Best markers to draw on skin. 

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The best markers to draw on skin reviews

The following is a review of tattoo pens that can be used to draw temporary tattoos (fake tattoos) or other designs on the human body. These skin markers are excellent for use by children, young adults, and anyone who wishes to experiment with their creativity without a permanent commitment from dress-up enthusiasts, to face painting for sporting events to trainee tattoo artists (e.g., you might want to use such a product before getting inked head to toe in tattoo designs).

Indeed, these types of skin markers provide an easy way for artists of any skill level – be they professional or amateur – to doodle all over their own bodies with no lasting effects whatsoever. It’s true: when used properly and responsibly, these sorts of ink pens will easily wash off in a matter of days, if not a few hours.

Read on to check out the products I’ve now bought, tried and reviewed, and choose the best pens that seem like they’re going to work best for you!

Disclaimer – This website contains affiliate links. If you find the information useful and click on a product link and make a purchase, a small commission will be earned by Big Red Illustration

Here are the top 5 reviews:

1. BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Markers

About this item

  • Decorate your skin with the BodyMark by BIC set: 6 temporary tattoo pens in cosmetic quality, 9 stencils and 1 look book
  • Your 6 bold ink colours in 2 tip shapes last about 2 days, use the 9 stencils or our inspirational look book
  • Flexible brush tips (1-4 mm) for fine and broad strokes in green, light blue, purple and red as well as fine tips in black and brown
  • This complete set for temporary tattoos can be given as a gift or taken home to create creative body art
  • The ink dries quickly and reduces smearing and is aimed at those who love temporary tattoos, aged 14 and up


I have always wanted to have some tattoos, but it seemed like a lot of commitment.

I’ve finally found some temporary tattoo markers that are easy for kids or anyone else who wishes to experiment with their creativity without permanent commitment. These ink pens are great for sprucing up your style for special occasions, parties, festivals, or other events and are some of the best pens I’ve come across.

The colors are also bright and vivid and perfect for summer. I would recommend these to anyone looking for a temporary tattoo or for budding tattoo artists, and to those who just want to express themselves without causing much harm or pain!

2. Toysmith Ink-a-Do Shimmery Tattoo Pens Bundle – 2 Pack

About this item

  • 2 sets of 6 pens each and 2 sets of 3 stencil sheets, totalling 18 pieces!
  • Make your own design or utilize the provided stencils to use the pattern.
  • You just have to ink, wash, and repeat. It’s a fantastic product for a birthday party or sleepover.
  • Ideal for vacations, party favors, giveaways, schools, organizations, stocking stuffers, and much more!
  • For children aged six and up.


I was very excited to get this tattoo kit, but at the same time kind of nervous. My niece is eight and she’s always drawing on me with markers sometimes with ones I can barely get off (don’t want to have to go through that again so wanted something easily washable).

..And thankfully, these pens wash off human skin easily! The kit had more than enough stencils for whatever design you wanted, which was great for my niece who likes making her own original designs.

The pens also worked really well! Like they claimed, the colors were just as they appeared in the package. Also, they dried very quickly and didn’t smudge or anything.

If you’re looking for a tattoo kit that works every time, then this is it! (also these are some of the best pens for this age range)

3. – Premium Quality, Natural & Long Lasting

About this item

  • 100% real natural & organic fruit based ink. A Premium Temporary Tattoo Ink
  • Darker and more realistic stain – Looks just like a real tattoo
  • Extra Long Lasting – Lasts 7-14 days (or more)
  • Best consistency – Draw with ease
  • Full temporary tattoo kit set – Has everything you need


I had tried many markers in the past, but this one is by far my favorite. I love how easy it is to put on and how long it lasts. I wore mine for about 10 days and had no problems with it coming off. The color was also great, very dark and it looked just like a real tattoo.

I started by drawing the tattoo with a stencil, but I also tried just freehand drawing it on my skin. Both ways worked but the results were better with a stencil, probably because you can draw more accurately that way.

After washing it off, my tattoo looked very good. It was dark enough to look real. Lasted about 10 days in total, (from around day 7 it began to fade away).

Since using temporary tattoo pens is so easy and painless I will be buying them again in the future

4. HONGBE 10 Tattoo Gel Pens For Body Art

About this item

  • 10 Tattoo Gel Pens Perfect For Body Art
  • Ideal for having a fun, temporary tattoo
  • Ideal for Birthday parties, Sports games , Disco , Hen parties.
  • Easy to Remove tattoos with just soap and water.
  • Not suitable for children under 3 years. For use under adult supervision
  • Please Do Not Use On Sensitive Skin In Case Of Skin Reaction
  • Good for children and for fun, but not for professional tattoo artists
  • Great for drawing fine lines with the pen tips

Good for children and for fun, but not for professional tattoo artists

I tried the 10 Tattoo Gel Pens for Body Art by HONGBE. Each pen has a different color of ink for drawing your temporary tattoo. I tried the red pen on my skin, and it went on smoothly without smudging. The gel pen ink comes in ten colours in the pack, so they’re good for a range of designs and they are LOTS of fun, especially for kids (with supervision of course!). The best part about these pens is that they’re cheap and not permanent—they come right off with soap and water.

5. Inkbox Freehand Ink Temporary Tattoos | Lasts Up to 2 Weeks | Perfect for Artists, Long Lasting Temp Kit Tattoos, and Temporary Tattoo Drawing (1 Ounce -Pack of 1)

About this item

  • CHECK IT OUT: Each Large box of skin markers includes 1 oz. of Freehand Ink, plus a freebie! The size of the bottle may vary.
  • Let it dry for an hour before washing. – Your design will start to form within 24 hours and last 1-2 weeks. Your Inkbox hue is entirely unique to you! Because our formulation works with your skin’s natural chemistry, the color of your tattoo may vary considerably. For some, the ink became bluer; while for others, it became black
  • THE THIN STEEL POINT ALLOWS FOR EXTENSIVE DETAIL – You may use the Thin steel tip to generate highly specific patterns. The options are infinite because to this much freedom of expression.
  • FREEHAND INK TATTOOS ARE 100 PERCENT PLANT BASED – Our Freehand Ink Tattoos are completely plant-based. Plant-based solution is painless to use, non toxic and safe for the skin.
  • EASY TO USE – Our beautiful ergonomically designed bottle makes application a snap. This design allows for smooth squeezing and control. The 1 Ounce is the ideal size for an active artist working on larger full bodies, sleeves, or multiple pieces.
  • TATTOOS FOR EVERYONE – Inkbox provides a skin safe markers alternative to perm tattoos for individuals who can’t obtain them due to religious scruples, skin issues, age restrictions, employment limitations, or other concerns.


I first discovered Inkbox Ink and Freehand Temporary Tattoos on Amazon and the reviews convinced me to try it.

It was a great decision because I am now hooked on this art tool – they are perfect for my art projects, last for about 2 weeks, are so easy to apply, and are less expensive than getting a permanent tattoo!

I love how I can have my own unique design, including thin lines and other details that are not possible with permanent marker tattoos.

If you’re looking to try something new, give Inkbox Ink a shot – I can’t recommend it enough!

A few additional points:

Things to consider when making temporary tattoos are:

Best pen, skin marker attributes; high quality ink, fine tips, flexible tip, broad lines, thick strokes, basic shades, cosmetic quality, skin absorption

Avoid sticky residues and ensure the regular skin markers you use are perfectly safe and meet cosmetic regulations. You don’t want to cause skin problems, allergic reaction or any other health risk

Most markers and pens for drawing will provide vivid colors. Whilst this is great only time or experience will reveal how long the ink lasts; the only drawback in the mean time possibly being if they easily fade. 



The best markers to draw on skin are ones without smudging, with vibrant colors and last a long time. Some markers have different ink colors which can be used to create unique works of art. These are the pens for drawing that are great for tattoos or body painting.

As with all products the best thing to do is to review and sample for yourself. Only then will you truly know if it’s the right product for you, however, I do hope that my initial research has helped you with your investigation so far.

Please let me know your thoughts on each marker set / pens for drawing and if you think I’ve missed anything important that need addressing then I’ll be only too happy to review and include it.

Have fun tattooing 😉


Professional body art pens – what do I look for?

Choosing the right brand of pen is important when it comes to professional body tattooing. There are many brands of pen, but they aren’t all equal in quality or performance. Look for a pen that has been specially formulated for use on skin and with a pigment ink rather than a dye-based colour.

Not only does this enhance vibrancy and the ability to resist fading, it also helps guard against skin infection as dye-based inks can harbour bacteria.

What can I use to draw on my skin?

Skin markers are used to draw designs on your skin. They work just like the markers you have at home, so if you don’t have any drawing experience, no problem! A lot of people who get into body artworking start off with skin markers on themselves or friends.

What markers are OK to use on skin?

NOT oil-based or permanent markers. NOT felt tip pens.

The best kind of marker to use is a water-based ink pen, like a Sharpie. These types of markers are made with porous point materials that allow the ink to soak into the skin and come out again when you wash it off.

The newest kind that’s been coming out is a kind that is made with a material called porous polyethene, instead of the regular old porous point materials. This new kind allows even better saturation and longer-lasting designs on your skin.

Is it OK to draw on your skin with a skin marker?

YES. If done correctly, specialist skin safe markers do zero damage to your skin and there is no reason not to draw on yourself! Be sure to check the information for each set thoroughly before use and always do a small test prior to completing full designs in case of allergic reactions especially on sensitive skin.

What to use to draw tattoos on skin?

Skin safe markers are used to draw designs on your skin. They work just like the markers you have at home, so if you don’t have any drawing experience, no problem! 

What to look for when buying a Marker to draw on skin

First things first when using any medicine to direct yourself onto your body. Make sure that each product or brand has the ASTM standard or receive a US cosmetic certification.

Make sure the coloring is non-toxic and low odorous. Since body arts written through markers should only stay for several days max, we should be able to wash them out without hassle if necessary.

Some products require nail polish Remover, while others require a small amount of acids alcohol or hand soap to be removed. Number of colors and effects should also be considered as defining factors. Dual-tip collections are the most convenient and versatile tattoo pen for skin that we may ask for.

Are Prismacolor Sharpie and Crayola Markers Safe?

Proxy Color supplies professionals with utterly safe products and services. Nevertheless certain of these colors promote alcohol or dye which doesn’t require any contact with our sensitive skin.

Sharpie art on skin is probably popular since some tattoo artists still draw their own tattoos using Sharpie markers. So you may want to use caution when trying to apply the Ink near open wounds or eye and lip.

Crayola confirmed its product is non-toxic. However not manufactured as cosmetics. Moreover their markers, paint crayons and pen have not been rigorously tested on skin. So we can’t formally recommend using this marker pigment on your body.

What makes a Sharpie?

N-propanol demonstrates a low acute toxicity to children in dermatic, oral and intraoperative exposures.

N-butanol is an unstable redox acid that is considered intoxicated.

Diacetone alcohol is not toxic, but is irritant.

Cresol is a strong dermal irritant and Xylene is neurotoxic and can damage other organs. The drug presents risks via inhaled blood ingestion and absorption through skin and mucous membranes. Thus rubbing such chemicals onto skin is not recommendable. It’s not recommended to use Sharpie ink on skin.

Sharpie Ink vs Tattoo Ink: The Argument

Temporary Sharpie tattoos do not soak into skin as tattoo ink does. Tattoo inks are normally composed of metallic salts suspended in a carrier solution.

Pen ink focuses on a single purpose: write on paper. If you think about body art – stick with temporary tattoos that are using skin safe marker or suitable safe ink. Sometimes markers can be used to make amazing art but if you want perm tattoos stick to skin safe paint or tattoo ink; you’ll need Sharpie pens ink for drawing on skin making skin markings rather than standard ink.

The biggest issue for Sharpie body art is Absorption of chemicals into the body via broken skin can pass directly into the bloodstream.

Is Sharpie bad for your sensitive skin?

The chemical makeup of Sharpies products is varying and some may theoretically be safe. Certain marks bearing ACMI’s label are safe for use in Art (NOT Body Art) yet there are other Sharpies that contain toxic solvents which is extremely harmful for your skin. Make sure to check the chemicals on Sharpies to ensure the particular product is safe for drawing on skin

BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoos Ink Markers

BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Markers comprises 8 markers of various shades and colors. Contains stencils of beautiful images that inspire each individual user and a look book as a guide.

The pen points are flexible to draw fine lines and broader shades together in a pen. The emulsion on the back of the screen is excellent; however it sometimes requires multiple washing and to remove.

Children under 13 years old are forbidden to use it on irritated skin or broken skin as well as near their eyes and lips. The lookbook of Miryam Lumpini contains tips, tricks and ideas for designing artwork using these pens.

These markers can be used for professional or personal use and provide the kind of quality you need.

Surgical Skin, Non Toxic Markers

Non-toxic, medical grade markers have become a requirement for professional medical doctors and tattoo industry experts in their field with cosmetic standards to adhere to. Self Scan Skin non toxic pens are hand drawn with a medical grade plastic hand and are incompatible with most tattoo pen products. 

What about dry erase markers?

Some markers contain harmful chemicals named methyl isobutylketone. It irritate the eyes and causes dizziness, headaches vomiting and other symptoms.

Long-term exposure from just one pen can be dangerous for nausea, burning in one eyes, excess cholesterol, intestinal discomfort and insomnia.

If accidentally this chemical falls on the skin it will give off redness, dry skin and even severe burn.

There’s no remedy to this irritation so make sure to protect yourself by ejecting these markers from your skin regularly.

The chemical irritates the skin in addition to causing it dryness redness and pain. It also causes severe headache and dizziness due to long-term use.

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.