There’s been a lot of debate about “temporary” ink. While we’ve all seen the cheesy stick on tattoos that last a few days the border between permanent and temporary is starting to blur. Many companies are trying to produce tattoo ink that only lasts 6-12 months while others are trying to make the temporary tattoo last longer and look less fake.
How it Works
Technology has now created something called the Two Week Tattoo. It looks and feels like a real tattoo (no peeling gummy edges) and stays on for approximately two weeks. This clever technology actually copies the concept of tattooing where ink is deposited into the skin. The difference is where in the skin it’s deposited. For a tattoo to be permanent it has to sit in the second layer of skin called the dermis. The reason for this is that our skin is constantly shedding it’s top layer so anything that is in this will slough off within a week or two. These tattoos work by sinking ink (or dyeing) the top epidermis layer only with ink so that it will shed naturally while still being permanent enough to stay.
The ink is organic and vegan friendly. It’s different from henna because unlike natural henna it’s not brown. Black henna is actually dangerous and made from hair dye which should never be used on skin.
What can you get?
Actually you can get anything! While these companies do have pre-made designs they also sell gel ink bottles much like henna. In the same process the ink must sit for an hour so that the skin is suitably stained, once it’s washed off the dye is permanent so you can draw absolutely anything you like. The ink only comes in black and dark blue so your options are somewhat limited but it’s a gigantic step forwards between temporary and permanent and a good way to “Test out” that idea you have.
The biggest problem with this type of temporary tattoo is that the initial 24 hour period means you’ll have a risk of transfer, especially while you sleep. Even if you’ve washed the ink off that top layer of skin is very exposed so you’ll want to keep it covered with clothes to prevent it transferring to your sheets or worse, your face! Additionally the ink is prone to smudging and washing off so you don’t want to wash the area too frequently or scrub hard or use any solvent type products on it. Ideally, you should exfoliate the area thoroughly the night before so that the skin there is fresh. Avoid any area that the skin is broken or damaged because this can expose the dermis and once the ink is applied over it the tattoo may become permanent in those areas where it’s damaged.
Before you shower or do any type of water activity the tattoo should be protected with a layer of oil or vaseline as this will prevent the water getting into the pores and will help it last longer.
There’s also a risk of allergy as with any product that you put on your skin. It’s pretty rare but it’s a good idea to apply a little and wait to see if a reaction develops within 24-36 hours. The risk of irritation increases if you reapply the tattoo in the same area repeatedly.
What Does This Mean?
This is pretty awesome for anyone who is on the fence about getting tattooed. It means that if you’re not sure or you don’t want something permanently now you have a real option that will make it look and feel like a real tattoo rather than a sticker. While there’s a limit with colors it’s certainly a painless step forwards.