Glow in the Dark Tattoos?

Things that glow in the dark or glow under black lights are always fun. Going to a dance is always more fun when you have a glow necklace. Who doesn’t remember or still go to the bowling alley for neon or galactic bowling with the black lights turned on and the balls, white clothing and random other things in the bowling alley start to glow. Those cool black light poster in your room that glowed only when that special black light bulb came on. Or a tattoo that appears to be a regular tattoo until you are in the dark or under a black light then becomes something different. Wait glow in the dark tattoos?

Are they just a temporary tattoo that washes off the next day? No, you can get a permanent tattoo that glows.(More below pictures)

There are two types of glowing tattoos. Tattoos that glow in the dark, and those that glow under a black light. Both types sound like they might be a health risk. However, those with ink that glows in the dark on its own is much more dangerous. No brand of this ink has ever been FDA approved. Anything that glows in the dark on its own contains chemicals called phosphors. I am no chemist, but that doesn’t sound like something you should introduce into your body. It has been known to cause cancer and other health problems.

Then there is the safer, but still somewhat risky, black light or ultraviolet (UV) tattoo ink. Just like other black light objects it glows when under a black light. There are some black light inks that have been approved so make sure if you get a black light tattoo the ink your artist uses has been approved. For instance I know Crazy Chameleon inks are approved.

Some black light tattoos contain only black light ink and are completely invisible until under a black light. Others have regular tattoo ink mixed in giving you a normal tattoo you can still see in normal light, then once under a black light it is brought to a whole new glow level.

When getting one these tattoos, be sure to check with the shop you plan on going to and check if they offer them. Due to the risks involved they are not offered at every shop. Also, ask to see the ink bottle used and check for FDA stamp of approval. One approved brand is Crazy Chameleon. Also consider all the health risks involved and do a little research for yourself. If you want a glow in the dark tattoo but are too scared of the risks, there are temporary glow in the dark tattoos.

  1. Glow in the dark tattoos are amazing. People should never get regular ones. Just think of how embarrassing it would be showing off your tattoo and then someone comes over with a better one that glows in the dark. Having a regular tattoo is lame. Today you can even get your eyeballs tattooed. If you are going to do it you must go all the way and get the best. You are most likely going to have the tattoo for the rest of your life so why not get the best.

    • First if you read my post in entirety you would know the glow in the dark ones have never been approved by the fda.
      I will most likely get skin cancer some day. I do not want cancer from the glow in the dark materials as well.

      I actually do like the idea of the regular and black light ones but i do not go to places with black lights to often, also when showing it off id have to carry around a black light to show the tattoo in its entirety.

        • Joanna
        • September 20th, 2009

        actually, they are approved. check out chameleon inks or skin candy. they cannot give you cancer.

      • thanks for letting me know, when i was researching them i was not able to find any approved but i will look at those inks and change the post

        • Stephanie
        • March 16th, 2010

        Wow to the person who said “actually, they are approved. check out chameleon inks or skin candy. they cannot give you cancer.” Are you aware of the fact that many things are “approved” that in the end can give you cancer. People used to drink “radium” as a medication to get rid of general ailments not that long ago… RADIum = RADIation. So yes it got rid of their asthma symptoms or cold, then THEIR JAWS FELL OFF… and their bones died. Radium was used for a long time in things beyond WWII.

        Just because we have more technology does not mean that we are not still at risk because of stupid things like this. Actually it’s quite the opposite… we begin creating things that are super unnatural and then end up finding out in 10, 15 years that it wasn’t something we should have ever done.

        So maybe we’ll get lucky and these UV tattoos won’t be harmful… but as a general rule when something only glows under a blacklight there are chemicals that radiate involved. I’d get into the actual science of it but I’m sure that’s not what you were looking for or would even care to try to understand.

    • Susie
    • October 11th, 2009

    Do they fade?

    • Susie
    • October 11th, 2009

    So, is there no inks that just glow in normal dark that are FDA approved?? Because i really want one…

    • Well all tattoos will fade a bit overtime. Also, as far as I know, there are no FDA approved inks. That could have changed recently but it is doubtful. To glow in normal darkness ink needs a a chemical called phosphorus if i remember correctly which is bad for the body.

  2. “I dont usually reply to posts but I will in this case. WOW!”

    • BHitch
    • June 28th, 2010


    I really couldn’t care less if I get cancer from one of these. If I live past 70 I’d get WAY to bored anyway.

      • Stephanie
      • July 1st, 2010


      First things first, I don’t condone anyone who gets these tattoos… to each his own. It’s not something I would do is all I’m saying, because I’m aware of the fact that things may be FDA approved and still be harmful.

      But…. tell me you don’t care about getting cancer when you’re vomiting, loosing your hair from chemo & radiation and in unbearable pain from cancer spreading through your body (yes I’m aware that all cancer does not do this, but you’re comment did insinuate you that dieing from cancer would be an acceptable way to go). Don’t get me wrong, I understand the living til 70 thing… my husband says the same thing all the time. But cancer isn’t really, a wonderful way to die… it’s long and agonizing in so many cases. I’m going to assume you’ve never had anyone close to you go through this because generally it wouldn’t be something you “couldn’t care less” about dieing from if you had.

      Sorry if this is snarky, but that subject hits close to home & I’m a bit touchy on it.

    • Brent
    • July 1st, 2010

    well..ifin these tattoos give me cancer…(which you get from everywhere anyway) wouldn’t it be somewhat like skin cancer? and thats no problem…but if it made me so sick and i was dieing i would die the way of my choice at that point…which im planning like a piece of art at the moment anyway…so all good :p but if u let the thought of death stop you…your gonna die anyway so why not?

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