Ahhh, tattoos. They’re the perfect way to wear your heart on your sleeve for all the world to see, even if the announcement to your folks did cause a solitary tear to roll down your mum’s cheek.
We all know of someone who’s taken the plunge and ended up with ink they regretted, but what if we told you there was a way to get something a little less… permanent? We’re not talking about the itchy temporary tatts they used to chuck in Easter showbags (or the ones that seem to be rolled out at every Dollar King just in time for Australia Day). No, no friends, we’re talking about a brand new formula currently being devised by a coupla eggheads at New York University.
Ephemeral Tattoos are behind the new form of ink, which – according to The Science Explorer – has already reached the stage where it’s being tested on living organisms. Normally when you visit your local tattooist, the pigment in your tatt ends up in the dermis, the second-most outer layer of skin, and despite your immune system’s attempts to ditch the foreign substance, the ink seeps into the skin cells and remains a permanent fixture on your bod. Neat eh?
According to Tech Insider, Ephemeral COO Joshua Sakhai explains that his company has created an ink that’s made of “smaller dye molecules encapsulated in a sphere of biomaterials that the body can break down more easily”. Translation? Tattoos that last for only a year could well become a reality in the not-too-distant future. Not only that, but this method also means that the removal process can be sped up at will: “The removal solution simply breaks down parts of the sphere and the immune system cells can remove the dye molecules naturally through your body’s lymphatic system,” Sakhai says.
What this all means is that you’ll be able to get your dream tattoo for all of a year, and once it falls out of favour, you can quickly and painlessly forget it ever existed. Just like your old ~ x0x0x Myspace profile x0x0x ~.
The ink has been in the works since as early as August 2014 (and has undergone “countless iterations” in the time since), and assuming all goes well in the final testing stages, we could see it land on the market as early as August 2017.
Will this open the door for frivolous (see: “drunken”) temporary tattoo bets? If there’s any justice in the world, yes. Yes it will.