Made to Fade: New Tattoo Shop Offers Ink That Lasts a Year

Thursday April 8, 2021

Do you want to turn your body into a work of art but aren't quite ready to commit to a lifetime? Ephemeral, a new Brooklyn tattoo shop, is offering real tattoos — needles, tattoo artists, and ink — with a twist: they'll fade away after 9 to 15 months.

Brennal Pierre and Vandan Shah, who each hold Ph.D.'s in chemical engineering, created the special ink, saying, "With our background in biomolecular engineering, we've worked with protein stability and protein development.

Tattoos are just interactions between the skin (the protein in this case) and the ink, so that's why this problem was of interest to us," Harpers Bazaar reports.

The ink formulation took nearly seven years to develop. According to Shah, "They are medical-grade biocompatible and biodegradable, so they are meant to be broken down over time." The team's challenge wasn't in developing an ink that would fade but instead formulating one that would last for an optimum amount of time.

For those looking for even less of a commitment. Inkbox offers tattoos lasting one to two weeks and offers a rotating roster of collaborations, including LGBTQ icons Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Korean boy band BTS is the latest to partner with Inkbox. Rolling Stone reports that the upcoming 11-tattoo collectible set will include band member silhouettes, retro flowers and shooting stars.