The beauty of temporary tattoos is that they can be removed just as easily as they are added to your skin. Often, scrubbing your skin will only get part of the temporary tattoo off, so we’ve rounded up the six best ways to remove your temporary tattoos. They’re easy, inexpensive, and totally safe.
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6 Effective Ways to Remove a Temporary Tattoo Quickly
It’s important to keep in mind that if you have applied a temporary tattoo by a brand that creates ink that’s meant to last a week or two, they often have instructions or products specific to their temporary tattoos.
Otherwise, here are six tried-and-true ways to get rid of your temporary tattoo:
Method 1: Baby Oil or Coconut Oil
Because temporary tattoos are meant to be waterproof and long-lasting, soap rarely gets the job down. Luckily, gentle oils can often break down the product.
- Apply the baby oil or coconut oil on your temporary tattoo.
- Let the oil sit and soak into your tattoo for around two minutes.
- Using a dry washcloth or paper towel, rub the tattoo vigorously. You may have to repeat this a few times.
- Wash any remnants with soap and water.
Method 2: Use an Exfoliating Scrub
Many body scrubs exist that have salt or sugar to help scrub away dead skin. They are also usually packed full of natural oils to help soften the skin - and your temporary tattoo design. You can also make your own using a bit of coconut oil and brown sugar.
- Wet your tattoo with warm water.
- Apply a generous amount of exfoliant scrub and rub the temporary tattoo in circular motions repeatedly.
- Wash off and repeat if needed.
Method 3: Household Tape
If your temporary tattoo is new and you’ve changed your mind about its placement or design, this method will often work. The tape you use needs to be clear; masking tape is best.
- Apply the tape over your tattoo, using several pieces if you have a large design.
- Press down and scratch or rub on the temporary tattoo in an up and down motion to truly get the tape to stick.
- Gently peel the tape off your skin and the temporary tattoo should peel off with it. Repeat if necessary.
Method 4: Make-Up Remover
Make-up remover, especially eye make-up remover, is often tough enough to tackle temporary tattoos while also staying gentle on your skin.
- Soak a cotton ball with make-up remover.
- Rub your tattoo vigorously with the cotton ball.
- Even if the first round was not completely successful with removing your temporary tattoo, wash off the oily feeling of the make-up remover with soap and water, and dab dry.
- Repeat the steps as many times as needed to remove your temporary tattoo design.
Method 5: Cold Cream
Cold cream is a type of moisturizer that contains a large amount of oil. This method takes a bit of patience as the cold cream is allowed time to absorb into your skin.
- Apply the cold cream to your temporary tattoos, rubbing the cold cream in a circular motion.
- Allow the cold cream to completely absorb in your skin, which may take around an hour. It’s okay if you don’t see the cream anymore when you’ve come back to it.
- Rub the tattoo with a dry washcloth or paper towel, and then repeat the process with a wet and soapy washcloth. Make sure to use vigorous up-and-down motions.
Method 6: Nail Polish Remover or Rubbing Alcohol
This method may irritate sensitive skin, so make sure to do a path test prior to proceeding with this method. Some people use hand sanitizer for this process as well, but if it is repeated frequently, remember that it can be very drying on your skin.
- Thoroughly wet a cotton ball with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol.
- Rub the temporary tattoo vigorously with the soaked cotton ball.
- Use a fresh cotton ball and repeat steps one and two if the first round is not effective.
- Be sure to wash your skin with soap and warm water after you’ve used this method.
Our Final Thoughts
The good news about temporary tattoos is that even if you don’t try and tackle them with one of these removal methods, they’ll likely fade on their own in a few days' time. If you are using a temporary tattoo brand rather than having drawn on your own, they often come with specific instructions for easy removal.