Ephemeral Tattoo, a Brooklyn-based tattoo studio, opened last month with the goal of allowing “everyone the opportunity to express their individuality without fear or regret,” according to its website.
To ensure that no one regrets their Deathly Hallows symbol tattoo or one they got of their star sign, the shop uses a “revolutionary ink” that is specially formulated to fade.
According to the shop, which was founded by five friends from New York University, the ink is “made of a medical grade solution with carefully selected pigments that allow your body to naturally remove it over time,” and was developed by both “PhDs in chemical engineering and top dermatologists”.
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, two of the owners, Brennal Pierre and Vandan Shah, who both hold PhD’s in chemical engineering from NYU, said that they began the process of creating the special ink in 2014 - and that they tried and tested 50 formulas during that time.
Eventually, the co-owners discovered the perfect mix of ink polymers and dyes, which they told the outlet are safe for use in tattoos.
“They are medical-grade biocompatible and biodegradable, so they are meant to be broken down over time,” Shah said of the polymers, while the pigments are also regulated and found in foods and cosmetics.
As for what that means in regards to the actual tattoos, the tattoo shop says that customers can expect their designs to fade in nine to 15 months, which the co-owners found through a series of surveys was the ideal amount of time for a temporary tattoo to last.
In a collage posted to the tattoo shop’s Instagram, a tattoo of two birds can be seen fading noticeably by the five-month mark, before becoming nearly invisible by 12 months.
In a photo of the tattoo location at 15 months, the tattoo is entirely gone.
Unfortunately, although the tattoos are temporary, the inking is largely the same, meaning that pain and needles are still a part of the process.
The healing process is also slightly longer, with Vogue noting that, on average, Ephemeral tattoos take four to six weeks to heal on average, depending on size and placement.
While the tattoo studio is still relatively new, its unique business structure of regret-free tattoos has already proven to be a hit, with the website informing interested visitors that they can reserve their spot for their next appointment drop.
On Instagram, where the shop has more than 14,000 followers, the comments are also filled with people urging Ephemeral to open more locations.
“I wish you guys were in LA already! I would book the first appointment ASAP,” one person recently commented, while another said: “Please open anywhere in Europe. I’ll come!”
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