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by Paul Koutras September 03, 2017

When you're looking to purchase something these days you'll have a number of options. Everyone will have an opinion and more often than not try to guide you to their preferred items(s). But with body care products we feel there should be some basic questions you ask or at least think about before plunging into the deep end. The most obvious is "What's in it?" This leads us to the title of this article "The Ink'd Product Line: Healing Without The Synthetics". We'll break down some of the synthetic items in common tattoo products as well some of the natural alternatives so you can make an informed buying decision.


Common Synthetic Ingredients


This is mineral oil jelly that is used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin. Petroleum based, Petrolatum usually contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's). Exposure to PAH's (including skin contact) over prolonged periods of time is associated to cancer. The European Union has flagged Petrolatum as a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics.


This is a silicone based ingredient that is used in cosmetics to soften, smooth, moisten, and slide. 

Environment Canada concluded that cyclotetrasiloxane and cylcopentasiloxane which is also known as D4 and D5, are toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms . The European Union classifies D4 as a endocrine disruptor, based on evidence that it interferes with human hormone function , and a possible reproductive toxicant that may impair human fertility . In laboratory lab tests, exposure to high doses of D5 has been shown to cause uterine tumours and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. D5 can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system.

Cyclopentasiloxane is a combination of D4, D5, and D6.

Diazolidinyl Urea

Diazolidinyl Urea is a  formaldehyde-releasing agent that is used as a preservative in a wide range of cosmetics. 

It is of concern due to the fact that it is continuously releasing small amounts of formaldehyde which is know human carcinogen.  

SLS ( sodium lauryl sulfate)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS also known as SLES) is used as a detergent to make items foam and bubble. It is most often found in soaps and shampoos.

SLS can be contaminated with amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. Ethylene oxide is listed as a known human carcinogen which can also harm the nervous system and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen. The California Environmental Protection Agency has classified it as a possible developmental toxin based on evidence that it may interfere with human development.


Polyethylene glycols (PEG's) are petroleum based and are used mostly as thickeners and solvents in cosmetics of various types. PEG's can be contaminated with amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane just like SLS. See the above SLS section for more information.

Also, PEG compounds show evidence of genotoxicity which means if its used on broken skin it can cause irritation and systemic toxicity.


There are thousands of chemicals that go by the ingredient name of "fragrance". Even products marketed as unscented or fragrance free often use a fragrance along with a chemical that acts as a masking agent that prevents the brain from perceiving odour. 

Many of these scents  are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms, while others have been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.

Some synthetic musks are bioaccumulate  and thus build up in the fatty tissue of aquatic species.

Some fragrance ingredients are not perfuming agents but enhance perfuming agents. For example, diethyl phthalate (prounced  tha-late), or  DEP, is commonly used in fragrances to make the scent last longer. Phthalates have been linked to early puberty in girls, reduced sperm count in men, and reproductive defects in the developing male fetus. Phthalate metabolites are also associated with obesity and insulin resistance in men.

Due to competition, the exact breakdown on popular colognes and perfumes ingredients are not required to be listed so its really anyone's guess what's really in the product.


Natural Ingredients

We proudly list all of our ingredients for customers to see. Here's a brief overview on our products. If you want a complete list to look at then just head over to our  natural tattoo aftercare collection and click on the products ingredients tab.

Primitive Outposts Ink'd Balm

Our Ink'd Balm is a combination of Sunflower, Safflower, Babassu, Castor, and Olive Oils. Between them they are loaded in Vitamins and help to heal, moisturize, offer anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. You'll also find cocoa butter for that extra moisturizing kick as well as beeswax that creates a breathable barrier. Glycerin is a humectant meaning it seals in moisture and draws water to it which is great to keep things moisturized. Rosemary, green tea, and watermelon extracts are anti-oxidants, anti-microbials, and anti-inflammatories. Finish it off with Arnica and Calendula oils. This combo offers proven pain killing and rapid healing properties which is just what we want here.

The main thing to take away from this list, is that it's natural.



Primitive Outposts Ink'd Oil

This product is very similar to our balms ingredients (and results) but in a liquid formulation.

Our Ink'd Oil is a combination of Sunflower, Safflower, Castor, Grapeseed, Apricot, Almond and Avocado oils. You still get all the goodness of the Rosemary, and Green Tea extracts plus the amazing Arnica/Calendula Duo for pain relief and healing.



Primitive Outposts Ink'd Liquid Soap

Since you need to spend a lot of time washing and cleaning your new ink this is one of the biggest investments you can make. Made from coconut, sunflower, and castor oils and loaded in glycerin you get a great natural and gentle clean. Arnica and Calendula Oils both make an appearance again to offer pain relief and expedited healing.

Our Ink'd Cleanser is:

  • gentle
  • natural
  • vegan
  • cruelty free
  • antibacterial
  • anti-microbial
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-oxidant
  • well over 50% organic
  • Sulfate free 

...and contains:

  • NO parabens
  • NO mineral oil compounds
  • NO glycols
  • NO phthalates
  • NO synthetic fragrances



Although the ingredients do similar things how they do it is vastly different. Our Ink'd products are just as (if not more) effective to their synthetic counter parts but don't have the potential health hazards. Change things up and get the results you want with the health benefits you need.


Our Ink'd line offers all the results with no bad stuff. Why would you do it any other way?


Paul Koutras
Paul Koutras

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