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Tattoo Ink
Organic tattoo ink

As with any other artistic medium, there are differences in the pigments used for a tattoo.
Most tattoo inks can be separated into two categories. While most have the same bases which create the makeup of the pigment, while the others all have a different chemical makeup. Inks can either be water, or alcohol based. While the first group is made with water, and is much easier to blend and mix, the alcohol based pigments tend to produce a more vibrant color pallet.

It is always up to either the artist him/herself, or the shop owner to choose which is used in their business. If you find that you are more leery about what kind of ink is being used at the facility you should ask your artist, and if they aren’t knowledgeable of what bases are in their ink, it would be wise to research the ink manufacturer yourself prior to getting a tattoo.

There are a few things that can be contained in inks that would alarm someone, such as : arsenic, beryllium, antimony, cobalt, lead, nickle, and last but certainly not least selenium. These are all known as toxic metals, each is a carcinogenic and may result in reproductive harm.

Many animal rights activists may choose to only use inks such as Starbright, as many others will use animal glycerin to produce the chemical makeup of their pigments. It is also important to know, that most ink is not FDA approved, and are not forced to label their ink with msds information, or ingredients (If in the state of California please disregard).

It is also important to preform a spot test if you have any known allergies to any of the ingredients contained in the pigment being used. If you have concerns, research, research, research. I have found Intenz, and Starbright ink to be the most vivid inks on the market currently. It is also vital as an artist to remember that cheaper, is definitely not better in the means of tattooing, if you can’t afford top of the line, or at very least an average ink and supplies you should NOT be tattooing.

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