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12 Best Red Tattoo Ink Brands in 2021- Reviews & Top Picks

by  Kin Liu -  Last updated on September 7, 2021
Best Red Tattoo Ink Brands

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What is the best red tattoo ink? This is the question of tattoo artists everywhere.

It’s crucial to get a good brand for tattoo artists because lots of poor-quality red tattoo inks contain harmful chemicals and other ingredients that you don’t want.

That’s why we created this guide. To help our readers choose the best products on the market which are of high quality.

While we can’t mention specific tattoo inks to avoid, we’ll give you pointers on picking the best pigments.

Find out as you read about the best red tattoo ink brands today.

Quick Comparison

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks


What’s in Red Tattoo Inks?  (the Pigments)

Did you know that the red tattoo inks are used to contain mercury?

It was in the form of cinnabar, which is mercury sulfide. Of course, mercury is poisonous.

Then manufacturers began using iron oxide, naphthol, cinnabar, barium, and cadmium red instead.

These minerals and metals create a red color.

But iron oxide, barium, and naphthol may cause allergic reactions. And cinnabar and cadmium are toxic.

Should a person with a tattoo decide to do laser tattoo removal, these hazardous pigments would spread into the bloodstream.

Along these same lines, the European Union published a study in 2017 that reviewed the safety of tattoo inks.

They explain that cadmium builds up in the body and damages kidneys and bones.

It can also harm the developing baby of a pregnant mother.

Some newer tattoo inks contain plastic and compounds found in car paint and printer ink.

But only about a third of these pigments are approved for cosmetics. Most were made for industrial applications, not human skin.

Commercial dyes like azo pigments break down and release carcinogenic components when they are exposed to bright sunlight. Azo pigments include Solvent Red 1, which appears in some organic tattoo inks.

So how can tattoo inks manufacturers get away with this?

It’s because the FDA considers tattoo inks to be cosmetics, not drugs or medical devices. They don’t regulate tattoo ink safety to the same degree as other things that go inside your body.

That’s why it’s important to become familiar with the best tattoo ink brands.

You’ll get to know which companies make tattoo ink with Organic ingredients and are vegan friendly

And it’s crucial to look at the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each ink you use.

In that way, you protect yourself and your client’s health.

Pre-Dispersed Ink (the Carrier)

Fewer artists mix their own tattoo ink these days. They purchase pre-dispersed ink that’s ready to use.

But this can bring its own set of problems.

Some tattoo ink contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons like naphthalene, which is carcinogenic and might not be vegan friendly.

But the safest tattoo ink uses pure water-based, witch hazel, or alcohol to suspend the pigment.

Some add glycerin to thicken the consistency.

But none of this matters much if the ink isn’t sterile.

The FDA recalled three brands of tattoo inks in 2018 and 2021 because they were contaminated with microorganisms.


12 Best Red Tattoo Ink Brands (2021Updated)

Now it’s time for the tattoo ink reviews.

We made it easy for you today because we did the research to find the best red inks for tattoos.

But like we said, take the time to get to know the best brands and read the safety data sheets.

Then when your customers have questions, you’ll be ready to answer.

1. Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink, Dragon’s Breath Red

Kuro Sumi inks are a favorite tool of tattoo artists around the world, especially the dragon’s breath red.

Kuro Sumi is considered to be a world-famous tattoo ink and We also consider this as one of the best tattoo ink in the market and every tattoo artist in the tattoo industry would also agree,  and is also of high quality. This product tops our list for best red tattoo inks

They use organic and vegan-friendly ingredients.

Just as important, the colors are lively especially the bright red color, and are resistant to fading, hence making it long-lasting.

Just be sure you buy authentic Kuro Sumi ink Because Kuro Sumi has had a problem with counterfeiters. One way to tell fake ink is made is that it has a black and white label instead of the classic maroon. But otherwise, this is one of the best red tattoo ink out there.

We pulled up the MSDS information and found that they use glycerin, isopropyl alcohol, and water as well as Pigment Red 210 and other dyes.

2. Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink, Chi Red

Kuro Sumi is a famous tattoo ink maker brand and most tattoo artists love it. We were enchanted by their Chi Red shade.

It comes in a 1-ounce bottle that won’t expire for at least 2 years. But we doubt that it will last that long once you try it.

This is a red color that looks best on pretty much every skin tone. As mentioned Kuri Sumi makes one of the finest tattoo ink in the market.

Want to know something interesting about European Union rules versus American regulations for ink?

The EU has companies produce a detailed list of any potentially toxic amines that might be in their ink. This one contains only one at a ratio of 30 milligrams per kilogram.

4. Starbrite 3 RED Tattoo Ink

All the tattoo artists out there would agree that Starbrite tattoo ink is one of the best tattoo ink brands out there in the market.

Not sure which shade to get? Then grab the 3-color red ink set from Starbrite.

It includes Light Red, Scarlet Red, and Vampire Red. You’ll get the spectrum from almost maroon to almost pink.

Starbrite manufactures inks in the United States.

Yes, we pulled the MSDS and looked at Light Red. Besides glycerol, isopropyl alcohol, and water, it has two red pigments.

One is Napthol Red, and the other is Pigment Red 22.

The sheet says that it’s “primarily composed of organic pigment red and are made of vegan-friendly ingredients which are  not considered to be a hazardous substance.”

5. Intenze Advanced  Bright Red Tattoo Ink

Intenze’s Bright Red is vibrant and has plenty of staying power, unlike some shades of this color. If you are looking out for quality ink, this is it, Intenze is the brand you should go to.

The manufacturer produces and bottles the ink in a cleanroom in the United States. Then they sterilize it and have it checked by a third-party lab.

We pulled the safety data sheet for this color, and here’s what we found.

The carrier liquid is made of glycerine, water, isopropyl alcohol, and witch hazel.

Then, the pigments include Pigment Red 254, Pigment Yellow 14, and Pigment Orange 13.

That red pigment is considered to be made with organic ingredients and is vegan-friendly, and it’s used for dying plastics, rubber, and polyester, among other things. This red tattoo ink is something that you shouldn’t miss out on.

6. Viking Ink Double Red Tattoo ink

The Double Red ink made by Viking USA is classified as vegan friendly. It’s a rich red shade used in Europe, too. Viking ink is a widely used brand by many in the tattoo industry and is termed quality ink as well.

Like that of the best brands, this red tattoo ink is sterilized before shipping.

Unfortunately, we only found a generic MSDS sheet on Viking’s website that wasn’t specific to this color.

7. VIPER RED Millennium Moms Red tattoo ink

Millennium Moms is known for its luscious, intense shades with a high amount of red pigment, which ensures the color stays bright after drying.

The Viper Red is one of many colors used by professional artists around the world.

The company provides a sample MSDS sheet on their site. It lists water, glycerin, and a proprietary resin as the carrier liquids for the pigment.

8. Formula 23 Lining Red Tattoo Ink by Intenze

The Formula 23 ink by Intenze is perfect for lettering, lining, and shading. It’s up to whatever challenge you can imagine.

Happily, the ink comes in a large 10-ounce bottle so that you won’t run out soon.

One thing we especially liked is that the consistency is very fluid and goes and smooth. It’s best for precision work.

9. Bright Red Mario Barth Gold Label – Intenze Tattoo

Intenze Bright Red Tattoo ink also makes this Mario Barth Gold Label edition ink. It’s a custom color used by the famous artist himself.

Like others in the collection, this red tattoo ink is vegan-friendly and produced according to the best quality standards.

10. Dynamic Red Tattoo Ink Color Fire Red

Dynamic Tattoo ink, color Fire Red is just as intense as any of their other colors. Dynamic tattoo ink are usually well known for their black tattoo ink, but their fire red tattoo ink is also considered as one of the finest. They are also considered as world-famous tattoo ink makers.

The consistency is thin, so it hurts less going in. Plus, this is a shade that tends to stay bright.

One Tattoo artist described it as providing solid saturation.

Dynamic puts isopropyl alcohol, witch hazel, acrylic resin, and plenty of pigment into their ink. One that they use is Pigment Red 210.

Since these are highly pigmented which ensures that the shelf life of the tattoo is increased or making the tattoo long-lasting at the same time it makes the tattoo look in a bright red color.

11. Dynamic Burgundy Red Tattoo Ink

Dynamic Ink also makes a Burgundy Red color set.

Dynamic is one of our best ink brands, it is distributed by Worldwide Tattoo Supply. Moreover, it has a shelf life of about three years.

Try it on practice skin to see what you think.

12. World Famous Red Tattoo Ink

World Famous Red Tattoo Ink has a great reputation. They have been in business for more than 50 years, and they manufacture in the United States.

Each ink is sterilized with gamma radiation before shipment. They are bottled in crystal flex, which means the color you see is the color you get.

Each bottle is tamper-proof and TSA-approved. So yes, you can travel with these in your check-in luggage.

Since the EU has stricter regulations regarding tattoo inks, than the United States does, it’s comforting to know that this brand complies with EU quality standards.

The inks are vegan friendly to protect the skin from allergic reactions and speed up healing.

But wait, you’re interested in the actual color, right?

Yes, this is a shade used by Sailor Jerry for his iconic tattoos. It was reproduced so you can re-create his style if you wish.

13. Authentic Radiant Colors Tattoo Ink BLOOD RED

Radiant Colors designed this to be a true red color.

It’s one of the most gorgeous shades we’ve seen.

Radiant Colors ink tends to flow well and heal nicely. The pigment is evenly dispersed, and the thin consistency lays down smoothly.

The company says they are influenced by the shades popular in the Southern United States as well as Mexico. Artists from these regions have worked with them to create their palette of colors.

The inks are manufactured in the United States and sterilized before the sale.

14. Intenze Tattoo Ink Ruby Red 1

The original Intenze’s red 1 ink set includes eight colors. But if you want just the ruby red by itself, here it is. This is one of the best tattoo ink out there and is also considered to be quality ink.

It’s manufactured by Intenze brand in the USA. It’s based on the work of a famous artist.

In fact, Eddie hand-mixed the colors himself and is one of the best tattoo inks out there.

You can choose either among one, two, or four-ounce bottles.

15. BIOTOUCH Rose Red Tattoo Ink

Biotouch may sound like a newcomer, but its founders have 40 years of combined experience in the industry.

They manufacture their products in the United States in a cleanroom. They also sterilize the ink before shipment. Each bottle is sealed so that you know exactly what you’re getting. As they say, they won’t sell anything that they wouldn’t use on themselves.

Their goal is to create a highly-pigmented ink with a rapid flow rate and excellent color retention.

If you found that the Rose Red-met those high standards, be sure, and spread the word.

16. Tony Polito “Brooklyn Style” Tattoo Ink – Bensonhurst Red

Have you heard of Tony Polito from Brooklyn? He’s a legend, and so is his ink.

This custom color, Bensonhurst Red, is made by Technical Tattoo Supply in the USA.

17. MOM’S Nuclear Colors Tattoo Ink – Red Dawn UV Blacklight Ink

No review of red ink would be complete without mentioning UV-reactive colors.

Red Dawn from Millennium Moms glows brightly under black light.

But it also holds its own in daylight.

Although UV colors fade faster than regular inks, they are fantastic for highlights.

Luckily, Millennium Moms makes some of the best UV tattoo inks on the market. They are non-toxic and no more painful than any other color.

18. Millennium Moms INK SHOTS -Box of 30 Ink Shots, Monthly Red

Have you seen ink shots?

Each one is a disposable little squeeze tube of ink. They really cut down on making messes.

Instead of cracking open a big bottle for a small tattoo, these are ideal.

At 2ml each, they hold just enough to fill two large ink caps.

Furthermore, the rich red color looks like blood. That’s no surprise considering the name they gave it.

19. Philadelphia Eddie’s Red Tattoo Ink Shots

Philadelphia Eddie’s also makes ink shots in the Traditional Red shade.

Each one holds 2 milliliters of ink or two large ink caps’ worth.



We hope you discovered the red tattoo ink you need today.

Our reviews didn’t cover every possible red ink shade, but they did touch on the best brands.

Let us know in the comments below which red ink you think is the best.


1. https://readinsideout.com/education/what-is-tattoo-ink-made-of/

2. https://inchemistry.acs.org/content/inchemistry/en/atomic-news/tattoo-ink.html by Frankie Wood-Black,

3. https://www.livestrong.com/article/180816-non-toxic-tattoo-ink-ingredients/ by Megan Churchwell,

4. https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=79670& by Meghanne E. Tighe,

5. https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/consumers_safety/safety_products/rapex/alerts/?event=main.weeklyOverview

6. https://inchemistry.acs.org/content/inchemistry/en/atomic-news/tattoo-ink.html by Frankie Wood-Black, published

7. https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/consumers_safety/safety_products/rapex/alerts/?event=main.weeklyOverview

8. https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-recalls-alerts/fda-advises-consumers-tattoo-artists-and-retailers-avoid-using-or-selling-certain-tattoo-inks

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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