Golden Tattoo Ink: A Real Deal or a False Claim?

We can all agree that the golden tattoos we see on social media look amazing. And, they seem to be the perfect summer accessory as well. If you’re reading this, chances are you want a golden tattoo yourself, and who wouldn’t? These look exceptional.

But, are they too good to be true?

In the following paragraphs, we’ll explore the golden tattoo ink that is supposedly responsible for these awesome tattoos. We’ll take a look at the ink, how it works and whether there is something hidden from us when it comes to golden ink.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

The Gold Pigment – Everything You Need To Know

Is It Real?

Now, we have to be completely honest from the start; golden tattoo ink or pigment does NOT exist. Unfortunately, golden, silver, and other metallic tattoos are impossible in the traditional manner of tattooing. The reason golden ink doesn’t exist? Well, it is believed it would be simply too expensive to create such a pigment. Furthermore, the gold would never reflect properly once placed into the dermis of the skin.

Can It Become Real?

So, what if someone was to make a golden tattoo ink and use it?

Well, let’s start by saying they’d have to spend a ton of money because an ounce of gold can cost $1300, which would be enough for a small ink bottle of 1oz. Then, they would have to invest in ink research to see whether the pigment is safe for use.

According to a study, the golden particles (which would be used for the gold tattoo ink) are not toxic nor inflammatory, and might even be suitable for use in nanomedicine. So, golden ink might be even safer than the standard tattoo ink (which we all know contains toxic compounds, from Arsenic to plastic).

But, since this could never happen (due to expenses and lack of actual pigment research). Another solution for golden ink would be to use a gold flake base in a pigment. However, this would be highly toxic and the person receiving the tattoo could experience a case of a tattoo infection or even serious health issues.

Can It Become Real
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But, What Are These Golden Tattoos We See Everywhere?

So, now that we know that golden tattoo ink doesn’t exist, we cannot help but wonder; what are the golden tattoos we see everywhere made from?

Well, these seemingly golden tattoos are made from gold-colored metallic foil, which is very thin and only pressed onto the skin surface. This method of designing and applying a tattoo is generally associated with temporary tattoos. So, these golden tattoos could be considered temporary as well.

The majority of these tattoos are done by using a designed tattoo sticker, pressing it onto the skin, and waiting for the foil to transfer completely. The method used for this is the printing one, so there is no need for anything golden in the process; the stickers are simply gold-colored or covered in sparkles, for example.

This is also the reason these tattoos appear so luminous and shiny; it’s because they’re placed onto the skin surface, not into the skin. This is the case with all of the metallic tattoos.

How Long Do These Tattoos Last?

Now, compared to the standard temporary tattoos, which can last between 5 and 10 days max, these ‘golden’ tattoos tend to last a bit longer. Of course, the duration depends on the quality of the foil and the sticker, as well as how well you’ve applied it.

Moreover, the duration can even depend on the body part where you’ve applied the tattoo. For example, if you place the tattoo on a smooth, hairless, friction-free area, it is more likely to last you longer.

Are These ‘Golden’ Tattoos Safe?

Just like any type of temporary tattoo, these golden ones are considered generally safe. Unless you have a skin condition, rashes, redness, skin irritation, or excessive skin dryness, you shouldn’t experience any issues with this type of temporary tattoo.

Generally, temporary tattoos are easier to regulate, since they use several different materials which can undergo safety tests. For example, the foil, the paper, and the glue used to make a temporary tattoo can all be tested for safe cosmetic use.

Are These 'Golden' Tattoos Safe
Credit: Instagram

Are ‘Golden’ Tattoos Waterproof?

Now, chances are you’ve stumbled upon a social media personality rocking their golden tattoos at the beach. But, now that we know that these tattoos aren’t done with tattoo ink, are they waterproof?

Well, generally speaking, temporary tattoos do not fall off that easily when in contact with water. Sure, if you rub the tattoo somehow as you bathe or swim, chances are you might partially remove it. However, these foil tattoos are popular because they stan on long and can withstand water, sand, sunlight, and general humidity. So, feel free to rock your golden tattoo this summer and stay cool even on the beach.

Are There Alternatives to ‘Golden’ Ink?

Now, golden or metallic ink does exist, but not for tattooing purposes. Such ink is used for graphic arts and printing. When it comes to metallic ink alternatives for tattoos, we couldn’t find anything other than people getting tattoos in yellowish/golden color with a lot of shading to bring out the shine and luminosity of the actual gold.

So, if you want a golden tattoo, you can get it done with actual tattoo ink, but the tattoo will be mattified and probably not as golden as you’d wish for. For now, if you want to experience the glitter and shine of a golden tattoo, you’d have to use the temporary foil stickers.

Are There Alternatives to 'Golden' Ink
Credit: Instagram

Where Can I Buy Temporary Golden Tattoos?

  • Amazon (Terra Tattoos) – Terra Tattoos offer a wide range of interesting temporary, golden, metallic, and even henna tattoos. Their gold tattoos are one of Amazon’s best-selling temporary tattoos. These tattoos are premium quality, waterproof, and incredibly luminous in the light. They’re non-toxic and safe for use, anywhere on the body.
  • FlashTat – at Flashtat, you can choose from a variety of different metallic, gold tattoo designs. Here, the brand works with designers and influencers who provide the best of this season’s designs and ideas. As a result, you can get a hold of exceptional, trendy, and cool temporary tattoos and be cool even on the beach. The tattoos are premium quality and safe to use, even for children.
  • Walmart – here, you can find an array of different, unique, and super interesting gold and metallic temporary tattoos. They’re trendy, flashy, and attention-grabbing. The tattoos are high-quality, non-toxic, and safe for use anywhere on the body. Did we mention how affordable these tattoos are? Well, the price range is from $5 to $20, so there something for every budget.
  • GoldInkTattoo – this brand specifically created gold temporary tattoos. The amount of designs and tattoo ideas they provide is incredible. You can choose your favorite design from their new collection, or even create a custom metallic tattoo. Their tattoos are high-quality and super durable. They’re non-toxic, safe for use, and waterproof, so you can sport them even at the beach.
  • Etsy – Etsy is the perfect place to find unique and high-quality tattoos. The design choices are endless, and there is something for everyone’s taste, preferences, and budget. Some designers/creators even offer their clients to create custom temporary tattoos, which is super cool. Make sure to check them out and support independent artists and creators in these tough times.
  • Tattly – one of the most popular temporary tattoo provider, Tattlly surely has a wide range of gold and metallic tattoos to offer. At an affordable price and even packs of several tattoos, Tattly is an excellent choice for anyone looking for high-quality, durable and money-worthy tattoos. Tattly is also very creative with tattoo designs, so there is something for everyone’s taste.

Which Gold Tattoo Design Should I Go For?

There are so many design ideas and inspirations when it comes gold temporary tattoos. Here are some of our favorite design ideas for 2021 (especially the spring/summer season), so make sure to check them out!

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Final Thoughts

So, now you know the secret of the famous golden tattoos and the story behind the golden ink. Hopefully, this article was informative and helpful for everyone looking to get a golden tattoo themselves. For more information about temporary tattoos, make sure to check out our other articles on this topic.

If you have any concerns about the safety of these tattoos, please talk to a medical professional or a dermatologist. These experts will assess your skin type and status and let you know whether it’s safe for you to apply temporary tattoos,

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