Everyone looks to get tattoos as a way to show their personalities, tastes, likes, or their stories to the world. However, for many individuals, getting something permanently on your skin can be pretty overwhelming. Luckily, for those who prefer trying out a specific design before committing to it officially, many companies offer temporary tattoos that give you the option of trying it out before you are stuck with something you may regret later on. If you’re considering this option, I suggest you stick around to learn all you need to know about getting temporary tattoos.
Temporary tattoos are impermanent designs that you place on any area of your skin that mimics a real tattoo for those curious to know how they would look with tattoos on their bodies. The process is entirely different than getting a real tattoo, whereas the temporary ones are painless and take a small amount of time to dry and apply to your skin.
These types of tattoos have grown in popularity for the simple fact that they are easy to remove, and you have the chance to change as many designs as you want if you haven’t decided on which one you prefer to get permanently. Temporary tattoos are ideal for those individuals who like tattoos but don’t want to commit to having something permanent on their bodies.
They are a great alternative to permanent tattoos because they are cheaper, easily removed without any pain, and a simple overall process.
Is It Safe To Use Temporary Tattoos?
Although these tattoos seem harmless and painless, the FDA and some health agencies have warned individuals against getting certain temporary tattoos as some are dangerous, especially for young children.
Usually, temporary tattoos will include the following ingredients:
You will generally find synthetic polymer in temporary tattoos, ranging from nylon, synthetic rubber, and silicone. The polymer can also be extracted naturally from wool, cellulose, amber, and silk.
Colorants are substances used to change the color of an item or material and get applied to paints and inks. These colorants are added to temporary tattoos to emphasize the colors of the tattoos as it develops on your skin.
Varnishes are spirit-drying and typically removable varnishes containing drying oil, thinners, and resin. The acrylic varnishes dry up when water evaporation occurs, which is what happens in temporary tattoos.
On the other hand, temporary tattoos made from henna contain natural, dried, and crumbled henna plants. This typical henna is reddish brownish, and this is the way to tell that it has organic ingredients. This type of henna tattoo is the safest as it does not contain any chemicals or additives that can cause adverse reactions to anyone’s skin type.
The black henna is unnatural and has artificial and chemical components containing PPD (Paraphenylenediamine). This chemical is also found in hair dyes and is allowed for use in limited amounts.
If you’re considering using pre-packaged henna pastes, be careful since there is no telling how much PPD is actually in the pastes, which can be more than what is allowed. Black henna tattoos and pre-packaged henna tattoos are highly not recommended for anyone to use as they can trigger late-onset reactions as well.
The FDA suggests you don’t apply temporary tattoos to children. It’s best to test a spot on your skin before applying the whole design to check for adverse reactions; asides from that suggestion, they consider them safe for the general population.
There are some cases where individuals have sensitivity to the ingredients used in temporary tattoos and can cause side effects such as:
- Permanent scarring
- Loss of skin pigmentation
- redness on the skin
- lesions that may ooze
- Tingling and burning sensation on the area
These can occur to those individuals who have sensitive skin or have specific skin conditions, and you should be aware that some might not get any adverse effects on the first day. Still, usually, they’ll appear two to three weeks after applying the tattoo. If you start developing any of these symptoms, you should seek professional help to avoid further complications.
How Long Do Temporary Tattoos Last?
The duration of these tattoos depends on your skin type, the location you chose, and how well you take care of the design. Some temporary tattoos can last one to two weeks, while others can last up to two months. If your design is in an area where your clothes are rubbing against it, it is more likely that it won’t last as much and will end up looking faded and chipped away in about seven days.
Are Temporary Tattoos Painful?
The fantastic thing about temporary tattoos is that they are entirely pain-free! The materials used for this type of tattoo are usually a brush, paint, and stickers and do not involve any needles perforating into your skin. These types of tattoos get transferred onto the skin quickly, and you will not feel any pain. However, some individuals experience some itchiness and discomfort around the area of the tattoo.
How Do Temporary Tattoos Work?
Temporary tattoos are image designs placed on your skin, wherever you choose, that mimic a real tattoo in which you can have fun showing off for a few weeks. The tattoo design you select gets printed on a sheet of paper in which later gets transferred by applying moisture and waiting for a few seconds for the image to develop.
Asides from the temporary henna tattoos that we discussed above, there are two other types of temporary tattoos that exist:
- Airbrush tattoos
- Press-on tattoos
The airbrush tattoos are typically the more expensive ones, although they last the average time as most temporary tattoos. Airbrush tattoos are sprayed onto the skin. Usually, the tattoo artist will apply this tattoo using a particular airbrush machine.
Press-on tattoos are the simplest of them since the artist presses them on your skin. The artist transfers the design you choose from water-permeable paper and adding some moisture. This type of tattoo can take several seconds for the tattoo to transfer and dry on your skin.
Any one of these temporary tattoos is excellent alternatives to those who want to see how they would look with tattoos without causing any permanent changes to the body.
Are They Hard To Remove?
Depending on which tattoo you choose, some are easier to remove than others. For instance, the airbrush tattoos are super easy to remove. You can use rubbing alcohol or coconut oil, and it will start dissolving in a matter of minutes. Baby oil is also known to remove these temporary tattoos without too much hassle.
Press-on tattoos can be a bit of a pain to remove, especially in an area with hair, since they can get stuck on them and can feel uncomfortable, especially for children. For these types of tattoos, you can try using baby wipes or allowing baby oil to soak up the area before rubbing it off to remove the tattoo successfully.
Another great alternative to use would be adhesive removers that help clear all the remaining gunk left from bandages; in a matter of seconds, you’ll notice the tattoo lifting off from the skin without any discomfort.
Henna tattoos are the ones that tend to linger on longer than most, so for these tattoos, you can try rubbing the area with soap and warm water. There’s also an excellent home remedy that quickly lifts the pigments off the skin. You can fill half a cup of warm water, a tablespoon of baking soda, and two teaspoons of lemon juice, and you will apply this to the tattoo.
Allow the mixture to soak in your skin before rubbing it off, and you can leave it soaking up to ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing off. The easiest way would be by using an exfoliating brush or scrub to help remove the tattoo more easily.
What Is The Cost Of Temporary Tattoos?
If you’re looking for something within your budget expensive, your best bet would be to choose the press-on tattoos for their low prices. Depending on the size and design, they can cost you anywhere from $9 to $21. If you instead get them in packs, they can cost you up to $35 for a set of ten tattoos.
Airbrush tattoos are pretty cheap, too; you can be looking to spend around $10 bucks for them. On the other hand, henna tattoos can cost you anywhere from $20 to $200, depending on how complex the design is. I should warn you, some artists charge by the hour rather than the complexity of the tattoo. A smaller tattoo can cost around $10 to $20, and medium-sized tattoos can go as high as $50.
The bottom line is that you have such a wide variety to choose from with temporary tattoos that you’ll never get bored as the options are endless! For those who don’t want to commit to just one tattoo for the rest of their lives, these are a great alternative as you can show off a new design every week.
Make sure to do your research to decide which type of temporary tattoo is the right one for you, and check first to see if you’re prone to having adverse reactions on your skin.