tattoo inks did lack resilience once they were tattooed in the skin and the UV rays would make them fade a lot faster than the other products, But with massive developments in the tattoo industry, the products that are sold these days from all reputable suppliers are sure to compete with the less animal friendly tattoo inks that were used before.

Some might say that the vegan tattoo inks used now are actually more resilient to fading than the old tattoo inks.

This could be also attributed to the fact that the tattoo market has been requesting vegan friendly products for quite a number of years, so the manufacturers had to listen to this and research on tattoo inks that used animal products or were being tested on animals have been dropped and frowned upon by industry leaders.

So if you follow the aftercare of your tattoo you will enjoy your vegan tattoo for a very long time and will also be happy that you have not contributed anymore to the suffering of our unspoken friends.

Vegan Tattoo Supplies For A Tattoo Studio

When deciding whether to get a tattoo if you are a vegan, you might have a limited choice in tattoo studios and artists that are willing to do the actual research regarding the ingredients in the products that they use.

So when one of my customers came in the studio and asked if our tattoo shop is vegan friendly, I have decided to look into it and see the actual implications of becoming a vegan friendly tattoo studio, in case we weren’t already.

Little that I knew is that being a vegan friendly tattoo studio is actually quite expensive, and requires a lot of research and emailing back and forwards with suppliers and manufacturing companies, as there are hundreds of products and consumables that we use daily.

No wonder most tattoo studios don’t really care about our animal friends and only care about the bottom line. Vegan products are twice if not more the price of normal products, and only as of lately more and more companies are going vegan with their products.

I started looking at the transfer paper that we were using for creating the stencils. We used normally Spirit Carbon Paper but on further research, found out that it wasn’t vegan as it used gelatin in the carbon mix. So after phoning our current supplier, we found that Spirit also makes a vegan version of the same paper, but twice as expensive called Repro Vegan.

Sure you might say its only paper, but a tattoo studio with 5 artists and a lot of customers goes through quite a considerable amount of carbon paper. If you ask me its worth every penny,

Then we looked at the stencil application cream that we used which is called Anchored and after a quick google research we have found that it actually is a vegan product, so that means we were already doing our bit by using this product for our tattoos. So not only Anchored was a great product, it was also vegan. Who knew!?

The next step was finding if the inks are vegan, as some tattoo inks used charred animal bones and other animal related products, we had to find if our tattoo inks were vegan. So we have decided to send an e-mail to the manufacturer of our tattoo inks.

The email came back the next day and when opening the email we saw that the Intenze Tattoo Inks that we were using were in fact 100% vegan.

Vegan Tattoo Aftercare Products

When one of my customer was asking me to suggest a tattoo aftercare cream or kit that is vegan, I was quite surprised that there were not a lot of options out there. Now there are specialized brands that only deal with vegan products, but I strongly feel that vegan products should be the majority and not the exceptions.

After researching a few brands and products, here is what I found to be some of the best vegan tattoo aftercare products in my opinion:

1. Panda Balm – one of their best products is Wundpflege and its so versatile that it can be used as a moisturizing cream, as a tattoo butter whilst tattooing and also as an aftercare cream. It’s made 100% from natural products and does not have any chemicals or any other irritants in the salve. It’s also Paraben, Fragrance and Petroleum Free.

2. Zlatan Tattoo Enhancer and Aftercare – this Tattoo Enhancer is a new body lotion that contains nourishing oils that protect and uplift your tattoos, while still functioning as a great body lotion it is also a fantastic tattoo moisturizing aftercare cream.

3. Hustle Butter DeLuxe – any professional tattoo artist has used or has at least heard of the quality of this product. This butter is included in most select tattoo studios in the world and most artists will swear by its effectiveness. This is also probably one of my favorite aftercare product.

4. After Inked – although a newer name on the market, this company has been vegan orientated from the onset and although a bit more pricey than the others, if you are looking for a product built vegan from the ground up, this is the one for you.

Related Questions

Is A Vegan Tattoo More Painful? Tattoos are made by piercing the skin with a needle, and depositing minute particles of pigment into the skin in the dermis layer (the second layer of the skin).

Where Should I Get My First Tattoo? As a tattoo artist I always recommend your first tattoo to be on the forearms as this is an area that is less painful and I also recommend to start with a small tattoo that is personal, rather than jump in the “deep end”.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.

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