How To Remove Temporary Tattoos: The Life-Saving Removal Methods

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Temporary tattoos are the best thing that has happened to millions of people around the world who are afraid to commit to the real deal tattoos. They are a fun way to experiment with body art with zero dedication and commitment, but also a great way to explore the idea of having a tattoo.

However, one of the thing that sets apart temporary and permanent tattoos is, well, their longevity on your skin. Temporary tattoos last up to two weeks max, while permanent tattoos last a lifetime (unless you decide to go for laser tattoo removal).

But, even with such a short lifespan, sometimes temporary tattoos become a liability as well, and you want them gone. Maybe they start peeling or fading weirdly, or you’re seeing some allergic reactions on the skin. Whatever the reason is, these tattoos, unlike the permanent ones, can be easily removed in no time.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some life-saving temporary tattoo removal methods, which will get rid of your temporary ink in a matter of seconds.

Best Removal Methods for Temporary Tattoos

Coconut oil for temporary tattoo removal

Oil-Based Products – Baby or Coconut Oil

Oil-based products, like baby or coconut oil, have shown exceptionally useful when it comes to makeup removal or skin cleansing. But, even though we wouldn’t necessarily recommend you to clean your face with baby or coconut oil on a regular basis, you can still use these products to remove the unwanted temporary tattoos.

The reason oil-based products work on temporary tattoos lies in the fact that the majority of these tattoos are waterproof, so they withstand water, and sometimes even soap.

So, what you want to do while using oil-based products is the following;

  • Apply some of the oil-based product onto the tattoo.
  • Make sure to spread the oil evenly across the tattoo, concentrating on the edges especially.
  • Wait a few seconds for the oil to start disintegrating the tattoo adhesives or the tattoo itself.
  • If you don’t have baby or coconut oil, you can use olive oil or any type of carrier oil for that matter.
  • After a few seconds, remove the leftovers using a cotton pad, a clean cloth, or towel.
  • Feel free to wash the area and apply some moisturizer to nourish and hydrate the skin.

We recommend you check out The InkeyList Oil & Water Double Cleanser in case you’re looking for an oil-based product that you can use to remove temporary tattoos on your face, neck, and other delicate areas. Not to mention, this cleanser is exceptional at makeup removal, but let’s not digress. Either way, the cleanser contains almond oil, buckthorn oil, and panthenol to help remove the leftover tattoo and improve skin moisture levels, which usually drop in the areas where the tattoo was applied. The product is incredibly affordable and very effective.

Exfoliating Scrubs – Sugar and Oil Scrubs

Exfoliating Scrubs – Sugar and Oil Scrubs
Instagram: @ineswitherspoon

In case of really stubborn temporary tattoos, oil alone won’t do you right. It is time to bring out the big guns; brown sugar.

Sometimes oil cannot really reach all the adhesive parts of the temporary tattoo and it can be hard to break up the tattoo with just oil. This happens with really high-quality products where the tattoos are designed to stay on for as long as possible.

For example, the Inkbox temporary tattoo company even recommends people use exfoliants or saltwater to remove their tattoos. So, you know those tattoos are made to stay on!

Therefore, in case you want to try out this method, here’s what you’ll do;

  • Mix half a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of coconut or olive oil.
  • If you want to add some scent to the mixture, we recommend a few drops of lavender oil or vanilla.
  • Use the mixture and apply it to the tattoo.
  • Rub gently, making sure to not overdo the rubbing and irritate the skin.
  • After a few seconds of rubbing, you should see the tattoo breaking up and detaching from the skin.
  • After you’re done rubbing, wash the area and tap it dry using a soft cloth, towel, or paper towel, depending on the tattoo placement area.
  • Apply some moisturizer to help the skin come back to life again.

We don’t recommend you use coffee grounds in this DIY exfoliant mixture. Coffee grounds are incredibly uneven and sharp (as it is usually seen under a microscope), so they can damage the skin while causing micro-scratches and micro-tearing. Some people even experience allergic reactions to coffee grounds.

Other Temporary Tattoos Removal Methods

Sticky Scotch Tape

Some people use sticky scotch tape to remove their temporary tattoos. This method comprises placing the tape onto the tattoo and simply pulling it away. The adhesives of the tape should lift the tattoo, removing it from the skin. It is recommended to repeat the process several times until the tape has removed all of the tattoo leftovers.

As useful as this method seems to be, there are for sure some disadvantages to it as well.

For example, people with highly sensitive skin, or skin conditions should not use the tape removal method. The tape can cause serious skin irritation and trigger a skin allergic reaction. Furthermore, if the tattoo is placed on a hairy part of the body, the tape will for sure not only lift the tattoo but also pull out the surrounding hair.

So, unless you’re opting for a 2 in 1 tattoo and hair removal procedure, we’d advise you to stick to the oil and sugar removing methods.

Tip: In case you have trouble removing the tape adhesive from the skin, make sure to use Goo Gone Adhesive Remover For Skin. This product is life-saving! It is alcohol-free, so it won’t sting or irritate your skin. However, it is extremely effective against adhesive leftovers on the skin and even hair. It works best with sticky tapes, temporary tattoos, and even ink.

Goo Gone Bandage Adhesive Remover For Skin
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Nail Polish Remover or Acetone

Nail Polish Remover or Acetone
Credit: @deathvalleynails

Applying nail polish remover onto the skin seems counterintuitive, but people claim it works. Nail polish remover contains acetone, which is a type of chemical used for nail polish removers, paint removers, and other industrial applications. Nail polish remover or acetone is safe in small amounts, but in large amounts, it can cause certain health issues.

For those using nail polish remover or acetone to remove their temporary tattoos, we recommend the following;

  • Apply only a few drops of nail polish remover onto a cotton ball or pad.
  • Use the cotton ball or pad and gently go over the temporary tattoo.
  • Go over the tattoo only a few times, and stop immediately if your skin starts reacting to the acetone (it would appear red and irritated).
  • When the tattoo is gone, wash the area thoroughly with lukewarm water and soap.
  • Apply some hydrating moisturizer to the area to nourish and recover the skin.

If you notice any skin changes or skin irritation while using nail polish remover, wash the treated area immediately! We do not recommend people with sensitive skin or skin conditions use this temporary tattoo removal method! Also, never use this method in the face and neck area, to avoid eye and skin damage!

Tip: If you want the nail polish remover method to work even better, we recommend you use acetone together with these TribeTats Tattoo Remover Pads instead of cotton pads. These remover pads are alcohol-free and remove tattoos on their own in only 30 seconds. But, if a tattoo is really stubborn, just add a few acetone drops, and you’ll double the effectiveness of the remover pads.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol for Temporary tattoo removal

Rubbing alcohol is a must-have in every household, and chances are you also have it somewhere in the bathroom, under the sink. Using rubbing alcohol for temporary tattoo removal is safe and effective, even for kids. However, if the area close to the tattoo has any cuts or breaks, one may experience some pain, so bear that in mind.

So, if you want to use rubbing alcohol, here’s how to do it properly;

  • Apply some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad or ball; make sure the pad/ball is thoroughly covered and wet.
  • Apply the cotton pad/ball onto the tattoo and rub the area gently.
  • Proceed the rubbing for a few seconds, after which you should see the tattoo pulling off the skin.
  • After you’re done, wash the area thoroughly with lukewarm water and soap.
  • Tap dry the skin using a paper towel, cloth, or towel.
  • Apply some hydrating moisturizer to nourish and recover the skin.

Note: Do NOT use this method in the face and neck area, as it can cause serious eye and skin damage!

Hair Spray

We know it sounds kind of stupid to use hair spray, but hear us out! Hair spray can be incredibly effective in temporary tattoo removal because when you apply it and it dries, it can easily pull off the tattoo as you try to remove it from the skin. For this method, you will need some hair spray, of course, a gentle cloth or towel, some lukewarm water, and soap.

Here’s how you can use hair spray for painless removal of temporary tattoos;

  • Apply some hair spray onto the tattoo.
  • Let the hair spray sit for a few minutes.
  • After the spray has dried out, use the towel or gentle cloth to rub the tattoo.
  • Gently rub the tattoo until everything peels or falls off.
  • After you’re done, wash the area using lukewarm water and some soap.
  • Tap dry the area using a paper towel or the regular, clean towel.
  • Apply some hydrating moisturizer to help the skin restore its moisture.

Note: We do NOT recommend this method be used by people with sensitive and easily irritated skin. Also, make sure to never use this method in the face and neck area, as you risk eye and skin damage.

Final Thoughts

Removing temporary tattoos is generally rather easy. Some people don’t even bother removing them; they just patiently wait for the tattoos to fade away or start peeling off on their own. This surely is the best method, but sometimes you just can’t wait two weeks for the tattoos to go away.

We hope our recommendations prove useful and safe for you and your skin. However, we always point out that some of these methods may not be safe for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions. In such cases, always go for the methods which use natural products, like oil-based products or sugar scrubs. If any of these methods cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction, wash the treated area immediately and seek professional help.

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