Artltdmag is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How Long Do Tattoo Markers Last? Which One Last Longer?

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how long do tattoo markers last

How long do tattoo markers last depends on three things: the type of ink, how it is being introduced to the skin, and the exposure to moisture and friction after application.

Generally, temporary tattoos made with tattoo marker pens can last for days and even for a few months. There are also different tricks that can make temporary tattoo markers last longer.

How Long Do Tattoo Markers Last According to Type

1. Temporary Tattoo Markers


This type of tattoo skin markers is designed to be erasable. BodyMark by BIC and Skin Companion Markers can only last on the skin for about 2 to 3 days.

However, if you want your temporary tattoo a little longer, you can use an Inkbox tattoo. It is waterproof and skin-friendly as their ink is made with cosmetic grade plant-based formulation.

Inkbox tattoo offers an artist kit that contains freehand tattoo markers and other things you need to get started. This type of skin markers for tattoos can last up to 2 to 3 weeks.

2. Sharpie Tattoo


Although Sharpie is not a tattoo marker, but because of its accessibility, some find it convenient to use. I personally find it a fun thing to do.

Primarily for youngsters who want to get a tattoo but cannot afford to get a legit one or are too young to get inked.

After you tattoo Sharpie on the skin, it will eventually fade by itself and will not last long. But there are ways to make Sharpie last on skin a bit longer.

Tips: How to Make a Sharpie Tattoo Last?

  1. Get body marker tattoo ideas and pick a design that you want. You can also check BIC bodymark tattoo ideas to see some inspirations.
  2. Print it or save it on your phone as a reference.
  3. Clean the area where you want to draw. Make sure it is completely dry. Shave that part if needed.
  4. Draw the pattern using a Sharpie marker on the skin.
  5. Dab some baby powder on the tattoo. This will remove any moisture that could cause the ink to fade.
  6. Apply a liquid band-aid or use hair spray. Do not soak it.
  7. Pat it dry. With proper care, this can make the Sharpie tattoo last for a month.

Remember, there’s no such thing as Sharpie body markers and so, they are not advisable to be used as tattoos.

However, having fun with Sharpie is never a bad idea. Just be careful with toxic chemicals present on some Sharpies. Remember to clean it with soap or with alcohol later.

3. Henna Tattoo


This is one of the popular choices for making semi-permanent tattoos. It is available in various forms, such as henna pens, plastic foil, and freehand kits.

Henna tattoo ink is plant-based and is also used for cosmetic purposes like eyebrows, eyes, and lips enhancement.

It is also known because of its ability to last on skin longer, considering it’s only applied on the top layer of the skin. Henna tattoo ink is waterproof and can stay on the skin for up to 3 weeks.



Is a Sharpie tattoo safe?

Although it bears the AP Non-Toxic Seal, certified by The Art and Creative Materials Institute, Inc., Sharpie generally does not recommend using its markers on the skin.

According to its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), Sharpie products are safe and not hazardous under normal conditions.

However, they noted that it is not intended to be used on skin, and eye contact could possibly cause irritation.

Are tattoo marks washed away?

As mentioned, tattoos made with temporary tattoo pens will eventually wash off skin and can be totally gone after 2 days or a month, depending on the type.

Is it possible to get a tattoo for 6 months?

A tattoo studio in the US called Ephemeral had launched its made-to-fade tattoos. These tattoos are said to last for more than 6 months and will fade on their own within 9 to 15 months.

The method of application is similar to a conventional permanent tattoo, but the ink used is formulated with special polymers designed to be washed away in the body’s immune system.

Similarly, Chinese ink skin injection is another controversial option.

However, experts warn that these options could be relatively permanent on the skin and have to be reconsidered many times as they may present several risks.

How to remove a temporary tattoo?

  1. Apply oil on the tattoo, you can use any oil of your choice.
  2. Gently massage the area.
  3. Slightly scrub with soap, you can also use an exfoliating scrub.
  4. Wash it with water.
  5. Reapply oil or use a cooling gel to ease any skin irritations.

How to make temporary tattoos last longer?

  1. Choose an area that is less prone to friction.
  2. Prepare the skin before a tattoo application. You can shave the area if it’s hairy, exfoliate to get rid of dead skin, and ensure it is totally dry.
  3. After the tattoo is done, wait patiently until it’s dry before you expose it to moisture and friction.
  4. Avoid sweating out and swimming pools right after getting it.
  5. For added protection, seal it. You can use baby powder, liquid band-aid, or hair spray.
  6. Apply petroleum jelly on the temporary tattoo before you go in the shower or swimming.


How long do tattoo markers last boils down to the type of ink, application, and aftercare. For temporary tattoos fitted for occasions, Bodymark by BIC and Skin Companion is your best bet.

Using Sharpie as a tattoo is generally not recommended but if you must, you better check if it’s free of any toxic chemicals.

If you want a statement tattoo that lasts longer than a week, Henna tattoo and Inkbox tattoo would suit you right.

Note that these tattoo markers may not be compatible with your skin type, always do a patch test before you make your actual tattoo.

5/5 - (3 votes)