How to Keep Pen Ink on Skin

Getting a tattoo can be incredibly exciting. However, it can also be daunting if you’re feeling unsure about what type of design you want to stay on your skin forever. 

Temporary tattoos are a great alternative that gives you the option to see whether you like a certain design enough or not to have it permanently inked on your skin. 

Another option involves using marker pens, such as Sharpies. This method provides you with total freedom to draw whatever design you like and remove it quickly and easily. 

This post walks you through how to keep marker ink on your skin for longer. This can help to give you a better idea about whether you like the design after several days have passed before you remove it. 

How To Keep Marker Ink On Your Skin

One of the most important parts of keeping ink on your skin is to apply multiple layers. This ensures that if the top layers begin to rub off, you’ve got plenty of layers underneath to prevent the design from fading away too quickly. 

Once you’ve chosen the area of your skin where you want the design, wipe it clean to ensure that there are no oils. This ensures that your body’s natural oils do not interfere and block the ink from getting onto your skin. 

If you have sensitive skin, you may want to apply the DIY tattoos on a small area of your own skin. This gives you the chance to see whether the pen inks cause irritation or not before continuing with your fake tattoos.

You can draw your design by using stencils tracing paper or going freehand. 

When the design has been drawn, let it air dry completely. When you shower, be sure not to rub the design. 

These simple steps will ensure that you can keep the marker ink on your skin for longer. As a result, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about whether you like the design enough to get that permanent tattoo or not. 

Sealing Pen Ink On Your Skin

Now that you know the basic steps involved with sealing marker ink on your skin, there’s another method involving hairspray and baby powder that can provide even longer-lasting results. 

Hairspray & Baby Powder

Make sure you have a can of hairspray, baby powder hydrogen peroxide, and a cotton swab for this method. 

  • Wipe the area of your skin where you want to apply the design to remove any dead skin cells and oils. This can be done by using the cotton swab and hydrogen peroxide. 
  • When the skin has dried completely, you can use your marker to draw your chosen design. 
  • Once the design has been drawn and left to dry a little, apply the baby powder directly onto it. 
  • Make sure that the design is completely covered in baby powder. You can gently rub the baby powder in. Use gentle circular motions to avoid smudging the design. 
  • Gently wipe away the excess powder. 
  • Next, grab the hairspray can and spray a thin coat over the design. 
  • It’s important to cover the design completely and apply an even layer. 
  • Leave the hairspray to dry on the design before gently wiping off the excess with a tissue. 

Also read: How to Keep Sharpie on Skin


So, that wraps up our post on how to keep marker ink on your skin. The steps are easy to follow and will ensure that the design lasts on your skin for 3-4 days! 

If you notice that the gel pens or permanent marker cause skin irritation, it’s best to remove the fake tattoo with a cotton ball and water. One of the benefits of using a permanent marker over a tattoo machine is that removing pen ink is a lot easier.

We hope that the tips mentioned above have been useful in helping you to learn how to draw marker designs on your skin that last.


How to remove a Sharpie tattoo?

You can easily remove a temporary tattoo from permanent markers by using rubbing alcohol and paper towels. Water-based inks tend to be easily removed in the shower too.

Are Sharpie markers safe?

Drawing with a Sharpie pen to create fake tattoos on the skin in considered to be generally safe for most people. However, some people may be allergic, which can cause toxic ingredients to have a negative effect on the skin.

Therefore, you should start by using a very small amount of ink to prevent ink poisoning and irritation.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.