How Long Do Temporary Tattoos Last?

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Nowadays, temporary tattoos are a popular accessory that most people have heard of, if not used. They are aesthetically pleasing and fun, allowing you to express your style, mood, and character. But have you ever wondered how these tattoos are made or how long do temporary tattoos last?

If you have, this article is here to help. From longevity tips to some basic info about this tattoo type, here’s everything you need to know! Read on, and take notes!


Introduction to Temporary Tattoos

Here’s a crash course on temporary tattoos, including what they are, their advantages, and how companies make them.


What Are Temporary Tattoos?

As their name suggests, temporary tattoos are decorative images that you can apply to the skin and wear for short stretches of time. Though many people think these tattoos are a novelty reserved for kids, they have actually been around for centuries. In fact, some sources suggest that temporary tattoos for adults were originally used by the ancient Egyptians.


The Advantages of Temporary Tattoos

Needless to say, the main advantage of this tattoo type is its temporariness. You can apply a tattoo wherever you want while still knowing that you’ll be able to remove it later on. You can do it just for fun or to see how a permanent tattoo might look on you.

Other pros of temporary tattoos include the decreased cost, as well as virtually no pain and irritation during the tattooing process. Combined with the temporary aspects, these benefits have ensured that one-time tattoos have become extremely popular with all demographics.


How Are Temporary Tattoos Made?

Water-based temporary tattoos are made using the CMYK printing and screen printing technique. First off, manufacturers print a particular image on paper coated with transfer film. Once the printing process is complete, the finished design is covered with a thin layer of adhesive so that the image can slide from the paper onto the skin once applied. Lastly, manufacturers cover the adhesive with a sheet of protective film, and the tattoo is ready.

The tattoos are activated when the protective film is removed, and the adhesive comes into contact with water. The moisture ensures that the image transfers to the skin and the adhesive that it stays there.


Temporary Tattoo Types

There are several types of temporary tattoos that you can try out. Here are the most popular ones.


Press-on temporary tattoostattoo stickers

Also known as decal temporary tattoos, water transfer tattoos.The highly detailed images are printed on a clear water-release paper and when applied to the skin look like a real tattoo. The tattoo is easy to apply, just peel off the paper backing and place the tattoo in water for 20-30 seconds. After removing the tattoo from the water, apply it to the skin and gently pat dry.You can wear them on your arms, legs, or anywhere else you would like to show some team spirit!The tattoo is waterproof and can last up to 7 days.

There are 5 main types of press-on tattoos are popular using by the people .

Airbrush Temporary Tattoos

Airbrush tattoos are popular among children and young adults as they are perceived to be temporary. Airbrush tattoos are applied using an airbrush machine which sprays a stenciled design on the skin through a template. The person being tattooed holds a hand-held airbrush machine in one hand while the other hand is used to guide the machine over the skin. The airbrush machine is connected to a compressor which provides the air pressure needed to operate the machine.


Henna Tattoos (temporary tattoos personalized to your taste using special ink)

A henna tattoo is a temporary decorative body art made up of a paste made from ground henna and water. The paste is then applied to the skin and left to dry. The paste can be applied to any part of the body, but is most commonly used on the hands, feet, and face.


How to Make Temporary Tattoos Last Longer

From where you should apply them to how you should prep the skin beforehand, here are all the tips you can use to get more long-lasting temporary tattoos.


Where Should You Apply the Tattoo?

When applying your tattoo, you should pick a spot on your body where the skin won’t constantly fold or flex as you move. In other words, you should avoid your wrists, hands, elbows, and feet. Besides constant movement, these body parts also come in contact with different substances, clothing, or footwear, which can damage a temporary tattoo quickly.

Instead, go for places that are not so prone to movement and sweating or aren’t usually covered with clothing. Good options include your biceps, forearms, neck, thighs, calves (if it’s the summer and they’re bare), and so on.

Below, you can see how many days the tattoos usually last, depending on where you apply them.

  • Fingers (1-2 days)
  • Hands (1-2 days)
  • Wrists (1-2 days)
  • Arms (3-5 days)
  • Shoulders (3-5 days)
  • Face (1-2 days)
  • Chest (3-7 days)
  • Neck (3-5 days)
  • Back (3-5 days)
  • Hips (1-2 days)
  • Legs (5-7 days)

Prep the Skin Well

It is essential to prepare your skin for the tattooing process. That way, you’ll ensure that the tattoo actually sticks to your skin well and stays there longer.

First off, you should clean and exfoliate the area. Wash it with water and soap or body wash, and then use a body scrub to remove all dead skin cells. By doing so, you will ensure that your skin won’t start peeling for a few days, meaning that your tattoo will last longer.

Furthermore, you should shave the area, especially if you have a lot of dense body hair or if the tattoo is intricate. Removing the hair will help the tattoo adhere to your skin more firmly.


Washing the Skin With Care

Although many manufacturers claim that their temporary tattoos are waterproof, that usually isn’t the case. Thus, you should always assume that washing and scrubbing the tattooed area will make the tattoo wear off sooner.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shower or go for a swim. Instead, just try not to scrub the tattoo underwater or treat it with body wash or any other chemical. In addition, you mustn’t let the tattoo come into contact with any alcohol (including hand sanitizer), as it will start dissolving immediately.


Sealants Might Come In Handy

In some cases, applying some sealant to the tattoo might make it last longer. One of them, for example, is petroleum jelly. The jelly seals off all the moisture in the skin, keeping the area completely dry.

If you find the jelly too messy or you want something that smells different, you can also go for clear nail polish. However, the nail polish will start to flake sooner than the jelly, and it will take the tattoo along as it falls off.

Other products that you can use include baby powder, corn starch, and talcum powder. They are all highly absorbent and will ensure your skin is moisture-free, which could make the tattoos last longer.


Go for Semi-Permanent Tattoos

If you’re truly into long-lasting temporary tattoos, opting for a semi-permanent model is always a good idea. These tattoos can last up to two weeks and are much more difficult to wash away.

It goes without saying that you should also be careful not to scrub these tattoos or wash them with harsh chemicals. Although they are certainly more durable than ordinary temporary tattoos, they can still get damaged.



Temporary tattoos are a great way to express your artistic nature and personal style without committing to a life-long mark on the body. Although they usually last for a few days only, careful skin treatment before and after the application can considerably prolong their life span.

Hopefully, this guide will make your tattoo journey more enjoyable and the tattoos more long-lasting. Follow all the guidelines, and you will have an excellent experience every time you apply a new tattoo!


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