According to tattoo removal specialists, the most regretted tattoos are the names of ex-lovers, dolphins and misspelt foreign names. Are you one of the 23 percent of tattooed Americans who regret their permanent tattoo? Given the popularity of tattoos, it’s not hard to believe that there are millions of people who aren’t getting them because they’re not ready to make a lifetime commitment when they’re under thirty.
That’s a very large market. A new startup by the name of Ephemeral is meeting this demand with a semi-permanent tattoo. It’s owned by a team of New York University graduates who developed a special kind of ink that can fade after three months to one-year.
That gives you quite a bit of time to find out if your relationship with “Diana” is going to last.
Future uncertain tattooers now have the luxury of letting their dolphin or cherries fade away or adapt them to be even more artistic.
Here’s the difference between inks that are permanent or semi-permanent. A permanent standard tattoo uses a dye whose molecules are too big for your body’s immune system to clear them up (as explained by Brian Heater at TechCrunch). The ink developed by Ephemeral uses smaller molecules that can be flushed out by a special removal solution which is tattooed over the tattoo after a year’s use.
Co-founder Anthony Lam explained “By using smaller molecules, we’ve encapsulated them inside this spherical structure that’s big enough that your immune system doesn’t take it away. But when you remove it, it essentially eats away one of the components and the dye molecules are flushed out.”
Ephemeral CEO Seung Shin says “we haven’t really sealed down the pricing yet, but we’re looking at anywhere from $50 to $100 for an average size tattoo”.
The product is still being tested, first on cells and now on pigs, given the close genetic similarities between ourselves and our porcine cousins.