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Glow-in-the-dark Tattoos

Glow-in-the-dark Tattoos
Colored body tattoos are a passé. The future of tattoos is here... glow-in-the-dark tattoos are a new rage in the tattoo industry. Find out everything about this popular body art.
Avanika Mote
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2018
We all remember going to a party at a nightclub with our glow jewelry and how much fun it used to be. Then came the vogue of body art that had all kinds of tattoos and body piercings, which made all the party hoppers crazy. Ever since then, getting a permanent tattoo is on the bucket list of an absolute majority, and what fun it would be to get one that glows in the dark! Glow-in-the-dark tattoos are the new fad in the tattoo world. They are also called UV tattoos or black light tattoos and are very popular with the rave culture. There is a lot of confusion among people regarding these tattoos. Basically, there are two major types:
  • Tattoos that do not require a light source
  • UV tattoos that need black light
Tattoo Design Ideas
skull glow tattoo
These type of tattoos are a rage today not only because they're etched with a different type of ink but also because they are widely available in temporary inks which can be washed off later. Having said this, you should do a thorough research before getting yourself inked since, although rare, there may be certain side-effects associated with the solutions that are used.
Black Light Tattoos With No Light Source
football glow tattoo
Glow-in-the-dark tattoos that do not require a light source means those which once tattooed, would appear in the dark without any source of light. The ink used for these tattoos are mixed with chemicals like phosphor and EverGlow, which are known carcinogens. To make phosphors look brighter in the dark, sometimes radioactive chemicals are also added in the ink.
Tattoos That Require Black Light
The tattoos that fall in this category are popularly known as UV tattoos or black light tattoos. Fluorescent ink is added to the colorless tattoo ink and the fluorescent pigment is what makes the tattoo glow under black light. These inks do not contain phosphor or EverGlow. These tattoos will not glow in dark, as they need black light or purple UV light to glow. There are 17 colors available in this UV-light tattoo ink and are completely safe to use. These colors are basically different shades of colors like blue, violet, magenta, red, orange, yellow, green, and white. All these are visible in normal light, but the 18th color which is UV Titanium White is usually not visible on a light skin complexion during normal light.
UV Tattoos in Daylight
The base color of the ink used in black light tattoos mixes with your skin tone, once the tattoo is healed, making it virtually invisible during daytime. But, if the 17 colors are used, they will be visible in normal daylight and will reflect fluorescent light, when under a black light. If the 18th color, which is titanium white, is used on a light skin tone, the tattoo will be invisible during daytime, but it will glow when a source of black light is provided to it. UV light tattoos also help you to play a double role! If you are into a career that does not appreciate body art much, you can still go to work everyday, with a virtually invisible tattoo and when you're in a nightclub on a weekend, you can flaunt the party animal inside you in the black light!
Are these Tattoos Safe?
swirls glow tattoo
Safety of getting a tattoo depends on several issues like the needle used, the ink used, the tattoo artist, etc., which you need to look after before getting a permanent tattoo done. As far as safety is concerned, it is still debatable and there is great deal of argument regarding it. These tattoos have been around since a decade now. Some people who have tried them, have been heard complaining about severe skin irritations and even dermatitis.
butterfly glow tattoo
Over the years, continuous studies by tattoo artists worldwide, have proved that UV light tattoos which require a black light to glow are safe to use on human cells. You should not get confused between the two types of tattoos - the ones which do not require light are harmful as they contain EverGlow and phosphors which are carcinogens and the ones (UV-light tattoos) which do require black lights are safe to get one only if the ink used is approved by FDA.
Estimated Cost
icicle glow tattoo
UV ink is costlier than the regular tattoo ink. An FDA approved UV ink costs around US $270 (half ounce bottle). Black light tattoos thus tend to be costlier than the regular ink tattoos. It also takes more time for the UV-light tattoos to get inked than the regular tattoos.
Points to Remember
spider web glow tattoo
  • Before going for a UV-black light tattoo, your first step should be to do some research.
  • Always opt for tattoos that are called black light tattoos or UV-light tattoos. The tattoos that are visible in the dark without a source of black light should be avoided.
  • You should choose a tattoo parlor which has experience in UV light tattooing and has some satisfied customers.
  • Before using any tattoo ink, ensure that it is an FDA approved ink.
  • An experienced tattoo artist will always keep a black light on to make sure that the tattoo is being drawn correctly.
  • Remember, that a UV light tattoo will not glow in the dark. It will glow only when it has a source of black light. Only a titanium white colored UV light tattoo will be virtually invisible during daytime. The rest 17 colors are easily visible in a UV-light tattoo, even in the daytime. They will get a fluorescent glow, when they are under black light.
  • Planning to get a regular black ink tattoo and then highlight parts of it with these or UV light tattoos? You should first get the regular tattoo made, wait until the skin heals itself and follow the tattoo care guidelines. Once the skin heals, you can get the UV-light tattoo highlights to get a tattoo.
Whatever be the arguments against the tattoos, I know the dos and the don'ts and I believe, I've been able to convey them to you, in the best possible way. I'm definitely game for a UV-light tattoo! Are you?
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