Glow in the dark tattoos usually contain bright, fluorescent colors that are invisible in daylight. This tattooing technique is relatively new and became popular in the ’90s, along with the neon trend. Unfortunately, glow in the dark tattoos don’t quite live up to the name that they imply, and they will not simply just ‘glow in the dark’ without a little bit of help. A black-light, is usually required in order for the colors in these tattoos to glow brightly. To create these tattoos, artists will use an ink solution containing phosphorus, in addition to the vegetable, metal, or plastic-based pigments used in traditional tattoos. The phosphorus in the inks is the substance used in glow sticks, so before you get distracted by the beauty of this type of tattoo, it is important to consider the safety aspects of the procedure. Is Glow In The Dark Tattoo Ink Safe? Phosphorus is a highly toxic chemical element, known to our ancestors as ‘the devil’s element’, due to its use in friction matches, explosives, poisons, and pesticides. Phosphorus-based inks have not officially been approved by the FDA, so it is a legitimate argument that you should take safety concerns into consideration before committing to a glow in the dark tattoo. These safety concerns, in fact, are a reason that very few tattoo shops will offer tattoos that use phosphorus-based inks. How Long Do Glow In The Dark Tattoos Last? Glow in the dark tattoos should last as long as regular tattoos, however, as stated above, this up and coming trend has only been around for a decade or so, and therefore it is going to be a while before we fully understand the long term effects of phosphorus-based tattooing procedures. As with most tattoos, they will likely fade slowly over time. If you choose to cover over your glow in the dark tattoo with a colored one, the ink may appear dull or faded, and the glow in the dark properties may no longer work as well as they once did. You might also have difficulty finding an artist to touch your tattoo up for you. Some artists will turn down your request because of the phosphorus inks your original tattoo has.