Glow-in-the-dark tattoos. | Source: Instagram.com/_____tukoi_____
Glow-in-the-dark tattoos. | Source: Instagram.com/_____tukoi_____

Facts about Glow-In-The-Dark Tattoos People Should Know before Getting Them

Manuela Cardiga
Dec 01, 2022
07:15 A.M.
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Tattoos are everywhere, and everyone is getting them, from grandma to rebellious teens. The new fad of glow-in-the-dark tattoos is gaining momentum, but there are things you should know before you get one.


Not long ago, tattoos were considered outrageous, something bikers, sailors, and convicts indulged in; nowadays, everyone has to have one. Young or old, discreet or bold, there are tattoos for every taste.

In tattoos, as in everything else, fashions come and go, and the hottest trend now seems to be glow-in-the-dark tattoos. Before rushing off to add glow-in-the-dark ink to your body art, there are some things to take into account.

Woman with tattoos. | Source: Getty Images

Woman with tattoos. | Source: Getty Images

Glow-in-the-dark tattoos are no different from any other type of tattoo, and their acquisition should be carefully thought out as to where to place it and the style and design. A tattoo will be with you for life, whether it glows in the dark or not.


Safety should be your first consideration when thinking about body modification, starting with the reputation of the artist you choose to apply the tattoo to the composition of the ink.

It is particularly important to consider the placement of glow-in-the-dark tattoos because of their principal characteristic -- luminescence. If it is placed in a part of the body that is always covered, it will never get the chance to light up your life or your skin.


What Are Glow-In-The-Dark Tattoos?

Glow-in-the-dark tattoos don't really glow in the dark; they will only light up under UV or black light. These tattoos are permanent and made with ink that has luminescent qualities, ink which is usually in bright neon colors -- yellow, orange, pink, blue, and green.

Unless you frequent clubs with UV lights, you will seldom, if ever, see your glow-in-the-dark tattoo in all its glory. If you aren't into raves and the night lifestyle, the glow-in-the-dark characteristics of your tattoo may never be shared.

The tattoos are made the same way as any other tattoo: a credited tattoo artist will apply the ink in the desired pattern to your skin with a tattoo gun. The difference is in the composition of the ink. The artist will apply ink with luminescent characteristics to create a glow-in-the-dark effect.


Are Glow-In-The-Dark Tattoos Safe?

Safety should be your first consideration when thinking about body modification, starting with the reputation of the artist you choose to apply the tattoo to the composition of the ink.

This is particularly pertinent with glow-in-the-dark tattoos. The luminescence was once achieved by using ink containing phosphorus. Unfortunately, phosphorus is a known carcinogenic and is now banned for use in tattoos or any cosmetic product applied to the skin by the FDA.

However, tattoo inks are not regulated by the FDA, so be sure to inquire about the ink composition before having your tattoo. Some artists still use phosphorus in their UV-reactive ink instead of zinc sulfide's only approved luminescent component.

Remember that the ink, even if it contains no phosphorous, may still cause an allergic reaction in your skin. It might be advisable to have a dot of the pigment applied a few days before to see how your skin will react before proceeding to a complete tattoo.


How Long Do Glow-In-The-Dark Tattoos Last?

Glow-in-the-dark tattoos will last as long as any other type of tattoo as long as certain precautions are taken. The first will be up to the tattoo artist of your choice. If they are experienced in UV tattoos, they will create the black ink outlines first to prevent bleeding that will dull or darken the neon pigments.

The second will be up to you. Follow the aftercare instructions scrupulously to prevent infection. In the future, use sunscreen on your tattoos to protect them and prevent them from fading in the sun.

Like all tattoos, there will be some degree of fading, so you might consider touching up the neon colors of your glow-in-the-dark tattoo after four or five years to keep you shining once those UV lights are on.


Examples of Glow-In-The-Dark Tattoos to Inspire You

The big question with glow-in-the-dark tattoos is what to choose as your design. Some are using the luminescent ink as a component of a classical, extremely elaborate tattoo to achieve some awesomely eery effects.

There is also the option of using only the luminescent ink and having a very discreet, delicate tattoo that is only visible in UV light, like a tiny constellation of stars on your ankle or a few blazing dots on the arm.


Fun and flirty butterflies, cupcakes, and candy are always sweet. They look good in normal light and are positively mouth-watering under that UV light. Others may choose to do tiny tattoos on their fingertips that will add funky rhythm to their dancing.


Another option is to jazz up your existing ink with a dash of light; for example, add a glow-in-the-dark outline to a mandala to match your favorite luminescent nail polish and catch every eye when the UV strobes come on.


You can opt for something truly spectacular, like fireworks over your favorite cityscape, your beloved's initials, or that secret you've been keeping, all in neon script, just as long as it's all in glow-in-the-dark.

Spectacular or discreet, artistic or fun and funky, glow-in-the-dark tattoos are here to stay. But before you hop on the bandwagon, remember that the coolest tattoo of them all is the safe, well-thought-out one.


The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on WomanlyLive.com, or available through WomanlyLive.com is for general information purposes only. WomanlyLive.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

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