How do you choose what pigment to use for cosmetic tattooing? Colour and retention are important, but so are the ingredients and client safety.

Health authorities want pigments to be free of toxins, particularly those considered to be carcinogenic, reprotoxic (risk of causing birth defects) or mutagenic (risk of accusing mutations).

Sadly some pigment manufacturers have continued to use colorants with these classifications because they get better pigment retention, or they are cheap, or both. Now that Australian health authorities are consulting with pigment suppliers and explaining the problems, we are seeing responsible companies take action and stopping the supply of potentially hazardous pigments.

Pigments are going to be subject to regulations in Australia, with Queensland likely to be the first state to implement them. After delays due to COVID-19, this is now expected to be by May 2021.

The regulations are based on those being prepared by the EU (European Union), which has had a specialist team working on this for years, producing hundreds of pages of research, documentation and regulations.

Pigments, or specifically the colorants and any impurities, will be subject to strict controls. Pigment manufacturers with a problem will either have to withdraw their pigments from sale, or change their formulations and ingredient suppliers.

At THink Aesthetics we have been researching pigment safety since our company started five years ago. It’s a complicated subject that has consumed hundreds of hours of effort. We have never supplied pigments with known problems. The brands we sell; Nouveau ContourKB Pro and Biotouch, have been retained because of their safety as well as colour range and performance. In our five years of selling pigments, there have been 6 pigments out of over 150, mainly from one brand, that we decided not to sell because they contained a hazardous colorant. All our current pigments should be fully compliant with the new regulations when they are finalised.

If you would like further information on pigment safety and what to look for, please subscribe to our mailing list (click here!) and we’ll do our best to keep you well informed and answer questions.

Get in touch with us if you need to!

Call 3300 0465 or message us at

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What is a 'tech talk'?

THink Tech Talks is our informative blog series that discusses technical industry news, training advise and more! Written in partnership with THink Aesthetics, an industry-leading training school that specialises in all things cosmetic tattooing.