A company at design a body ink that wears off in 15 months or less, sparking an existential debate about commitment.
When Skylar Hertz, a junior at Purchase College, got a tattoo of Snoopy smoking a joint on her left calf, she was pretty sure it wasn't. whatthat thing she wanted on her body forever.
As an aspiring actress, she felt that having a tattoo could shape the roles for which it is considered. She also knew that a permanent tattoo would upset her family. "I'm Jewish, so obviously most of my family isn't the biggest fan of tattoos," said Ms. Hertz, 20. (The Torah prohibits tattoos, and many rabbis and other members of the community are against the practice.)
Undeterred, she worshiped the idea of getting a tattoo. She chose Snoopy to honor her mother, who played the character in a production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown ". She added the seal to give it "a little touch ".
Instead of going to a traditional tattoo parlor, she 's is directed to Ephemeral, a company with a studio in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn which uses a branded ink that fades new to 15 months after application; tattoos cost $ 195 to $ 450, depending on the size.
Unlike other temporary tattoos, like henna dye or stickers, temporary tattoos, like permanent tattoos, are applied with needles and ink under the skin.
But some people think that the idea of a disappearing b ody art goes completely against the mark.
Joanna Acevedo, 24, who works at an ice cream shop in Prospect Heights, has over 100 tattoos all over her body: "The only one thing i dont know "i havent tattooed, it 's my chest. Many of her designs are random, she said, listing "a crocodile, a cat skull, a barbed wire, the words " fried steak ", an eagle.e, a cactus and an ice cream cone. "
" I like that they are permanent because they are part of me "she said. " They represent a moment in time, and I love living with my whole story. "She assimilates tattoos that she doesn 't like not the scars, another vestige, she said, of the bad choices you made when you were younger.
Tattoo mistakes are human
Despite the bravado required to commit to a permanent tattoo, regrets are as old as the tattoos themselves .
Sometimes the solution takes a lot of effort, such as with laser tattoo removal. "A laser light breaks the tattoo particles and fragments them", said Dr Roy Geronemus, director of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center in New York.ances to more than 10 sessions depending on the size of the tattoo. I made a woman this morning with a few areas on her finger that took me three to four seconds, and yesterday I did someone with a whole sleeve that took half an hour. Dr Geronemus said his patients felt no pain with the local anesthetic.
"I see a number of patients who have made decisions spontaneously without giving too much thought to the long-standing nature of what they have been doing, "he said. "A name that is no longer part of your life does not belong to your body. In most cases, the next partner doesn't necessarily like the id the ex-partner's name is looking them in the face. "
Temporary tattoos are already quite common in the cosmetics world. Microblading, for example, is a form of eyebrow tattooing done with a hand instrument. " The toolmakes stripes the size of paper clippings that look like hair strokes "said Piret Aava, owner of Eyebrow Doctor , a company specializing in tattooing eyebrows and eyeliners. "It inserts a pigment - we call it pigment, not ink - that goes under the skin that you need to keep dry for a week until the skin grows above and traps the pigment underneath.
Depending on how quickly your skin bolizes the pigment (as well as your lifestyle and the type of products you use ), microblading of the eyebrows can last for one to three years, while eyeliner tattoos tend to stay in place for three to five years because the skin on your eyelids is different from your forehead. Image From left to right: An ephemeral tattoo has just been done; after five months; and after nine months. Credit ... via Ephemer al
Don't regret anything?
Ephemeral 's discolored ink was invented by two chemical engineers specializing in proteins, Brennal Pierre, 41, and Vandan Shah, 33. They met at New York University, where Mr. Pierre was an assistant professor and Mr. Shah was a Ph.D. candidate.
Their work began in 2014 when one of Mr. Pierre's students, who was also Mr. Shah's research assistant, suffered a very painful and expensive laser procedureHe was dealing with removing a tattoo, and he wanted to know if it would be possible to remove it with an enzyme.
Once the question asked, Mr. Pierre and Mr. Shah became addicted. "It was so intriguing to us," said Pierre. They spent the next seven years developing an ink that would be broken down by the body's natural mechanism.
Ephemeral opened its first studio in Brooklyn in March. At the start of summer, there was an eight-month delay in getting a tattoo, according to the company.
"We have people coming from Mexico City " said Jeff Liu, 33, managing director of Ephemeral, who previously worked for Tesla and Casper. Since 2015, the company has raised more than $ 26 million, she said, and a second studio, in Los Angeles, will open on October 24.
Permanent tattoos "are placed with a needle technique that penetrates the dermis, the lower part of the skin," Dr. Geronemus said. "Once the ink is deposited, there is an inflammatory response that surrounds the particles of ink and creates a matrix which allows the ink to stay and not migrate or disappear on its o wn. These are inflammatory cells that surround the ink and keep it in place.
When you get a tattoo with permanent ink, most of the ink stays where it is deposited. In contrast, Ephemeral ink is made from a material that the body naturally breaks down over time. The ink works the same way as biodegradable medical devices like stents used in implants or sutures used in stitches. These products, like ink, are broken down naturally by the oxygen and water available in the body.
"It was more than making ink ", said Mr. Shah. “We had to understand how the body works, how it takes care of the ink, what the ink does when it enters the body.
For years they have tried different inks, tattooing simple lines and circles on themselves. When they got closer to a product that worked, they asked four friends and a tattoo artist to participate in an informal trial. After that, they performed a clinical study supervised and approved by an advisory committee made up of chemical engineers and dermatologists.
Although the engineers did not disclose the exact makeup of the ink - "We do not (A patent filed by Ephemeral states that ink is made of different materials, including polymers and hydrogels.)
M. Pierr e and Mr. Shah said they only use components in their ink that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in other products like cosmetics or medical devices. (The FDA does not approve tattoo ink, and New York-based dermatologist Dr. Marie Leger said, “In the United States, tattoo companies don 't have to pulp the ingredients. ")
However, Dr. Leger would like to know exactly howt what's in the ink before deciding if it's safe. "It's hard to comment on security without knowing what's in the ink," she said. "I would also be skeptical of reassuring my patients about its safety as I don't have enough data. With ordinary tattoos, they've been around for a long time, so we've learned about them. But it 's been around for a long time. 'is new. "
Mr. Pierre and Mr. Shah are constantly trying to improve the ink. The company does not currently allow customers to get a tattoo on their hands, feet, or face, as these locations have not been thoroughly tested.
Ephemeral estimates that more than half of its clients are first-time tattooers, like Barbara Edmonds, 27, who works for a media sales company and lives in Greenpoint. "I am a phobe of thepledge, ”she said. “I never really could find something that I thought I could have on my skin forever. It made me nervous. "
So when she heard about Ephemeral on Instagram it piqued her interest. " Their slogan is "Have no regrets ", and that 's basically why I decided to give it a try, "she said. On August 7th, she was given a Claddagh ring, a symbol traditional Irishman who represents love, loyalty and friendship, on his right forearm, just below his elbow.
" I 'm having a lot of fun with it, "she said. " It ' s kind of like having a new rt ski or something, and it 's so fun to wear. "
But she's also glad it's temporary. " I think it's a weird size "she said . "I also tell myself 'That part of my armdoesn't look like it used to. 'It's weird. " Image Ms. Acevedo 's tattoos include " a crocodile, a cat skull, a barbed wire, the words "steak fry ", an eagle, a cactus and an ice cream cone. " Credit ... Caroline Tompkins for Hfrance.fr
Indeed, do not regret anything
Keith McCurdy, 35, an artist known as Bang Bang who has worked in New York for over 16 years, takes issue with Ephemeral. "This productit seems to push the needle backwards, for lack of a better term, "he wrote in an email. " A tattoo designed not to last potentially diminishes the value of this form of art, which has historically struggled to gain the monetary value of other art forms such as painting or ture sculpture. "
He said that ephemeral tattoos "remind me of a gadget.
Sue Jeiven, a famous tattoo artist from Brooklyn who goes through Sweet Sue said that tattoo artists, like sculptors and painters, strive to create beautiful art that will last. " We spend our entire careers trying to understand the mystery of way to get nice, clean and strong lines to stay perfectly in the skin and stay forever ", she said.declared. "It makes me want to cry to see all this hard work go away.