How Long Do Temporary Tattoos Last? Really?

Skeptical about getting a permanent tattoo? Get a temporary tattoo. How long do temporary tattoos last? They can last for up to two weeks. However, the life of a permanent tattoo is decided by how you look after it, skin prep, and the quality of the product.

Temporary tattoos appear much like permanent tattoos; they come in different colors, styles, and designs. You can choose hundreds of designs and even temporary tattoo pens!

While permanent tattoos have the risk of potentially regretting it in the long run, temporary tattoos don’t.

Also, with temporary tattoos, you can change your mind anytime.

You can go crazy and choose just about any design you want and not feel regret.

The sky’s the limit!

Changing your mind with temporary tattoos brings no regret, given it only lasts a few weeks.

So, what are temporary tattoos?

how long do temporary tattoos last

What Are Temporary Tattoos?

Temporary tattoos mimic the look of a real tattoo.

The main differences are that they don’t last long, and they don’t hurt when applying.

Typically, the designs are printed on a sheet of paper, and the application is simply sticking the design onto your skin by applying a bit of moisture.

After a minute or two, your skin is covered with vivid, intricately drawn art. Boom. Done.

Then, over the next two weeks or so, the design will start to peel or fade, and then It’ll be time to try another design or color? 

So, what are the different types of temporary tattoos?

What are the Different Types of Temporary Tattoos?

Well, there are a few different options for you when It comes to getting a temporary tattoo; let’s check them out.

Press-On Tattoos 

As the name suggests, press-on tattoos are tattoos pressed on the skin. The design is printed on water-permeable paper. Through moisture, the print gets transferred to the dry skin.

Henna Tattoos

Henna tattoos are quite different. Henna paste is used to draw on the skin. It is mainly used around the Middle East as part of their sacred rituals. 

Airbrush Tattoos

Airbrush tattoos use an airbrush machine to spray paint on the skin. It takes skills and precision to achieve the desired design.

It is the most expensive in contrast to other temporary tattoos. It looks immaculate on the skin, however, only for a fleeting time. 

But, what are temporary tattoos made of? What is going into my skin?

What Are Temporary Tattoos Made Of?

Temporary tattoos can be made of quite a few things; let’s check them out:

  • Polymers – a synthetic ingredient, including synthetic rubber, nylon, and silicone. Some are made with organic materials such as wool, silk, amber, and cellulose. 
  • Vanishes – a spirit-drying and removable varnish. It contains drying oil, resin, and thinners. Most temporary tattoos use acrylic varnishes due to their evaporation ability to dry on the water. 
  • Colorants –  a substance that emphasizes the color of the tattoo upon transferring it onto the skin. These colorants are classified as pigments or dyes added to inks and paints. 

Hearing the word substance or synthetic might take you back. It may seem intimidating, and you might want to think twice about sticking it to your skin.

They are FDA approved; however, temporary tattoos are considered cosmetic products with direct dermal contact.

So, are temporary tattoos completely safe?

tattoo artist giving large colourful tattoo to women

Are Temporary Tattoos Safe?

For the general public, temporary tattoos are safe.

On the other hand, for those who have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, temporary tattoos may cause several side effects.

These side effects are pretty much minor, but can include.

The Side Effects of Temporary Tattoos

  • Redness in the skin will occur.
  • Blisters may arise a few hours after the application.
  • Raised and oozing abrasions will appear.
  • Loss of skin pigmentation around the tattoo area will be visible.
  • Your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight. 
  • The area where the tattoo was placed may leave a permanent mark. 

It is unlikely for most to experience these side effects. However, to be safe, it is best to test your skin by applying a tiny amount on your skin.

Pick a place that is not visible. If you see or experience any signs of temporary tattoo side effects, it’s best not to continue and look for an alternative. 

Digging deeper. Fake or temporary tattoos are best for special occasions.

It can be a great addition to your Halloween costume or birthday attire.

Permanent tattoos are a different thing. Etching art straight to your skin is a big decision.

The design shouldn’t be just any design. It has to be something that you have a strong connection with.

So what’s the difference between permanent and temporary tattoos anyway?

women getting temporary chest tattoo

Temporary Tattoo VS Permanent Tattoos

There are a few obvious differences between temporary and permanent tattoos; let’s run through them.

How are Tattoos Applied?

Temporary Tattoo Application

There are several kinds of temporary tattoos: press-on, henna, and airbrush. Press-on tattoos are the most common in the US. How to apply press-on tattoos?

  • Choose your design.
  • Place it onto your clean, dry skin. 
  • Wet the opposite side of the sheet. 
  • Press it thoroughly onto your skin.
  • Leave it for a few seconds. 
  • Carefully take the sheet off your skin. 

One great thing about a temporary tattoo is that you don’t have to be 18 to get one!

Permanent Tattoo Application

It is a totally different thing. Permanent tattoos take time, effort, decisions, concentration, and pain. Not to mention, they cost a lot more too.

To make sure you are safe from side effects, it is important to ensure that your artist follows all the guidelines. 

The application of permanent tattoos can be quite alarming if it is your first time. The needle will be pierced through your skin to embed the ink.

You might be surprised by that first needle sting!

How Painful is the Tattooing Process?

Temporary Tattoo Pain Level

There is no pain that comes along with temporary tattoos.

If you are allergic, however, it is a different story. For those who have highly sensitive skin, itching and discomfort will be experienced.

But, generally, temporary tattoos are painless. 

Permanent Tattoo Pain Level

You will need to hoard as much mental preparedness for permanent tattoos. It is rather painful in contrast to temporary tattoos. High pain tolerance is required. The level of pain one will experience with permanent tattoos will depend on the chosen area to get tattooed and the size of the design. 

There’s are huge difference between pain levels for fake and permanent tattoos. As for the cost, it also varies. 

beautiful women with colorful arm tattoo

How Much Do Tattoos Cost?

Temporary Tattoo Cost

Temporary tattoos are affordable. You can purchase from top-quality brands for $10-$20. There are also temporary tattoo bundles that get you various designs on one sheet.

You will often find that longer-lasting temporary tattoos are also more expensive.

Permanent Tattoo Cost

Permanent tattoos are expensive.

The price range depends on the size, design, and artist.

The bigger, more intricate the design is, the more money you will have to spend on it.

Also, choosing an experienced artist will also add up to the overall cost. But remember, a tattoo will stay on your skin forever anyway, and you get what you pay for.

How Long Do Tattoos Last?

How long your tattoos will last depend on how you apply and maintain them.

Some temporary tattoos last longer than others. 

How Long Do Temporary Tattoos Last?

There are ways to keep your temporary tattoo longer on your skin.

Brands that sell high-quality temporary tattoos are more likely to offer tattoos that last for at least two weeks.

While some temporary tattoo brands do not have that same quality and will start to worsen on the day.

The bottom line is that you get what you pay for. 

How Long Do Permanent Tattoos Last

How long does a permanent tattoo last isn’t the right question?

Rather ask, how long do permanent tattoos look impeccable on your skin?

Permanent tattoos can look good as new even after years of having them. Following the proper healing process will ensure your tattoo’s visual quality.  

However, as one ages, permanent tattoos will start to fade, get warped, or change in size. It is inevitable.

Thus, tattoos are a lifelong commitment. Although there are ways to remove tattoos, it is painful, and it isn’t perfect.

colourful tattoo ink in tattoo parlour

How To Remove Temporary Tattoos?

You can easily remove a temporary tattoo.

Typically, temporary tattoos peel off within a couple of weeks.

However, if you don’t want to wait two weeks, rubbing alcohol will do the trick.

If you want to use a more organic and safe product, an oil-based liquid will also remove the temporary tattoo thoroughly.

By simply soaking the cotton with your preferred tattoo removal liquid and rubbing it onto the tattoo, your fake tattoo will disappear as if it wasn’t there. 

Fake Tattoos VS Permanent Tattoos | The Pros and Cons 

Ok, so we know they are totally different things, but let’s have a look at a summary here.

Temporary Tattoos Pros

  • Temporary tattoos are affordable. 
  • They are easy to purchase and can be bought almost anywhere.
  • Temporary tattoos are easy to apply.
  • They are also straightforward to get rid of.
  • Temporary tattoos are a short-term commitment.
  • Fake tattoos are 100% painless.
  • Temporary tattoos are safe for kids!

Temporary Tattoos Cons

  • Temporary tattoos don’t last that long. 
  • Some temporary tattoos can peel off on their own easily. 
  • If you have highly sensitive skin, it can cause skin irritation.
  • Temporary tattoos are nothing like real tattoos. 

Permanent Tattoos Pros

  • Permanent tattoos simply look superb in contrast to fake tattoos.
  • They last a lifetime.
  • Getting a tattoo may be painful, but it is worth the experience.

Permanent Tattoo Cons

  • Permanent tattoos are expensive.
  • Getting a permanent tattoo comes along with hours of excruciating pain.
  • They can be removed, but it leaves marks, regardless. 
  • If you have sensitive skin, real tattoos may cause infection and inflammation.
  • Lastly, the aftercare process can be exhausting. 

How to Make a Temporary Tattoo Last Longer?

  • Before applying your temporary tattoo, make sure the surface is dry. 
  • Avoid moisturizing your skin before the application.
  • Choose an area that does not sweat, gets oily, or gets wet a lot. 
  • Choose an area where your clothes do not rub against it. 
  • If you shave, do so before you apply the fake tattoo. 

Temporary tattoos are perfect for festivals, birthdays, and probably an artsy photoshoot for the gram. There are minimal risks in opting for fake tattoos than getting permanent ones. Despite this, it is still best to try out a small tattoo first, just in case you are allergic. 

tattoo artist giving man large black pattern tattoo

Conclusion – How Long Do Temporary Tattoos Last?

It doesn’t matter if you have fake or real tattoos. It is up to you, but if you want to go for a temporary tattoo, remember they don’t last long. If you’re lucky, you will get a couple of weeks’ value out of them.

The best part? They are not expensive, and you can apply another one quickly, whenever you want!

Now, should you get a temporary tattoo for a bit of fun before you opt for a real one?

Along as it is something you want and brings joy.

Etching art onto your skin is always a good idea, that’s if you are creatively inclined.

Furthermore, there is no limit to tattoo art, and whichever you choose, the most important thing is that you love it!