Our pigment settles at the bottom of the liquid, like sand in the sea, and is dispersed when shaken, then falls back to the bottom. It is due to the pigments’ non-solubility that the finished product in its tube must be thoroughly shaken, so that the pigment can form a suspension before use.

Composition of an “ink” for restorative pigmentation

The finished product is made up of 3 groups of ingredients :

  • The pigment (or mix of pigments) gives the product its colour and is the active ingredient.
  • The dispersant is a liquid product in which a powder is dispersed.
  • The additives: substances in small quantities that give the finished product special properties.

The Pigment

  • The pigment can be mineral – metal oxides. It can be natural (extracted from the ore) or synthetic (produced through chemical synthesis). For example, iron oxide can be extracted from ochre quarries or by oxidizing iron. Similarly, red iron oxide can be found in its natural state (extracted from red ochre) or obtained by calcination of yellow ochre at 800°C. Black iron oxide can be naturally extracted from magnetite or obtained through chemical synthesis, and the same principle applies for all other mineral extracts. Ultramarine exists in a natural state (lapis lazuli is its purest form), but it can also be chemically produced (sodium aluminosilicate sodalite). Ultramarine blue can also turn pink or purplish-red through halogenation (using chlorine). The same goes for all mineral pigments. When a mineral pigment is naturally sourced using only physical processes (grinding, sedimentation, filtration, centrifugation, pressure, etc.) rather than chemical changes, this pigment is authorized for use in ORGANIC products.
  • Pigments may be organic, meaning derived from carbon chemistry. Organic pigments had their heyday in the 18th century, with the chemical industrial revolution and the dye boom. While there are many natural organic dyes, nearly all organic pigments are synthetic. Natural organics include Tyrian purple (which no longer exists), which was extracted from Murex sea snails, and carmine or carminic acid, extracted from an insect, the cochineal, which is still used today.

The dispersant

This is the product required to produce a liquid dye.

  • It can be oily (rare): castor oil or other mineral or natural oils.
  • It is normally aqueous: water, propylene glycol, glycerine, etc.

The additives

These are products that are added to give the finished product additional properties:

  • Dampening agents or dispersants to facilitate pigment dispersion,
  • Isopropyl alcohol to ensure sterility after opening and improve binding,
  • Polymers to limit sedimentation and thicken the product,
  • Or, conversely, thinning products (butylene glycol),
  • Preservatives: the use of preservatives is only permitted by law to preserve a sterile state, and not to produce it.
  • pH modifiers to change the product’s pH to the skin’s pH,
  • Binding resins and other binders to fix the pigment in the skin,

>>  Remember that all ingredients, particularly additives, must be proven harmless by their manufacturer.

In conclusion, tattooing “ink” is a complex product that can vary between manufacturers, offering different properties and qualities, as well as differing levels of biocompatibility and toxicity.