The science behind our made-to-fade ink.

ephemeral tattoo application needle palm
Ephemeral’s made-to-fade ink is applied just like a traditional tattoo
An artist uses a needle to transfer ink under your top layer of skin
Unlike traditional tattoo ink, Ephemeral ink contains medical-grade, bio-absorbable ingredients that shrink over time…
until they are small enough for your body to remove
As time passes, the particles shrink as your body breaks down the ink
In about 9 to 15 months your tattoo will fade away
Everyone’s fade journey is slightly different because everyone’s body is different
But don’t worry: your Ephemeral will disappear

Explore the fade.

Real people, real Ephemerals.



5 Factors That Affect Your Fade.

Our bodies are unique so no two fades are exactly alike but all Ephemerals will fade.

Tattoos may fade at different rates on different parts of the body because of variations in our skin.

Everyone’s body is unique and will process the ink at different rates, which leads to some variation in fade times.

Ephemerals applied to skin with more melanin may appear to fade faster than on skin with less melanin. No matter your skin tone your tattoo will look great and fade!

How well you take care of your Ephemeral will affect how it fades. Follow your custom aftercare plan to ensure that your tattoo heals properly and fades evenly.

The more the ink used in the design, the longer the fade. Tattoos with thick lines or shading will take longer to fade than subtle tattoos with thin lines and no shading.

Safe, biocompatible & plant-based ingredients.

Ephemeral tattoo ink incredients

Unlike traditional tattoo ink, Ephemeral ink is designed to be removed by our bodies. That's why our ink is made of ingredients that are all FDA approved for medical use and tested for biocompatibility.

We also selected plant-based ingredients where possible and stayed away from metallic or animal-based components. We are raising the bar for tattoo ink safety.

What people are saying...

Cassie's Journey.

Inspired by her grandpa, who got a panther tattoo when he was 18 years old—Cassie decided to pay tribute to him at our LA studio, where she got her first made-to-fade tattoo. Her grandpa loved it as much as she did!

“I'm sure you always heard your parents say 'don't get a tattoo, they last forever' – well, not for long!”


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The Studio Experience.

See what it's like to work with our artists and get a custom tattoo at our Ephemeral studios.

More Science

Everything you’ve ever wondered about our ink and the fade.

Ephemeral’s ink is made from medical-grade polymers and dyes. Simply put, polymers are chains of smaller molecules. The polymers in Ephemeral ink are biodegradable and bioabsorbable, so after they enter the body, they will gradually break apart until the particles are small enough for the body to remove. This process of breaking apart and removal is what causes the fade.

It generally takes about 9-15 months for an Ephemeral tattoo to disappear, but some Ephemerals may fade more quickly or more slowly. Fade times vary because everyone’s body is unique. Some bodies will dissolve the ink faster than others, and factors like the amount of melanin in your skin and the style and placement of your tattoo can affect the appearance of the  fade too. But don’t worry: your tattoo will disappear.

Ephemeral’s ink is made from a solution containing medical-grade polymers and dyes.

Simply put, polymers are chains of smaller molecules. The FDA does not regulate tattoo ink, but the polymers in Ephemeral ink do come from FDA-regulated manufacturers of medical devices—that’s what makes the polymers “medical grade.” They’re also biodegradable and bioabsorbable, so after they enter the body, they will gradually break apart until the particles are small enough for the body to remove.

The  dyes in Ephemeral ink are naturally available or FDA-approved for use in cosmetics, food and medical devices. Unlike most permanent tattoo inks, we don’t use metal-based pigments or PPD (paraphenylenediamine) in Ephemeral ink.

Our made-to-fade ink is also vegan, and many of our components are derived from natural plant sources.

Safety was a top concern when we developed our made-to-fade ink. It took 6+ years of research and testing, plus millions of dollars spent to get it just right. While the FDA does not regulate tattoo ink, our formulation is made from ingredients that are all FDA approved for use in medical devices, drugs, food, or cosmetics. We also conducted a rigorous clinical study that was approved by the IRB (Institutional Review Board) to verify the safety of Ephemeral ink.

We currently only use black ink for our made-to-fade tattoos, but more colors are coming soon! We’ve been carefully testing the fading capabilities of colored inks to make sure they’ll look their best throughout your fade journey. Sign up for our newsletter (scroll down to the footer) to be the first to know when new colors debut.

Yes, Ephemeral ink fades and is made for all skin tones. Our tattoo artists are diverse and have experience tattooing skin of all shades. They are committed to giving you an Ephemeral that looks great on you. Because darker skin tones are rich in melanin, the fade process may appear to happen more quickly (9-12 months as opposed to 9-15). Factors like sun exposure, skin tone, and the design and placement of your tattoo can affect the fade too.

Some of our tattoo styles—like bolder lines spaced further apart, and larger or more graphic designs—will look better on people with darker complexions.  Our artists will guide you through these styles during your design consultation and make sure you feel comfortable and confident before getting your Ephemeral.

Yes, Ephemeral ink is vegan. It is free of all animal-derived ingredients and byproducts, as well as wheat and gluten.

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