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How to Take Permanent Marker off Skin? 11 Easy Methods

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

how to take permanent marker off skin

So you’re wondering how to take permanent marker off skin? You can remove the ink faster with chemical-based cleaners and other products you already have at home or your workplace.

Scrubbing with soap and water alone does not completely remove ink but it goes away on its own in a couple of days. At any rate, permanent marker ink does not cause any damages to the skin. At most, it can be mildly irritating.

I’m sure you’re already itching to get off that stubborn marker ink now. Without further adieu, let me share some tips to resolve this issue.

11 Easy Methods to Take Permanent Marker off Skin


What You Need

  • Chemical-based cleaners

As we’re living through a pandemic, many of you most likely carry a bottle of hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.

Healthline recommends make-up removers as they are gentler to the skin compared to other household chemical-based cleaners. On the other hand, I love makeup wipes as they clean up the ink a lot faster.

Nail polish remover is just as effective in rubbing out those nasty ink marks. The only downside is that it evaporates quickly so you will need to reapply whenever it dries.

  • Oils

Baby oil, coconut oil, and olive oil make those nasty ink stains on your skin go away easily. However, I have to caution you about using baby oils excessively because it may trigger a breakout for acne-prone skin.

  • Other products

Sea salt scrub exfoliates the skin and helps lighten the ink marks on the skin but it takes time to prepare it. Personally, I don’t really use this method since I need to massage my skin twice a day to remove the ink entirely. Alternatively, you can try whitening toothpaste (not gel toothpaste), shaving cream, or sunscreen!

  • Cloth, cotton balls, or paper towel

You will also need a clean cloth, a paper towel, or a cotton ball to apply the oil, chemical-based cleaner, and other products. Use a rag or cloth that you don’t mind getting stained.


Method 1: Hand sanitizer

  • Slather the hand sanitizer onto the dyed skin. I suggest that you check out this video tutorial in the end of this article to see how much hand sanitizer you need to apply.
  • Rub the inked area in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. You may continue rubbing until the mark is completely gone.
  • Wipe off the excess hand sanitizer with a clean cloth or a paper towel.

Method 2: Rubbing Alcohol/Isopropyl

  • Pour rubbing alcohol onto the ink mark on your skin.
  • Wikihow suggests using your fingers or a clean cloth to rub the dyed skin. Continue rubbing until the ink fades.
  • Wash the skin with soap and warm water. Then pat it dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.

Method 3: Makeup wipes

  • Makeup wipes are much easier to apply. All you need to do is scrub it on the inked skin to remove the marks and that’s it! It usually takes only a couple of minutes for the ink to dissolve completely.

Method 4: Liquid makeup remover

  • Begin by pouring a small amount of liquid makeup remover a paper towel, a cloth, or cotton ball.
  • Rub it on the dyed skin to wash out the ink in a circular motion.
  • Run the affected area with water to rinse off the makeup remover and dry it with a towel.

Method 5: Nail polish remover or acetone

  • Wet your cotton ball with a nail polish remover or rag and then rub it on the ink marks on your skin.
  • Keep in mind that nail polish removers like acetone can evaporate really fast. If it dries up before the ink dissolves, you can repeat Step 1 a couple of times. Don’t worry, nail polish removers and acetone do not irritate the skin.
  • Once your skin is free from ink, wash it with warm water and pat it with a clean cloth or paper towel to dry.

Method 6: Baby Oil

  • Squirt some baby oil on a clean cloth or tissue paper and rub it on the inked area of your skin in an upward motion. It may take a few minutes before the ink dissolves.
  • Once the ink fades away, clean the excess oil with warm water and pat it dry with a cloth or paper towel.

Method 7: Coconut or olive oil

  • Before anything else, be sure to wash the affected area of your skin with warm water and soap. Then dry it with a towel.
  • According to Healthline, you can use your fingers or tissue to rub the coconut or olive oil on the stain.
  • Continue to scrub out the ink until the ink completely fades, rinse the area with water and soap, then pat it until dry.

Method 8: Sea salt scrub

  • In a bowl or a jar, mix equal parts of water and coarse sea salt with a spoon until it turns into a paste.
  • Gently massage the paste on the dyed skin for a couple of minutes. Then rinse the paste thoroughly with warm water and dry the area with a towel.
  • Even though this method effectively exfoliates your skin, the ink does not always disappear completely on the first try. Healthline suggests that you can do this twice a day, or as needed.

Method 9: Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash

  • A blogger from Still Cracking says that you can apply a small amount of whitening toothpaste. Then rub it gently with your fingertips or a damp cloth.
  • Pour some alcohol-based mouthwash over the inked area, then wipe it with a damp cloth.
  • When the ink marks have all disappeared, wash off the residue with warm water and then pat it dry with a towel.

Method 10: Shaving cream

  • Apply some shaving cream directly to the dyed skin.
  • Using your fingertips, scrub out the ink gently in circular motions. Take note that it will take a couple of minutes to go away.
  • Rinse off the shaving cream once your skin no longer shows visible ink marks and dry it with a towel.

Method 11: Sunscreen

  • Apply a thick coating of sunscreen on the ink marks on your skin. Whether it’s a cream, spray-on, or lotion, it will work more or less the same way. In this blog, the writer used sunscreen spray.
  • In a circular motion, massage the area with your fingertips. You may add more sunscreen as needed and continue to rub until the marker ink disappears.
  • Remove the excess sunscreen by rinsing it with warm water. Then pat it dry with a towel.


Don’t you think it’s amazing how all these products can save us from the embarrassment of having to walk around with marker inks all over our hands?

Some of the methods are simpler than others. Still, I decided to include all of them because I know that not all of us may have these products readily at home or in our workplace.

Also, to minimize the chance of getting stubborn stains from permanent markers, check out my posts on markers to draw on skin or washable markers if you need.

Considering all the tips and tricks on how to take permanent marker off skin, which one do you find most helpful? I’d love to know your thoughts so feel free to leave a comment! Lastly, don’t forget to share this article if you find these methods effective.

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