Temporary tattoos are non-permanent designs on the skin that resembles a tattoo. Temporary tattoos can be painted, drawn or airbrushed as a kind of body painting, but usually are tattoos that are transferred on the skin. Temporary tattoos are used for several purposes such as identification, self-expression and advertising.

Old-fashioned temporary tattoos first became popular as inserts in bubble gum with poor ink quality that often resulted to blurry designs easily rubbed off or washed. This lick-and-peel tattoo has become a famous piece of temporary tattoo in America. Modern temporary tattoos are made from glue and ink and last longer than the old temporary ones. The tattoo is placed on the outer skin surface and remains until the image fades which is typically three to five days or when removed.

Temporary tattoos in general consist of five major elements, which include the front sheet of paper, back of the paper, glue, ink and protective plastic sheet. The front sheet is covered with a special coating which the image is printed using a special ink. A layer of glue is applied on top of the image. A transparent, thin plastic sheet is placed over the front of the sheet as protection to the glue layer and image. The back of the sheet remains untreated and has several ingredients and instructions printed.

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