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Are Tattoos Vegan?

by Fabian Jackson

2min read

Wanting to get some new ink, but not sure whether it will be vegan-friendly? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Lots of people have been asking if tattoo ink is vegan, and if not, why not? Well, we’ve got some answers for you. 

It isn’t always a straightforward yes, but there are plenty of vegan-friendly tattoo inks available and widely used. It’s always worth checking out tattoo parlour websites, Instagrams or calling to ask if their inks and other equipment are suitable. 

Why is some tattoo ink not vegan-friendly? 

Coloured tattoo inks are often made from glycerin, a byproduct of the soap industry used as a stabiliser, that’s sometimes made from animal fats. It’s not always easy to spot, but manufacturers and tattoo artists should know.

tattoo artist at work

Is black tattoo ink vegan? 

Again, black tattoo ink isn’t always vegan. Gelatine and bone char are sometimes used in black inks for a depth of colour. Here’s a useful page from Killer Ink Tattoos on the best vegan tattoo ink brands.

What else in tattooing isn’t vegan?

After the inks themselves, there are two other main things to look out for – transfer paper and aftercare products. The transfer papers and aftercare products often contain lanolin, an animal-derived fat. Here’s a full guide from Vegan Tattoo Studios about the best plant-based tattoo aftercare products available. 

We’ve also put together a handy guide to some of our favourite vegan tattoo artists and parlours right across the UK for inky inspiration. 

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Fabian Jackson
by Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

Read more from Fabian


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