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How Long Does Permanent Marker Stay on Skin? 2-3 Days

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

how long does permanent marker stay on skin

Permanent markers are exceptionally useful tools when labeling on various surfaces. However, it can be troublesome when leaving a child with permanent markers without supervision.

One minute they are drawing on a piece of paper, and the next, you find them creating art on their body with those Sharpie markers. Don’t freak out, because, unlike tattoo ink, permanent marker ink only sticks on the surface.

Thus, you will find that the Sharpie lasts on skin for a few days before it eventually fades away. Nonetheless, there are several methods to quickly remove that permanent ink.

In this article, I’ll answer the question “How long does permanent marker stay on skin?” as well as give instructions on getting rid of the Sharpie ink immediately. Let’s have a look at what I will talk about in this article:

  • How Long Does a Permanent Marker Last On Skin? Generally speaking, Sharpie stays on skin for at most three days. More details will be given below.
  • Methods to Remove Permanent Markers On Skin? Soap and water is the easiest way you can think of. Additionally, you can use acetone, oil, baby wipes, toothpaste, milk, etc.
  • Is Permanent Ink Toxic? Contact with permanent ink can cause irritation to sensitive skin. Therefore, you are advised to use Sharpies with great caution.

Are you ready to find out interesting facts about permanent ink? Let’s get started with the first part!

How Long Does a Permanent Marker Last on Skin?


You will never know when your children happen to find a Sharpie marker lying in some corners of your house and use it to create their artistic masterpiece. Once you realize that your beloved kids have that permanent marker, it is probably too late to stop them.

Then, the next thought that comes to your mind might be when this permanent marker ink is going to fade away as you don’t want your children going around with funny marks on their body. Well, you don’t have to be anxious because it will naturally disappear.

Normally, the permanent marker will come off after about two or three days if the marks aren’t too dark. The reason is that it only touches the surface of your skin but does not stick to your flesh. Hence, you should not be too worried if you find your kids drawing on their siblings’ skin with Sharpie markers.

Nonetheless, there are some tricks to remove that permanent ink quickly. Yet, note that you may have to repeat the steps several times to get rid of the stubborn stains completely. Proceed to the following section to learn how.

Methods on Removing Permanent Marker on Skin


Check out this video for a better illustration of the methods I’m going to describe below.

1. Water with Soap

The first and easiest way to clean any dirty substances is using soap with clean water. This tip works best for water-based ink that is often used in washable markers for children such as those of Crayola.

Simply apply a good amount of soap to the inked surface and add some water. Then, scrub that spot well for a few minutes to remove the ink. Rinse the spot with clean water and repeat several times until the spot is totally clean. If this tip doesn’t work, check out the following methods.

2. Sea Salt

Sea salt is usually used for exfoliating dead skins. Therefore, it can be effective in getting rid of the permanent ink on the top layer of your skin. Add a small amount of warm water to the sea salt and apply it to your skin.

Make sure you mix sea salt with some water, or you will hurt yourself while scrubbing the sea salt on your skin. Once you have the mixture, scrub it gently on the ink spot until you notice that the permanent marker is removed. Finally, rinse the spot with some clean water.

3. Oil

Surprising as it may sound, oil can be used as a cleaning product in this case. Coconut oil, olive oil, or baby oil are possible types of oil that you can try. However, note that this trick is NOT advisory for acne-prone skin.

If your skin is super sensitive and easily breaks out, adding oil is not recommended. Test the product on a small spot before applying a large amount of oil to your skin. If you are unsure about your skin type, move on to the other methods below.

4. Milk

Milk is recommended as a safe product to try when you want to remove permanent markers on skin. Pour some no-sugar milk on a piece of cotton ball or a clean cloth and gently rub it on the marker spot.

5. Toothpaste

The last trick I would like to introduce to you is using toothpaste with whitening properties. Since it can whiten your teeth, there is a high chance that this kind of toothpaste will remove the permanent marker ink on your skin as well. Apply a good amount of toothpaste on your skin and gently scrub it. Repeat this method at least two times a day, and you will be pleased by the outcomes.

Is Permanent Ink Toxic?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Permanent ink contains ingredients, such as xylene, resin, and toluene that might lead to mild skin irritation. Moreover, it can result in allergic reactions to the eyes, throat, and nose.


How long does permanent marker stay on skin? In short, two or three days. Nevertheless, you can try different ways to remove it quickly.

I hope this article was helpful. Let me know which method you used in the comment section. If you enjoyed the article, share it with your family and friends as well.

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