Vegan Tattooing: Complete Vegan Product List

Updated: Feb 3



It’s not just the Ink and the Aftercare you have to worry about

Typically when people think of vegan tattooing they think of the ink and maybe the type of aftercare used to heal the tattoo or piercing, but what about everything else? from piercing, to cosmetic tattooing to tattoo removal there are tens of hidden non-vegan items to be on the look out for. So when you’re getting tattooed or pierced or even removing a tattoo make sure you're going to a Vegan shop and make sure they actually know what they’re talking about and not just supplying vegan ink.

The tattoo industry is one that by industry standard is mostly vegan, in fact the top ink brands are vegan, (Please note when I say Vegan I am including cruelty free into the definition) but from cleaning products used on the studio to stencils, razors, tracing paper, skin markers etc can be found in a vegan alternative and therefor it is entirely possible to do the whole procedure* vegan! (* the star is where the products do NOT have a cruelty free alternative by the nature of the product, legally in most countries, Canada and the USA included all MEDICAL products have to undergo medical testing on animals, unfortunately these products are not found in alternate brands that I am aware of *please share if you know of some* but are used to disinfect and ensure that the space is free of blood-borne pathogens to ensure your safety and the artists)

The two most obvious categories are also the two that are almost exclusively vegan already and have hundreds of brands available that can be found in almost every tattoo shop across the world: Ink & Aftercare.


Please send me any additional or conflicts to this list as the goal is to have the most up to date and Honest information available:


TATTOO

Stencilling/Tattoo Application:

Anchored by Nikko Hurtado

Stencil Stuff

Spray Stuff

Spirit ReproFX Vegan Stencil Paper

Spirit Vegan Transfer Cream

Canson Tracing Paper

S8 Red Stencil Paper

Tattoo Goo Stencil Stay Gel

Tattoo Goo Stencil Stay Spray

Tattoo Goo Stencil Off

Dettol *(Vegan but tested on animals where required to by-law, therefor we deem the use of Dettol for stencilling NON VEGAN)


Ink:

Intenze Tattoo Ink

Fusion Tattoo Ink

Eternal Tattoo Ink

Alla Prima

Silverback ink

Solid Ink

World Famous Tattoo Ink

Arcane Ink

Skin Candy/ Bloodline

Dynamic Ink

Crazy Horse

SouthEast

Stable Color

Inksanity

Kuro Sumi

Dermaglo

StarBrite

Millennium Mom’s

Polynesian Ink

S8 Hemp Infused

Waverly Color Co

Classic Colour Systems

Good Color

Feldman Ink

Pelikan

Makkuro Sumi Blacks & Colors

Azayaka Live Tattoo Colors

Universal Blacks

Cobra Ink

Flashing Color

Glam Colors

Pure Colors

Panthera

Electric Ink USA

What can make an ink NON- Vegan?

Bone Char - used to make black ink. Made from burnt animal bones

Shellac - made from beetles and used as a binding agent

Glycerin - made of animal fats and used as a stabilizer to make the ink easier to work with

The Great News is that the industry “best” inks are vegan brands: Intenze, Eternal, Fusion & World Famous. Meaning that being Vegan does nothing to affect their quality.

Green Soap:

Intenze - Cleanze Concentrate

Hustle Butter - Hustle Helper

S8 Red Soap

H2ocean Blue Green Foam/Liquid Soap

Dr.Bronner’s *note that green soap may or may not be vegan but due to a lack of information we are deeming it NON-vegan

Vaseline:

Ink-Eeze Green Glide

Coconut Oil

Tattoo Goo Professional Process Butter

Beeseline Vegaline

RMS Raw Beauty Coconut Cream

Hustle Butter

Redemption *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Needle Cleaning:

S8 Needle Cleaner *note this is NOT to clean needles between clients, needles should ALWAYS be single use and disposed of after every client. This is used DURING the tattoo to rinse ink of the needle to reduce colour contamination

Tube Cleaning/Disinfection:

Shop/Bathroom General Cleaning:

Method

Nature Clean

Ecos by Earth Friendly Products

The Honest Company

Mrs. Meyers

Dr. Bronner’s

*see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Surface Disinfectants:

Cavicide*

BioText*

VIRA-CARE High Level Disinfectant *the ingredient list does not seem to contain non-vegan ingredients but they do test on animals, however due to the nature of this product, the need to safely kill Blood Borne Pathogens is higher than the priority to not harm animals

Hand Sanitizer:

The Honest Company

The Body Shop

Bath & Body Works

Dr. Bronner’s

Citra-Sol

Sun & Earth

Allen’s Naturally *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Hand Soap:

Method

Dr Bronner’s

Mrs Meyers

Puracy

Bath & Body Works

Hugo Naturals

Live Clean

Nature Clean *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Bleach:

Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Bleach

Nature Clean

BioKleen

Earth Friendly Products *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Skin Cleaning:

Dettol* (Vegan but tested on animals)

70% Alcohol

PurSan

Intenze Cleanze

Hustle Butter Hustle Helper

H2ocean Blue Green Foam/Liquid Soap

Dish Soaps (Look for Vegan Brands)

Liquid Waste Disposal:

Rinse Cup - Liquid Waste Solidifier

Ink-Eeze Bio Gel The use of these products is to prevent the risk of leaking pathogens out of garbage bags or pouring them into the sink. By solidifying the waste it becomes disposable with other waste like gloves, paper towel, drape sheets, dental bibs etc


Aftercare Brands:

Hustle Butter Deluxe

H2ocean (Their Ocean Care line: Tattoo Cream, Blue Green Foam Soap, Blue Green Liquid Soap, 6oz Piercing Spray *without lysozyme & Healing Soak)

After Inked

Vermont Vegan

Lush Ultra Balm

The Merry Hempsters

Wild Rose

Black Cat Tattoo

Ink Guard

Out To Sea

Ink-eeze

Vegan Tattoo

Redemption

Billy Jealousy Marked IV Life

Tattoo Goo

3M Tegaderm

Konjac Tattoo Sponge

Second Skin

Second Skin Tattoo Cream

Lush Dream Cream

Tattoo Ink Guard

Phat Tat

Serf To Surf

Ohana Organics Tattoo Butter

Punk Medics Tat2butt’r

Protat

Coconut oil

What can make aftercare non-vegan?

Lanolin - made from sheep wool used in lotions, ointments salves, stencil paper ,a&d ointment

Cod Liver Oil - used in aftercare lotions and salves

Gelatin - made of hoofs, tissue, bones etc

Bees Wax - used in aftercare lotions and salves


Other Items:

Disposable Razors without gel strips

Wax Paper used for tracing - make sure they do not contain Bee’s Wax or Lanolin

Rice paper

The Furniture, Beds, Chairs Etc look for shops with SYNTHETIC leather as it is wipeable and can be disinfected. Fabric can’t be wiped or disinfected the same way.

Sharpies & Prismacolor Markers - these look to be vegan but we are waiting for emails back to confirm the status

Paint & Art Supplies

Sakura Micron Pens

Derwent’s ColorSoft Pencils, Graphitint, AquaTone Pencils, Metallic Pencils, Graphitone and Pastel Blocks, Soft Pastels, Graphite, Charcoal

Conte Crayon,

Walnut Ink

Dammer Varnish

Krylon Fixative Sprays

Yupo Paper

Copic Markers

Raw fabrics such as hemp, bamboo, linen and cotton can be combined with Golden’s Absorbent Ground instead of Gesso to create canvases

Scotchguard

Colorfin

Crafters Companion *disclaimer that they do not KNOWINGLY use animal products,

Daler-Rowney (except their canvases)

All Designer’s Gouache (except neutral grey, Paynes gray, lamp black, cool grey 1,2 & 3 and warm grey 1,2 &3)

F.W Artist’s Inks

Rowney Black Printing Colours

Salon and Cryla and series

Da Vinci Synthetic Brushes

DecoArt Inc Acrylic Paint

Delta Marker

Duck Tape

Ecoline

Edding, Elmer’s Glue

Epson Photo Paper and Inks

Faber-Castell

Fablon

Gelli Plates

Golden Paints (except Ox-Gall)

Gorilla Glue

Jackson’s Studio synthetic watercolour brushes, Akoya, Raven, hinku, Procyl, Onyx brushes

Jacquard

Kolorbond

Krylon

Lakeland Paints

Mitsubishi Pencil Company

Mozart

Natural Earth Paint

Nature Home

Newell RubberMaid (Parker pens, Prisma Color)

Polyform

Reeves

Sellotape

Smiffy FX

Stabilo

Staedtler

Wilko (except art brushes containing pig & horse hair)

Skin Markers - may or may not be vegan - there is very little if not no information on this - we have reached out to the companies

Pens -

Pilot Pens

Uni Ball

PaperMate

Zebra Pens

Chameleon Art Products

Printer Ink -

Epson

What can make Art Supplies Non-Vegan?

Cochineal - a scarlet dye made of ground up cochineal insects

Ox Gall - from cows and used to moisten water colour paints

Rabbit Skin Glue - comes from rabbits and is used for sizing oil paining

Gelatin - made of animal skins, tendons and ligaments, hoofs, skin and bones is used in many things including glue and gesso

Bees Wax - can be found in pencils & crayons

Natural Hair Brushes - use hair from farm raised or trapped animals like sable, squirrel, mongoose, horse, pigs, or ox

Oil Pastels - combine animal fat and wax

Sepia - comes from squid and cuttlefish

India Ink/Chinese Ink - carbon and lampblack + Shellac Binder

Shellac - ground up beetles

Ivory Black/Bone Black - charred animal bones

Charcoal - normally made of vines and willow but can be bone char

Vellum - used to be made of skin from calves, goats and lambs

Damar Varnish - may contain bugs inadvertently due to them being embedded into the sap from the Damar Pine.

Tempera - is a binder made from eggs

Casein - a binder made from a protein found from cow’s milk

Honey - a preservative used to increase colour

Lanolin - made from sheep wool used in lotions, ointments salves, stencil paper, a&d ointment


PIERCING

Piercing Aftercare:

Ink-eeze

H2ocean (6oz Piercing Spray & Healing Soak)

Punk Medics

Recovery

DIY Alert: You can make your own SEA SALT SOAK/RINSE Dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (.75 to 1.42 grams) of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz / 250 ml) of warm distilled or bottled water.

Green Soap:

Intenze - Cleanze Concentrate

Hustle Butter - Hustle Helper

S8 Red Soap

H2ocean Blue Green Foam/Liquid Soap

Dr.Bronner’s *note that green soap may or may not be vegan but due to a lack of information we are deeming it NON-vegan

Shop/Bathroom General Cleaning:

Method

Nature Clean

Ecos by Earth Friendly Products

The Honest Company

Mrs. Meyers

Dr. Bronner’s

*see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Surface Disinfectants:

Cavicide*

BioText* *the ingredient list does not seem to contain non-vegan ingredients but they do test on animals, however due to the nature of this product, the need to safely kill of Blood Borne Pathogens is higher than the priority to not harm animals

Hand Sanitizer:

The Honest Company

The Body Shop

Bath & Body Works

Dr. Bronner’s

Citra-Sol

Sun & Earth

Allen’s Naturally *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Hand Soap:

Method

Dr Bronner’s

Mrs Meyers

Puracy

Bath & Body Works

Hugo Naturals

Live Clean

Nature Clean *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Bleach:

Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Bleach

Nature Clean

BioKleen

Earth Friendly Products *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Skin Cleaning:

Dettol* (Vegan but tested on animals)

70% Alcohol

PurSan

Intenze Cleanze

Hustle Butter Hustle Helper

H2ocean Blue Green Foam/Liquid Soap

Liquid Waste Disposal:

Rinse Cup - Liquid Waste Solidifier

Ink-Eeze Bio Gel The use of these products is to prevent the risk of leaking pathogens out of garbage bags or pouring them into the sink. By solidifying the waste it becomes disposable with other waste like gloves, paper towel, drape sheets, dental bibs etc)

Skin marking:

Tattoo ink

Paper Towel:

S8 Red Tattooing Towel

Vaseline:

Ink-Eeze Green Glide

Coconut Oil

Tattoo Goo Professional Process Butter

Beeseline Vegaline

RMS Raw Beauty Coconut Cream

Hustle Butter

Redemption *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Shop/Bathroom General Cleaning:

Method

Nature Clean

Ecos by Earth Friendly Products

The Honest Company

Mrs. Meyers

Dr. Bronner’s

*see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Surface Disinfectants:

Cavicide*

BioText* *the ingredient list does not seem to contain non-vegan ingredients but they do test on animals, however due to the nature of this product, the need to safely kill of Blood Borne Pathogens is higher than the priority to not harm animals

Hand Sanitizer:

The Honest Company

The Body Shop

Bath & Body Works

Dr. Bronner’s

Citra-Sol

Sun & Earth

Allen’s Naturally *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Hand Soap:

Method

Dr Bronner’s

Mrs Meyers

Puracy

Bath & Body Works

Hugo Naturals

Live Clean

Nature Clean


Micro-Blading/Cosmetic Makeup

*Please be aware that 100% natural pigment made of fruit and vegetables has a high risk of reaction to those whom have food allergies and therefor non organic materials of FDA approved pigments should be used.

Unfortunately at this time we are unable to find out about the pigments used and their ingredients/practices.


Laser Tattoo Removal

Aftercare:

NovE Gel

Z Laser Tattoo Removal Balm

Hustle Butter Deluxe

H2ocean (Their Ocean Care line: Tattoo Cream, Blue Green Foam Soap, Blue Green Liquid Soap, 6oz Piercing Spray *without lysozyme & Healing Soak)

After Inked

Vermont Vegan

Lush Ultra Balm

The Merry Hempsters

Wild Rose

Black Cat Tattoo

Ink Guard

Out To Sea

Vegan Tattoo

Billy Jealousy Marked IV

Tattoo Goo

Redemption

3M Tegaderm

Second Skin

Second Skin Tattoo Cream

Numbing:

Hush Anesthetic

Recovery Numb

Ink-Eeze Brown Label

Hustle Butter Hustle Helper These can be used for the purposes of tattooing as well as tattoo removal and cosmetic procedures like Micro blading. For tattoo removal look for a clinic or studio that offers a cooling machine to cool the skin while doing the tattoo removal.

Skin Cleaning:

Dettol* (Vegan but tested on animals)

70% Alcohol

PurSan

Intenze Cleanze

Hustle Butter Hustle Helper

H2ocean Blue Green Foam/Liquid Soap

Paper Towel:

S8 Red Tattooing Towel

Shop/Bathroom General Cleaning:

Method

Nature Clean

Ecos by Earth Friendly Products

The Honest Company

Mrs. Meyers

Dr. Bronner’s

*see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Surface Disinfectants:

Cavicide*

BioText* *the ingredient list does not seem to contain non-vegan ingredients but they do test on animals, however due to the nature of this product, the need to safely kill of Blood Borne Pathogens is higher than the priority to not harm animals

Hand Sanitizer:

The Honest Company

The Body Shop

Bath & Body Works

Dr. Bronner’s

Citra-Sol

Sun & Earth

Allen’s Naturally *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Hand Soap:

Method

Dr Bronner’s

Mrs Meyers

Puracy

Bath & Body Works

Hugo Naturals

Live Clean

Nature Clean *see http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Shop Related Extras


Shop Merchandise

T-shirts - silk screening t-shirts is actually vegan. Silk Screening is also known as Screen Printing - years ago the screens were made of silk but in recent times it has been replaced with Nylon. The inks used may not be vegan, so this varies printing company to printing company - we recommend calling around and finding out what manufacturers they use for their ink and contacting the manufacturers to confirm, we do also recommend asking if they use any animal products in their inks or asking to speak to their chemical engineer as often times people don’t fully understand the definition of vegan.

Discharge printing is a process of bleaching out the fabric and then using dyes to colour the shirt, this makes the print super soft and doesn't peel or crack the same was as regular printing but the ingredients are highly toxic and include formaldehyde, which can inadvertently get washed into our water systems and out into the ocean. They do have a new “Natural Enzyme” used for printing but not much is known about this - what is in the “natural” enzyme ?

Water based ink is also often full of chemicals but it can be done sustainably and without harming animals/the environment.

Vegan Ink Brands:

Permaset

Soy Max Series

One Stroke Inks

Stickers - stickers contain an adhesive that can be made of Gelatin, bone parts &/or casein but can be found in mineral and vegetable based alternatives.

Portfolios - all film or printed photographs on photo/film paper contain Gelatin, to avoid this problem completely digital portfolios are the only way but to reduce this you can print onto high quality matte paper

Prints & Photo Paper is non-vegan. Almost all photo paper is printed using animal products. Look for shops who reduce the use of this type of printing. Printing cards, prints or photos on Card Stock is vegan.

Business Cards if printed on Card Stock or other types of paper are vegan as long as the ink used is a vegan ink. We have yet to confirm online companies that are vegan.


FINAL NOTES:

The tattoo industry can be easily made mostly vegan but the little details are where it becomes daunting and impossible, my shop for example is making constant changes to how and what we purchase to make it MORE vegan wherever possible. If you care about being tattooed, pierced or having a cosmetic/laser procedure done, you will have to look for a shop that is as vegan as you are comfortable with, but to go to the extremes that we do at Grim City Tattoo Club is highly uncommon, these other VEGAN shops are equally amazing and are doing their part to make a difference, support them and educate them if possible on the smaller details as almost all vegan shops will adapt to do better as they care enough to be vegan in the first place.

Secondly, the industry as a whole is grossly unsustainable and not environmentally friendly due to having to dispose of plastic waste in bio-waste vs recycling. Plastic cups get used to rinse of bio coated needles/cartridges and then filled with a liquid waste solidifier and then thrown into trash. We have recently started purchasing biodegradable plastic rinse cups to help solve this problem. Paper is wasted due to the amount of printing done, printer cartridges are gone through at a high rate in a high volume busy shop. Our shop has switched to Epson’s Ink Tank printers which is a re-fillable printer that lasts for thousands of prints. Drape sheets and dental bibs contain waxy coatings that are probably not going to biodegrade. The amount of plastic used in packaging, shipping and aftercare is also extremely high and most companies do not use post-consumer plastics or the more expensive compostable plastics.

Waivers and aftercare printed on paper is almost immediately discarded by clients into regular garbage or worse littered. Portfolios are traditionally printed onto photo paper and then placed into a photo album, we solved these issues with digital waivers on tablets through companies like WaiverSaver, digital portfolios or photo books printed on recycled paper which are stored long term as they become outdated.

Aftercare often comes in a pressurized spray or plastic bottles which are often if not most of the time thrown into the garbage vs. Recycling.

Paper towel is another item that is used and discarded without much thought to the environment, at this time we have yet to find a viable solution for this.

Unfortunately overall you can find animal products hidden almost everywhere in this world and we encourage people to find a vegan shop that is doing as much as possible to reduce or eliminate animal products, cruelty and environmental damage. The only option to avoid this entirely is to not participate in this industry at all. We believe in supporting companies, shops and brands who are actively trying and rather than being 100% purist, educate and support.

If anyone notices any brands left out (there will be many but we would like to keep this list as up to date and complete as possible - internationally) or any errors/brands that are listed vegan that are not, please email CONTACTUS@GRIMCITYTATTOOCLUB.COM

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