Tattoos may be very popular at the moment but they are not as inoffensive as they appear to be. While harmful and toxic components could frequently be found in the ink back when the industry wasn’t yet regulated, tattoos are mostly safe these days, but some risks remain. It is important to research your options well before rushing into any decisions.
Dermatologists warn against the risks -albeit small- of possible infections such as hepatitis, staph and warts. Pain and the permanent nature of tattoos are also to be taken into account before rushing to the parlor. Tattoo removals are getting more and more efficient these days thanks to more advanced laser technology but they are still a costly option (that doesn’t come without risks such as scarring and burning), and one you could avoid with more natural, temporary body art alternatives.
Henna originates from a flower whose leaves are dried and then turned into a fine powder mixed with essential oils that’s used as temporary ink to create beautifully intricate designs onto the body, and that can also be used as hair dye. Henna is traditionally used in the Arabian peninsula, South Asia and North Africa. Once applied onto the skin, it has the appearance of a paste, that will flake off once dried, leaving the temporary underneath. Henna tend to darken after application, for up to 48 hours. To keep it as long as possible, you should avoid scrubbing the skin and using harsh soaps. Depending on how long the henna paste was initially left on, you should be able to keep your tattoo from 1 week up to a whole month.
Jagua is another type of dye that comes from a small amazonian shrub and that’s been used for thousand of years by the locals. The liquid gel extracted from the fruit is directly used to ink the skin, making it one of the most natural tattoo alternatives out there. Similar to henna, jagua ink is applied directly on the skin’s surface thanks to a small tool called “kalam” and it tends to last up to three weeks.
They’re not just for kids anymore! Temporary tattoos are so on trend right now that Vogue recently released a series of limited-edition temporary tattoos in collaboration with Tattly, a fashionable Brooklyn-based temporary tattoos shop. They feature quirky illustrations made by independent artists from all over the world and they are made of non-toxic, vegetable-based inks. Those temporary designer tattoos are a great way to have fun with original body art without committing permanently to a design. Applied simply with water, they wear off after a few days and prices start at a very reasonable 5$.