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UV tattoos have got to be one of the most beautiful types of tattoos.
Although they might look ordinary in daylight, they fluoresce when held under black light.
Some photochromatic tattoos are practically invisible once the scars have healed, but they glow in the dark under ultraviolet lighting.
If you’ve landed on this page you likely have some questions about UV tattoo inks. Like what’s in the ink that makes it luminescent? Or is it even safe? And how long does it last?
So in this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more while reviewing the best UV tattoo inks on the market.
14 Best UV Inks for Blacklight Tattoos 2021
There are only a few companies that manufacture UV ink for blacklight tattoos.
Luckily, you can purchase either individual bottles or sets, depending on your needs.
It’s not surprising that our selections come from the best brands on the market.
Bloodline 6 Color Set Tattoo Black Light UV Ink Highlight
- VIBRANT COLORS - Bloodline's tattoo inks are bold, bright, and long-lasting. Our ink will appear...
- HEALS SMOOTH - Bloodline tattoo ink is made with high dispersion product which applies effortlessly...
- MIXABILITY - All Bloodline Tattoo Inks can be combined with other ink colors in order to create the...
Now for the Bloodline blacklight inks by Skin Candy.
There are six colors available in this set. They all of begin with the name “Highlight.” The 6 include invisible, green, pink, yellow, red, and orange. It’s a shame that there are no blue or purple inks.
Each ink is manufactured in the USA and packaged in a half-ounce bottle.
Under daylight, the colors are light. Some may only show up under black light.
The company recommends these inks for outlining and highlights.
Bloodline UV Green Blacklight Colors Tattoo Ink – by Skin Candy
- Bloodline Blacklight UV tattoo ink.
- 1/2oz Bottle Tattoo Ink
- Color: Green
This UV green ink by Bloodline comes in a half-ounce bottle.
Similar to other colors, it has a base of distilled water, propylene glycol, and witch hazel. It also has a resin called CAS #39277-28-6 Melamine formaldehyde toluenesulfonamide polymer.
The pigments in it include CAS #91-44-1 Green Pigment 7 and CI #74260 Phthalocyanine green G. The second one listed is a high-intensity color synthetic pigment found in artist paints and cosmetics.
Bloodline UV Tattoo Ink Nuclear Invisible by Skin Candy
- Bloodline Blacklight UV tattoo ink
- 1/2oz Bottle
- Color: Invisible
The color of the Nuclear Invisible UV ink is clear. Once the tattoo heals, it will no longer be visible. But just imagine how it will shine when clubbing or raving!
Like other inks by Skin Candy, it’s made using non-toxic ingredients in the USA.
We looked at the MSDS sheets and researched the ingredients for fun.
It uses distilled water, propylene glycol, witch hazel, and two other components which are identified as CAS #39277-28-6 and CAS #91-44-1.
The first one is Benzenesulfonamide, ar-methyl-, polymer with formaldehyde and 1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-triamine, and it’s considered to be non-hazardous.
The second one is 7-(diethylamino)-4-methyl-2-benzopyrone. It’s commonly used in cleaning products, laundry detergent, textile dyes, paper, and leather treatments. This sounds to us like it could possibly be the UV-reactive component. Just think about how your white t-shirt gleams when under black light.
Millennium Mom’s Nuclear UV Blacklight Tattoo Ink – 3 Color Set B
- Smooth: A homogenized carrier/pigment mixture that flows easily
- Vibrant: Highest possible pure pigment content ensures your work stands out
- Consistent: Receive the color and quality you expect, each and every time
If you don’t want to purchase a large set, you might consider this smaller one. It has Purple Haze, Blue Smoke, and Invisible Fallout.
Each half-ounce bottle is pre-sterilized and manufactured in the USA.
MOM’S Nuclear UV Blacklight Colors Set of 9 by Millenium Moms
- All nine of these colors are blacklight sensitive.
- 9 bottles of 1/2oz UV blacklight tattoo ink
- MoM's UV ink
The MOM’s Nuclear blacklight inks are made by Millennium Colorworks. We looked at the MSDS for Atomic Green. It doesn’t list any particular pigments, just the usual base ingredients like water, glycerin, witch hazel, and propylene glycol.
Similar to the regular colors, these ones are manufactured in the USA. You can contact the company for more details.
Normally, Millennium Mom’s inks are known for their smooth and vibrant look. We’ve read good things regarding the blacklight colors, too. It seems they have good staying power.
The company’s advertising describes them as being UV-sensitive and “glow in the dark.”
The set contains nine half-ounce bottles. All are sterilized.
The colors included are Atomic Green, Purple Haze, Invisible Fallout, Red Dawn, Smoldering Orange, Radiant Pink, Raging Magenta, Afterglow Yellow, and Blue Smoke.
This is the widest selection of blacklight inks from a single manufacturer.
Starbrite Tattoo Ink – Glowing Neon Set- 5 Colors
- MIXED BY KIRT SILVER: This set was inspired and mixed by award-winning tattoo artist Kirt Silver....
- VARIETY OF BOLD, VIBRANT COLORS: This pre-dispersed ink set comes with a wide range of inks like...
- CONTAINS NO NICKEL OR IRON: Kirt Silver’s Signature Series Tattoo Ink Set is vegan-friendly and...
The US company Starbrite also produces UV-reactive tattoo ink. The set includes five neon colors that come in ½ ounce bottles.
Every bottle is sealed and sterilized before shipping.
The set includes Lime Green, Mango, Canary Yellow, Bubblegum Pink, and Blue Freeze.
Let’s take a look at Bubblegum Pink.
The MSDS sheet states that the product is “primarily composed of organic pigment and water and is not considered to be a hazardous substance.”
The listed components are water, isopropyl alcohol, and glycerol, along with a “color mix.” The color mix is based on C.A.S. # 13463-67-7 (titanium dioxide), and CI # 12477, (a red pigment).
This information doesn’t reveal what makes this ink UV-reactive.
The talented Kayla Newell, a tattoo artist who specializes in blacklight tattoos may have the answer. She says that the inks she uses are naturally fluorescent. There aren’t any added chemicals.
She says that the reason why some colors glow under black light is the same reason why your teeth do.
This is thought to be from natural phosphors in the pigment. (Note that phosphor is not the same as phosphorus).
Moms Nuclear UV Tattoo Ink Invisible Fallout
Invisible Fallout is transparent and invisible under ordinary light.
Imagine how cool it would be to have a tattoo with this one. A quick search on Instagram shows plenty of photos to give you ideas.
We weren’t able to find the specific MSDS sheet for this color though.
Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink, Glow Red, 1 Ounce
Kuro Sumi ink is well known for being organic and vegan. It’s one of the smoothest, brightest, and longest-lasting tattoo inks on the market.
If you’re curious what the ingredients in this ink are, you can obtain SDS sheets directly from the company.
In preparation for our reviews, we pulled the safety data sheet for Glow Red UV ink.
It uses a combination of water, propylene glycerincol, witch hazel, isopropyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, and a pigment called Naphthol Red.
Naphthol Red is also known by the name Pigment Red 170. It’s used for automobile coatings and other high-end paints.
The Glow series is available as 1-ounce bottles. A complete set of nine inks will run you over $100.
Other colors that are available include blue, magenta, green, yellow, purple, yellow, pink, and clear.
We were curious, so we checked the SDS page for the Glow Clear ink to see if we could figure out what makes it light reactive. The ingredients listed on it were aqua, propylene glycerincol, witch hazel, isopropyl alcohol, and benzyl alcohol.
Because those are the basic ingredients of pretty much every Kuro Sumi ink on the market, we can rule them out as the UV reactive pigment. Therefore, it must be a secret ingredient that’s not listed.
Opticz All-Purpose Invisible Blue UV Blacklight Reactive Ink
First off, let us state that this is not tattoo ink.
This is the type of ink that clubs use to stamp your hand.
It’s invisible when held under regular light but looks bright blue under UV light.
Opticz has been in business for over a decade, and their UV ink performs well. It’s very thin and dries fast since it’s alcohol-based.
You should consider getting this ink if you want to do non-toxic temporary tattoos for parties or raves. It’s comes in both small and large bottles.
Immortal Tattoo Ink “NEON INVISIBLE”
If you want to try an experiment, get a neon tattoo ink. Some of the colors could look just as bright under black light as inks labeled for that purpose.
Immortal Ink makes a wide variety of neon colors like red, blue, orange, yellow, magenta, purple, and green that are supposed to be UV-reactive. We’ve heard some comments that the colors fade quickly though.
This manufacturer is located in China. You can contact them to request an MSDS sheet for their ink.
Escolite UV Flashlight
If you’ve decided that you want to try doing UV tattoos, you’ll need a source of light that illuminates the ink.
One of the cheapest choices you have is this UV flashlight that runs on three AA alkaline batteries.
It has fifty-one UV LEDs that brightly reveal everything from tattoo ink to scorpions and dog urine. So if you change your mind about the tattoo it’s not a complete waste of money.
Midnight Glo UV Body Paint
This paint is also cool to use for temporary body art. It’s washable and non-toxic. Also, it’s manufactured in the USA.
When viewed under black light, it shines nicely like neon.
The kit includes eight vibrant colors like white, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, and red.
Tou can use it to paint paper, wood, and fabric besides skin.
Immortal Ink Mountable Tattoo Machine Light UV BULB
Immortal Ink provides a great solution for the UV tattoo artist.
You can mount this UV bulb on standard coil machines. It won’t affect the performance whatsoever.
The neck is adjustable to suit a wide variety of angles. The light will only come on when you press the foot pedal.
Just plugin the anchor base to the front binding post and then hook the alligator clip to a clip cord.
UV LED Black Light Lamp
A solution that’s a bit more professional would be this gooseneck desk lamp. It has an LED UV bulb on the flexible neck.
Simply clamp it to the edge of a table, and you’re ready to get started.
It only needs 5 V and a USB connection so that you can run it from a laptop, phone charger, or power bank.
What is Uv Tattoo Ink?
First off, let’s talk about what UV tattoo ink isn’t.
The black light ink that’s used for ultraviolet tattoos shouldn’t have any phosphorous.
Phosphorus will still glow even after the light is turned off, but UV ink shouldn’t.
Glow-in-the-dark tattoos could contain phosphorous, and we don’t recommend them for this very reason.
Phosphorus is toxic, and can burn the skin. In high concentrations, it can also be carcinogenic.
If the tattoo ink contains phosphorus, the chances are that your tattoo clients will take a long time to heal and could end up with scars.
UV tattoo inks are a better option, as they contain pigments that fluoresce under UV light.
You’ve probably seen pigments like these before in cosmetics or laundry detergent with optical whiteners.
In cosmetics example, it’s likely to be luminescent zinc sulfide. Depending on which activator is combined with the zinc sulfide, the color changes. For example, copper has a greenish look, and manganese looks orange-red.
In 1999, an inventor filed a patent for photochromatic tattoos.
The idea was to create tattoos that are invisible until they are exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
The patent filing describes using “photochromic compounds” but doesn’t state what they are specifically.
Ultimately, the FDA doesn’t regulate tattoo ink. Although reputable manufacturers do provide an MSDS safety data sheet, they don’t always specify which pigment they use. It’s normally a trade secret.
The Pros and Cons of Uv Tattoo Ink
Artists have been using UV tattoo ink for over 10 years.
In the beginning, some blacklight tattoos caused scarring that took over a year to completely heal!
But once the skin had healed, the tattoos would be invisible until exposed to UV radiation. The effect was amazing.
These days, most UV ink (with the exception of clear) has a pale yet visible pigment that shows up in tattoos regardless of the lighting. Also, it fluoresces brightly under black light.
For this reason, UV ink is best suited for highlights. It provides an emphasis that is in contrast to darker inks.
It’s also nice to use for small tattoos that remain almost invisible under normal conditions.
Regarding the cons, UV ink fades faster than other kinds. Within a few months to a few years, you could have to touch up the UV tattoo in order to keep it bright.
It’s also thinner than normal tattoo ink and more difficult to use. One apt description compared the consistency of UV ink to that of grey wash.
Also, artists will need a black light to check their work which can get annoying.
It’s important to note that if you apply regular tattoo ink on top of UV ink, it will muddy or cancel out the effect.
Complete the regular ink portions first, then add UV highlights after to make the art pop.
Are you excited to do some tattoos with UV ink?
This type of tattoo ink that glows takes body art to a new level.
We’d love to hear about which black light ink works best for you.
Drop us a comment below.