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When Are White Ink Tattoos A Good Idea?

by / Friday, 08 May 2015 / Published in Tattoos, Trending

White ink tattoos have been very popular lately, touted as a subtle, classy alternative to traditional black ink. The internet is full of lovely examples of tattoos done completely in white ink. (Although beware, as many UV reactive tattoos are credited as white ink tattoos on Pinterest and Google. A white ink tattoo shouldn’t glow, it’s just normal ink.)    



(We’ve seen this one many times on our internet travels.)


And although this piece is undoubtably lovely, it’s important to take note of this girl’s fair skin. Tattoos work by placing ink between the layers of skin, which means that a layer of your skin is covering the tattoo, so the darker your skin is, the less the white ink will be visible after it heals. In addition, if you have very freckled skin, or uneven skin tone, the ink will be less visible in certain spots, creating a blotchy look.


Who is a good candidate for white ink tattoos?

  • People with fair skin.
  • People who hate the sun (so… people with fair skin).
  • People who prefer a more discreet look.
  • People who like the look of scarification, but do not consider themselves scarification levels of hardcore.


Who should not get white ink tattoos?

  • People with dark skin.
  • People with lots of freckles, or uneven skin tone.
  • People who worship the sun.
  • People who are concerned with spending loads of money on a tattoo that may not turn out, or be visible once it heals.


Other concerns 

  • Fading. All tattoos fade, but when you start with one that is barely visible, fading could mean you’re left with nothing at all.
  • Yellowing. Tattoos are not fond of the sun, but while other tattoos will simply fade in the sun, a white tattoo can actually yellow.
  • Scarring. have you ever felt a raised tattoo? That’s built up scar tissue, and since the ink is not dark enough to conceal the scar tissue, you could end up with a tattoo shaped scar.


Other ways to enjoy white ink

Our artists enjoy using white ink to create highlights and contrast within a traditionally coloured piece. The little bits of white really make the design pop, and even if they do fade, you’ll still have the rest of the tattoo.


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(Our lovely Rakel did these ones.)


As with any tattoo, the most important thing is to choose a skilled artist who uses high quality ink. The right artist will help you decide if white ink could work with your skin, and won’t be afraid to suggest alternatives if it won’t. After all, the most important thing is that it looks good for the rest of your life, and not just for as long as it takes to take a picture for the internet.


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