Frequently Asked Questions About Jagua and Jagua Tattoos

Here are some answers to the most common inquiries from customers regarding our jagua temporary tattoo products.

A. Jagua is a local name for the fruit of the Genipa Americana Tree. It is used by the indigenous peoples of Panama, Columbia, and Peru. The juice from this fruit contains natural black dye that stains the skin in a similar way to natural henna.
The ingredients for Jagua are Aqua, Alcohol, Denat, Genipa Americana, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid and Potassium Sorbate. 

A. The active ingredient ‘Genipine’ comes from the unripe Jagua Fruit (Genipa Americana L).  Once the Jagua paste comes into contact with the skin and exposed to the air, the dye starts to work and begins to leave a stain.  Jagua needs to stay on the skin for 2-3 hours to make sure the skin takes on a good color. After 2-3 hours when the Jagua paste is peeled off, you will see a very pale-colored design. This will darken to a blackish/blue color in about 2 days.

A. Jagua is slightly related to a strawberry or kiwi and if you're allergic to either of those you might or might not have a reaction to Jagua.  Most people have food allergies from ingesting it, not touching it. Jagua is not recommended for those who have eczema or psoriasis because it is a fruit juice.  The choice is yours to try it.  If you have any questions about trying a Jagua tattoo, ask your doctor.

A. Jagua tattoos reach their best color in about 2-4 days after application, this varies according to skin type. Be sure to put your Jagua on 2 days before a big event like a wedding, for the darkest color.

Q. How long does the jagua tattoo last?

A. Jagua tattoos last between 1-3 weeks on an average.  Usually, they have a deep strong color for approximately 2 weeks and fade from there but it really depends on where you put it, how often you wash it and how fast your skin exfoliates.  Your body completely replaces its epidermis every 28 days so your Jagua Tattoo will have disappeared by then.

A. Jagua tattoos turn a black/blue color and look more like a permanent tattoo.  Like henna, the specific color achieved varies from person to person according to variables such as skin type, skin condition, body location, and lifestyle, therefore your tattoo can be anywhere from black to blue to gray.

A. There are several reasons why a Henna or Jagua tattoo might not get dark.  Most people get the desired results time after time.  If you run into an issue one of these could be the reason.

     The product wasn't mixed properly or had expired.

     The skin it was put on was overexposed to sun or chemicals and was ready to come off.

     Henna doesn't develop properly if you don't leave it on long enough or it gets wet in the first 12 hours.

     Jagua doesn't develop properly if you leave it on too long.

     Certain parts of the body don't stain well, the face and neck.

     Some people don't stain as well as others depending on their dead layers of skin and lifestyle.


Q. Is jagua the same as black henna?

A. Jagua is a fruit that grows in the Amazon. Black henna doesn’t grow anywhere! Simply put, it does not exist. The stuff on the market called “black henna” is a synthetic compound containing industrial dyes (like PPD), inks, or chemicals—all of them potentially harmful to the skin. We strongly recommend that you stay away from the so-called black henna mixtures.


Q. Does the stain disappear completely?

A. Yes. It gets lighter as the skin exfoliates, and eventually disappears completely.

Q. Does it hurt to get a jagua tattoo?

A. No. The skin is never pierced and it does not hurt. It is applied on top of the skin, just like henna.

Q. If I keep the gel on my skin longer than two hours, will I get a darker stain?

A. Two hours is sufficient to obtain the darkest color. Leaving it on longer will not yield a darker or longer-lasting stain.

Q. Are there any side effects to using jagua?

A. No. But do bear in mind that jagua is a fruit. People with fruit sensitivities (and everyone else) should do a small patch test before attempting a full-size tattoo.

Q. Aside from the color, how is jagua different from henna?

A. The two are different in that…

  • Jagua does not need to stay on the skin as long as henna; 2 hours is sufficient.
  • Jagua gel takes a little longer to dry than henna.
  • Jagua is a fruit. Henna is a plant.
  • Jagua grows in tropical climates; henna grows in the desert.

Q. How long does the jagua gel stay fresh once you open the bottle?

A. 2–3 months, if refrigerated.

Q. Do jagua tattoos show up on dark skin?

A. Yes.

Q. Can I use it anywhere on my body?

A. Yes—just keep it out of your eyes.

Q. Do some areas of the body stain better than others?

A. As with henna, the stain is darkest on the hands and feet.

Q. Once my jagua tattoo starts fading, is there any way to restore it to its original color?

A. Yes. Simply retrace over the design with more gel.

Q. Does jagua permanently stain fabric, wood, and other porous surfaces the way henna does?

A. No. But it does stain the skin very quickly! If you get jagua on your hands during the application, wash it off immediately, if not sooner!

Q. If I want to remove a jagua tattoo, what should I do?

A. There is no quick fix. You may rub the area gently with soap and a washcloth, or use baby oil to lessen the staining effect, but it will still take a few days to disappear completely.

Q. What can I do to help my tattoo last longer?

A. Avoid chlorinated pools and soaking in hot tubs. It may be useful to apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the tattoo before swimming or showering.

Q. Is it safe for pregnant women and children to use jagua?

A. Yes.

Q. Do I have to be an artist to work with jagua?

A. It helps if you know how to draw. However, if you can’t draw even a crooked line, our kits come with stencil transfers that make it easy enough for a 10-year-old to make beautiful tattoos.

Q. Do you have any special tips when working with jagua?

A. FIRST NIGHT ONLY: Wrap design with bathroom tissue and tape to avoid staining other areas of the body that the tattoo may come in contact with, like your face (!) and bedsheets.