An Ephemeral Tattoo isn't forever, unless you want it to be

Tattoos are forever. Well, you can get rid of them with costly laser treatment, but otherwise, that ink isn't going anywhere. Most people are pretty happy with the knowledge that the artwork they paid for will be with them forever. However, for those that don't want something that will last for the rest of their life, there may be a new option.

Ephemeral is a startup based in Harlem that has spent the last two years attempting to create a special type of tattoo ink that will only last for a specific period of time, rather than forever. Their hard work appears to be paying off, as they're currently testing a solution that will only last for roughly a year before it can be removed.

It's actually a two-part system. The first part is a special ink that starts to break down after about a year. After this period, the other part of the system comes into play. It's a special removal solution that interacts with the ink to help flush out the dye molecules. Here's how co-founder Anthony Lam explains it:

Tattoo inks today are permanent because of the fact that the dye molecules are too big for your body's immune system to take away. 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.

According to their website, the removal solution can be applied to only a portion of the tattoo, if you want to change up portions of it. Or you can use it on the entire tattoo, to remove it completely. So the tattoo doesn't appear to fade on its own after one year, but instead, it offers up a painless way to remove it after a year, should you want to.

VIA: TechCrunch