Jagua FAQs

What is Jagua?

Jagua is a type of skin dying gel made from the tropical fruit Genipa Americana. Hailing from South America, it has been used by natives for thousands of years. This bluish-black non-permanent dye creates a temporary tattoo when applies to the body and will wear off as the epidermal layer of skin to which is has been applied sheds. 

Click here for additional information on Genipa Americana. 

Jagua vs. Henna

Jagua is not henna. Organic henna is  made from a plant leaf that has been dried and turned into a paste. The resulting stain from henna is reddish/brown and will last up to 7 days. Jagua is made from the juice of the Genipa Americana fruit and will result in a bluish-black stain that may last 2-3 weeks. Currently Jagua is the only naturally safe method for obtaining a black temporary tattoo.


"Black henna" is a chemical based product containing P.P.D. and is extremely hazardous - we do not recommend using "black henna" as this may result in serious skin burns & scarring.  

How long does Jagua last?

The longevity of the tattoo will vary on a few factors. The location of the tattoo, your lifestyle and proper aftercare will all impact how long your stain lasts. The average Jagua tattoo will last 2-3 weeks. Swimming, saunas and exfoliating will shorten the life of your tattoo. Tattoos done on the hands, face & neck wear off the quickest; tattoos on arms & legs will last the longest. 

The best way to extend the life of your tattoo is to follow proper aftercare

How safe is Jagua?

Jagua is relatively new to the western world of body art and we are still learning about Jagua & it's many uses. Jagua is a natural food product that has been used for thousands of years on women, children and men as part of their daily routine; not only for nutritional purposes and skin dye, but for herbal healing as well. However, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to any foreign substance applied to the skin. We encourage people with sensitive skin to do a patch test prior to applying a full sized Jagua tattoo. To patch test it, apply a small dot of Jagua behind the ear to test your sensitivity to Jagua. For those with sensitive skin we recommend the Lavender blend Jagua gel and not the Eucalyptus blend, as this is a gentler essential oil. 

We have sold many Jagua tattoo products and provide it as a service at our shop; and we have only had a few cases of allergic reactions each year. An allergic reaction to Jagua will appear as a dense rash of hard red bumps and may look similar to the allergic reactions caused by PPD or Black Henna. Unlike PPD or Black Henna, an allergic reaction to Jagua will not create a lasting scar. This rash can be treated like any other allergic rash with the application of anti-itch cream and/or Cortizone. Before treating any allergic reaction, it is essential to consult your health care professional.

We speculate that there may be a connection between high alcohol/drug levels and how the body reacts to Jagua. It is not wise to expose heat in any form to a fresh applied Jagua tattoo in the first 48 hour of the tattoo development or painful scarring may occur.

How long does Jagua take to dry?

Jagua gel will dry to the touch in 30-45 minutes; depending on the thickness of the design. We recommend keeping the tattoo gel on your skin for 2-6 hours. Avoid water exposure during this time. Optionally, you can seal the design with our protective tape to prevent flaking and accidental water exposure.

The longer Jagua gel is in contact with your skin, the darker the tattoo will be. Ensure that you do not sleep with the gel on and be sure to wash the area thoroughly prior to sleeping so you do not transfer the gel to other body parts! This is not a fun thing to wake up to - unless you want to have a tattooed face. 

Why isn't my tattoo showing?

Jagua gel can take 12-36 hours to fully develop. If you applied a Jagua tattoo and it's a light greenish/grey after washing it off don't panic! This is normal. You will notice the tattoo starting to develop after 12 hours, at which point you will have a bluish-black stain. Depending on the area the gel was applied to and your skin, the tattoo will continue to develop for another 24 hours. 

Are there other colour options?

Unfortunately, no. Jagua is an all natural product and will always be a bluish-black colour. The exact shade will vary based on an individual's skin tone. Different essential oils may also alter the colour slightly. Our lavender oil gel will provide a greener undertone while the eucalyptus blend will have a bluer undertone. They will both stain black; it's just personal preference which one you pick. Individuals with sensitive skin should use the lavender blend.

Does Jagua show on dark skin?

Yes! Jagua will stain well on all skin tones. On lighter skin the tattoo may be bluer and on darker tones it will look more black. It will appear bluish-black on all skin tones. The fresher the Jagua is, the darker the stain will be.

How do I use Jagua?

Jagua tattoos can be created using a variety of tools. We recommend the pre-made cones as they are the easiest to use. Alternatively, you can apply Jagua with an applicator bottle with a blunt ended needle tip - however this is harder on the hands as the bottle requires more squeezing. The smaller sized [15g] cones are easy to handle and the designs can be squeezed onto the body in a motion similar to icing a cake.

Prep the skin by cleaning it with rubbing alcohol prior to application. Avoid wearing creams or lotions on the skin; if you have it on - wash it off. We recommend wearing nitrile gloves while applying the gel as it may stain your hands during application. If mistakes are made, wipe the area immediately with rubbing alcohol & a q-tip. Once applied to the skin, let the gel completely dry for 2-6 hours. After this time, peel off the gel and wash the area thoroughly with warm water and soap; ensuring there is no residue left. Do not sleep with the gel on. 

After removal the design will be very light or barely visible - don't panic. Your stain will develop in 12-36 hours. Follow our aftercare instructions for more information on how to take care of your new temporary tattoo.

How often do you ship?

As Jagua is a perishable item, we make fresh batches weekly. Orders must be placed by Sunday 5pm EST and will be shipped on the upcoming Monday. Orders placed after cut-off will be shipped the following Monday. If you have missed the cutoff and require an urgent order, please reach out to us and we may be able to accommodate you.

We currently offer shipping across Canada. Rates will vary depending on the weight of your order and your location.