Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoos are Trending - but are they safe?

The concept of having a secret tattoo that only lights up when the lights are off is pretty exciting, right? Well, there is more to glow-in-the-dark tattoos than that. For starters, (and a lot of people are surprised by this) the majority of glow-in-the-dark tattoos are only visible under blacklight. Today we're taking a closer look at this style of tattooing. And hey, while you're here feel free to comment below or give us a Like on Facebook.

Cover image by Amber kipp

Photo by: Miguel Sousa

The science behind the ink

When the style was originally formulated, artists used ink solutions that contained phosphorus in addition to traditional pigments. But because of phosphorus being a carcinogen that caused a number of skin reactions this technique was deemed unsafe. Now, artists avoid ink containing the highly toxic chemical due to its dangerous nature. (Go figure). So, glow-in-the-dark tattoos didn't get off to a great start, but since then artists have taken strives to make these cool tattoos are safer. To replace the chemically dangerous pigments, glow-in-the-dark tattoos are now created using ink that's reactive to UV light. (Yay science!)

Tattoo by: Cheshire UK Tattoo artist Damo

Research never hurts

Before you set up your appointment for that psychedelic glow tattoo remember it’s important to do research before going to get your own tattoo. While most tattoo shops have switched to the new and exciting light-reactive ink, the presence of phosphorus is still possible (it depends on the artist and what ink they select). So, have a talk with your artist first and don't be afraid to ask questions. Also after getting your tattoo be on the lookout for any prolonged swelling, rashes, and burning - just in case. And be sure you find an artist with a lot of glow-in-the-dark tattooing experience.

Tattoo by: Ink Empire Tattoos

There are naturally fluorescent, vegan-friendly, chemical-free inks out there, so we have the technology!

Lastly, we want to hear from you! What do you think about glow-in-the-dark ink? Comment below! Did you recently get a tattoo under this style? Head over to our submissions page and send it our way for your chance to be featured. 

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