11 Best Tattoo Inks To Use In 2022

Bring some liveliness to your iconic tattoos by adding the best colors to them!

By Baishali Bhattacharya, Certified Image Consultant, Certified In Makeup Artistry
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Only the most professional tattoo artists know the worth of working with the best tattoo ink. As a person who has a thing for tattoos, you should know that it is a big commitment and a significant change for your skin. While it makes a new identity for you, you also have to make sure your skin is not affected by the ink and needles, which can deal with major diseases. Choosing the correct ink to give you enriched long-lasting pigment ranks first in what you should look into while getting your tattoo engraved. For starters, look into the contents of ingredients in the pigment and see if all of them are skin-friendly. Here are 11 professional recommended tattoo inks to make sure your tattoo looks new through the years.

Top Picks
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Best Value For Money:Mom's Black Onyx
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Best Superior Consistency:Kuro Sumi. Colors Tattoo Ink
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Best Blendable Option:Dynamic Color Co. SKB (Sky Blue)
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Best For Gifting:Hawink Tattoo Ink Set
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Best For Covering Previous Tattoos:StarBrite Colors Sterilized Tattoo Ink - Bubblegum Pink
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Best Skin-Friendly Option:Stigma Snow White Opaque Tattoo Ink
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Best For All Skin Tones:Viking Ink White Ultra
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Best Vegan Formula:Intenze Bright Red Tattoo Ink
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Best Long-Lasting Formula:World Famous Tattoo Outlining Ink
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Best For Intense Red Undertone:Warm Auburn Custom Cosmetic Colors
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Are Tattoo Inks Safe?

Tattoo inks contain allergens and toxic substances that can have adverse effects on your health. However, many good brands use organic, non-toxic, and safe ingredients and adhere to stringent health standards. Therefore, opting for a high-end brand containing natural ingredients should not pose much risk to your health.

With the market flooded with numerous tattoo ink options, it gets challenging to find the good brands. For your convenience, we have reviewed and shortlisted the best 11 brands of tattoo inks based on their composition and popularity.

11 Best Tattoo Inks Of 2022 – Reviews And Buying Guide

1. Best Value For Money:Mom’s Black Onyx

The Mom’s Black Onyx is a great pick if you are a newbie tattoo artist trying your hands on simple designs. It comes in a small bottle with 0.5 ounces of fluid. The ink has a high pigment content giving dark and vibrant colors. It flows well and is absorbed easily by the skin to display clear images. The pigment or carrier is homogenized during dispersion. It is sustainable, and the richness of its color does not fade away even after a long time.

Pros

  • Intense pigment
  • Absorbs well
  • Pure colors
  • Good for amateurs
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Dries fast

2. Best Superior Consistency:Kuro Sumi. Colors Tattoo Ink

The Kuro Sumi. Colors Tattoo Ink has a molecular composition that provides sustainable and brilliant colors with superior consistency. This ink is made from organic ingredients and is devoid of harmful chemicals, making it skin-friendly and safe to use. It contains no animal products and is never tested on animals. The product has a high-quality standard of production and is one of the favorites in the tattoo market.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Organic ingredients
  • Long-lasting
  • Vivid colors
  • Dark pigment
  • Good consistency

Cons

  • Dries in the cartridge
  • Might not get absorbed in the skin easily

3. Best Blendable Option:Dynamic Color Co. SKB (Sky Blue)

The Dynamic Color Co. SKB is a trusted brand on the market, providing high-quality tattoo ink. It has commendable pigment concentrate, flows smoothly, and can be used for lining and shading purposes. It pushes the color into the skin efficiently, making the color last longer. While it creates colorful, brilliant tattoos, it also enables quick healing. This ink also has an array of other shades available, which allows the artist to mix and blend colors as per requirement. This product can be easily mixed with white ink to obtain a lighter shade. It is not tested on animals and is safe for skin and the environment.

Pros

  • Intense pigment
  • Good rate of flow
  • Blends well
  • No fading
  • Absorbs easily
  • Vegan
  • Skin-friendly

Cons

  • Does not heal well

4. Best For Gifting:Hawink Tattoo Ink Set

The Hawink Tattoo Ink Set is a favorite amongst veteran tattoo artists due to its premium quality. Its colors are stable, pure, and long-lasting and can be used for lining and shading. The pigment concentration is strong with low consumption and can be easily absorbed into the skin. The ink produces vibrant tattoos that don’t fade quickly. It is available in a wide range of colors and can be blended to create dynamic shades as per the design. It is safe for your skin as it is purified by gamma rays and contains no animal products.

Pros

  • Maximum saturation
  • Durable
  • Multiple color options
  • Vegan
  • Skin-friendly
  • Blends easily
  • Cruelty-free
  • Set of 7 colors

Cons

  • May cause infection

5. Best For Covering Previous Tattoos:StarBrite Colors Sterilized Tattoo Ink – Bubblegum Pink

This bright pink-colored StarBrite Colors Sterilized Tattoo Ink has a thin consistency with uncut pigments. It is devoid of iron and nickel, making it skin-friendly. The product is not tested on animals, and does it contain animal products. It is gamma purified, and the color is genuine, vibrant, and clean. This ink is manufactured by a well-reputed and trusted company dealing in tattoo inks and supplies for over 20 years and strictly adheres to FDA guidelines. It will work well for flower designs and portraits on lighter skin tones. This color blends well with red and magenta.

Pros

  • Safe
  • Vegan
  • Gamma treated
  • Can cover previous tattoos
  • Good consistency
  • Long-lasting color

Cons

  • Less quantity for the price

6. Best Skin-Friendly Option:Stigma Snow White Opaque Tattoo Ink

Thousands of tattoo artists recommend stigma Snow White Opaque Tattoo Ink because it is easy and convenient to use. This premium product offers pure, stable, and long-lasting colors. It contains a high pigment concentration and is purified by gamma rays, making it safe for your skin. It is suitable for beginner artists and can be used for both lining and shading. Its pigments are water-soluble, seeps through the skin efficiently, and the color does not fade quickly. The product is manufactured by a well-known company with professional credentials, reports, and certifications.

Pros

  • Blends well
  • Gamma treated
  • Skin-friendly
  • Easily absorbed
  • Positive color

Cons

  • Clumps easily

7. Best For All Skin Tones:Viking Ink White Ultra

The Viking Ink White Ultra is a premium tattoo ink formulated for different styles like fillers, tribals, and realistic tattoos. It works on all skin tones and has a high concentration of pigment that fades slowly. The ink does not contain any animal product and adheres to specific regulations and standards. Its pure white color settles well on the skin. The Viking Ink also offers various colors, starting from bright yellow to black dynamite with light, medium, and dark shades.

Pros

  • Intense pigment
  • Vegan
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • May cause scarring

8. Best Vegan Formula:Intenze Bright Red Tattoo Ink

The Intenze Bright Red Tattoo Ink is the purest red you can find on the market. This color is vibrant and transfers to the skin easily. It is recommended by some of the world’s greatest tattoo artists due to its superior quality. The company follows high health, safety, and hygiene standards. A separate biochemist tests each bottle of ink before releasing it into the market. The ink is not tested on animals and does not include any animal products. This ink adheres to global standards and regulations, making it the perfect option for a customer getting inked for the first time. Intenze also supplies a wide range of other brilliant colors.

Pros

  • Good consistency
  • Vibrant
  • Different sizes
  • Sterilized
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Expensive

9. Best Long-Lasting Formula:World Famous Tattoo Outlining Ink

The World Famous Tattoo Outlining Ink is used for designing dark black outlines. This is a high-grade ink produced by a company owned by a family of legendary tattoo artists. This family has been in business for over 50 years, and they produce premium and innovative inks. The product is free of toxic substances and complies with the highest health and safety norms. It is not tested on animals and does not contain any animal products. The bottle has an airtight seal, and the color is rich and does not fade easily.

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Vegan
  • Superior quality
  • Long-lasting
  • Safe for skin
  • Manufactured by tattoo artists

Cons

  • Not suitable for shading

10. Best For Intense Red Undertone:Warm Auburn Custom Cosmetic Colors

If you are looking for a permanent lip tattoo, the Warm Auburn Custom Cosmetic Colors is the right pick. It is composed of iron oxide, is safe for the skin, and does not cause any allergic reaction. The shade is warm brown and produces a reddish tinge, making it suitable for people with an intense red undertone. This brand has over 25 years of experience and is used by the best makeup artists. This should be used only by professionals on their clients to give their lips that dazzling effect. It is advisable to do spot testing and check how the skin responds to the ink. However, it should not be used on pregnant women. It comes in a 0.5-ounce bottle.

Pros

  • Non-toxic
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Not bright enough

11. Best Organic Formula:Allegory Lining and Shading Ink

The Allegory Lining and Shading Ink is a smooth black ink meant for lining and shading tattoos. It comes in a short, round 2-ounce bottle that is sealed and tamper-resistant. The ink is not tested on animals and made of natural ingredients. It is safe for the skin and does not cause any allergic reaction. This ink is consistent and of superior quality, making it easy to design outlines. It also has highly concentrated pigments, which allow dark shading.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Organic
  • Consistent
  • Long-lasting
  • Tamper-proof bottle

Cons

  • Less quantity for the price

Once you go through our list of recommended tattoo inks, you will have a fair idea of which brand to choose. However, there are some aspects you need to ensure that you select a safe and high-grade ink. The following factors will help you narrow down your choices.

How To Choose Best Tattoo Inks

  1. Brand – Always go for the top brands since they do not compromise on the quality and conform to the highest health standards and regulations.
  2. Ingredients- Go through the list of ingredients used to manufacture the product. Avoid the ones that contain toxic substances, heavy metals, and carcinogens. Your best bet would be ink made of natural, organic ingredients.
  3. Packaging- Go for a product that comes in a sealed bottle that ensures sterilization.
  4. Price- Even if you have pocket-friendly options, it is advisable to go by the quality and brand name. Be cautious when you buy at a discount sale, and always check the expiry date.
  5. Reviews- Go through reviews given by people who have used the product, and that should give you an honest score.

Infographic: Criteria To Buy A Suitable Tattoo Pigment

Working with the most incredible tattoo ink is something that only the most skilled tattoo artists understand the value of. While it gives you a new identity, you must take precautions to prevent the ink and needles from harming your skin, which can deal with serious diseases.

The first thing you should consider while getting your tattoo engraved is choosing the proper ink to provide you with enhanced, long-lasting pigment. Start by checking the pigment’s component list to verify if all of them are skin-friendly. The infographic that follows will assist you in comprehending the requirements for selecting the best tattoo pigment. Check it out!

Criteria To Buy A Suitable Tattoo Pigment [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

One of the most important things that can make or break any tattoo is the ink that brings in all the colors. From the quality of finish to the vibrancy of your creative artwork, how long the tattoo will maintain its consistency will depend on the tattoo ink. Tattoo inks from good brands are made of non-toxic and safe ingredients so that it does not have adverse effects on your health. The reviewed options in the curated list are vegan, skin-friendly, have a good consistency, and offer long-lasting color. Consider the brand, ingredients, packaging, price, and reviews while choosing the best tattoo inks.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Baishali Bhattacharya, is an expert in makeup artistry and loves experimenting with new looks. She writes research-based product reviews for StyleCraze and has compiled a list of the best tattoo inks. Besides her hours of research, she has also considered online reviews from users before shortlisting the products. These tattoo inks are made of skin-friendly ingredients and gentle formulas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does tattoo ink cause cancer?

There is no scientific proof for this claim. However, some tattoo inks may contain toxins and heavy metal. Therefore, it is always best to use inks that contain natural and organic material without risking your health.

Can tattoo ink bleed under the skin?

Yes. This is known as a blowout. A tattoo can spread beyond the outline, if the ink is injected too deep into the skin layers, thereby giving it a blurry effect. This usually happens when the artist is not experienced or when the skin is too thin.

Do tattoo inks contain heavy metals?

Yes. Some tattoo inks contain heavy metals like nickel, arsenic, chromium, beryllium, cobalt, and lead, causing allergic reactions on the skin. Therefore, it is advisable to go for organic, toxic-free ingredients as they are safer for the skin.

Are tattoo inks FDA approved?

The FDA regulates color additives used in tattoo inks, and often, certain harmful chemicals are banned from usage. However, due to the vastness of the tattoo industry, not all chemicals are scrutinized. A high-grade brand using organic ingredients is always a safer bet.

How deep does tattoo ink go?

A tattoo ink settles at 1.5 mm to 2 mm inside the skin’s surface.

How long does tattoo ink stay in your bloodstream?

A very minute quantity of tattoo ink goes into your system and it gets flushed out within a maximum of three weeks.

How long does the tattoo ink take to settle?

Usually, tattoo ink takes two to three weeks to settle in your skin.

How long does tattoo ink last?

The shelf life of tattoo ink is two years.

How often should you re-ink your tattoo?

Usually, clients get their tattoos reinked after six months. But, many factors like the size and detailing of the tattoo and your skin healing rate determine how often re-inking is necessary.

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Baishali is a beauty and lifestyle writer and holds a master's degree in English from Assam University. She specializes in... more

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