Temporary tattoos resemble tattoos but are non-permanent. These tattoos can be painted, drawn or airbrushed as a kind of body painting. They are tattoos transferred to the skin. They are used for several reasons such as identification, advertising and of course, self-expression.

Old-fashioned temporary tattoos first became popular as bubble gum inserts with poor ink quality, blurry designs that can be rubbed off or washed easily. Lick-and-peel tattoos became famous forms of temporary tattoos in America. Modern temporary tattoos are made of glue and ink and last longer than the old-fashioned ones. A temporary tattoo is placed on the outer skin surface and remains there until it fades, normally within three or five days or when removed.

Temporary tattoos contain five basic elements. These are the glue, sheet of paper, ink, back of paper and protective plastic sheet. The front sheet is covered with special coating with the design printed with a special ink. A layer of glue is applied on top of the design and a transparent, think plastic sheet is placed over the front sheet as protection to the design and the glue layer. The back of the sheet remains untreated and has the different ingredients and instructions printed.

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