Temporary tattoo firm Ephemeral has been convicted of inks it claimed would fade after a year, but customers still can’t get rid of after 15 months
- Ephemeral said it offered tattoos that fade in 9-15 months, but many remain
- The company’s CEO revised the estimates and said some could take more than 2 years
- He said that the majority of customers are satisfied with their tattoos and the fading rate
A company that sells tattoos that were supposed to disappear in nine to 15 months has come under fire because a slew of people have said their tattoos won’t disappear.
Launched in 2021, Ephemeral Tattoo claims to offer the world’s first and only “real” tattoo that doesn’t require a lifetime commitment.
The company claims to have done 10,000 tattoos, but some people report that their tattoos didn’t fade as they had hoped.
Those dissatisfied customers have gathered on various social media platforms, including TikTok and Reddit, and articles in the San Francisco Chronicle And New York Times shared the stories of people who now regret getting them.
Ephemeral Tattoo CEO Jeff Liu released a public letter clarifying that the company’s tattoos can last longer than a year or 15 months
Another person uploaded an image of what he claimed was an ephemeral tattoo on the back of his calf done 15 months earlier. initially the company claimed that tattoos would last between nine and 15 months
Earlier this month, with the company still under fire, CEO Jeff Liu issued a public letter clarifying that their tattoos can last longer than a year or 15 months, but assured them that they would eventually fade completely.
“We now expect, based on the most popular tattoo designs and placement choices, that 70 percent of all Ephemerals will disappear within two years and others longer,” he said.
While it may not be comforting to those who got their tattoos in 2021, Liu also said in the statement that chemical engineers working for the company were constantly revising the ink formulation to result in faster fading.
“We have increased the transfer of tattoo ink to the skin, which has led to… reduced tattoo healing time,” he wrote.
Liu told the New York Times “some customers just take the first slogan for granted.”
Since last summer, he said the company had become “more aware of how we’re sending a message home about variability.”
Liu also told the newspaper that “a large majority of our customers are very happy with their tattoos and their fading.”
Ephemeral marketing materials uploaded to its website in February 2021 and viewed using an internet archive reveal that the company used the tagline at the time: ‘At last a tattoo with no regrets. Meet ephemeral, ink that lasts a year.”
This TikTok user shared what her tattoo looked like when she first got it done
In another video, a skin doctor named Dr. Dustin Portela, how he got his tattoo in September 2021. It is pictured here about 15 months after it was applied and remains visible
Krysten Wagner posted a video to TikTok showing a short-lived tattoo of a burning chili pepper behind her ear
While part of it faded almost completely within four months, other parts remained bold
Buried lower down the page, they wrote, “Ephemeral ink is made up of particles designed to shrink over time, allowing your body to release them naturally over 9-15 months.”
A TikTok user showed images of a flower tattoo on her forearm both when she got it in early 2021 and 17 months later in September 2022. Although the pattern had faded significantly, the tattoo was still there.
Another person uploaded an image of what they believe was an ephemeral tattoo on the back of his calf, done 15 months earlier. The tattoo was still clearly visible and seemed full of detail.
In another video, a skin doctor, who goes by the name of Dr. Dustin Portela wore how he got his tattoo in September 2021. In November last year, 15 months after getting the tattoo, it was still very visible.
Portela offered a number of explanations as to why his tattoo may have lasted longer than suggested when he got it. Specifically, he said the location under his arm and reduced UV exposure may cause it to fade more slowly.
Krysten Wagner posted a video to TikTok showing a short-lived tattoo of a burning chili pepper behind her ear. While part of it faded almost completely within four months, other parts remained bold.