UV/Blacklight Tattoos

UV Yoda tattoo

by Kenneth Bryan of Intimate Body Art Studios

One fun and growing trend in tattoos these days is blacklight or UV tattoos. These tattoos are near invisible under regular lighting, but expose them to UV or blacklights and they glow with blazing detail. Some who have these blacklight tattoos carry a small blacklight so they can show off their glowing ink at a moment’s notice. Blacklight tattoos are quite popular among club goes and “ravers,” but they are gaining ground in the mainstream population as well. The idea of having a tattoo in a highly visible location that can only be seen under special circumstances is appealing to those who for whatever reason cannot have visible tattoos.

As cool as they are and as appealing as they might be, there are some things to keep in mind before running down to the local tattoo shop for an awesome blacklight tattoo. UV inks have been known to fade just as any other ink over time. Also the UV inks may take on a yellow or brownish tint as they age, similar to white ink tattoos. Colored UV inks will be visible under regular lighting, but will glow in vibrant florescent colors under a blacklight so if you’re wanted an “invisible” tattoo stay away from colored UV inks. UV inks are not FDA approved for human use, though neither are any other inks. The FDA does have the authority to regulate all tattoo inks, but due to “other public health priorities and a lack of evidence of safety concerns” they have chosen not to regulate any tattoo inks as of yet. If you want to highlight a regular tattoo with UV inks, you’ll need to get the regular inking done first, allow it to heal, then come back for the UV ink as UV ink is a bit thinner than traditional ink and the two do not mix. Traditional ink will basically cover the UV ink. And lastly, UV ink is not able to be removed by laser tattoo removal treatments, so if in the off chance the ink doesn’t turn out right or becomes more visible as the years go on, it cannot be removed at least not with the currently laser technology.

If you decide on getting a blacklight tattoo, make sure to seek out a reputable artist (you should do this for all your tattoos). Also look for an artist who has experience with UV ink. Remember UV ink has a thinner consistency than traditional tattoo inks and can be harder to work with. You will also want to make sure your artist has a blacklight within arm’s reach especially for white UV ink. Regardless of regular ink or UV ink, you want the best tattoo you can get, after all they are intended to be with you’re the rest of your life and beyond.