Avoid These 4 Tattoo Ink Brands (And Ingredients)

It’s crucial to do your homework before picking decent Tattoo Ink Brands. There are many different tattoo ink brands available, but not all of them are the same. Some tattoo inks include unfavourable metals and chemicals that might harm your body. Therefore, you need to be aware of which tattoo ink companies to stay away from.

 if you’re looking for something that is secure and non-toxic. Based on my study, I came up with a list of six tattoo ink brands to stay away from; I’ll leave the links to the sources below. Let’s first discuss the elements that tattoo ink shouldn’t contain and how these might be hazardous to people before we discuss the brands.

Elements in Tattoo Ink to Avoid

You should visit the ink manufacturer’s website and look at the ink’s components list before making a tattoo ink purchase.

Avoid using brands that contain the following ingredients: 

  • Metallic heavy butadiene
  • acrylonitrile styrene-aromatic
  • cyclic polycyclic hydrocarbons
  • Oxides, Carrier Substances, Carcinogens
  • Alcohol

Which substances are found in the best tattoo inks? 

Predispersed tattoo ink is made up of a liquid carrier and a pigment, basically. The top inks strike a balance between colour, consistency, and safety.  They might employ isopropyl alcohol, witch hazel, or purified water as examples of their carriers.

Each has advantages and disadvantages. The maker must consider both the speed with which the ink dries in the cup and the possibility of skin irritation. Glycerin is occasionally used in inks to further emulsify the pigment. (Vegetable glycerin can be used in vegan ink, yes.) With pigments, it becomes more difficult.

Carbon black, which may be created from burned bone and iron oxide, was once used to make black paint. Modern producers prefer organic pigments to those made of minerals and metals. Azo pigments, which are created for painting cars and colouring textiles, are among the organic possibilities.

Unfortunately, azo pigments may cause the body to produce carcinogens. As a result, the tattoo industry is still trying to develop an entirely secure tattoo ink. Fortunately, the leading manufacturers focus on producing safe and efficient ink. They are conscious of the long-term consequences the chemicals they select will have on the body.

Avoid these brands of tattoo ink. 

I personally avoid using the following tattoo ink brands and types:

Shade King

It was found that Colour King and a few other brands included compounds that are carcinogenic and harmful to foetal development. These substances include heavy metals like nickel and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, both of which are known to be hazardous to human systems.

tattoo ink brands

These outcomes, however, came from a single tested lot. But because of their negligence, I would stay away from this tattoo ink company. Furthermore, we are unsure if additional lots might contain the same items.


Inks from Scalpaink and a few other brands were found to be tainted with germs by the FDA back in 2018 and were voluntarily recalled. Utilising tainted tattoo ink can result in infections and catastrophic damage.

While this was also LOT-specific, they were once more negligent, and I’ll never be able to tell if the ink I have is contaminated. For these reasons, I would advise against using Scalpaink tattoo ink. There are other safer and more cost-effective alternatives available.

Indian, Thai, and Chinese Inks at Discount Prices

These days, the market is filled with a variety of unbranded tattoo inks created in China, Thailand, or India, all of varied quality. While the majority of these unbranded inks are excellent, there are plenty that are of shockingly low quality.

We shouldn’t use them mostly because we are unsure about their origin and manufacturing process. It might as well be poster paint, created in an unsterile environment and containing mercury, phosphorus, and other metallic components in order to collect your money.

Because they are frequently significantly less expensive than the leading brands, unbranded inks should also be avoided. Although at first glance, this could appear to be a good thing, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Cheap inks are frequently produced using subpar, improperly evaluated, and sometimes dangerous materials.

Additionally, working with cheap inks can be challenging, making it more challenging to produce quality results. Avoid unbranded tattoo inks in general, especially those that are manufactured in China, Thailand, or India and are extremely affordable.

Purchasing any ink from eBay

Even branded tattoo ink on eBay is typically fraudulent, therefore you should absolutely stay away from doing so.

Purchasing ink from eBay is advantageous for the same reasons that cheap, generic inks are. We are unsure of their exact composition and method of manufacture.

False skin stains 

Numerous colour packages that include synthetic skin should be avoided. Some have websites for information, but if you look them up, you’ll discover that they are solely advertised as having artificial skin.

tattoo ink brands

The safety of tattoo ink for humans 

How safe is tattoo ink? This type of question occupies the minds of many people who want tattoos on their bodies. Actually, that’s an excellent question because a tattoo is under the skin for life, making it crucial that the ink is free of contaminants. In order to create the colour in a tattoo, solid pigments are essentially dissolved in a liquid carrier and injected into the skin. 

Accurately identifying the ingredients in tattoo ink is difficult. The major issue with identifying the ingredients is that since most tattoo ink manufacturers are in the USA, they are subject to FDA regulations, where the laws are a little less stringent than in Europe. While the EU is a little tougher, it still allows different ink types and brands as long as they have first through GGD testing (Regional Public Health Service).

 Since the ingredients are thoroughly investigated during this examination, we can almost certainly conclude that the tattoo inks provided by tattoo parlours with valid GGD permits are secure. Therefore, if you’re a tattoo addict, be aware that the more ink you get on your body, the more heavy metals will be circulating in your blood.

Are vegan or organic tattoo inks more sterile?

The popularity of vegan and organic foods and goods raises the possibility that organic inks will also be healthier or safer. Many ink makers have switched from using mineral inks to organic inks over the past 20 years. A little over 80% of these inks are carbon-based, and 60% of them might also contain azo pigments.

Animal materials, such as bone char, beetle shellac, or animal fat glycerin, may be used in the production of some organic inks. Beeswax and cod liver oil are some additional organic substances that can be utilised as pigments.

Animal byproducts like animal glycerin are typically swapped out for vegetable glycerin by producers of vegan tattoo inks for the vegan market. Organic inks may not include many of the poisons found in conventional inks, but they might still contain heavy metals like titanium oxide. Additionally, they do not come without any hazards; depending on the production environment and sterilisation techniques, there is still a chance of contamination during the production process.

What kind of ink is used at Sacred Arts Tattoo Studio? 

Since a long time ago, Secret Arts Bali Tattoo Studio has used Intenze tattoo ink. The Intenze brand has been around for many years and is regarded as a very good manufacturer, created by tattoo artists for tattoo artists, by many well-known artists around the world! 

At Intenze, quality and safety are top priorities. Additionally, all of Intenze’s colours are vegan. This means that Intenze’s inks contain extremely little to no hazardous ingredients, in addition to the fact that their goods don’t use any animal products and aren’t tested on animals.

Learn more about the Intenze Tattoo Brand.

Since all of the components in Intenze tattoo ink are vegan, this brand is among the safest producers on the market. Glycerin and isopropyl alcohol are the two major ingredients, both of which are safe to use on skin. The brand guarantees that the products are free of harmful or poisonous chemicals. 

Since 2001, Intenze has been manufacturing ink, and they were the first business to label their ink bottles and list the components. They are also regarded as the safest ink manufacturer due to their use of cutting-edge sterilising technologies.

 Gamma radiation, which kills bacteria in the product and its container, sterilises the Intenze Gold Label ink. This approach satisfies European tattoo ink rules and is quite successful. So if you’re worried about customers with sensitive skin getting irritated, this brand is your best bet. You shouldn’t be concerned that kids might encounter any health problems.

What ingredients make up tattoo ink?

Recent research has been conducted to determine any potential long-term impacts of tattoo inks. These studies, however few and far between, are the first to properly explore the potential skin and health effects of tattoos. Allergy, infection, inflammation from sun exposure, and chronic skin reactions are a few pretty typical reactions to tattoo ink. The inclusion of hazardous ingredients in the majority of widely used tattoo inks may be the cause of these reactions. Two of the most dangerous compounds in use are phthalates and benzo(a)pyrene, both of which have been linked to endocrine disruption and cancer.They are also listed as carcinogens by the EPA.

Soot, which contains hydrocarbon-containing combustion byproducts, is frequently used to make black ink. Additionally, charcoal made from animal bones can be found in black ink. True, not all inks are vegetarian-friendly. Along with gelatin, insects, and animal fat, some inks also use these ingredients as carriers.

Colored inks frequently contain heavy metals. Lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and titanium can all be found in coloured inks. These metals have the potential to cause sickness and allergic reactions. The precise impacts are unknown to scientists.

What long-term implications can  tattoo ink have?

Although there have been reports of links between tattoos and skin cancer, most scientists now believe that there is no causal relationship between tattoos and cancer. Though malignant tumours associated with skin cancer have occasionally been discovered in tattoos, experts suggest these occurrences could simply be coincidences. Since tattoos are not constant exposures to phthalates, as some are, there is even a hypothesis that phthalates leave the body within hours.

One issue that the FDA has attempted to address is where the pigment goes when it fades due to sunlight or is removed by laser light. Do they get disposed of by the body? Or are they distributed in some way throughout our bodies? There is a chance that some of the ink will enter the bloodstream. Therefore, it’s possible that getting a tattoo removed could be even riskier than acquiring it in the first place. Hopefully, the answers to these inquiries will prompt additional research on the toxicity of tattoo ink.


In general, tattoo ink that isn’t purchased from a reliable vendor should be avoided. And before you purchase anything, be sure to review the ingredients list. Avoid low-cost brands that aren’t water-based or aren’t produced in North America.

Other than that, inks function very similarly. Although brand preferences receive a lot of attention, a talented tattoo artist can use pretty much any respectable brand. It’s important to do your research to ensure that you are purchasing a high-quality product when selecting a reputable brand of tattoo ink. Selecting an established brand is one of the