How Long Do Temporary Tattoos Last? How to Make a Temporary Tattoo Last Longer?

Temporary tattoos are easy to understand by their name. When you hear of a temporary tattoo, it means it will sooner or later fade and won’t last long with you.

No matter how hard you try, it won’t be easy for you to sustain the temporary tattoos. However, these look the best when you have to change these as per the occasions as they are easy to leave apart.

The life of a temporary tattoo entirely depends on your skin tone, the ink used, the method applied, and the after-care tips followed.

If you want to know how to make these temporary artworks last longer for you, then you have landed the right page.

In this article, we shall discuss the life span of temporary tattoos and various ways you can make them stay for long with you.

Do temporary tattoos wash off?

One amazing fact about temporary tattoos is that you can keep changing the design and make it at the same place as your old tattoo.

Coming back to your concern of tattoos coming off, your tattoo can stay in the first few soap washes. It may not easily wash off if you wash it for the first time.

It may only start fading slowly after two to three washes and then finally come off. It is good to get rid of temporary tattoos after a certain period by yourself as the leftover design makes the skin look ugly.

Despite the flaw of temporary life, people prefer to stick to temporary tattoos for the following reasons:

1. Fearful of permanent design

Not everyone loves the idea of permanent tattoos; some are scared to have that permanent ink on their body.

They don’t wish to stick to the same design forever. Such people are ok with the idea of temporary washing off and having a temporary life.

2. Painless process

Non-permanent tattoos are painless compared to permanent methods. These settle on the top surface of the skin and do not need any needles to get into the deeper layers of the skin as in permanent tattoos.

It is the obvious reason why many are sticking to the painless tattoo methods and continue to go for the same method after one fades out.

3. Different occasions, different tattoos

Unless someone is a tattoo freak, not all will be interested to give pain to the entire body with permanent tattoos.

People love to change tattoos as per the occasions and thus, they don’t mind if the short-term tattoos do not last for long as that was never the intention anyway.

They get to choose oodles of designs as per their life events such as life, motivation, wedding, Valentine’s Day, anniversary, social message, etc,

4. Medical information

Some people prefer the idea of carrying their medical information in the form of non-permanent tattoos.

People suffering from a medical condition opt to go for temporary tattoos mentioning the same rather than carrying those medical i-cards and reports that make them sick all the time.

5. Promotions and social cause

You may have seen people writing some social messages on their body mainly the hands and neck area. It is to promote a social cause.

Even to promote their brand, they put up temporary tattoos on them. Promotions make it easy for them as tattoos are amazing attention-seeking tools that drag people’s attention easily.

How long do temporary tattoos last?

Short-term tattoos may last for up to 3 days to 3 weeks! It all depends on how you take care of it. There are steps that you can follow to let these tattoos stay for long on you.

We shall discuss that ahead but for now, let’s discuss the concern about tattoo fading or washing off.

One thing you need to remember is that non-permanent tattoos are not waterproof. The ink pigments used may accompany you for as long as seven to ten days or perhaps a few more days.

Good quality tattoos like Henna and ephemeral tattoos can help your tattoo design stay as long as a month. Remember, we already mentioned that it also depends on your skin tone and pigment quality.

Your tattoo artist would be the best to suggest you a suitable design and temporary tattoo pigment based on your skin tone. He/she will also give you a suitable list of precautions to follow that can elongate the life of your tattoo.

How to make temporary tattoos last longer?

Before you begin with the steps and tricks to increase the life of your non-permanent tattoo, remember the following guidelines:

  • You must go to an expert who has dealt with semi-permanent tattoos before.
  • Your tattoo artist needs to be a specialist and must have the license to perform the art.
  • Choose good quality products for semi-permanent tattoos

Here are the steps that you have been longing for to increase the life-span of your temporary tattoo:

1. Cleanse and shave the spot before the tattoo

Anything that you apply before the tattoo will matter the tattoo life. You must shave your skin before so that your tattoo can stay longer as shaving the skin later will only chip off the tattoo design from various areas.

Body lotions release oils making the skin slippery for the tattoo to stay longer. This will dissolve the tattoo sooner than you expected.

You must clean the skin with gentle antibacterial soap and keep it clean before the tattoo.

2. Exfoliate the tattoo area before you begin with the temporary tattoo

The top of the skin usually contains dead skin cells and these are likely to shed or scrub off especially during dry seasons.

Applying or making a temporary tattoo directly on such skin will not let it stay for long. Thus, you must exfoliate your skin will help rejuvenate the skin and open the dead pores.

3. Choose a proper area for the temporary tattoo

Your part of the body also decides the life of your temporary tattoo.

If you choose a tattoo area that constantly stretches or rubs against different objects such as your elbow or knees, the tattoo won’t stay long.

The constant stretching, rubbing, or washing will let the tattoo fade prematurely.

4. Petroleum jelly

Apply petroleum jelly such as Vaseline to seal your tattoo before you come in contact with the water.

Petroleum jelly or waterproof bandages help to protect your temporary tattoos from washing off underwater pressure.

As an alternative, nail polish remover works too. Be careful, sometimes the tattoo may come off along with the remover.

5. Sprinkle talcum powder

Talcum powder can make wonders to your temporary tattoo. These act like moisture absorbers. Any oil or sweat on your tattoo will be absorbed by talcum powder.

Choose a mild baby powder and sprinkle some on your tattoo. Avoid inhaling the powder as that could affect breathing and may be bad for your lungs.

6. Use a marker pen or highlighter

If the tattoo seems to rub off and breaks in between, you may use a good quality marker or highlighter to cover the gaps.

You need to choose the same colored ink so that the difference is not visible. However, this trick will only allow your tattoo to stay for another day or two.

7. Avoid working out and sweating out

If you wish to increase the life of your temporary tattoo, avoid sweating! Excessive movement of your body will stretch the skin disturbing your tattoo pigment. Your tattoo will fade off with stretching and sweating.

8. Avoid water as much as you can

You must avoid water contact with your tattoo. Avoid applying soaps and lotions on your temporary tattoo area for some days.

You may wash the area around your tattoo but, do not soak your temporary tattoo with water.

Soapy water on temporary tattoos unnecessarily shortens their life and these may easily come off in a shabby manner leaving some particles behind on the skin.

9. Apply good lotion post-tattoo

To avoid cracking of the tattoo design, you may apply a small portion of mild body lotion onto the tattoo area. This will prevent the design from chipping off or breaking down totally.

You can apply body lotion but smartly over the tattoo however, avoid it before the tattoo for reasons explained in the above points.

10. Follow the hair spray formula

The combination of hair spray and baby talcum powder works the best to increase the life-span of temporary tattoos.

Apply baby talcum powder on your hand and then holding the hair spray from a distance of 12 to 15 inches, spray gently on your temporary tattoo.

This will help elongate the life of your temporary artwork.

Before you leave, remember a few Don’ts that can also help you in extending the life of your temporary tattoo:

  • Avoid roaming under the sun which may lead to sweaty skin making the tattoo weaker.
  • Do not scrub your tattoo as soon as it is applied. If it is itchy, talk to your tattoo designer about how you can save it for a long time.
  • Do not bathe in warm water or soak in hot tubs. This will not keep your tattoo happy for long and it will start fading.
  • Do not wear tight clothes as fiction may lead to the breakage of your temporary tattoo design.
  • Don’t apply sunscreens, oils, and sanitizers on the temporary tattoo.
  • Don’t make tattoos on areas where you are prone to sweat more such as underarms.


We hope you found the article informative about how you can save your temporary tattoos for longer than usual. If you have any concerns to share, feel free to share them in the comments section. We are sure by following the steps mentioned in this quick guide, you can easily flaunt your tattoo for long.