UV Tattoos: Safety, Ideas, and Tips about Glow In The Dark Tattoos

Written by: Jason White

Glow-in-the-dark tattoos are tattoos that are inked with special UV tattoo inks. This ink contains chemicals that absorb ultraviolet light and transform it into luminescence. It can be white, often invisible in the daylight, as well as colored UV ink. Depending on preference, you can get an “invisible” tattoo in daylight but luminous in the ultraviolet; or it can be a colored visible tattoo but which also glows in the ultraviolet.


UV Tattoo Ideas

The next thing to pay attention to is the right sketch. It is worth thinking about drawings that will not be too small or abstract. Otherwise, it will not look like a tattoo at all, but rather like a scar or a light spot. On this page you will find many ideas and pictures that are perfect for creating a UV tattoo.

UV Tattoo Artists

You should look for a tattoo artist who already has experience with fluorescent tattoo ink. Looking at his portfolio will give you at least a rough idea of how your tattoo will look when you get it done.

Be very attentive at the session and ask the tattoo artist what kind of ink he will use. Let him tell you a little bit about it. It is important that there is no phosphorus in it.


This tattoo style is pretty new compared to many other techniques. It became popular in the 1990s. When the style was originally created, artists used tattoo inks containing phosphorus as well as traditional tattoo inks. But this practice was dangerous simply because phosphorus is a carcinogen causing a number of skin diseases. Now artists try to stay away from any ink containing this highly toxic chemical because of its dangerous nature.

In the 2000s, luminous tattoos became a super popular trend, everyone started getting inked with them, and then they also stopped abruptly. Moreover, the ink that everyone was getting these tattoos with had practically disappeared from the market at the time. The safety issues of then tattoo dyes are the reason for the sharp decline the popularity of these tattoos at that time.

Now the trend has started to grow again sharply due to the ongoing industry development. In addition to the fact that new technologies have emerged in the tattoo machine manufacturing, which make it possible to achieve the utmost precision, and new compositions of UV inks are becoming more and more safe for human health. Hence the next question arises, so whether or not they are good ideas?

Are UV Tatttoos Safe?

The answer to that question is kind of difficult.

For one thing, no ink manufacturer specifies exactly what’s in it. Everyone knows that the companies like Eternal, Intense, World Famous and other major manufacturers have pretty strict quality control and they do quite a bit to make sure that what they’re putting out on the market is something that tattooers are gonna be able to use with confidence. That begs the question, why don’t they make uv ink for tattoos? Is it simply because they don’t see the potential of invisible tattoos market, or do they still not have the ability to produce a truly safe inks for glow in the dark tattoo? We don’t really know. You probably aren’t gonna die from getting a UV tattoo but at the same time it’s something that you want to ask yourself is this really what I want.

On the other hand, есть информация, что the UV ink contains a synthetic polymer used in medicine, which makes UV blacklight tattoo absolutely safe. The technical name of this synthetic polymer is Poly Methyl Methacrylate or PMMA.

We cannot guarantee 100% safety fluorescent tattoos. There are many cases when a person gets a UV tattoo that looks fantastic and he or she feels perfectly. Moreover, this tattoo has been living in their skin for many years and is held up perfectly that’s possible. But still, even if it’s possible for one person it doesn’t mean that it is a good idea for everyone.

In any case, if you’re gonna get a UV tattoo, you should know something about UV tattoo health risks:

  • There are really little numbers of UV tattoos that healed properly. They do not heal well because they are not applied well, so the tattoo artist begins to actively running through the skin and severely traumatizes the skin, which can lead to poor healing
  • Glowing tattoo often heals with the appearance of tattoo scarring
  • Healing is often caused by itching and burning sensations
  • Other various allergic reactions to components

How long do “glow-in-the-dark” tattoos last?

Like any tattoo, these will gradually fade over time, but will never completely disappear. It’s important to note, if you ever want to cover up your glow tattoo, the colored ink applied on top may look duller than expected, and the glow won’t work.

The tattoo often ceases to glow as brightly as before after about six months. That is, when it is fresh and not covered by epidermis on top, the rays are well absorbed and therefore such a bright glow. The brightest glow occurs immediately after the tattoo is applied, that is, until the tattoo is covered with epidermis from above. In two or three weeks it starts to glow less, because the epidermis covers the tattoo, respectively, it prevents the penetration of this UV luminescence to the dye.

Moreover, each individual piece of pigment is enveloped in collagen fibers and forms granules, accordingly, it further prevents the penetration of this rays. Also, the stuff that makes your tattoo glow, over time begins to break down on its own no matter what, so on average such tattoos glow brightly for about six months. Certainly there are lucky people, who have very thin delicate white vampire skin and they have UV tattoos will glow brightly enough, but there are “lucky” people who have them not glow at all.

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