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Posted on Jan 1, 2017

"Soooo basically it’s henna?"

"Is it black henna???"

"So a henna tattoo..."

"This has been around forever... it's called henna"


inkbox tattoos are not henna. This is one of our most commonly asked questions. We get it, if you're hearing about inkbox for the first time, you might first associate it with another form of body art. However, inkbox is different from henna in its application and uses, as well as on a molecular level. So, what's the difference?


The Ingredients


Henna is a dye prepared from the plant Lawsonia inermisHenna has a tannin dye molecule, Lawsone, or hennotannic acid, that is small enough to penetrate a skin cell. If you put henna paste on skin, the dye molecules will penetrate down the columns of skin cells.



inkbox is a fruit-based formula, made from Genipa Americana. inkbox works similarly to henna, however it uses a different molecule to penetrate the skin cell. It reacts with organic compounds to change your skin's color. 

Both henna and inkbox tattoos are semi-permanent because they sit in your epidermis and therefore only last 2-3 weeks, which is the natural regeneration time of your skin. 


The Color


The paste of Natural Henna is dark brown, and the stain appears orange when the paste is first removed. It darkens over the following three days to a deep reddish brown. Any other form of "colored" henna is not henna at all. "Black henna" should never be used on your skin as it contains PPD, a chemical that can leave permanent scarring. Google the results at your own risk!





inkbox initially has a green-blue result when first applied, and develops over 24-36 hours into a dark blue-black result.



The Application


Commonly it's applied directly to the skin using a cone tube. Then a mixture of lemon juice and white sugar is applied over the design to remoisten the henna mud so that the henna will stain darker. It is left on the skin for 2-6 hours and develops over the next 24-72 hours.




Our Freehand Ink is applied directly to the skin using our needle tip bottle. After 1 hour it can be completely removed by washing gently with soap and water. The color gradually darkens through oxidation over 24-36 hours.



Our inkbox stencil tattoos are applied with our patented applicator, which requires just 15 minutes. No artistic ability? With over 500 designs and a custom platform, this is your best solution to a realistic semi-permanent tattoo!



You can also check out Faryal Ansari's product review of our Freehand Ink, where she discusses the main differences between inkbox and Black Henna.



The Culture


Henna (Mehndi) is a ceremonial art form which originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent. It is typically applied during weddings - for brides. The use of mehndi is described in the earliest Hindu Vedic ritual books.


inkbox is inspired from a fruit that primarily grows in the jungles of the Darién Gap, Panama. This area is home to the Embera-Wounaan and Kuna indians, who still rely on their local forests for survivalWe're proud to donate a percentage of every sale to the Darién Initiative, who for 30 years have helped the indigenous people of the Darién Gap, Panama.




Here at inkbox we love all forms of self-expression and body art. Wether it's henna, stick-n-peel temporary tattoos, permanent tattoos or inkbox, you do you!


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