Easy And Safe Ways To Remove Temporary Tattoos

Easy ways to get rid of the unsightly temporary tattoos without damaging your skin.

Medically reviewed by Dr. CP Thajudheen, MD Dr. CP Thajudheen Dr. CP ThajudheenMD facebook_icontwitter_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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Temporary tattoos are best for those who want to avoid committing to a permanent one without missing out on the fun altogether. Applying a decal tattoo is easy. However, taking them off can be tough if you do not know how to remove temporary tattoos. This is especially true when you try to remove them once they start to peel off and turn into an unsightly mess. To avoid this, follow the tips and hacks in the article to remove temporary tattoos without damaging the skin. Read on.

protip_icon Fun Fact
The familiar temporary tattoos on plastic films were invented in the 1980s. Inventor Keith R. Relyea received the patent for this method due to its high demand in Hollywood.

Will A Temporary Tattoo Come Off On Its Own?

Yes, temporary or fake tattoos come off on their own with time. Depending on the quality of the tattoo and how well you take care of it, the design can last from a day or two to an entire week. However, the tattoo starts peeling off in bits after some time, which can take a few days to come off entirely.

Temporary tattoos look messy and lose their appeal once they start peeling off. At this juncture, you may choose to remove the entire tattoo without waiting for it to peel off on its own. However, make sure you follow safe ways so that you do not end up damaging your skin in the process.

If you want to know how to get temporary tattoos off before their shelf life, select one of these easy and safe ways to prevent skin damage.

7 Easy And Safe Ways To Remove Temporary Tattoos

Easy ways to remove temporary tattoos
Image: Shutterstock

1. Exfoliate

If you no longer want your temporary tattoo, gently exfoliate the design off your skin. You can either use your regular exfoliating scrub or try out a DIY product. The following is a recipe for an easy at-home scrub that will help loosen the adhesive of the sticker and remove your temporary tattoo.

You Will Need 

  • ½ cup of powdered brown sugar
  • ½ cup of coconut or olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of instant coffee powder


  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and store in an airtight container.
  • Wet your temporary tattoo and apply a small blob of the exfoliating product.
  • Gently rub in circular motions for 30-40 seconds to loosen and break up the specks of your tattoo.
  • Rinse the area with cool water and pat dry.

2. Mouthwash

Your regular mouthwash can do more than just kill the germs in your mouth and freshen up your breath. If you are dealing with stubborn specks from a temporary tattoo that refuses to peel off on its own, here is a little trick to help you out.


  • Dab a little mouthwash on your temporary tattoo.
  • Gently rub it in for a few seconds until the tattoo specks begin to peel off.
  • Wash the area with regular (room temperature) water.

3. Baby Oil

If you thought baby oil was only for massaging your baby’s skin, you are wrong. It can also double up as a temporary tattoo remover. Oil-based solutions help remove makeup easily while keeping the skin moisturized and supple.


  • Saturate the tattoo with baby oil and leave it on for a few minutes.
  • Rub away the design with a soft cloth, using gentle, circular motions.
  • If baby oil is not available, you can use coconut oil or olive oil instead.

4. Nail Polish Remover

Most nail polish removers contain acetone, a chemical used to dissolve other substances. Besides removing nail polish, acetone also dissolves the ink used in temporary tattoos. You have to dip a cotton ball in an acetone-based nail polish remover and wipe your tattoo until all traces are removed.

5. Cold Cream

Cold creams are easily available makeup removers. Also, beauty bloggers use this rich emulsion for an entirely different purpose – to erase unwanted temporary tattoos.


  • Apply cold cream on your temporary tattoo and leave it on for a minute.
  • Rub off the tattoo with a soft cloth in gentle, circular motions for 30-40 seconds. This will make the tattoo flecks loosen and leave your skin surface.
  • Wipe the area with a clean cloth.

6. Rubbing Alcohol

Although used as a hand disinfectant in many households, rubbing alcohol can be put to good use if you want to remove a temporary tattoo naturally. Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe off your temporary tattoo.

Mae, a Youtuber and a temporary tattoo enthusiast, tested five temporary tattoo removal methods for their efficacy, including an alcohol swab. She said, “Obviously, the colorful tattoo can be removed easily with the alcohol swab (i).” She concluded it to be the most effective method to remove single-color, colorful, and metallic temporary tattoos.

Note: While rubbing alcohol is considered safe, people with sensitive skin must avoid using it for tattoo removal.

7. Makeup Remover

If your new temporary tattoo no longer appeals to you, saturate it with some makeup remover and rub it off gently. Wash the area with cool water, and you are good to go. Makeup removing solution will reduce the color of your tattoos and break up the particles.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also use a hand sanitizer or Scotch tape to remove temporary tattoos when other options aren’t available.

While all the methods discussed above are usually considered safe, rubbing your skin constantly to remove the tattoo may lead to temporary redness or irritation. Here is how you can soothe your skin after removing a temporary tattoo.

5 Tips To Soothe Your Skin After Temporary Tattoo Removal

1. Apply A Cold Compress

Apply A Cold Compress
Image: Shutterstock

Apply a cold compress or an ice pack to the inflamed area after removing a temporary tattoo for quick relief. Repeat the process twice or thrice a day according to your requirements. However, do not use a damp cloth if your skin is broken.

2. Use Baking Soda Treatment

Use Baking Soda Treatment
Image: Shutterstock

While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, beauty vloggers state that applying a paste of baking soda and water to the inflamed area helps soothe the skin. Wash off this paste after a few minutes with cool water.

3. Apply Aloe Vera Gel

Use Baking Soda Treatment
Image: Shutterstock

Apply aloe vera gel to your skin after removing a temporary tattoo to reduce the redness and irritation. You may either use freshly extracted aloe vera juice or a store-bought gel.

4. Treat With Oats

Oatmeal can help soothe itching, irritation, and swelling of the skin. Here’s how you can use oats to keep your skin smooth, soft, and damage-free after removing a tattoo.


  • Mix a teaspoon of ground oatmeal with a tablespoon of coconut milk.
  • Apply this paste to the affected area.
  • Wash off with cool water after five minutes.

5. Moisturize

Image: Shutterstock

Apply a thin coating of your regular moisturizer after removing your temporary tattoo. It will help keep the area hydrated and minimize irritation and redness faster.

Temporary tattoos are a great way to experiment with tattoos without getting a permanent one. However, as the days go by, these tattoos may start to look unsightly and may take days till they completely come off. To learn how to remove fake tattoos safely, you can follow the tips discussed in the article and use baby oil, mouthwash, or makeup removed and reduce their appearance. Since constant rubbing can lead to irritation or temporary redness, you can apply a cold compress, aloe vera, or a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and soft.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does hydrogen peroxide remove temporary tattoos?

Exfoliation, as you may know, eliminates dead and unwanted skin. When combined with hydrogen peroxide, it has the potential to fade tattoo ink naturally. In addition, it also can completely fade old or temporary tattoos.

Will salt and cocoa butter remove temporary tattoos?

If you wish to remove a tattoo with salt at home, be warned that it is a risky method that can be harsh and almost certainly will fail. In addition, rubbing salt into your skin can cause the ink to flow or fade, resulting in scars and infection. References to salt and cocoa butter being used for tattoo removal are misconceptions. Practice caution.

Will sunscreen remove temporary tattoos?

Applying any lotion or sunscreen on or around temporary tattoos will help remove them faster.

Can you put Vaseline on a temporary tattoo?

Yes, applying Vaseline on a temporary tattoo can help seal the tattoo and repel water. It is best to apply it before coming in contact with water to prolong the life of the tattoo.

Are there any risks associated with removing temporary tattoos?

It is usually considered to be safe. However, you may experience mild irritation if you have sensitive skin.

How long do temporary tattoos typically last?

Temporary tattoos typically last for 3 to 5 days. It will not last for more than two weeks.

Key Takeaways

  • Taking a temporary tattoo off without damaging the skin can be tough when you don’t know the exact procedure.
  • However, you can remove them easily by using an exfoliating scrub, mouthwash, baby oil, and nail polish remover.
  • Applying a cold compress, baking soda, and aloe vera gel may help soothe your skin after tattoo removal.
Remove Temporary Tattoos

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover simple techniques for effortlessly removing temporary tattoos in this informative video. Check it out now and say goodbye to unwanted designs with ease.

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Dr. CP Thajudheen has over 20 years of experience in various lasers, light-based devices, and other advanced equipment. He was one of the beginners who introduced cutaneous lasers in India. He carries out dermato surgeries regularly, including hair grafting and vitiligo surgeries.

Read full bio of Dr. CP Thajudheen