How Long Do Tattoo Markers Last Exactly? Get Facts Here!

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how long do tattoo markers last

If you want to ink your skin but are not ready for a permanent design, you can get a fake one with tattoo markers. These are semi-permanent, so they will come off eventually.

But how long do markers last exactly? The time frame is between  2–3 days and 3–5 weeks. Such a wide disparity exists because temporary tattoos’ lifespan depends on various factors, such as the ink type. Read on to uncover all the details!

How Long Do Tattoo Markers Last?

Some tattoo markers last for a few days, while some can go up to 5 weeks. This is because not all tattoo markers are the same. Their longevity is affected by factors such as the ink used, application method, and environmental exposure.

Factors That Affect How Long Tattoo Markers Last When Used on the Skin

1. The Ink Type

long term temporary tattoos

  • Sharpie Ink: Also known as permanent marker ink, which is technically not made for tattooing. However, it is often used for the purpose because of how easy it is to get these markers. In addition, they have non-toxic markers that are safe for drawing on your skin.
  • Henna: This is a plant-based and waterproof ink that can be used like a semi permanent tattoo pen. It tends to last longer on the skin, usually for 2 or 3 weeks. If applied on foot, the tattoo can last up to 5 weeks. However, the actual longevity can vary depending on skin type.
  • Temporary Tattoo Ink: This is ink made explicitly for tattooing on the skin. It can last from 2-3 days to 3 weeks. There are different brands in the market, but the more well-known ones are BIC Bodymarker, Inkbox Tattoo, Toysmith Ink-a-D0, Vanlis, and Professional Body Art by Velvet.

2. The Application Method

Most temporary designs made with tattoo pens and markers are applied freehand. This tends to render the shortest life span and depends solely on the nature of the ink.

However, some tattoo markers come in kits with “add-ons” that help seal the designs and make them long-lasting. For example, the Inkbox Tattoo marker kit has Development Patches that go over the tattoo.

3. The Environmental Exposure

Your temporary tattoo can come off when it meets water. So, if you want your design to last longer, avoiding exposing your tattoo to excess moisture is important. Also, refrain from strenuous exercises that can cause you to sweat. At the very least, you must keep your tattooed area dried for at least 6-8 hours after application.

It’s also a good idea to avoid tight-fitting clothes, which can rub against the tattoo and smear the ink. If you must cover the inked skin, you’d want to go for loose-fitting clothes, such as baggy ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Steps to Remove Tattoo Markers

#For Sharpie

Sharpie temporary tattoos can be erased by rubbing alcohol or other alcohol-based items, such as nail polish remover. Just gently rub your semi permanent tattoo Sharpie and rinse with water.

You can also tackle Sharpie tattoo markers ink with an oil-based remover like olive oil or coconut oil. As with using alcohol, just rub off the tattoo with the help of water towards the end.

#For Hennasemi-permanent-tattoo-pen

For henna tattoos, start with a 20-minute saltwater soak. Then, exfoliate to lift the design from your skin. Consider mixing coconut oil and raw sugar. Olive oil and salt can also work.

#For BIC Bodymarker & Inkbox Tattoo

  • BIC Bodymarker: Rub the ink off with soap and water.
  • Inbox Tattoo: Exfoliate the tattooed spot. You can use warm water salt, a body scrub, or a washcloth to get the job done.

 2. Tips To Make Temporary Tattoos Last Longer

  • Apply petroleum jelly. This moisturizing item can serve as a sealant for your temporary design.
  • Sprinkle baby powder. It can soak your skin’s natural oils, so they will not be able to dissolve the ink of your temporary tattoo. You should use a soft brush for the application.
  • Apply translucent powde It can form a protective barrier for your temporary tattoo ink and help prolong its life.
  • Spritz your tattoo with hair spray or a liquid band-aid. These solutions can act as a sealant for your temporary ink.
  • Avoid breaking a sweat. Sweating can accelerate the time it takes for your temporary tattoo to lose its colors.
  • Avoid washing the tattoo directly. You should wash all the areas around your tattoo but stay away from the tattoo itself.
  • Minimize friction against the tattoo. Friction can cause your design to fade. So, limit it as much as possible by paying close attention to the clothes you wear.

 3.  How long do fake tattoos last?

Fake tattoos rendered by tattoo pens and markers are semi-permanent. They can last for a few days up to a few weeks, depending on the ink, application, and aftercare.

4. How long does a BIC Bodymark last?

A BIC Bodymark specially made for the skin is estimated to last about 2 days. However, this can be shorter or longer, depending on how you look after your tattoo.

5. What are some tattoo safe markers and pens?

Two popular brands for tattooing are BIC Bodymark and Inkbox Tattoo. These are considered safer than permanent markers, which are not formulated for use on the skin.

6. Do tattoo markers wash off?

Yes, they do. But you will need to put in some elbow grease. Just running it under water will not take it off. If you use cleaning agents and vigorous rubbing, you can eventually fade the markers entirely.


Now that you know the answer to, “How long do tattoo markers last?” you can decide on the type you want and start looking for tattoo marker ideas. For long-term temporary tattoos, apply the tips we have provided you above.

On a different note, you can share any other thoughts or questions you have on this topic in the comments. We are always happy to hear from our readers!

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