With numerous rules and regulations on toxins and chemicals added into tattoo ink, you may be wondering if there is a natural way to make pigment for your personal practice. Or perhaps you’re underage and you’re looking for an easy recipe for an at-home poke-and-stick. Whatever the reason, have a look at our thorough guide on natural homemade tattoo inks.
Table of Contents (clickable)
What Is Tattoo Ink Normally Made Of?
The FDA is the regulatory body that oversees the approval of tattoo inks. Because there are so many cheap inks on the market that have numerous chemicals and toxins and since tattooing is essentially a surgical procedure, there are many risks associated with using unregulated ink. It’s important to consider this factor when making your own ink, as well.
Tattoo inks are normally made of:
- Pigments which vary in chemical composition depending on the color
- Carriers that aid in application and help prevent infection
Vegan alternative inks use natural ingredients and do not test on animals. In ancient times, tattoo inks were made with soot or ashes of burned wood mixed with water. Though this does create a very dense pigment, carriers that have an alcohol content are better to prevent infection.
Is It Possible to Make Your Own Tattoo Ink?
While it’s not recommended to make your own tattoo ink unless you’ve had professional training, because you put your skin at risk of infection, there are some recipes that allow you to create homemade, natural pigments. Some professional artists who have been in the business for years choose this method for their work because they feel it is a safer product for their clients.
How To Make Tattoo Ink
There are two ways to make homemade tattoo ink:
- Collect the carbonized black ash from burned wood. Ensure they are in very fine pieces.
- Add them to a sterile blender.
- As a carrier, use clear liquor such as gin or vodka. Add the carrier slowly to the blender of ashes until it has a consistency that is similar to standard tattoo ink.
- Allow it to stay on blend for at least an hour, at a medium speed. Add more carrier or ash if the product is not the right consistency.
- Remember to use the ink immediately.
Tattoo Shop Ink Mix
- Purchase tattoo pigment powder from a shop or wholesaler.
- Mix together 28 ounces of witch hazel (or you could use vodka), 1 tablespoon of glycol, and 1 tablespoon of glycerine in a container.
- Add the pigment powder to a sterile blender.
- Slowly add the liquid mixture while blending on low speed, checking the consistency of the mix. Once the perfect consistency is met, blend on medium for one hour.
- Add the ink to a sterile container and use it within a month.
Our Final Thoughts
If you are making your own tattoo ink, you need to use it at your own risk. It’s important to ensure that when you are making these products, you are doing so in a sterile environment with completely sterile materials. In addition, homemade pigments have a tendency to fade quickly or not settle into the skin properly, so it may be a waste of your time and money. It’s always safer to invest in professional-grade and FDA-approved ink.