White Rose Tattoos

white rose

You might assume white rose tattoos are strictly for women, but this really isn't the case. The symbolism of a white rose is appropriate to express many feelings in many situations, whether you're a man or a woman.

Lovely White Rose Tattoos


White roses stand for a number of similar concepts that all revolve around the central virtue of purity.

black outline rose tattoo

White rose tattoos can be used to express:

  • Innocence
  • Virginity
  • Simplicity
  • Friendship
  • Platonic love

The stage of the rose bloom also carries some meaning.

  • Buds can symbolize youth or new beginnings.
  • Flowers newly opened can represent the prime of life.
  • Flowers fully opened can signal maturity.
  • Blooms shedding petals can signify an ending or loss of innocence.


Beautiful on their own, it's easy to see how tattoo lovers could use white rose tattoos in various ways as part of a larger design concept.White buds could be used to mark the birth of a child, or sadly, the death of one. The design could be personalized with the child's name and the birth and/or death dates.

If you subscribe to the Best Friends Forever Club, you and your best pal could get matching white rose tattoos.

Want to put a tear in your mom's eye? Get a white rose tattoo with her name on it for Mother's Day. Even if she's not a tattoo fan, she'll certainly understand and hopefully appreciate the beautiful gesture.

As you can see, there are many ways you can develop a concept based on the initial white rose design, and ideas aren't limited strictly to the female sex.

About White Ink

rose graphic

The immediate challenge in creating white rose tattoos is working with white ink. Yes, although you won't see it used as much as nearly any other ink in the color spectrum, there is such a thing as white ink.The trouble working with white ink is that it is difficult for it to show up on the skin. This is because the ink resides under the skin, so to some degree the color is camouflaged by a person's skin tone.

For greatest visibility, white ink works best with the palest skin tones, since they don't filter the color as much as darker skin does. Darker skin dulls the brightness of the white, turning it more of a dull beige color that really isn't a good alternative when you specifically need white in your tattoo design.

There are other challenges to working with white. It's a very difficult color to get to "stay put". Depending on your exact body chemistry, white ink may work very well, or literally seem to soak in. Some tattoo shops will attempt to force a good outcome by applying an excessive amount of white ink to the area. More often than not, this just results in scar tissue that can ruin the results of your tattoo.

Additionally, white ink alone like some want for white rose tattoos, simply doesn't show up well, and it usually requires some black outlining to make the design pop.

At its best, white ink is better used to highlight areas in a tattoo, rather than using it as a base color, but if you want a white rose what else can you do? It's worth a try, and if white ink just won't work with your skin tone and body chemistry you can always ask your artist to go over it later with another color.

Protecting a White Tattoo

shades of gray rose tattoo

If you're one of those lucky individuals who are able to get a decent white tattoo, better protect it if you want to keep it that way. Sun exposure will ruin your white tat quicker than a can of Ajax and a scrub sponge.

Repeated exposure to UV rays will fade any tattoo ink over time, but white is especially delicate; so apply some SPF 50+ sunscreen lotion to the area. Better yet, keep it covered with some clothing. If the weather is just too hot for a full shirt or pants, you can temporarily cover the area with a bandanna. So what if it's a little '80's retro? Isn't your body art worth it?


White rose tattoos can be the basis for some beautiful imagery, but they aren't the easiest designs to create. If you do manage to get one to come out looking good, take care of it and expect to have the white ink refreshed from time to time.

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