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Tattoo Ideas For A Vegan

Posted by Ann V. On 2018 Apr 22nd

Tattoo Ideas For A Vegan

From process to the products, these tips help you keep your tattooing “ cruelty-free” and free from animal products. 

Are you a vegan?

It means that you don’t eat or use animal products. Besides living on a vegan diet, you prefer the products which are not tested on animals and free from animal products.

What if you like to get a tattoo? Well, it is not easy to make a decision as some tattoo inks are made with animal products. For example, glycerine obtained from animal fats is generally used as a stabilizer, sometimes alongside gelatin and bone char can be mixed to form a black ink. Sheep’s wool is used to make transfer paper or stencil paper to make the design on the body. Aftercare products like moisturizers and disposable razors contain animal-derived glycerine. Balms often contain beeswax or lanolin.

Will you give up your status of being a vegan for the sake of tattoo?

This is why it is not an easy decision to make.

However, you can make your tattoo vegan-friendly by knowing which inks are being used in the process and taking some your own vegan products. In short, you need to use vegan-friendly alternatives for tattooing. Here’s how…

Find the Right Tattoo Studio:

First of all, you need to find the right tattoo studio where vegan products are used to make tattoos. Good thing is that more and more vegan tattoo shops have been opened over the past few years. Finding them on Google is the best way to get address and customer reviews as well.

Once you get the list of vegan tattoo artists, shortlist on the basis of customer reviews. The next thing is to visit the shops to confirm if they really make vegan tattoos. Ask them everything about the process and products they use.

If you are assured of their vegan practices, ask them if they can make the design you are looking for.

Bring Your Own If They are Not Vegan Tattoo Shop:

Don’t worry if there is no vegan tattoo studio in your city or you are not able to visit another town. Bring them your own products like soap, ink, lotion, and razors.

  • Choose a tattoo artist who can draw the design without using a transfer/stencil paper.
  • Take your own fresh razor with your to avoid getting treated by an animal product laden strip.
  • Bring your own lubricant products like shea butter and olive oil.
  • Use petroleum jelly instead of A and D ointment.
  • Get your skin cleaned with a plant-based soap instead of green soap that contains glycerin and alcohol.
  • Bring your own tattoo vegan ink that is available online

Make Sure They Use Vegan Ink:

It is no secret that many tattoo inks contain animal-derived products like bone char, glycerin from animal fat, gelatin from skin, bones and connective tissues of animals and shellac from beetles.

Animal fat based glycerin is used as a stabilizer in tattoo ink while bone char gives dark black to the ink. This is where you should make sure that your tattoo shop is using vegan ink. Otherwise, ask them to order for you or you can bring your own to the shop.

Vegan tattoo ink doesn’t contain animal products. Neither is it tested on the animals.

Stay Also “VEGAN” When It Comes to Tattoo Aftercare

Once you get a tattoo, it is essential to taking care of it. This is because a new tattoo is vulnerable to infections, scarring, ink fading and other complications. However, there is a catch—the aftercare products are either animal tested or contain the animal-derived product. So, you also need to be careful what you are using. Luckily, vegan products are also available for your tattoo aftercare.


Moisturizer is advised to prevent dryness in the tattooed area. However, most moisturizers contain animal products. For example, A&D is the widely recommended cream for new tattoos as it moisturizes and prevents flaking and dryness. However, it contains lanolin, which is derived from the sebaceous glands of sheep. Therefore, you as a vegan must be looking for an herbal alternative to such moisturizers or healing cream. Many aftercare products like Hustle Butter are purely herbal and contain mango, papaya, cocoa and shea butter. You can use aloe vera gel, which both heals and moisturizes the tattooed skin.

Tattoo soap is used to clean new tattoos. But they are not cruelty-free as they contain animal fat which is turned into oil by heating. Luckily, there are tattoo soap brands like Vermont Vegan which are both cruelty-free and organic.

Bottom Line:

So these are the tattoo tips and tattoo aftercare guidelines for a vegan. However, like every person with a tattoo, you are required to choose a good tattoo artist and follow tattoo aftercare instructions to keep your tattoo beautiful for longer.