Semi-Permanent vs Temporary Tattoos: The Difference

Semi-Permanent vs Temporary Tattoos: The Difference

Here at TattooedNow! we make it clear that the tattoos we create and deliver are temporary. They should last between two and seven days, but there is no prospect at all of them being permanent – no matter how superbly realistic they look!

However, you may have heard of the concept of semi-permanent tattoos. These are tattoos that are supposed to last for several weeks or even months before fading.

What is a semi-permanent tattoo? We would argue that there is actually no such thing. And we would advise you to think very carefully before investing your time and money in seeking one. The reason why you should proceed with caution lies in the difference between temporary tattoos and permanent tattoos.

Let’s be clear about the differences between types of tattoos.

  1. How do OUR temporary tattoos work? They sit on top of the skin and will last about a week before fading away. You can make them look even better by using our HD Mattifying Gel, and last even longer by applying our Matt Sealer – giving the instant impression that the artwork is under the skin like a permanent tattoo.
  2. When you apply a permanent tattoo, however, the ink is delivered a couple of layers down inside your skin. It goes through the outer layer, the epidermis, and to the next layer down, the dermis. Where it will stay for good.
  3. Semi-permanent tattoos that supposedly last longer than temporary designs should be delivered only as deep as the epidermis instead, and fade gradually over the coming weeks and months. There are several potential issues associated with this. One is that everybody’s skin is different. The thickness of the dermis and epidermis can vary. Also, your skin has different thicknesses depending on what part of the body we’re talking about. Other factors can influence things too; for instance, if you use hydrocortisone cream for any reason, your skin will become thinner.

So, if you try apply what you think is a semi-permanent tattoo to the epidermis and some of the ink ends up in the dermis, it might become permanent. We’ve seen instances where some of a tattoo has faded with time, while part of the design is permanent. You end up having to live with a partial tattoo – and that’s not pretty.

When people ask how long do semi-permanent tattoos last, there really is no answer. Because, given the accuracy to the last fraction of a milimeter that should be involved in the application of a tattoo where the ink goes into your skin – but not too far – it is impossible to know.

We honestly do think you should stick with our temporary artwork. How do our temporary tattoos work? They are applied to the surface of the skin and, although our designs are beautiful to look at and highly realistic, they will fade away naturally after a matter of days.

Please feel free to browse through our collections of temporary tattoos. We are confident that you will find one, or more, that suit your needs – or you can supply us with your own design that we can create a custom temporary tattoo for you.


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