How Temporary Tattoos Work

August 21, 2011

Temporary tattoos have been around for a long time. They have come in bubble gum packages, are available at gas stations, and chances are you have probably already tried one of these fake tattoos at some point in your life, most likely as a child.

Temporary  tattoos are made of ink and glue and last for 3-5 days. To apply you simply remove the plastic sheet, place the image face down against your skin and wet down the back of the temporary tattoo thoroughly. Carefully remove the backing and presto, you have a temporary tattoo of  whatever design you picked!

Henna temporary tattoos are very popular and are by far the most sought after temporary tattoo at carnivals and county fairs. Henna temporary tattoos are also knows as "Mehndi" and originates from south Asia. Henna is made from powdered leaves of the Henna plant and is made into a paste. The active dye in the paste binds with the keratin in the skin to give it it's long lasting temporary tattoo effect.

Henna only allows for temporary tattoos to be in shades of red, brown, and black. The paste is temporarily tattooed onto the skin but must be left on the skin for several hours to stain. Henna temporary tattoos can last up to 30 days depending on application and care.

This type of temporary tattoo is applied to the surface of the skin and does not damage the skin at all.


 Other types of temporary tattoos are created by stencils and simply air brushing different color onto the stencil to give you the desired design. All different colors can be used for airbrush temporary tattoo which opens up many possibilities for temporary tattoo lovers.


 Airbrush temporary tattoos are primarily alcohol-based and if you apply baby powder to the temporary tattoo several times a day, it will extend the life of the tattoo. Simply remove  temporary tattoos by applying oil or an alcohol based solvent to remove the temporary tattoo.

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