No act of rebellion is more commonly associated with regret than the tattoo. You only have to go to a crap nightclub and look at the line of sanskrit or celtic symbols on the arms of your fellow drinkers to be put off getting inked for life.
But the 'you'll have it forever' consequence is about to be erased by a Harlem-based start up who are developing an ink that lasts for one year then disappears from your skin.
Whilst some temporary tattoos are already on the market, including the recent two-week tattoo, this may be the best chance yet to test out the look of your girlfriend's name on your chest without worrying it could come to haunt you every time you take a shower.
Ephemeral works in two ways using with an ink that is designed to break down after a year but also has a removal solution. Co-founder Anthony Lam explained how it would work to TechCrunch:
"Tattoo inks today are permanent because of the fact that the dye molecules are too big for your body's immune system to take away. By using smaller molecules, we've encapsulated them inside this spherical structure that's big enough that your immune system doesn't take it away. But when you remove it, it essentially eats away one of the components and the dye molecules are flushed out."
So there you go.
The ink is still in the testing stages but will hopefully be available next Autumn. How much will it set you back? It isn't set in stone, but $50 to $100 for an average sized tattoo is the current projection. A bargain to avoid the heavy price of regret.