See the Latest Improvements to Ephemeral Ink

We are proud to introduce the latest formulation of Ephemeral ink. It is our biggest product innovation yet— the culmination of nearly 10 years of research and development and learnings from our 20,000 customers.

With this reformulation, we have taken the world’s only semi-permanent, made-to-fade tattoo ink and made it even better.

Our latest improvements ensure more predictable fade journeys and less fade time variability for customers.

Our new ink also allows for crisper line work, giving tattoos finer detail than before. Now that tattoo artists can achieve more complex designs, adoption of ephemeral ink can be faster than ever.

The Latest Improvements

Feature Prior Formulation Reformulation
Fade Time Variability Fade times could be highly variable. 70% of tattoos were projected to disappear in 2 years. Fade times are less variable. Now, customers can expect 76% of tattoos to fade in 2 years and 98% to fade within 3 years. Some variability will still occur, including shorter lasting tattoos.
Line Crispness Ink could diffuse after tattoo application causing tattoo lines to appear wider or hazier after healing, causing a loss in detail. Ink now remains where artists intend it, meaning minimal to no aesthetic changes in tattoos after they heal and crisper linework.
Artist Usability Ink flow was sometimes described as thick, dry, or very different from permanent ink. This required artists to limit the designs they were capable of performing. Improved ink flow allows for a more consistent and preferred transfer for artists. This allows artists to create more detailed and dynamic designs, expanding their opportunities to create tattoos for a bigger audience. This also means more difficult placements are now possible.*

*The quality of an Ephemeral tattoo depends on proper application, so each tattoo placement and design should still be discussed with your artist and decided at their discretion.

What These Improvements Look Like

These changes required an immense amount of technical detail. Even with an explanation, it can be difficult to fully appreciate the improvements that were made. Seeing is believing, so here are several examples of what these improvements look like.

Fade Time Variability

In these examples, we compare Ephemeral tattoos at the one year mark with our Prior Formulation and Reformulation.

Prior Formulation

Temporary Font Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral
Temporary Mushroom Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral


Temporary Snake Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral
Temporary Script Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral
Temporary Sayings Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral

Line Crispness

In these examples, we compare Ephemeral tattoos at the one month mark with our Prior Formulation and Reformulation.

Prior Formulation

Temporary Garden Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral
Temporary Floral Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral


Temporary Calf Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral
Temporary Fineline Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral
Temporary Anime Tattoo Reformulated Ephemeral

How These Improvements Happened

Ephemeral Tattoo was founded by a team of PhD chemical engineers who wanted to crack what seemed like an impossible code: Invent a long lasting tattoo, with all the benefits of a permanent tattoo, that could naturally disappear without the use of expensive tattoo laser removal.

As pioneers in the space, we prioritized researching the safest possible materials for the body while maximizing tattoo longevity. When we launched in 2021, we had a product that we knew would eventually disappear, with a majority of our users wearing a tattoo that could last over a year.

Our original fade expectations were based on the times and variability we observed in our pre-launch studies across hundreds of tattoos. Our tests included a diversity of participants and controlled for tattoo design, placement, and varied skin types, as measured by the Fitzpatrick scale (a numerical classification schema for human skin color).

No two bodies or tattoos are the same and as the number of Ephemeral customers grew into the thousands, so did the number of variables and possible outliers. While this potential variability was communicated to customers during their pre-appointment onboarding, we decided to update our product policies, marketing language and in-Studio education as we learned.

In 2023, with our new, much larger data set of Ephemeral tattoo wearers, we updated the average expected timeline of fade times. The new timeline better reflected what we observed. This was paired with even more product education on the impact that tattoo design and placement choices have on fade variability. We also launched a refund guarantee for Ephemeral studio customers that had tattoos that still remained after 3 years.

As the creators of the world’s only made-to-fade tattoo, this was our best attempt at following the science , setting the right customer expectations and offering solutions in the event of customer outliers.

However, the “Ephemeral Tattoo Controversy” that followed these changes, as reported by Refinery 29 and other media outlets, highlighted how jarring our changes were to some of our earliest customers. In the aftermath, some commentators even falsely implied that Ephemeral tattoos do not fade or disappear. When this happened, we realized our current education and policy updates were insufficient. We focused our energy on innovating Ephemeral ink in order to provide every customer a tattoo they would love, every single day.

We prioritized shortening the possible range of fade times, ensuring that tattoos fade evenly, (so they look great every step of the way) and improving the ease of use of our ink for artists:

Fade Time Variability

Our reformulated ink has a more consistent breakdown than before. There will still be some variability in the way tattoos fade depending on the person, placement, or design, but the variability will be significantly less than before.

With a deeper understanding of the factors that affect fade times, we have informed tattoo artists on how they can better educate customers on the implications of their placement and design choices.

Line Crispness

Our reformulated ink ensures the ink transferred to the skin remains precisely in the spot it is applied to. This change means crisper looking lines and tattoos. No more blurry or hazy lines.

Artist Usability

Our reformulated ink flows more easily through the skin. For an artist, this will feel similar to permanent ink, despite their significant material differences. This improved flow and skin transfer ensures tattoo artists can make less passes across the skin to achieve their desired results. More uniform linework means more consistent designs as tattoos fade. It also means less skin damage and more options for placement on the body where skin characteristics vary (such as the ribs or around the shoulder).

The sum of these improvements are a reformulated version of Ephemeral’s semi-permanent tattoo ink that is our very best yet.

It is now easier than ever to get that tattoo that you wanted to try, but did not necessarily want to be permanent.

Where To Get An Ephemeral Tattoo

Only Artist Partners are approved to use Ephemeral products. You can book with any one of them here: GET THE TATTOO.

Our eventual goal is to make it possible for customers to receive Ephemeral tattoos from any tattoo artist. If you want your favorite artist to become an approved Artist Partner, please direct them here: BUY THE INK.

Ephemeral Tattoo is on a mission to create a world of limitless self-expression with its proprietary and innovative made-to-fade tattoos. Founded in 2014 out of NYU, Ephemeral seeks to make it possible for any BODY to enjoy a tattoo despite religious barriers, fear of permanence or indecisiveness.