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Roger Weller, geology instructor
by Tonia Encinas
What Is in the Ink ?
There has been a controversy about what is found in the tattoo ink. Many people will research what the chemicals are or even the minerals used, some tattoo ink will not disclose what is in the ink. Through extensive investigation and research, the findings in the primary colors of the ink used for tattoo ink, also known as body art display very vibrant colors and great accent to one’s body. There are many different inks used to tattoo with. There is organic based and chemical based (dangerous), many people will mix their own inks such as Hawaii. Hawaii will use pigments and organic material to help with mixing the great colors and art that is injected into the skin. The chemical based will be used primarily for prison tattoos or people that do not know how to mix their own ink and will mix the wrong formula. It is highly suggested to make sure you have a good idea before getting a tattoo to inform yourself what is being injected. The organic inks that are mixed are most effective for longer lasting as well as safer for the participant being tattooed. The primary colors used for tattoo ink, that is not FDA approved, would be black, white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo. FDA does not regulate the formulas used in the inks for injecting under the skin. For all colors listen they are mixed with a percentage of pigments, acrylic resin, glycerin, H2O, rubbing alcohol, and which hazel.
Acrylic resin is a thermoplastic group from compounds in acrylic
acid or methacrylic acid, meaning when heated up it is in liquid form (1).
Glycerin is a humectant, meaning that it attracts moisture to the skin. This is
used in most of soap, lotion, and also in food we consume, it is said that
glycerin is sweet tasting. Isopropyl alcohol is rubbing alcohol; this will keep
the tattoo disinfected when giving the tattoo (4). Alcohol will dry the skin and
help with keeping the moisture down beneath the skin, helping the tattoo stay
beneath the skin. Witch hazel will help with the pain of the needles that are
going in and out of skin. This will help with firming the skin and reduce the
bleeding during the ink injection. Also helps with disinfecting the area while
being injected as the alcohol may evaporate over time. Which hazel is useful
after the tattoo is done also it will help with healing processes as well. Many
inks that are mixed have more than one mineral deposited in the ink.
Compliments of http://blog.paperartsy.co.uk/2015/09/2015-topic-17-pigment-powders-challenge.html
Compliments of straight razor place http://straightrazorplace.com/soaps-creams/67787-glycerin-cvs.html
Compliments of Herbaliz http://herbaliz.com/item_27/Herbal-Glycerin-Soap.htm
Although there are many different chemical and pigment variations
that are used to make the formulas used for ink injection. This link provided
below will help you with other chemicals used in other inks and the colors that
use them (3). There are many ways to create ink to inject under the skin, but
the formula may be hazardous to the participant. Even though many people will
mix their own inks the formula is difficult to get the percentages for
injectable inks. There are many tattoo artists that do not know what is in their
ink that they use, they will say things like it is organic and vegan based inks.
This means that they do not mix their own and will buy them for a distributer
that mixed the chemicals in nontoxic formula for use. The tattoo artist should
not have a problem showing their bottles that they will use on you. On the back
of the bottle will have the company name that they use and the chemical formula
that is in the bottle, it will not have the percentages for the formulas used.
It is also state don the bottle that it is not FDA approved. The bottle has a
warning label that says use at own risk also will state that one should test a
small area with the ink that is being used to see if the risk of allergic
reaction is a concern.
Black ink has acrylic resin, pigment black (carbon black),
glycerin, water, isopropyl alcohol, witch hazel (2). The pigment “carbon black”
is a fine carbon powder used as a pigment, this is made by burning hydrocarbons
in insufficient air. This pigment main use is for reinforcing filler used in
rubber products and tires. The toxicity of this pigment is dangerous if inhaled
but no finding has been documented about tattoo ink being injected with this
material is toxic. Although studies have not proven the safety of this in small
percentages of the carbon being used in the ink to make the color. The image
below is an example of an allergic reaction and infection. This will leave
horrible scaring and the ink will not look black.
Compliments of http://www.inkdoneright.com/tattoos-gone-wrong/
White ink has acrylic resin, titanium dioxide, and water (2). Titanium dioxide
is also known as titania, naturally occurring of titanium formula TiO2 (6). When
used as a pigment it is called pigment white 6. Using witch hazel will dilute
the color too much for it to show in the surface on the skin. White ink is used
for accents in the tattoo and will not require much to be out into the ink based
Compliments of Popsugar http://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Titanium-Dioxide-1552340
Red ink has acrylic resin, pigment red 210, pigment blue 15,
glycerin, water, isopropyl alcohol, witch hazel (2). Red ink has the most
findings in allergic reactions most cases were reported when mercury was
incorporated in the making of the red dye for tattoo ink. Official name for
pigment red 210 is naphthol red, it is an organic synthetic pigment that
originated from china and has distributers globally (9). Main uses for pigment
red 210 is found in many ink usages such as printing ink and tattoo inks.
Pigment blue 15 may cause eye irritation, irritation in the skin, and repertory
irritation. The uses include ink for printers and textile dying, tattoo ink,
paint, plastic, rubber, paper and many other uses. This pigment is nontoxic. In
the image below shows the dangers of some red inks that are mixed with the wrong
percentages of the formulas.
Compliments of http://whatsupic.com/life-culture-world/1385533071.html
Orange ink has acrylic resin, pigment orange 13, pigment red 210, glycerin,
water, isopropyl alcohol, witch hazel (2). Pigment orange 13 also known as fast
orange (4). The uses are for textile printing such as water based inks,
industrial paint, and water based decorative paint. This pigment is also found
in some cosmetology products. Originated in china the raw materials include,
Sulfonated castor oil 3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine Sodium Nitrite Hydrochloric Acid
Sodium hydroxide. Orange is a harder color erase with laser treatment and
hardest to cover up because of the bright color.
compliments of http://tattoinkk.blogspot.com/2012_04_01_archive.html
Yellow ink has acrylic resin, pigment yellow 65, titanium oxide (2). Pigment yellow 65 also known as fast yellow (6). It originated and is distributed from china. The uses for the pigment has a main use in paint but there are limited uses such as, printing ink, plastic, rubber, textile. Titanium oxide is also titanium dioxide it is one of the top fifty chemicals that is produced worldwide. It’s a white, opaque and naturally occurring mineral found in two forms rutile and anatase. Both of these have titanium dioxide and is bound to impurities. It has variety of uses it is odorless and absorbent. It can be found in food, paint, and cosmetics. It can be used as a sunscreen in cosmetics. In the image below will show that yellow ink will fade a lot quicker.
compliments of https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/47isw2/this_watercolor_tattoo_is_purrfect/?limit=500
Green in consist of acrylic resin, pigment green, glycerin, water, isopropyl
alcohol, witch hazel (2). The pigment green also known as pigment green 7. When
used as a pigment its name is chrome green. It is made from a chemical reaction
from copper phthalocyanine and the halogenating agent. It is not hazardous it
may cause irritation to the skin, eyes, upper repertory infection if inhaled, or
if ingested may cause other problems (7). Due to the stability of the pigment it
is used in the ink for tattoos, many different plastics, coatings and, used in
cosmetics except what is used for the eyes. Green tattoos fade a lot quicker and
have a harder time to stay under the skin.
compliments of http://www.nelasertattooremoval.com/before-and-afters
Blue ink has some of the same pigments and chemicals to make its formula. Which
include acrylic resin, titanium dioxide, pigment blue 15, glycerin, water,
isopropyl alcohol, witch hazel (2). The titanium dioxide used in the ink will
make the pigment blue 15 more vibrant but the lasting of the ink to persist
vibrant is not likely to last as long as the other inks that do not use titanium
dioxide (6). In the plastics it will give a lighter blue tint although with more
pigment added will add a darker blue tint to it. the pigment blue 15 may be used
for dying in many different forms. In the blue tattoo image below it is
noticeable the infection as well the irritation.
Compliments of http://hubpages.com/style/Symptoms-Of-An-Infected-Tattoo
Indigo has the same reaction as the blue ink does. It does not have a lasting
effect under the skin due to the titanium dioxide. This ink includes the
chemical formula acrylic resin, titanium dioxide, pigment violet 1, glycerin,
water, isopropyl alcohol, witch hazel (2). Pigment violet 1 is one of the high
grade industrial paints, implement enamels, agricultural equipment and power
coating, solvent, UV, ink jet, polyester films, offset inks, and metal deco
printing (8). Wood stain finishes when blended with yellow and carbon black is
also a neat idea of this pigment. Purple ink may lead to infection but most
commonly it will fade over time quick. It will have a harder time sticking and
will leave gaps in the ink showing the missing parts of the color.
Compliments of http://www.chicagopermanentmakeupbyrn.com/permanent-makeup-nightmares-how-to-find-a-good-permanent-makeup-technician.html
Compliments of Ilde Encinas
There are many different inks that are used and all inks will have the pigments
listed above to make the ink. The difference that I did not list was that there
will be other chemicals with different minerals used. These other ones could be
potentially dangerous to inject into the skin. Leave the inks to the
professionals and do not mix your own unless the percentages are correct and
safe for injecting under the skin. One does not have to be a professional to
order ink. Do the research to find out what is exactly in the formula to make
the ink that is going to be used for tattooing. Having a horrible experience
with a tattoo will leave one not wanting to get more body are done and may even
view them as being revolting. Make sure the tattoo is spelled right if there is
lettering and it is exactly what you want. May lead into laser removal if not
pleased with it.
Compliments of http://slodive.com/inspiration/misspelled-tattoos/
"You will have to have the tattoo removed. It was not authorized by Disney."
cartoon from Roger Weller
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5. The Organic Make-Up Company. 2013. http://www.organicmakeup.ca/ca/titaniumdioxide.asp
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7. Unilex Colours & Chemicals Ltd. 2016. alocyaninepigments.com/pigments.html
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11. Compliments of straight razor place. 2016. http://straightrazorplace.com/soaps-creams/67787-glycerin-cvs.html
12. Compliments of Herbaliz. 2004- 2016. http://herbaliz.com/item_27/Herbal-Glycerin-Soap.htm
Compliments of Popsugar.2008. http://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Titanium-Dioxide-1552340
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16. Tattoo ink.2016. http://tattoinkk.blogspot.com/2012_04_01_archive.html
17. Reddit.2016. https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/47isw2/this_watercolor_tattoo_is_purrfect/?limit=500
18. Northeast.2014. http://www.nelasertattooremoval.com/before-and-afters
19. Hubpages.2016. http://hubpages.com/style/Symptoms-Of-An-Infected-Tattoo
20. Ilde Encinas photo .2009.
21. Lchluter, Lana R.N, Chicago Permanent Makeup, 2016. http://www.chicagopermanentmakeupbyrn.com/permanent-makeup-nightmares-how-to-find-a-good-permanent-makeup-technician.html
22. Slodive.2013. http://slodive.com/inspiration/misspelled-tattoos/