Water-Transfer Henna Temporary Tattoos Are Safe

Self-applied, transfer temporary tattoos not part of FDA warnings

TUCSON, AZ, March 26, 2013 — The FDA Monday issued its annual alert about the dangers of henna temporary tattoos, but did not clarify that the warning does not apply to water-transfer temporary tattoos, including henna-style designs. The temporary tattoos referred to in the FDA warnings are painted on by an artist using black henna ink containing paraphenylenediamine (PPD), not those that are self-applied transfers.

“While we applaud the FDA’s effort to keep consumers safe, we want to be clear that our water-transfer temporary tattoos are made with all-natural, FDA-certified colorants and time-proven manufacturing techniques. Our products meet or exceed all applicable U.S. and international regulatory requirements,” said Chris Huff, Tattoo Manufacturing International V.P. of Operations and Compliance. “Our colorants are approved by the FDA for cosmetic use, which means the FDA has determined they are safe for “direct dermal contact.”

Water-transfer temporary tattoos are rarely associated with any sort of skin reaction, and are safe to apply to children.

Black Henna Temporary Tattoos

FDA warnings pertain to tattoos made with black henna or pre-mixed henna, which can contain potentially harmful ingredients including silver nitrate, carmine, pyrogallol, disperse orange dye and chromium. Black henna gets its jet-black color from the coal-tar dye paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a textile dye approved by the FDA for human use only in hair coloring. In Canada, PPD use on the skin is banned. These chemicals can cause reactions long after application. Neither black henna nor pre-mixed henna are approved for cosmetic use by the FDA.

Over the past several years some henna artists have used PPD-laced Black Henna. PPD is absorbed by the skin, enters the blood stream, and passes through the kidneys and liver. Some people have had extreme reactions and lifelong damage. Many people are drawn to black henna because the outcome looks more like a real tattoo. Though the tattoo looks real, it also has a high risk of staying with you for the rest of your life.

Does the FDA Approve Any Temporary Tattoos?

No, the FDA does not “approve” any temporary tattoos. The FDA regulates the colorants approved for use in the making temporary tattoo products. “FDA Approved” language on websites may be a misstatement by those who are selling temporary tattoos. Purchasing these products from a reputable manufacturer that uses only FDA-approved colorants and has met or exceeded the safety testing requirements is prudent.
“Tattoo Manufacturing exceeds all state and government safety standards,” said Huff. “This is vital to our customers and a requirement to export to the many countries to which we ship our products each year.”

You can visit the FDA’s page about temporary tattoos to learn more about its oversight of these products. Tattoo Manufacturing’s testing data is available upon request.
About Tattoo Manufacturing International


Tattoo Manufacturing, a division of TMI Acquisition LLC, is the largest manufacturer of temporary tattoos in the world. The company designs and manufactures all of its products in Tucson, AZ. Products are non-toxic, hypoallergenic, use FDA certified colorants and comply with CSPC/CPSIA and ASTM requirements. All products exceed US, Canadian and EU safety standards. The company’s products have a worldwide reputation for quality. Visit www.tattoosales.com or call 1-800-747-8016 for more information.