How Do Inkbox Tattoos Really Work?

The process of deciding what tattoo you want can be hard in numerous ways, not least how it will actually look once its inked on your skin. Even when you're at the appointment and you have the transfer lines ready and waiting to be inked, you still won't get a glimpse of the final product other than the size and position of the piece.

But thanks to the rise in semi-permeant tattoos, you can now test out potential designs to see how they look on your skin before committing to the real thing. One tattoo studio in Brooklyn – Ephemeral – specialises in semi-permeant tattoos where a specially formulated ink is deposited into the skin like a real tattoo. But as its formula consists of "medical-grade bioabsorbable and biocompatible polymers" and "high-quality pigments" per Allure, the ink eventually breaks down to the point where it disappears. 

If you don't want to go down the route of actually having ink deposited with a needle, there's another way that calls back to the days of childhood temporary tattoos.

Inkbox tattoos are designed to generally fade over time

Inkbox is one of the most popular companies when it comes to temporary tattoos, which gradually fade over time rather than going crumbly like your temporary "Ninja Turtles" or "Pokémon" tattoos would do as a kid. As Shaughnessy Otsjui, founder of Studio Sashiko, explained to Byrdie, Inkbox's "semi-permanent tattoos are realistic, skin-safe and easy to apply and can last up to two weeks" and are designed "to generally fade over time instead of peeling and crumbling like temporary tattoos tend to."

This is because Inkbox uses their own formulation, For Now Ink, which reacts to the organic compounds in the skin "to change its color to dark blue or black, depending on your unique skin chemistry" they explain in their FAQ section. This ink then sits in the epidermis, as opposed to the dermis like with permanent tattoos. And as the epidermis "naturally regenerates in 1-2 weeks," that's how long an Inbox tattoo will last. However, the longevity of an Inkbox tattoo can rely on a variety of factors, like your daily activity, placement, moisturising, and your skin's chemistry.