'Made-to-fade' tattoo shop opens in DC, advertises temporary ink that lasts at least a year

A new tattoo shop in D.C. advertises tattoos that last at least a year, not for life.

Ephemeral Tattoo opened this week on H Street in Northeast D.C. and offers temporary tattoo art to clients. Their website says 70% of Ephemeral tattoos fade in under two years.

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The art is applied just like a traditional tattoo with a needle that transfers ink under the top layer of your skin. Ephemeral ink, however, contains ingredients that shrink over time until they're small enough for your body to remove.

Ephemeral says their ink is made of ingredients that are FDA approved for medical use and tested for biocompatibility. They also say they choose plant-based ingredients where possible.

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Abigail Glasgow receives a temporary tattoo by tattoo artist Marissa Boulay at Ephemeral tattoo shop on April 21, 2021 in New York City. - For years, amateur tattoo artists around the world -- mainly in Asia -- have offered "semi-permanent" tattoos, claiming that using vegetable ink and less penetration of the skin will cause them to disappear eventually. But in practice, the tattoos tend only to deteriorate, without vanishing completely and often causing lesions, to the point that several professional tattooists have sounded the alarm. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

There are two tattoo services offered based on shading, complexity and size – The Subtle and The Statement. Subtle tattoos start at $195 and Statement tattoos start at $350. 

Ephemeral's Regret Nothing Guarantee says they will give clients a complimentary replacement tattoo if their Ephemeral lasts less than a year. It also says clients will get their money back if their Ephemeral tattoo lasts longer than three years.

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Clients must be 18 years or older to get an Ephemeral tattoo.