UV Tattoos Are the Latest Inking Trend - A Guide for Tattoo Artists


While tattoos are becoming more and more popular, with an ever-increasing percentage of the population getting inked, there is still a small number of people who really want a tattoo, but want to keep it a secret. This is where UV tattoos come in; barely visible in the day under normal light, they come alive when under UV light.


How Do They Work?

Black light tattoos are created by using special ink, which contains UV reactive fluorescent dye. This ink can be coloured, producing a standard colour on the skin which will then be transformed when hit with UV lights, leaving an almost invisible tattoo during the day, which only shows up under UV light, making for a subtler tattoo than normal.

Getting a UV tattoo is the closest people can get to becoming a bioluminescent fish without any genetic modification, and have been incredibly popular with the rave scene as well – because anything that glows in the dark is pretty cool. They can be designs in their own right or can be used as an overlay to a normal tattoo, dramatically changing the picture when the full image is revealed.

What Do Tattoo Artists Need to Know?

While a few artists and tattoo shops may be advertising and willing to use UV materials, it must be noted that no medical or governmental body has approved this black light ink for tattooing. According to these bodies, this dye’s only use should be in the fishing industry, to label products. Because this is a relatively new trend, there is little to no information about the long-term effects of using UV ink as a tattoo material for the human body.

However, UV inks have been noticed to be more prone to triggering allergic reactions than your usual, traditional ink. UV ink has caused painful blistering, severe skin rashes and even burning sensations. Even when the tattooing process goes as normal and there are no adverse effects, UV tattoos tend to produce more prominent scarring, because there is no coloured ink to conceal the small lines that the tattoo needle leaves.

UV ink tattoos also tend to take longer to fully heal, between 12 and 18 months, depending on the size. This is due to the thinner nature of UV ink, requiring significantly more passes of the needle over the skin to make the ink stick. Also, the quality of the tattoo gun has a large effect, although you can find quality tattoo guns; in our online store.

Should You Invest in UV Ink?

While UV tattoos are becoming a growing trend, they still make up a seriously small percentage of the actual tattoos done. It can be difficult sourcing reputable tattoo supplies, and this is also true of UV ink. Until more research is done on the long-term effects of UV ink and dye on the human body, most reputable tattoo artists and shops are avoiding this new craze, suggesting that true professionals don’t take chances with the health and safety of their clients. It seems that investing your time, effort and money into UV ink and its process might be a waste, certainly until further information is found about its long-term effects.

If your business is looking for quality tattoo supplies, guns and machines, then please visit our website. Feel free to contact us for advice and recommendations to suit your business needs.