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Tattoo ink colors

Tattoo ink used by professional tattoo artists can either be premixed (predispersed) or blended pigments with a carrier. Pigments are comprised of a wide range of ingredients, including iron oxide, metal salt, plastic, and heavy metals such as nickel, zinc, mercury, and lead.

To create usable ink, the pigments must be mixed with a carrier. The most common carriers are ethyl alcohol and distilled water, and they help move the pigment from the needle into the skin. There are vegan tattoo inks available that are guaranteed to be free of animal derivatives, such as glycerin and bone char, which are sometimes found in other commercial inks.