What Color Tattoos Show Up on Dark Skin?

What Color Tattoos Show Up on Dark Skin

A tattoo is a permanent piece of art on the body. For many people, it acts as self-expression. It has existed for centuries across numerous cultures in the world. 

Everyone’s skin tone reflects ink colors in different ways. On light skin, shades of color may appear very bright and rich. On the other hand, on dark skin, they may appear a little different. 

How Does Dark Skin Tone Affect Color Tattoos?

There is a great diversity in skin tones, and people’s genetics primarily influence this. Skin pigmentation is mainly due to melanin, a substance in the outermost layer of the skin called the epidermis. During the tattoo process, the tattoo artist deposits ink into the dermis, the layer of skin below the epidermis.

The epidermis and melanin pigmentation act as the filter. That means the color may appear muted or brighter according to the skin tone. For instance, in light skin tones, the color of a tattoo may appear brighter and in contrast, whereas in dark tones, it may appear muted.

Dark colors like royal blues, dark reds, greens, and black may show more clearly than lighter colors on dark skin. However, tattoo artists can still use lighter shades to create a colorful design. For example, white ink on a dark skin tone may still be visible but appear as a slightly darker color.

An experienced and talented tattoo artist will first notice the person’s skin tone. After examining the skin, they consult with the person on which color looks great based on their skin type. Even though skin tones play a vital role in getting a tattoo, colorful, bright tattoos are still an option for all skin types.

Does Dark Skin Affect Designs?

Different factors, like size, location, and preference, can influence the design of a tattoo. However, tiny, detailed, delicate lines or dotted designs may show less clearly on the dark skin tones.

Larger designs and areas without ink can help a tattoo show more contrast and be more transparent on a person. Tattoo contrasts with the skin tone from which the color may seem lighter, darker, and brighter.

How to Find the Right Tattoo Artist for Dark Skin?

right tattoo artist for dark skin

People with dark skin who want to get a tattoo should find an experienced tattoo artist. He/she should have an expertise on tattooing on every skin shade.

There are many misbeliefs about tattooing different skin tones, and some artists may refuse to use specific designs or colors on dark skins. Lack of knowledge and expertise may also result in overwork that can create complications. Therefore, finding the right person is essential to get the desired results with no side-effects. 

Here’s what you can do to find the right tattoo artist for color tattoos on dark skin-

  • Research online and look for the reviews.
  • Check artists ‘previous artwork and examine the healing process. 
  • Consult with the artist to discuss skin concerns you may have.

Besides, try to find an artist who first does the color test. It can be done on the body part, which stays hidden. This makes it easy to know about the tattoo, its appearance on dark skin and how it heals.

Tattoo Aftercare Tips

Tattoo aftercare is critical in ensuring that tattoo heals appropriately and remains infection-free. It also ensures speedy healing.

People who wish to get a tattoo can consider the following steps in their aftercare routine-

  1. Only remove the protective cover placed on the tattoo once their tattoo artist tells them to, usually a few hours after they finish it.
  2. Wash the hands thoroughly before washing the tattoo with hypoallergenic soap and warm water.
  3. Apply moisturizer over the tattoo only when the tattoo artist tells, typically within the first few days of aftercare.
  4. Avoid submerging the tattoo in water, other than washing it, for 3–6 weeks.
  5. Do not pick any scabs that may form over a tattoo.
  6. Protecting the tattoo from direct sunlight.


The process of tattooing is the same for everyone, regardless of skin tone. However, dark-skinned people may have a slightly higher risk of scarring.

Many difficulties tattooing dark skin typically come from inexperienced or misinformed tattoo artists. Therefore, people should search for professional tattoo artists with the knowledge to tattoo every skin. Aftercare of tattoos is critical to prevent tattoos from any infection or allergy. 

Feature Image Source – freepik

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