What you should know before getting a black light tattoo

As Allure explains, there’s no real difference to the process (or pain) of getting a black light tattoo. However, as tattoo artist Kayla Newell advised, “Any amount of darker ink that seeps into the neon can adversely affect the color permanently, particularly its ability to glow when placed under UV light.” Therefore, black has to go in first, followed by whichever colors you’ve chosen. Byrdie notes black light tattoos trigger a “glow-like reaction” thanks to the UVA light they omit.

It’s a relatively new style, which initially became popular during the rise of neon in the nineties. Artists originally used an ink solution containing phosphorus, but it was later deemed unsafe due to the carcinogens. However, as Allure warns, because the FDA doesn’t regulate tattoo inks, many shops can still offer “true” glow in the dark tattoos made with phosphorus-infused ink. Reputable artists utilize naturally fluorescent colors to provide bright, attention-grabbing tattoos without the danger.

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