Home » Featured » White Ink Tattoos
white ink tattoos featured images

White Ink Tattoos

White Ink Tattoos

White Ink Tattoos are some of the most beautiful ones out there—but they come with a catch. They’re very difficult to pull off well. They require extra care and planning if you want to keep one from looking like a well-formed scar. White ink doesn’t show up well on skin of any color, so the design itself will always be subdued. This also means that skin that was torn up during the healing process will be evident in the form of a raised outline that outshines the ink itself. This can be good or bad, depending on your take of it, but there are other things to look out for when it comes to these types of tattoos.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of white ink tattoos, ways to ensure that they are high quality and long lasting, how they appear on different skin colors, and more! Personally, I find white ink tattoos to be very beautiful, but beauty is subjective. Many people get white ink tattoos without realizing what it will actually look like at the end. Many artists dislike white ink tattoos for various reasons, so they might not be familiar with designs or inks that work well. Read closely if you want a white ink tattoo or are an artist looking for more information on these types of tattoos. Certainly, any time you deal with them, it will be a little bit of risk and reward!

Related Article: Simple Tattoo Designs


white ink tattoos gallery 75

 

White Ink Tattoos Information

When white ink tattoos are done correctly, they look amazing. These tattoos are incredibly subtle, especially on lighter skin, and can take on many forms. Small outlines of white ink can accent the tattoo more than black ink would, and it’s a good way to tattoo something that you imagine to be glowing. The white ink can be mixed with other inks to give a gleaming sheen, and it can also be toned down to show barely perceivable lines on the skin. Since white ink is less saturated and very light, it’s easier to see how the skin raises from a tattoo. This can be used to your advantage—the 3D shadows will make it pop more than a regular tattoo.

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to using white ink. The color and effectiveness of white ink varies depending on brand and artistic technique, so there’s no way of knowing what it will look like after it ages a little. Sometimes it will retain its pure white appearance, but usually as time goes on, most inks will fade into a grayish-green or even entirely transparent color. It’s pointless to get a tattoo that changes form over time—they are meant to be permanent, after all. Where most tattoos would require touch-ups to look better, it’s very difficult to recover the look of a fresh white ink tattoo. This is why it’s absolutely crucial to get the correct tattoo artist with a long track record of doing white ink tattoos. It’s impossible to tell by looking whether an ink will successfully stick to your skin, so you have to rely on your tattoo artist. Ask to see their samples beforehand, especially those of recurring customers, since you will be able to see how the white ink tattoos age on different people. With the help of your artist, you will be able to tell what kind of result you will get ahead of time and whether that’s the kind of tattoo you will want down the road.

Another disadvantage of white ink tattoos is that they have no form. While black ink tattoos have solid outlines to define them, white ink tattoos are subtle and rely more on the shadows of the skin to get their design across. Over time, the images may look more like a scar. If you do opt to get a white ink tattoo despite all of the drawbacks, be sure to pick a good design. In order for the design to age well, you have to take into consideration the type of design along with the ink you use. Small, abstract tattoos tend to look more like scars or mosquito bites than tattoos as time marches on. Larger designs might look uneven or poorly made, since it is much easier to see the skin’s texture underneath. A mix of something in between seems to work best for tattoos. Outlines also seem to work well, but it has a very different look compared to black outlines, so scour those samples for something that suits you!

white ink tattoos gallery 63

white ink tattoos gallery 48

white ink tattoos gallery 44

 

White Ink Tattoos on Dark Skin

White ink tattoos stand out beautifully on dark skin. The human eye is naturally inclined to love contrast, so light markings on dark skin appeal to an aesthetic that we are all born with. New white ink tattoos stand out vividly against the skin and—unlike designs on pale skin—designs on dark skin can take a huge number of forms without looking uneven, washed out, or scarred. These tattoos also look excellent under black light, despite not being black light tattoos (which are also a pretty neat thing you should check out).

As white ink fades on dark skin, the discoloration of the ink—if any—is obscured. This means that white ink tattoos age very well on dark skin. Like black ink tattoos, the ink may gradually migrate out of its initial location and create a blurry outline. A simple touch up is enough to fix this…but you could also leave it as-is if you would like to create a subtle image of raised skin. There are many cultures that prefer scarring to inking as a means of body modification, so white ink tattoos are an interesting in-between that you might want to consider. Even as the ink fades, it will still make the raised area of the tattoo look highlighted and give them contrast, and it will also look like the skin itself is covered or lifted into a beautiful pattern.

white ink tattoos gallery 33

white ink tattoos gallery 3

Got a new tattoo? Thinking about getting one? Remember how important tattoo aftercare is! Below is our favorite tattoo aftercare product. Read our full reviews here!

Hustle Tattoo Butter Deluxe

Hustle Butter Tattoo Butter is 100% Vegan and made from only the finest ingredients, including Shea, Mango, and Aloe butters, Coconut, Sunflower and Rice Bran oils, Rosemary Oleoresin, Green Tea, Vitamin E Complex and Mint Arvenis Essential Oil, as well as the essence of Papaya and Coconut. Loved by tattoo artists worldwide (as well as their clients)!

The Tattoo Healing Process

=> Check Price / Get it Now

White Ink Tattoos on Pale Skin

White ink tattoos are much more subtle—and sometimes invisible—on pale skin. It depends entirely on the ink you use—sometimes, the ink will have less pigment and be a little more transparent than it should be. This works fine for black ink tattoos, but white ink tattoos on light skin really need that extra bump to make them visible. There’s also the matter of people with really light skin. You know what I mean—the type you see on the beach that prompts you to get your sunglasses out because they are probably reflecting every light beam that touches them and maybe glowing underneath all that. I give them credit for trying to get a tan when they will probably just burn, but if they want a white ink tattoo, they should really think twice. There is such a thing as too light for a white ink tattoo. If they want a subtle look, it might be cheaper and more consistent just to get it done with no ink at all and wear a nice-looking scar. No upkeep required, and the tattoo would be just as visible had ink been added to it—what’s not to like?

Another big disadvantage of getting a white ink tattoo on light skin is that low-quality ink will become colored over time and result in the opposite look off a white ink tattoo. The grayish-yellow color is just a sign that the ink is breaking down. This occurs naturally in all pigments, but is most noticeable in white ink tattoos, and impossible to ignore on light skin. This is why finding a tattoo artist with high-quality inks and a track record of return customers is crucial to getting a white ink tattoo.

white ink tattoos gallery 19

white ink tattoos gallery 6

white ink tattoos gallery 9

 

Are White Ink Tattoos Raised?

White ink tattoos are no different from regular tattoos—that is to say, they are raised! The body handles white ink tattoos as it would handle any sort of wound. It takes care of the inky pathogens by swallowing them up with macrophages. Then, it starts healing the wound, raising it with scar tissue in the process. Since white ink is sometimes transparent and always quick to fade, the work of the tattoo artist will really show up underneath. Uneven tattoos are a sign of inconsistency, but sort of unavoidable when different areas have different levels of detail. This is why thin outlines work best for white ink tattoos—it’s hard to tell that one part is raised higher than the other when you can’t directly compare them. It simply looks like the whole thing is raised up by just a little bit.

Because white ink tattoos are raised, many people may mistake them as scars. Smaller tattoos might be easier to recognize, while larger tattoos have more wiggle room for uneven surfaces. The design you pick will affect how good it looks. However, even scars can be beautiful. Many people capitalize on this fact and get large, intricate sleeves that look like lovely Lichtenberg figures on their skin. Large lace-like tattoos are also suited to this sort of display, but be aware that other people may not appreciated them as much as black ink or watercolor tattoos, simply because they resemble scars so closely.

white ink tattoos gallery 1

white ink tattoos gallery 11

white ink tattoos gallery 13

 

Do White Ink Tattoos Fade?

After you get the tattoo, you can expect it to fade much more quickly than normal. How it fades is determined by the exact ink that was chosen for the job. Some inks fade away evenly, similar to a henna tattoo, and they leave behind a blank slate with an area of raised skin for you to work with. As the tattoo heals more, the raised part of the scarred skin may even lower as the body heals, completely wiping any trace of the tattoo from your body. Unfortunately, not all white inks fade as nicely. Other types of ink will appear gray or green as the components start to break down—which is the opposite of what you wanted! This is more likely to happen if you take poor care of your tattoo as it heals. When the tattoo is opened, it paves the way for contaminants to get into the skin, and those contaminants will show up as soon as the ink fades away. Planning ahead to take care of your skin helps prevent this, as well as keeping your tattoo clean both before and after it heals…but it’s also worth checking the reviews of the white ink that your tattoo artist uses. Just in case.

Don’t have a tattoo yet? Thinking about getting one? You can ease the pain by using a special numbing cream or spray for tattoo sessions. Below is our favorite tattoo numbing product. Read our full reviews here!

Hush Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Gel

The most popular Tattoo Numbing product out there and for good reason. Well established brand, thousand of reviews on Amazon and for sure the best product we have found.

hush anesthetic - tattoo numbing gel

=> Check Price / Get it Now

 

White Ink Tattoos Pros and Cons

Since we’re done talking about the negative, let’s talk about the advantages of white ink tattoos. There are a few neat tricks to them, and the best one is due to the fact that the tattoos are nearly invisible. If you end up getting a tattoo that is a little more subtle than you expected, there’s an easy and amazing way to make it pop—UV light! Your tattoo will glow under UV light, putting on quite a display if you ever find yourself out clubbing. It doesn’t absorb light or glow in the dark on its own, but it does look really fancy. Since white ink doesn’t stand out during the day at all, it can also lead to a pleasant surprise for friends you already know who haven’t quite noticed the shape of the tattoo yet.

white ink tattoos 1

White ink tattoos are tricky, but they can have some amazing advantages. I am personally a huge fan of them, since their subtle appearance makes the tattooed area look like a natural marking rather than something you drew on your skin. They are tattoos that look like they’ve been with you since the day you were born! The whole part where they glow in the dark is just a bonus! Admittedly though, they have some huge drawbacks. You need an experienced artist and a bit of luck to get the exact look you were going for, and even then, you have to show some exceptional tattoo aftercare to make sure it stays looking good—or at least fades out gracefully. Even if things do go perfectly, you’ll be subject to people who jump to conclusions and assume they are scars or messed up tattoos. To be honest, people who think scars are automatically ugly aren’t worth associating with, so perhaps that’s not something you should worry about anyways.

white ink tattoos gallery 24

white ink tattoos gallery 28

white ink tattoos gallery 25

 

 

White Ink Tattoo Designs

If you do opt to get a white ink tattoo despite all the drawbacks, be sure to pick a good design. Small, abstract tattoos tend to look more like scars or mosquito bites than tattoos. The reason is pretty simple—white ink allows the actual scar that the tattoo leaves behind to show more easily, and then accents that. The design you pick will affect how good it looks. Smaller tattoos will be easier to recognize as tattoos, while larger tattoos are more likely to be recognized as a scar at first glance. However, even scars can be beautiful. Many people capitalize on this fact and get large, intricate sleeves that look like beautiful Lichtenberg figures on their skin. Large lace-like tattoos are also suited to this sort of display, but be aware that other people may not see them as beautiful as black or colored tattoos, simply because they resemble scars so closely.

white ink tattoos gallery 32

white ink tattoos gallery 40

 

The Cost of White Ink Tattoos

If you want to get a white ink tattoo, but are worried about the price compared to other types of tattoo…you’d be in luck! They cost just as much as a regular tattoo. This means that the small tattoos can be as low as $50, while larger ones will fetch a very high price, but no higher than their colored or black ink counterparts. The main issue with getting a white ink tattoo is finding an artist who will actually do them. Because many white ink tattoos do not hold their form over time and because most patrons will get the white ink tattoos for the novelty of them without knowing how they age, it can be an absolute nightmare for artists if their customers return to complain about their faded tattoo or the scarred look of their skin. These are natural traits of white ink tattoos, so the only thing the artists can do to ward off these customers…is to stop offering white ink tattoos entirely.

Tattoos can fade when exposed to the sun! Make sure you protect your skin and especially your ink when you enjoy the great days outside. Below is our favorite tattoo sunscreen product. Read our full reviews here!

H2Ocean SPF 45 Sea Life Sunscreen

H2Ocean has made it’s way to one of the top brands in the Tattoo Aftercare industry. Recommended by artists and users and the best tattoo sunscreen you can get. It does it’s job and it comes with a moderate price.

H2Ocean SPF 45 Sea Life Sunscreen Tattoo Sunscreen

=> Check Price / Get it Now

You may yet be able to convince an artist to give you a white ink tattoo. If you say that you know the risks associated with tattoos, know that they will look aged or discolored over time, and insist that you like the look of raised skin that the tattoo will inevitably give you, they may cave in. You might get some extra lines on your waiver, but many artists do actually appreciate the look of white ink tattoos. Once you get that approval, it’s only a matter of figuring out whether they use high-quality ink to do their tattoos. If they don’t, suggest that they order different kinds of ink, or seek out an artist who will do so. To be honest, that’s a lot of demanding to do of an artist, so they may not be receptive. It’s worth a try for an optimal tattoo, though.

These white ink tattoos are a subtle way to show off your beauty while keeping the color of your skin—whatever color you start with—looking natural. They are much lighter and fade more quickly than other types of tattoos, so if you think you’re going to get more in the future, you don’t have to worry about the white ink tattoo taking up space. Since they don’t pop out as much, they tend to look more professional than other types of tattoos. All-in-all, white ink tattoos are a beautiful way to accent the beauty that your mother gave you.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out the other stuff on InkDoneRight! You can subscribe to our email list for weekly updates, or you can follow our Twitter for updates as they happen. As always, thanks for reading!

Sara

InkDoneRight

 

About Sara

Staff Writer at InkDoneRight and the good spirit!

9 comments

  1. I’m very pale, and have white ink tattoos on my chest, shoulders, and arms. They don’t glow under blacklight. Not any more than the rest of me does. I keep mine away from sunlight, and they’ve stayed white for years. I’ve had friends with darker skin get them, and the first time they were exposed to sunlight, their own skin color came through, and ruined the ink. None of mine are raised, not even a little, because I don’t keloid.

  2. Joshua Nordstrom

    Experienced, honest tattooers stay away from white ink because it is going to look muddy as it ages because your skins natural pigment is eventually going to mix with the white pigment causing a weird looking permanent mark on your body. Responsible tattooers understand how the ink is going age after repeated sun exposure and time. Refusing to do something is not because they “don’t know how” it is usually because it technically shouldn’t be done. It is a fad tattoo, a Pinterest fad tattoo. Artists are not required to do tattoos that they don’t want to do, you are wearing their marks/name/reputation on your body. It takes more character to turn down a tattoo that shouldn’t be done than to just take someone’s money when you know it won’t work out over time.

  3. Yes you can – but it’s not going to be an easy task for the artist. It depends a lot on the original design.

  4. Say I got a white tattoo and didn’t like how it faded, could I simply go over the tattoo with the same design in a darker color (such as black?). Would this work?

  5. Your blog was too good. i really appreciate with your blog.Thanks for sharing.

  6. You’re more than welcome!

    Well, as you know there is a certain risk associated with getting a tattoo. Fading, scaring and the healing. The main issue with white ink tattoos is the fading. You see, if a black tattoo starts to face early, it’s just less black. If you got colors in it, well it’s just less bright. But if a white ink tattoo starts fading early, well it leaves an incomplete picture and it might look “messy” pretty fast. On top of that, you might run into a healing issue. The skin absorbs the ink and – as it is an open wound – anything that comes with it. That leads to some potential unwanted side-effects. Your skin could absorb other color pigments along with the white ink (unhealthy skin, issues with the aftercare product, sunlight or the used ink wasn’t optimal). IF that happens the predominant color would be the darker one. And as white will never be the darkest color pigment, whatever comes along will be more visible. There are a lot of pictures where a white ink tattoo turned yellow, green or grey. So the risks to get an unwanted visible site affect are truly higher with white ink than with any other ink. That doesn’t mean it will turn out bad or that you should stay away from it. It just means your risks are higher than with any other kind of tattoo/ink. That’s why you need an experienced artist!

  7. Thank you so much! I will definately check those out 🙂

    I am curious of your word choice “given the downsides…this is reasonable” I would love some clarification. Other than the fading aspect, I don’t see much downside? Like any tattoo, you need an experienced artist or you will scar (or it will just look terrible for various reasons). Am I missing more downsides?
    Thanks again!

  8. Hey there

    it’s not easy to find a white ink experienced artist. A lot of artists stay away from white ink or try to talk their customers out of it. Given the downsides of white ink, this is somehow reasonable!

    Here are some artists (links), who did some white ink tattoos (some great ones).

    Xoil, Needles Site Tattoo
    Zodiac Tattoo Studio, CA
    Watson Atkinson
    Muriel Zao

    For sure there are tons more. Once we started our Tattoo Artist database we will be able to provide you with more.

    Thanks a lot
    InkDoneRight

  9. Hello, I have been searching the web for ANY artist that specializes in White Ink tattoos, or at least has done a significant amount. There are, on the other hand, many articles that agree with yours – saying that it is imperative to get an experienced white ink artist :S

    All to say, can you please list some artist that are currently working on all white tattoos (any country)? This would greatly help the research your article suggests we do 🙂

    Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *