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Just when you thought the being a vegan couldn’t get any more complicated… according to the vegan society, if you’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo from your locals, THINK AGAIN!

The skinny on tattoos

When considering a new tattoo, whether that be one to showcase your vegan lifestyle or not, it’s often not your first
thought to wonder whether the tattoo industry as a whole is in fact vegan-friendly. Many people don’t realise that tattoo inks, equipment and aftercare options are filled with animal derived products and by-products, meaning your new permanent commitment to veganism may not be so vegan after all.

What makes tattoos not vegan?

Although many good quality tattoo inks are now vegan-friendly, some inks still contain ingredients that are animal derived. Glycerine derived from animal fats is often used as a stabiliser, sometimes alongside gelatine, and bone char can be found in black inks to provide an increased pigment. The main issue, however, stems from the equipment and aftercare products used within the tattoo process, with stencil papers often made with lanolin, the substance derived from a sheep’s wool. Many recommended aftercare products, and even disposable razors provided by the tattoo studio also aren’t vegan, as animal derived glycerine can be found in razor strips and aftercare soaps. Meanwhile, balms often contain lanolin or beeswax. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives, that are affordable and easily accessible.

Vegan tattoo artists and studios

Luckily, more and more vegan tattoo artists and studios are popping up not only around the country, but around the world. There are a number of vegan-friendly studios that ensure everything from the inks to the hand sanitizer is vegan and cruelty free, making your tattoo experience a lot less stressful.


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