A lot of vegans ignore this crucial question concerning the tattoo they’re considering: are tattoos vegan? The quick answer is… if you don’t know, it probably isn’t. While you can find artists who ink vegan, you have to do some research to get the ones that do. Also, there are several traditional artists who make use of vegan ink, but may however use non-vegan ingredients somewhere else.

Tattoo ingredients

The tattoo ink (or pigment) is actually suspended in a fluid called a “carrier” solution. The functions of the carrier consist of:

  • Maintaining the pigment or ink mixed evenly in order to avoid blotching;
  • Making it simpler to apply the ink;
  • Disinfecting the whole solution;

Non-vegan elements can include:

  • Glycerin (by-product of animal fats);
  • Some pigments (such as for example black pigment is made of charcoal from animal bone ashes, generally known as “bone black”);
  • Needle lubricant (may include epinephrine which might not be vegan);


Non-vegan elements can include:

  • Aftercare products (numerous contain beeswax, collagen, lanolin or egg whites).

How is vegan tattoos made?

Vegan artists are focused on their craft and their way of life. To be able to accommodate both, they could:

  • Substitute veggie glycerin for the conventional glycerin;
  • Use organic veggie inks. Several traditional artists use vegetable inks for their popularity;
  • Use vegan anesthetics;
  • Offer vegan products for aftercare.

So before you get your tattoo, ask for a  referral, when possible, to a vegan tattoo specialist or an artists who inks vegan. Ask about the other steps of the procedure, to know for example example the kind of anesthetics and needle lubricants used.
Don’t believe in an ad or a sign. Sit on the tattoo chair well informed and trustful in your artist’s vegan abilities. Don’t forget the aftercare! Seek information and ask your artist for products designed for vegans. Always stick to your tattoo artists guidelines for aftercare. They know best, or you wouldn’t have chosen them if you didn’t trust them!

So, now that you understand that there are things like vegan tattoos and how exactly to identify different parts of the process which could mislead well-intentioned vegan, go and obtain your tattoo!

Tell to the planet that you are completely, 100% vegan!