Being vegan and getting tattoos
BY CHERYL DAY OF INKY SWALLOWS
More and more vegans are getting inked with vegan inspired images to solidify their commitment to veganism and start dialogue with non-vegans but did you know that your actual tattoo may be far from vegan? When being vegan and getting tattoos there are additional things that need to be considered. You may or may not have heard that some tattoo inks aren’t vegan, containing things like bone char, cochineal and animal fat but there are also all the other products used during the tattoo process that need to be considered. The transfer paper, stencil solution, skin preparations, razor moisture strips, petroleum jelly and cleansers for instance may also contain hidden nasties.
As a vegan I wouldn’t use any products at home that contain any animal derived ingredients, the same goes for my studio! Below is my list of things to look out for and some I have personally tried and tested.
NON VEGAN INGREDIENTS IN TATTOO INK
- Gelatin: Made from animal hooves. Used as a binding ingredient.
- Glycerin: Sometimes made from animal fat it is used as a stabiliser.
- Bone Char: Soot from burnt animal bones used in some black inks.
- Shellac: Made from beetles and used as a binding agent.
- Indigotin 1: Comes from a species of slug that is killed for its pigment. Sometimes used in green inks.
- Cochineal/Carmine: Dried insects are boiled to extract red pigment.
VEGAN TATTOO INK BRANDS (this list is not definitive, there are others).
- Fusion (I use this brand)
- Electric Ink
- Stable Colour
- Alla Prima
- Eternal Ink
- Silverback (I use this brand)
- Kuro Sumi (I use this brand)
VEGAN TRANSFER PAPER
All but one brand of transfer paper contain lanolin which is made from sheep wool.
Currently Spirit VEGAN Thermal Transfer Paper by Reprofx is the ONLY vegan one.
VEGAN STENCIL SOLUTION
- Spirit VEGAN transfer solution (I use this brand)
- Stencil Stuff
- Protat Spray Stuff
VEGAN AFTER CARE (again, this list is not definitive, there are others).
- Coconut King (I use this brand)
- Eco Cosmetics (sold by GreenerBeauty)
- Hustle Butter
- After Inked
- Missy LePink
- Lush Dream Cream
- Lush Ultrabalm
- Ohana Organics
- Phat Tat
- Rose Tattoo Care
- The Merry Hempster
- Punk Medics
- H2Ocean Tattoo Aftercare (the ones that are labelled)
- Tribal Tattoocare
NB; BEPANTHEN IS NEITHER VEGAN OR GOOD FOR YOUR TATTOO!
VEGAN ANESTHITIC/PAIN RELIEF
Some artists may offer pain relief for longer sessions.
- Ink Eeze
- Hush (I use this brand)
Remember, knowledge is power so pass it on and enjoy your vegan ink!
To see more details of Inky Swallows their listing can be found here.