Should You Have a Jagua Tattoo

Tattooing has really exploded in popularity in recent years. Those who love it are always eager to have more inking done, and those who do not avoid it altogether.

But there is also a thirds group of people: those who like the idea of tattooing themselves but are not quite sure it’s for them. For people like this, a temporary tattoo might just be the answer they have been looking for, and the traditional Jagua tattoo might just be the solution.

What Is a Jagua Tattoo?

Not to be confused with Jaguar tattoos, the Jagua tattoo was developed largely in South America and uses an extract from a fruit called Genipa Americana.

In fact, the tribal groups of South America have been using this form of body decoration for hundreds of years, but it has only recently crossed borders into Europe and North America.

The extract from the Genipa Americana fruit is a powerful dye and is applied to the surface of the skin. Over several hours, this layer sets and dyes the skin a blue-black color, very similar to the ink used in traditional tattooing.

The big difference is that rather than being deposited beneath the epidermis, the fruit extract dyes the topmost layer of the skin.

With the proper care, the Jagua dye can last up to four weeks, but over this time the skin will naturally shed away and the decoration will fade.

Should You Have a Jagua Tattoo?

One of the best things about the Jagua tattoo is that it really does look like a real tattoo to the untrained eye. Unlike Henna tattoos, which are also temporary, the Jagua tattoo has the characteristic look of a real blue-black tattoo. Lots of people enjoy that look.

So, are there any good reasons for having a Jagua tattoo done rather than a regular tattoo? Consider the following reasons.

No Pain

Many people worry that getting a real tattoo done is going to be painful, and they would be right. Those who fear needles are not going to enjoy being inked, even if they have a fascination with tattooing in general. A temporary Jagua tattoo doesn’t involve needles, pain, or complex aftercare.

No Surgical Risk

Even though modern tattooing equipment is much better than it used to be, there is still some risk of irritated skin, infection, scarring, blood-borne disease such as Hepatitis, and allergic reactions.

Thankfully, these cases are not common as long as you use a reputable tattooist with plenty of experience, but the risk is just too great for some people.

Great for Those Who Are on the Fence About Getting a Real Tattoo

One of the hardest things about getting a permanent tattoo is whether you’ll like it or not. It’s not always easy to choose the right design or the right location for that design. Tattoos don’t suit all people either.

One of the best ways to alleviate these fears and answer the questions is to have a temporary tattoo done. A Jagua tattoo will look like a real tattoo and will give you a much better idea of whether a tattoo is for you or not.

A New Tattoo Every Month

For some people, the thought of the permanence of a real tattoo is limiting. This is where a temporary Jagua tattoo can meet a specific need. Those people who prefer to have a different body decoration every month might find that the Jagua tattoo satisfies their needs.

A Guide to Applying Your Own Jagua Tattoo

The good thing about Jagua tattoos is that you don’t necessarily even need to go to a practitioner to have one done. You can actually buy Jagua gel tattoo kits online. Once you have the kit, there are a number of steps to take to apply the tattoo properly:

Choose the Best Location

Before applying the Jagua gel, you need to choose a location for your tattoo. A place on your body without excessive hairs is ideal. If you don’t want it to be visible to others, make sure it’s in a place that can easily be covered up with clothing.

Come up with a Good Design

Most Jagua gel kits come with a small bottle with a nozzle tip for application. This means you can easily apply almost any design you like, freehand. If you don’t trust your freehand skills though, you could apply a transfer tattoo first and then follow the outline.

It’s always a good idea to keep your first designs simple. Use geometric shapes, lines, wavy lines, zig zags, and other tribal motifs to create a compelling design. Or you could even write words.

Apply the Gel Properly

Make sure your skin has been washed with soap and water and then dried before applying the Jagua gel. Ideally, you should also exfoliate the skin to remove any dead skin cells, as this allows the dye to adhere better.

Once ready, take an appropriate sized nozzle for the design and carefully apply the gel so that the gel sits raised up a little on your skin like a pool. If you happen to make a small mistake, you can fix it by swabbing the gel off with a cloth quickly.

Let it Dry and Set

Once you’re done, you need to leave the gel itself to dry out for at least 30 minutes. During this time, you can’t wrinkle or stretch that part of the skin. You can move around after it has dried.

After between three and six hours, the Jagua dye will have marked the skin in a blue-black color and you can rinse off the hardened gel with warm water. Between 24 and 48 hours later, the design should be fully visible and look like a tattoo!


A Jagua tattoo is a great idea for those who are just thinking about a permanent tattoo or those who don’t want a permanent tattoo but enjoy the decoration.

Even though it has been in use for centuries by native South American people, Jagua temporary tattoos have really become quite popular in both North America and Europe.

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