Answer: Not always.
That’s right. Tattoo ink is NOT always vegan. Tattoo ink is made from color pigments plus a liquid carrier. Some black inks are made with bone char. Some liquid carriers are made with animal by-products. Look for inks that use plant based glycerine. Below is a list of current (2012) vegan ink brands:
When in doubt, ask your favorite artist. Any artist worth getting tattooed from will have fairly detailed knowledge of their tools. Just ask. For more information (potentially outdated), check out the following links.
VegPress.org: Tattoo and Aftercare Information for Vegans (Fall 2011)
Jinxiboo: All About Vegan Tattoo Ink, Aftercare, and Supplies (Spring 2010)
I’d love to pull together a list of tattoo artists that use vegan inks. If you know someone, let me know. Lets see if we can create an official list.
6 thoughts on “Is Tattoo Ink Vegan?”
I’m currently working with Ruby of Diving Swallow Tattoo in Oakland, CA: http://www.divingswallow.com/ She was super helpful from the beginning, and the shop has done research to figure out which of their inks is vegan (most are).
I also know that James Spooner http://jspooner.wordpress.com/ down in Los Angeles not only has vegan inks, but offers a completely vegan process from start to finish. Also a very friendly and helpful guy.
There are a few inks that are vegan. Also ask the tattoo artist what kind of ink they use.
James Spooner at Monocle Tattoo does vegan tattoos in Los Angeles Ca check him out at http://www.spoonertattoos.com
There is a tattoo artist in NYC that considers themselves Vegan in their practice. I will talk with Leyla and ask her since she is up there in NYC! <3 Kami, VFB
Awesome, do it!
Dermaglo is also an all plant based pigment