Does White Tattoo Ink Fade?

Tattoo artists are famous for their design skills. They can create almost any sketch their clients can come up with. Years of practice means advancing in their expertise, and with this, they attain working with various colors while tattooing. Nowadays, a tattoo artist can create your tattoo with any color you desire. White ink tattoos have been favored among tattoo enthusiasts, but is it worth it? Does white tattoo ink fade?

White tattoo ink does fade. It fades away fast than black ink or most color inks. Although white ink tattoos look attractive, as soon as it dims, it alters their appearance. When the white tattoo ink begins to fade, it will turn into different shades with different tones throughout. 

Is a white ink tattoo worth its price? Let us look into why white ink tattoos are not a good idea, how fast it fades, and why people are so attracted to them. In this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of getting a white ink tattoo and why, at times, your skin rejects it.

Does White Tattoo Ink Fade?

Getting a white ink tattoo is not necessarily a good idea. It might look lovely the moment it is done, but you can expect it to turn unsightly in as little as 45 to 60 days (sometimes sooner).

Exposure to sunlight yellow the white ink, so skin protection is essential to ensure your white ink tattoo lasts longer. White tattoo ink is a low saturation color, meaning that it will not look as good or absorb as black ink or colored ink tattoo.

They are difficult to see, and once the white ink tattoo begins to fade, it can change to yellow or grey or return to your skin color. It is almost impossible to renew the original white ink tattoo design over the faded one.

The truth is sooner or later, all that will be left of the white ink is a scar on your skin, and honestly, I do not think it is worth the money or the pain! Receiving a white ink tattoo hurts much more than black ink or colored ink tattoo.

A tattooist must apply several layers of white ink for it to be saturated. They are basically adding more highlights to an open wound. The thick consistency of the white ink can cause the tattoo artist to create irregular lines or a disfigured appearance.

The Pros of White Ink Tattoos

Maybe you feel daring and eager to get that tattoo you have always desired. If you want to maintain a “polished” look while also rocking a gorgeous tattoo, then a white ink tattoo is the way to go! Here are a few reasons why white ink tattoos have gained popularity among tattoo enthusiasts:

  • White ink tattoos are quaint and unique. Although more common nowadays, you will not always come across someone who has a white ink tattoo needled into their skin.

These tattoos look classy and can even glow at night! To achieve this, the tattoo artist has to mix the white ink with UV ink.

  • White ink tattoos are easy to cover. You can easily hide your white ink tattoo if necessary. In some situations, be it in meetings or gatherings, you simply do not want to showcase your tattoo. White ink tattoos are low-key, so some people will hardly see them.
  • White ink tattoos fade away. This may sound foolish, but the handful of people who get white ink tattoos do it because it fades away over time. If you are like me, who quickly tires of the same look, then you need to opt for a white ink tattoo.

Since the white ink tattoo disappears from your skin, you can go to your tattooist for a brand new one!

  • You will face less discrimination when applying for jobs. Discrimination against tattoos still happens, so if you do not want to risk your chances of securing your dream job, settle for a white ink tattoo.

The Cons of White Ink Tattoos

There are a few reasons why white ink tattoos are not the best to needle into your skin.

  • White ink tattoos fade away. A white ink tattoo fading away is inevitable no matter what measures you take to make it last longer. They look gorgeous the moment they are done, but you will see it slowly disappearing after two months or so.

Exposure to sunlight will cause your white ink tattoo to fade faster; therefore, you must cover it when you go outdoors. Apply sunscreen as well to protect your white ink tattoo from sunburn.

  • Not all tattooists are willing to give white ink tattoos. Previously, I mentioned how hard it could be for a tattoo artist to perfect a white ink tattoo. It requires many layers, and sometimes the lines are crooked because of the white ink’s thick consistency.

The tattoo artist that can give you a white ink tattoo has acquired many skills. Finding one with these skills is difficult.

  • The white ink tattoo will turn into your skin color. The consequence of getting a white ink tattoo is facing it once it turns yellow or grey. This happens in most cases rather than turning into your skin color.

As I mentioned previously, the white ink tattoo can become different shades throughout once it starts to disappear.

How To Care For Your White Ink Tattoo?

A white ink tattoo requires the same care as a black ink tattoo. Aftercare is important; otherwise, your skin will not heal properly, leading to an infection or spoiled tattoo. Follow these tips to ensure that your white ink tattoo will stay clean, and your skin will heal correctly:

  • Wash your tattoo with a gentle and fragrance-free soap such as Dove or Neutrogena. Use your hand to wash it instead of your washcloth or loofah to prevent bacteria.
  • Continue to wash your tattoo once the scabs begin to form (usually on the second day). You can apply tattoo aftercare moisturizer or any other gentle moisturizer.
  • Do not pull off the scabs. It can cause scarring and prevent your skin from healing.
  • Wear loose clothing so the material does not cause itchiness.
  • Apply sunscreen when you are outdoors and avoid excessive sunlight.

If your skin begins showing signs of an infection or ink rejection, then go to the doctor immediately. You may experience itchiness, swelling, rashes, and pain around the tattooed area.

Many times the area starts oozing pus which indicates an allergic reaction. Remember that white ink tattoo rejection symptoms can appear days, weeks, months, or even years after you have gotten your tattoo!

Conclusion

White ink tattoo has its advantages; while I do think that it is not worth the time or price, it is up to you to decide. You will be lucky if your white ink tattoo lasts more than 60 days.

The greying/yellowing of the tattoo makes it look tacky. However, it will fade into your skin color and be even less noticeable if you are lucky. Applying a white ink tattoo is painful because tattooists have to highlight the design a few times for it to be saturated. So, if you do get one of these tattoos, ensure that you take care of it properly to let your skin heal and avoid infection.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):

References

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