9 Vegan Tattoo Ink Pros and Cons You Should Know

Shmulik Dorinbaum
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Before having a tattoo on your body, it’s good to know every detail, including vegan tattoo ink pros and cons, and you will have a clear picture of what you are about to use.

You also need to know whether the ink you are about to use is fit for a vegan. By checking the ingredients, you can tell the nature of the ink.

However, some companies keep traces of animal products in their vegan tattoo ink, and you need to be extra keen when getting one.

Stick on as we get to know the benefits and disadvantages of using vegan tattoo ink.

What is Vegan Tattoo Ink?

The vegan ink is free from animal products like other vegan products. It keeps all the ingredients free from animal products making it favorable for vegans.

After some time in the market, there were issues with the ink, and the companies had to indicate the products used. When people learned about the animal products, these companies started eliminating them and opted for vegan tattoo ink.

With the advanced technology, it’s easier to get a Vegan-friendly tattoo ink. It’s now easier to choose the vegan tattoo ink where the ingredients will give you the way forward.

Vegan Tattoo Transfer Papers


Most transfer papers are not vegan and contain lanolin made from sheep wool that acts as the protective barrier. Your artist needs to use the vegan transfer papers for a complete vegan process.

There’s only one brand of vegan transfer paper, and it’s from the ReproFX Spirit company, and it’s made from synthetic vegetable substances.

How can you tell the difference between vegan Tattoo ink and regular ink?

The ingredients will help you differentiate the ink. Black ink is one of the most common non-vegan ink that contains bone char as a common ingredient. Glycerin and gelatin are used as stabilizers in non-vegan ink.

If there’s a Shellac ingredient in ink, then it’s non-vegan. The component comes from crushed beetles. 

Vegan tattoo ink uses carbon to give it the deep black color, plus ethanol and vegetable-derived glycerin are some of the common components. Be sure to consult your artist about the concentration of the liquid used to bind the powder when preparing the ink.

The use of bone char is minimal after people discovered and switched to vegan tattoo ink. The ink reduces the artist’s hassle of switching inks.

Vegan Tattoo Ink Pros and Cons


No Animal Products 

The vegan ink doesn’t have glycerin from animal fat, and its main ingredients are synthetic or vegetables. Vegan ink doesn’t have glycerin from animal fat, and its main ingredients are synthetic or vegetables. Non-vegans are developing a great interest in cruelty-free tattoos.

Eco Friendly

The tattoo ink is eco-friendly since it contains organic and natural ingredients. You can’t compare the ink’s safety to that of food since its testing and analysis aren’t rigorous. The FDA doesn’t cover some inks.


Vegan ink is long-lasting and doesn’t fade faster than other inks. No evidence that the ink fades faster than regular ink. High-quality vegan tattoo ink will last longer without fading with the proper aftercare, just like the regular ink. The alternative ingredients are also long-lasting.

Increased Demand 

The vegan ink suppliers love the increasing demand for their products, more people want to have these tattoos, and vegan tattoo shops will have a flow of customers. Some companies say the ink helps in boosting your immune system and reduces cases of dermatitis, although there’s no concrete evidence on the same.

Form of Self-Expression

Tattoos can be a way of beautifying your body. Tattoos express your personality, and having them with a vegan tattoo ink may indicate your love for animal product-free substances or express your vegan nature. You can also have a tattoo that shows your attachment to another person or group.


Getting a tattoo is a nice idea, but it’s good to know some of the risks and aftermaths of using vegan ink tattoos. It doesn’t matter whether you use regular or vegan ink. The risk is almost the same.

Health Risks

First, some tattoos will be hypersensitive to your body and may bring some health risks. There’s a high risk of contamination that exposes your skin to infections when tattooing. If the needles aren’t properly sterilized, you will be at risk of getting infected.

Besides bacterial infections, you can also contract other diseases like HIV and Hepatitis. You also expose yourself to other diseases if you don’t maintain and take care of new tattoos.

Limited Career Path 

Even with society embracing the beauty of tattoos, some institutions don’t entertain any visible body art. Some people believe that tattoos influence your behavior. Imagine struggling to get a job, and your tattoo makes it harder. Before getting one, check on your career path to ensure that it doesn’t mess you up.

It’s Permanent 

Before getting your vegan ink tattoo, remember to have it for a lifetime. Sometimes you may get a design that will only please you for a few years. If you aren’t ready for the memories, it’s good to keep off permanent tattoos.

Triggers Allergies

You will likely develop allergies if you have sensitive skin when the ink gets on the skin. The reaction may lead to rashes, skin allergies, and itching. The Ink ingredients may be the reason for the reaction, and immune response can lead to serious consequences.

Exposing your new tattoo to UV and direct sunlight is another trigger for sensation that affects your tattoo’s healing process.

Does Vegan Tattoo Ink Fade Out Fast?

Tattoos have a long life on your body, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s vegan or non-vegan. However, fading may occur in some tattoos. Proper care and maintenance of your tattoo will prevent it from fading.

Don’t expose the new tattoo to direct sunlight without applying sunscreen. Plant-based sunscreen is the best for these tattoos. Your artist may recommend the use of other products to maintain your tattoo. The ink lasts longer than other tattoos.

Is Vegan Tattoo Ink a Safe Option?

Both vegan and non-vegan tattoo ink have some risks that come with using them. Hypersensitivity also occurs with some vegan tattoo inks. There’s no concrete evidence that vegan tattoo ink is better than the regular one. However, from the information given by global companies, ink is good for your immunity.

Few tattoo inks contain carcinogenic substances that lead to infections and autoimmune or allergy reactions once they get to the lymph nodes. The reactions are not common in both inks.

What is Vegan Tattoo Ink Made From?

The ink uses carbon to make the black color and uses vegetable-based glycerin and ethanol or witch hazel as the solvent. Most manufacturers point out which animal by-product they have replaced.

Which Brands of Tattoo Ink are Vegan?

Kuro Sumi: This brand originating from Japan has a range of vegan products and ink. You will experience amazing results with this ink, plus it’s very safe to use it.

Bloodline Tattoo Ink: This brand of cruelty-free ink keeps everything vegan from the manufacturing process to the bottling of the ink, and they are all safe for their customers. The high-quality ink gives the artist versatile techniques.

Alla Prima Ink: The ink from this company is safe and top quality with vegan pigments. You can use it in its pure form, and there’s no harm in mixing it if you prefer a mix of colors.

External Tattoo Ink:  This is another brand whose ink is made using natural pigments that haven’t gone through animal testing. It’s made in the USA and adheres to the rules and standards of the market.

Does Vegan Tattoo Ink Contain Metals?

Some manufacturers will include traces of heavy metals such as titanium oxide to work on the pigmentation of the ink. However, most companies try to keep off these toxic substances from vegan tattoo ink.

Vegan ink manufacturers have switched to carbon-based pigmentation or the azo pigment that contains the nitrogen group hence the red, orange, and yellow pigments. Other ingredients include Aluminum for blue pigmentation and logwood for black color.

Does a Vegan Tattoo Need Special Aftercare?

Vegan tattoos require aftercare like normal tattoos. The only change is the products you will use in the process; ensure you go for vegan products. Some essential oils are very important in the aftercare of vegan tattoos, giving them a more vibrant look, plus they keep the tattoo moisturized.

The best part is you will find many brands that are 100% vegan, and you can go for your best choice. Consult your artist on the best aftercare product. 

Follow the basic aftercare routine like keeping the tattoo clean by washing it with antibacterial soap, allowing air circulation, and avoiding scratching the area.

Wrap Up 

Vegan ink tattoos are the best choice for people who believe in a cruelty-free lifestyle. If you are vegan, you now don’t have a reason why you don’t have your favorite tattoo. Remember that the ink is still a foreign substance to your body and may trigger some reactions. 

Consult with your reliable artist on the best vegan tattoo ink before settling for one. It’s also good to take your time before deciding on the design since once you get one, you will have it for your lifetime. All the best in your tattoo journey.

Shmulik Dorinbaum

Shmulik Dorinbaum

A musician, a father, a former cancer person, not a tattoo artist, but a tattooed person indeed.