What Factors Do Expert Tattoo Artists Consider When Determining High-Quality Tattoo Ink?

Tattoo artists are artists with a discerning eye in their crafting materials: ink & skin.

The ink with which they jet and color the creations of self-expression must be of the highest quality. 

What factors does an expert tattoo artist look at when in search of the best tattoo ink?

As tattoo ink quality is essential for achieving the desired results of a tattoo, expert tattoo artists consider many factors when selecting high-quality tattoo ink, including pigment quality, pigment lightfastness, consistency, sterility, colorfastness, safety, and brand reputation.


The foremost factors are: 

- How well the tattoo ink enters the skin.

- How true to color after the tattoo has healed.


What is high-quality tattoo ink made of?

High-quality tattoo ink typically consists of a pigment, a carrier, and sometimes additional ingredients such as stabilizers or preservatives.  The pigment is what gives the ink its color, while the carrier helps to evenly distribute the pigment and carry it into the skin.  Some commonly used pigments in tattoo ink include carbon black, titanium dioxide, and iron oxide, while carriers may be made from water, alcohol, or glycerin.  Note that different tattoo artists may have preferences for certain types or brands of ink, and may also mix or dilute ink to achieve the desired effect.

High-quality tattoo ink should be made from organic or inorganic pigments that are highly concentrated and have a fine particle size.  The consistency of the tattoo ink should be smooth and even to ensure its flow and the final result of the tattoo.  Additionally, it should be sterile to prevent the spread of infections.

Colorfastness is another crucial factor to consider.  Tattoo ink should maintain its color and clarity for a lifetime, ensuring the tattoo looks good over time.  Pigment lightfastness is basically its ability to resist fading from the sun, like a paint job on a car.  Cars are constantly under the sun and the better lightfastness a pigment has, the better it is at not fading.  Eventually, the sun and elements will cause the pigments to fade, but humans aren't in the sun 24/7.  If people take proper care by utilizing sunblock and moisturizer, we can keep our tattoos bright for a lifetime.

The safety of the tattoo ink is also crucial for both the artist and the client.  High-quality tattoo ink should not contain any harmful or toxic ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction or other health issues.

Finally, a reputable and established brand of tattoo ink is a must for any professional tattoo artist.  Leading brands in the tattoo industry offer high-quality tattoo ink that meets the standards of the most demanding artists and regulations in developed countries.  Popular choices among tattoo artists worldwide have excellent quality, consistency, and safety.

A reputable brand of tattoo ink has a wide range of colors, offering numerous possibilities for artists to create their unique designs.  The ink is also long-lasting, ensuring that tattoos retain their vibrancy for years to come.  Additionally, high-quality tattoo ink is formulated to work well with a variety of skin types, making it a reliable choice for any tattoo artist.


How is high-quality tattoo ink regulated?

The regulation of tattoo ink quality has a relatively recent history, with formal regulation of tattoo ink only starting to appear in the late 20th century.  Prior to this, tattoo inks were largely unregulated, and artists would often mix their own inks from a variety of sources.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first began to regulate tattoo ink in 1991.  However, it was not until 2007 that the FDA issued its first set of guidelines specifically for tattoo ink, outlining the types of ingredients that are prohibited in tattoo ink and providing recommendations for safe usage.

Since then, other countries and international bodies have also taken steps to regulate tattoo ink quality.  The European Union, for example, has established regulations on tattoo ink ingredients and labeling, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified some tattoo ink pigments as potential carcinogens.

Despite these regulations, however, some concerns remain regarding the safety and quality of tattoo ink, particularly in regard to the long-term health effects of tattooing.  As such, ongoing research and regulatory efforts are necessary to ensure that tattoo ink continues to be safe and high-quality for use in tattoos.

Parting Thoughts

In conclusion, selecting the right tattoo ink is essential for creating high-quality tattoos that stand the test of time.  Xtreme Tattoo Ink is a reputable and established brand that offers excellent quality, safety, and consistency.  With Xtreme Tattoo Ink, tattoo artists can achieve the desired results and exceed their clients' expectations.

 

We Make Inks Do More

Paul Park, The Xtreme Team

For more information on our TATTOO INK sets, please take a look at our piece on Xtreme Inks: Artist Collections.

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