Points to Consider When Using White Tattoo Ink

Points to Consider When Using White Tattoo Ink

May 31st 2023

White Tattoo Ink

In the tattoo community, there is a lot of emphasis put on black and grey tattoos done with black tattoo ink or gray wash tattoo ink. There is even a lot of buzz about color tattoos done with pink, yellow, or blue tattoo ink or other colors. However, one of the newest growing trends does not fit into any of these categories - white tattoos. While not as prevalent as black and gray or color tattoos, the popularity of tattoos created solely with white tattoo ink is on the rise. Perhaps it's due to the recent trend of realistic temporary tattoos or the availability of black tattoo ink that fades after 1-3 years, but subtlety is in vogue. So, let's dive into the realm of the most understated tattoos: white tattoos.

Why Would Someone Want a Tattoo With Just White Tattoo Ink?


Although white tattoo ink isn't a new concept, it has traditionally been used to provide highlights and details to black and gray or color tattoos. Both the trend of tattoos using exclusively white tattoo ink and using white tattoo ink in combination with other tattoo ink colors offers several advantages. Here are a few of them:

1. Enhancing Shading: White tattoo ink adds depth and dimension to shading in black and gray tattoos. It can also serve as an exceptional way to highlight color tattoos, such as those created with pink or blue tattoo ink.

2. Creating Negative Space: White ink can be used to produce negative space, providing contrast within both black and gray and color tattoos.

3. Enhancing Gray Wash: When mixing gray wash for shading, adding a few drops of white tattoo ink can increase opacity. This benefits the artist by visually representing the healed results more accurately, minimizing guesswork, particularly for less experienced artists.

4. Subtle and Concealable: White tattoos are more discreet and easier to hide, especially on lighter skin tones. In fact, unless pointed out by the wearer, small white tattoos can often go unnoticed. They can be effectively covered with makeup and light-colored or sheer clothing. The trend of subtle tattoos, including those made solely with white ink, is currently gaining traction.

Sharing the Pitfalls of Using White Tattoo Ink With Your Clients

If you're a tattoo artist planning to work with white tattoo ink, effectively communicating realistic expectations to your clients is more crucial than with any other type of tattoo. Here are some challenges to consider and share with your clients:

White Tattoos Are Not Pure White

If your client is expecting their white tattoo to look as crisp and white as a blank sheet of paper, they are going to be disappointed no matter how exceptional your work is. The lightness of the pigment makes the actual color of the tattoo pick up the client's skin tone and undertones.


White Tattoos Vary Based on Skin Tone

Skin tone significantly influences the appearance of any tattoo, especially those done with just white tattoo ink. This means they may adopt the color of the client’s pink or yellow undertones, resembling a scar on many skin tones. Generally, white tattoos tend to look a few shades lighter than the client's natural skin tone.

White Tattoo Ink Is Not Formulated for Outlines

Many clients desire the combination of the fine-line tattoo trend with white ink. However, white tattoo ink isn't designed for outlining like black tattoo ink is. The thicker consistency of white tattoo ink makes it more challenging to achieve smooth, thin lines.

Clients May Experience More Discomfort With White Tattoos

Artists using white tattoo ink may need to stretch the skin more and insert the needle deeper than with other tattoos. Fine lines often require the use of a lining needle throughout the tattooing process. Most tattoo enthusiasts consider lining to be more painful, described as a sharp or stinging sensation, while shading is likened to a scratching pain.

White Tattoos Tan as Your Client Tans

As we mentioned before, tattoos done with white tattoo ink are heavily impacted by your client’s skin tone. Clients who have daily sun exposure may be surprised to see that their white tattoo will darken as their skin tans.

White Tattoos Have a Shorter LifespanWhite ink tattoos tend to fade faster than those done with darker colors or black ink because of the lighter pigment. Factors such as exposure to UV rays, tattoo care, placement, and ink quality can all impact the longevity of a white tattoo.

How Can You Give Your Clients the Best Results With White Tattoo Ink?

Both tattoo artists and clients should consider the pros and cons of white tattoos before making a decision. The more information the client and tattoo artist have, the more likely they are to achieve a good outcome. When talking to your clients about tattoos using only white tattoo ink, these are a few of the most important points for discussion. 


1.Set clear expectations. It's crucial to ensure that your client understands the pros and cons of white tattoos. Show them healed results of white tattoo work on skin tones similar to theirs to manage their expectations regarding how the tattoo will look and heal.

2.Assure them that you are using the right ink and tools. Not all tattoo inks are created equal. Choose white tattoo ink with a high concentration of pigment to maximize the whiteness of the tattoo. Also make sure to choose only EU REACH Compliant white tattoo ink, like our Gold Label products. If you need to dilute it for thin lines, use a mixing solution like our Gold Label Holy Water that won't affect the color. When selecting tattoo needle cartridges, prioritize quality, consistency, and reliability. Brands like Quantum offer high-quality cartridges suitable for any color tattoo.

3.Consider size and placement carefully. Due to the application process and nature of white tattoo ink, very small white tattoos or those with intricate details may not appear clear for long. For script or lettering, consider slightly enlarging the design for better results. Additionally, advise clients to think about the placement of their white tattoos. Areas prone to faster fading, such as hands and feet, may not be the best choice.

4.Make sure the client has clear immediate aftercare instructions. Not only will following appropriate immediate aftercare instructions give them the best-looking tattoo, it can also help prevent scarring or infection. Explain how long they need to keep their tattoo covered, when they can wash it, and what aftercare products are safe to use immediately after getting a tattoo. Quantum makes excellent organic aftercare in small batches to ensure quality and safety.

5.Discuss long-term tattoo care options. Once the tattoo is healed, your client will also need to know how to take care of it in the long term to ensure longevity. Summer tattoo care is going to be especially crucial as your client’s skin will be exposed to the sun, sand, and surf. Dermatologists recommend a broad spectrum water and sweat-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to keep the skin protected longer.

Are White Tattoos Worth It?

White tattoos offer a unique and subtle aesthetic that is gaining popularity in the tattoo community. While there are several advantages to using white tattoo ink, both tattoo artists and clients need to understand the challenges associated with these tattoos. Communicating the realities of tattoos created with just white tattoo ink will be the key to ensuring client satisfaction. Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to do white ink tattoos for clients should be made after considering the pros and cons outlined in this blog and having open discussions with clients about their expectations and preferences.

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