Let’s be honest, temporary tattoos suck. Whether they are of an unoriginal design bought out of a vending machine and applied with a little water or drawn onto the skin with ink they pale in comparison to the real thing. The one thing that temporary tattoos have going for them is that they are pain-free… or at least they are supposed to be.
A recent report by the FDA has labeled temporary tattoos as “not necessarily safe.” People have reported developing severe rashes after getting temporary tattoos using “black henna” ink. Unlike the traditional reddish-brown henna ink “black henna” ink may contain p-phenylenediamine (PPD), a hair dye that will help make the ink darker but may also cause severe skin irritation. PPD is banned from being used in cosmetics that are applied directly to the skin due to the possibility of outbreaks. In some cases people have had to seek medical care after their skin reacted poorly to the ink.
Regular tattoos are regulated strictly by the government so as to ensure the safest possible out come for everyone; the standards for temporary tattoos vary from state to state but are far more lenient in general. It’s possible that temporary tattoo stands have no regulations whatsoever.
Next time you’re thinking about getting a temporary tattoo you should just suck it up and hit up your local artist and get the real thing. After two weeks you’ll still have some kickass artwork on your skin; that’s a hell of a lot better than faded design and a massive skin infection.