Glow in the Dark tattoos

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  • @Birdhandz i gotchu. I'm curious about density of powder in glycerin. you'd have to really pack it in. I would have been stubborn with water.. for on skin is probably great with glycerin.
    for inskin, i'd add enough water that there's just a few mm of water above the level of the powder, and shake and dip for each reload. would want to jam as much of that powder in as possible... which brings up idea of not exactly tattoo, but sub-q injection of a pouch, or small balls of product. hrm. so many options!
    Good luck!

  • @Erischilde said:
    @Birdhandz i gotchu. I'm curious about density of powder in glycerin. you'd have to really pack it in. I would have been stubborn with water.. for on skin is probably great with glycerin.
    for inskin, i'd add enough water that there's just a few mm of water above the level of the powder, and shake and dip for each reload. would want to jam as much of that powder in as possible... which brings up idea of not exactly tattoo, but sub-q injection of a pouch, or small balls of product. hrm. so many options!
    Good luck!

    I haven't tried it yet but my plan is to mix just enough glycerine into the powder to make it into an ink like paste. It has to be thin enough to flow but still thick enough to stick on the needle. I'm not sure water alone would suspend the powder good enough.

    My first thought was to put the glow in the dark powder into a small tube and seal it inside so the powder was never exposed to the body. I tried putting some in an ink pen tube which is supposedly polypropylene and it glowed real nice but never tried implanting it to see if the glow could be seen through the skin. I'm not positive polypropylene is biosafe but I know it can be autoclaved. There would be much more powder but it would also be deeper than a tattoo.

    I sterilized some of the dry glow powder in a tiny bottle in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes and it still glows and stayed a powder so I'm now thinking of sterilizing the powder dry and then mixing it up right before using it instead of trying to sterilize the ink mixture. I think the glycerine should be sterile directly out of the bottle but it could probably be sterilized separate if needed.

    There is no practical purpose to any of this but it still sounds cool.

  • edited February 2018

    I tried mixing a small amount of the powder with a couple drops of glycerine and it makes a nice ink like mixture. I painted a couple spots onto my hand and wrist and the glow was very noticeable in even less than full darkness.

    I left it painted on my skin all night and it had no sign of any rash or itching. I won't recommend or discourage anyone from trying it as a tattoo ink but it looks like it would probably work. I would use a little more powder than I did in my test to get as much powder as possible into the mixture if/when I try it for real.

  • @Birdhandz you mean like a giant Firefly? That could be neat. Not sure how i feel about implanting a pen; when i was younger i took those kinds of risks. Now i'd want a little more info. polypropelene is good, but what if they poured lead in that factory ten years early, for example...
    Saying that though, would be amazing (but a lot of work) to put together online, a list of common objects that can be used/sterilized/biosafe :D

    For skin application, you could try alcohol as a mix, or even glycerine, alcohol, and powder. As the alcohol evaporates it would lay the beads to your skin, where as the glycerine either gets absorbed or rubs off.

  • @Erischilde

    I wasn't thinking about a giant Firefly but something similar sized only with the glow in the dark powder instead of the Tritium to make it glow. I still kind of doubt that it could glow enough or get enough light through the skin to glow bright enough but it might.

    The ink pen tube was just something I found that could be filled with the powder to see if it might work. I didn't have a good way of sealing it but it did glow nicely. A glass tube that was laser sealed (or torch sealed and annealed) might work real good and be biosafe with no radiation hazard at all but that is still just an untested idea. I have no intention of trying it myself. I'm pretty sure the powder is non conductive so it might be able to be combined with an RFID tag for a 2 for 1 implant.

    It might have been a bad idea but I had everything I needed here so I tattooed a band of the powder mixed with pure glycerine on the upper part of my wrist. I didn't have a black light so it was hard to tell exactly where or how much I was doing so it ended up a lot larger than I originally wanted to do.

    I wiped it down with rubbing alcohol to remove the excess ink (which did sting a bit) and checked it in the dark. It looks like it worked but won't know for sure for a couple days. The glow could have just been from external powder that didn't get cleaned off with the alcohol. I have it covered in antibiotic cream and wrapped up right now to keep it clean but it doesn't hurt any worse than would be expected for an area just punctured hundreds or thousands of times. So far no burning or itching. Once healed, it should be invisible in normal light.

    I can't recommend anyone else trying this experiment due to unknown long term effects but I'll post an update in a day or so with the results.

  • edited February 2018

    UPDATE:

    The tattoo does glow but doesn't keep glowing as long as I hoped. Lasts about an hour before needing recharged compared to the many hours or even all night that the powder normally glows for. It doesn't require complete darkness to see the glow but it needs to be almost total darkness.

    It isn't fully healed yet but I think there just isn't enough powder in the skin to get the bright glow and the long duration glow that the powder normally has. Making the ink a little thicker (more powder) might have worked better.

    Still pretty cool effect but it is never bright enough to use as a built in flashlight.

  • @Birdhandz could you provide a picture?
  • I tried to get a picture but my camera won't pick it up. I used a black light to try to charge it up brighter or to see it with the black light but still no luck getting a picture.

    It did show me why it is not as bright as I hoped it would be. I could see the individual particles of the powder instead of a solid patch of them so it looks like my homemade ink needed more powder or a different carrier fluid. There just isn't a lot of the powder that made it into the skin. I have some other ideas but want to wait until this test heals a little more and see if there is any bad reactions and if it might get a little brighter.

  • @Birdhandz, I would love to stay updated on this! It sounds super cool, and I look forward to hearing about it if you plan to do any more tests. Can you provide a link to wherever you purchased the powder from? I would love to play around with it if I can.

  • @FireBreathingReptile said:
    @Birdhandz, I would love to stay updated on this! It sounds super cool, and I look forward to hearing about it if you plan to do any more tests. Can you provide a link to wherever you purchased the powder from? I would love to play around with it if I can.

    The ebay seller I got mine from no longer sells it but there are many other sellers with likely the same product. Mine was listed Glow-in-the-Dark Powder Aqua/Blue/Green/Purple Strontium Aluminate Glow Pigment and I got the Green color.

    I did try the experiment again adding both rubbing alcohol and glycerine and it worked better than just glycerine. Straight alcohol mixed the powder up good but dried quickly.

    It only takes seconds with an LED flashlight to charge it up but the glow vanishes in less than half an hour. A black light will make it glow brighter but the glow is still gone within less than an hour.

    For a less invasive and non-permanent effect, the powder and alcohol mixture can be painted on the skin and then rubbed in/off with more alcohol. Takes longer than a day to get it all back off and is brighter than when injected into the skin.

  • edited February 2018

    I've got all three of those an I'm going to mix up and try tomorrow. What powder/gylcerine/alcohol ratios did you try @Birdhandz ? Also what does it look like in daylight? I'm hoping for it to be practially invisible.

  • @Superman said:
    I've got all three of those an I'm going to mix up and try tomorrow. What powder/gylcerine/alcohol ratios did you try @Birdhandz ? Also what does it look like in daylight? I'm hoping for it to be practially invisible.

    I didn't precisely measure anything but basically just put a little of the powder into a tattoo ink cup and added a couple drops of rubbing alcohol and a couple drops of glycerine and stirred them together. I don't know if it was really needed but I put some of the dry powder into a tiny glass vial and pressure cooked it for 15-20 minutes to try to sterilise it before mixing the alcohol and glycerine in. I also used a new, sterile tattoo needle and cleaned the tattoo machine tube and handle with alcohol and flame sterilised the tip of the tube to try to keep everything sterile. The pressure cooker would have worked for the tube and handle but I forgot to add them to the batch of other things I was sterilising.

    I washed the area I was going to tattoo with soap and water and cleaned it with more alcohol and applied a little antibiotic cream to the area before starting and then just tattooed a small patch on the top of my wrist maybe 1/2 inch x 2 inches.

    It has now been about 11 or 12 days since I did it and, freshly charged, it glows pretty good in almost total darkness. It did get a little brighter now that it has mostly healed but the duration of the visible glow is still probably less than an hour. It recharges in seconds or minutes but I was hoping for a little longer.

    It is invisible in the light and even under black light it is almost invisible until the light is turned off. Had I mixed the powder with white ink it might have been more visible under the black light but mine is just barely visible with the black light on. In the dark it is a greenish white glowing patch but I can't pick it up on a camera.

    Still no itching or other bad effects but I have no idea what the long term effects might be or how long it will last. Good luck and let us know how it works for you if you do try it.

  • @Birdhandz said: In the dark it is a greenish white glowing patch but I can't pick it up on a camera.

    I figured out how to take photos of my firefly using the camera on my phone (Galaxy S7). If you switch it to "pro," and then change the shutter speed to a few seconds, you can take a long exposure shot and it tends to pick up the dim light better. The only problem is that you have to hold the camera very still for it to look clear; I recommend bracing laying it on a table with the camera hanging off, and holding the light source (tattoo, firefly, etc) underneath it.

  • @Birdhandz heeyy.. did some watching on prison tattoos. Small amount of shapoo or babyoil.. but like small.. and water, is a common mix.
    apparently the shampoo helps bind, the water then is the carrier.
    wife broke out the tattoo machines and has been getting ready to practice some more. i'm so torn on whether or not to try this. i'd love to try to highlight some of the biowork and eyes i have tatooed with glow, but not knowing the chemical makeup and it's safety, worries me a bit. heck.. even well known tattoo colors sometimes end up with real funky stuff in them. (cinebar red?)
    Hows it's healing?

    @FireBreathingReptile thanks! i really want to get my firefly in a pic, i'll give this a shot.

  • This stuff?
    https://www.amazon.ca/Aqua-Glow-Dark-Powder-Pigment/dp/B07562796K/ref=sr_1_1_sspa/139-7263433-4093400?ie=UTF8&qid=1519241369&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=glow-in-the-dark+powder&psc=1

    I'm wondering what "non toxic" means. I hate/love the vaguery. They say glow sticks are "non toxic" and that shit melted the plastic off my phone lol...

  • My phone isn't fancy enough to have a long exposure setting. I downloaded an app to try to do long exposure pictures but still no luck getting a picture of the glow.

    The tattoo is pretty much completely healed and is invisible in normal light. No redness, itching, or other signs that it is rejecting.

    It needs to be charged with a flashlight real close or a black light and my eyes need to be somewhat adjusted to the dark to see it. The duration of the glow is still less than I hoped for. At least 1/2 hour but less than an hour. I think there is just not enough of the powder in the skin to stay visible for hours. It does recharge in well under a minute but even charging it longer doesn't really increase the duration.

    Painting the mixture of glow powder, alcohol, and glycerine on the skin gives a much brighter glow and it must soak into the skin because it takes days to get it all washed (or worn) back off. Even scrubbing hard with hot soapy water doesn't get it all off. The glow from the painted on mixture is almost bright enough to read by if you are close enough to it. I could get a picture of the glow from the painted on powder mixture but that's not the same as when it is actually in the skin.

    @Erischilde said:
    This stuff?
    https://www.amazon.ca/Aqua-Glow-Dark-Powder-Pigment/dp/B07562796K/ref=sr_1_1_sspa/139-7263433-4093400?ie=UTF8&qid=1519241369&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=glow-in-the-dark+powder&psc=1

    I'm wondering what "non toxic" means. I hate/love the vaguery. They say glow sticks are "non toxic" and that shit melted the plastic off my phone lol...

    That looks like the same type I got except I got the green color instead of the aqua. If aqua is the brightest color that would probably work a little better. I think I ordered the color that had the longest glow and a bottle with some of it does glow many hours but it doesn't seem to last as long when it has to glow through the skin so brighter would probably be more visible.

    Mine claimed to be non-toxic too and I haven't had any bad reaction to it but can't tell what the long term effects might be so you have to make up your own mind if it is worth the risk. So far I don't regret doing it and I have added more to widen out the patch of glowing skin but it doesn't look like it is going to be something that anyone else is going to notice unless they are in complete darkness with you and it is freshly charged. Even under a black light it is barely visible until the light is turned off.

    @Erischilde said:
    i'd love to try to highlight some of the biowork and eyes i have tatooed with glow>

    This should work but be advised that the excess ink doesn't wipe off like normal tattoo ink so your wife will likely be working "blind" and you will end up with a patch of glowing skin until the excess powder is washed or worn off leaving only the injected powder to glow.

  • Totally different approach than you guys are considering here, but what about using a needle to 'sow' many individual pieces of fiber optic into your skin, and routing them all to a singular homemade jacked up firefly tattoo, or a small subcutaneously implanted LED?

  • Quick update.

    Turns out just buying a cheap Chinese tattoo machine isn't enough. You have to know how to use it too.

    I redid the tattoo patch I had previously done this time with the machine tuned and set right. Won't know for sure for a few days but so far it looks like I was able to get a lot more of the ink into my skin. Should give a more noticeable glow and hopefully last longer between recharges. I'll update everyone when it heals back up again and I get a chance to see it in the dark.

    Immediately after doing it, half of my arm was glowing but scrubbing up with soap and water removed most of the excess powder. Alcohol alone just spreads it around. Was really cool looking but hid the actual tattooed spots.

    My first attempts were not complete wastes. It did glow and allowed me to test my reaction to a small amount of the powder. Hopefully this larger amount works ok too. It is red and a bit sore right now but that's normal.

  • Purchased some glow powder marketed as silicone encapsulated (waterproof) in aqua. I went with <85 micron as I think it should be small enough to get into the skin, while being large enough to hold light for a while.

    While I don't have a tattoo machine, I have a bit of experience with hand tattooing and have some prepackaged needles lying around.

    I'll give this a go once everything comes in and see what results I can get.

  • edited March 2018

    Another update:

    The new tattoo does glow better than the original one did but it is still like @Johnny3D described his version of the firefly tattoo. It needs to be freshly charged in order to see the glow. It needs to be purposely charged and not just exposed to normal room lighting. A black light charges it faster but an LED flashlight or phone's flashlight placed over the skin will also work.

  • Update:

    Two nights ago I mixed some water with some of the powder (roughly a 30/70 water to powder ratio). I put in on my skin and tattooed a single line just under an inch long. As I went with the <85 micron powder, it does seem to be rather difficult to get into the skin, but a bit seemed to stick. Of course it will be a week or so before I see if any survives the healing period, but so far after being charged with a blacklight it glows even brighter than my V1 firefly for about an hour.

    I feel like it will just be a matter of a lot of touchups to try to work as many glowing particles into the area as possible. Probably a month long process or so.

    I'll try to get a picture up once I have something bright enough (healed) to be seen by my phone camera.

  • I went over the area I had been tattooing one more time about a week ago and now have some peeling of the outer layer of skin but it glows even better than it did before. Still not bright enough to capture with my camera but pretty bright when charged with a black light. Not bad when just charged with a flashlight either. Still needs to be purposely charged and lasts less than an hour but works pretty good and still no sign of rejection. The little bit of peeling skin was expected due to the number of times the same area was done recently.

  • That's great news @Birdhandz! Unfortunately mine didn't end up sticking and I lost most of it to healing. Thinking I'll grab some glycerine for the next attempt.

  • My last try was with just glycerine and the powder and it seems to have worked. I had been using gycerine and rubbing alcohol with the powder but was trying to get a thicker ink the last time. I now have about a 2 inch square glowing patch on the top of my wrist. I tried to make a star but ended up just covering it all because the shape wasn't defined enough. There is still brighter particles that I can see when charged up with the black light but the whole area glows. I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't stay glowing longer considering the powder alone is still visible hours after being charged but I guess passing through the skin hides the glow when it gets dimmer. That and there is less powder to glow.

  • Another 2 months since my last update on the glow in the dark powder as a tattoo ink.

    It has completely healed and is completely invisible unless charged up and viewed in the dark. The glow still fades away sooner than I would have liked but it still glows when charged by a bright flashlight held right against the skin or with a black light. The black light charges it faster and it glows brighter but it still needs to be very dark to notice the glow. It isn't even very visible with the black light shining on it but mixing the powder with white ink instead of the clear glycerine might change that.

    I don't regret doing it and there was no sign of any bad reaction to the powder but the glow would need to be brighter and the duration longer to be something I would recommend others do. It is kind of cool to see it in the dark but I have to purposely charge it up and it isn't really bright enough to be of any real use.

    If more of the powder had gotten into the skin it would probably glow brighter but I don't have any immediate plans of adding more. A shading needle instead of a liner would have probably helped. Someone with more experience doing the tattoo might have done a better job too.

  • I've been away from this forum for a while now due to work and other interests but just checked my DIY glowing tattoo and now, over a year later, it still glows about the same as it had originally and never showed any sign of a bad reaction to the ink. Not noticeable enough to see except in full darkness and after being charged with a bright flashlight but it does still glow. The glow still fades away after just a short time so probably not really worth it but it is still kind of cool and I don't regret doing the experiment. Just thought I'd post a quick update here in case anyone was interested in my results.
  • @Birdhandz thanks for the update!

    My attempt has fared about as well. I wasn't able to get many particles to survive the healing process, but it hasn't changed since, nor has there been any reaction of any sort.

    Might eventually invest in a tattoo machine and give it another go, but that's the story of my attempt thus far.

    Glad to hear a few of us have done some tests with this and achieved similar results.

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