The New 'Fake' Tattoo: Jagua Tattoos

Jagua or, Genipa Americana, is a fruit that can create medicines, desserts, and my favorite, tattoos.

Genipa A. is a fruit native to the Caribbean, south American and southern Mexico regions that has served as a traditional decoration tool & for medicinal purposes to local tribes for over 2000 years.

Similarly to henna, jagua is an ancient practice that is known to be used in tribal celebrations and for medicinal purposes. As a fruit, it has a few additional benefits and properties that make it more appealing than henna. Central and South Americans use jagua in sweets, wines, syrups, and liquor, but—most specifically—for its vibrant natural dye. Additionally, Jagua can be used as insect repellent, perfume, and as natural dye for clothes, and other house-ware items.

Although Jagua is a natural product, and is typically safe for most individuals. It is not recommended for those with highly sensitive skin, and those with fruit related allergies. With that extreme precaution out of the way: I never worry about a client having a skin reaction with Jagua, as it is rare. I always inquire about allergies directly related to blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and bilberries prior to applying the gel to the skin & ask the client to consider their risk of having a reaction. 

If you believe you might be sensitive to the gel, ask to experiment with a small dot on the skin, and allow it to develop before doing any large designs!**

To make Jagua into a gel that is suitable for body skin art, the juice must be extracted and mixed with other natural ingredients to create the right consistency and quality. The colorless juice is extracted and mixed with xanthan gum, & organic lavandula angustifolia oil (essential oils). Since the process for mixing jagua is a little more complex, I rely on a trusty vendor for my Jagua gel.

Fresh Jagua provides a safe and quality product with fast delivery. As a henna and jagua artist it's necessary for me to have product readily available for appointments. Preservation of extra jagua is key & as long as it remains airtight in the freezer, it's quality can last for up to 2-months.

Once the gel is mixed and transferred into a cone or applicator, it can be applied to the skin. Designs can be applied intricately or in a more realistic fashion like a tattoo. After it is applied, it must dry for a minimum of 1 hours then be washed off with soap and water. The design will develop from a pale-gray to an astonishing jet-black/blue. These designs can last up to 3 weeks! 

As with henna, where the tattoo should be placed in certain areas of the skin for a better quality stain, the placement in which you choose your jagua design will affect how the jagua is absorbed into the skin. It is recommended to place designs on the hands, feet or inner forearm to attain the darkest stain possible.

Quick tips & tricks for a longer-lasting & dark Jagua design.


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