Life

Two girls with temporary tattoos and how to remove temporary tattoos or fake tattoos.
Daniela Reinsch/Moment Open/Getty Images

Here Are The 7 Best Ways To Remove Temporary Tattoos

When it starts to fade, it’s got to go.

Updated: 
Originally Published: 

Temporary tattoos are a fun way to change up your look for a festival or big event, but sometimes they aren't quite temporary enough. Knowing how to remove temporary tattoos quickly and painlessly will help you enjoy having a little fake body art even more. Now you can rock all sorts of temporary tattoo designs during a vacation or long weekend, and still look like your usual self for work or family duties. Or you can feel comfortable letting your kid go bananas with the fake tattoos at a birthday party on Sunday, without worrying what they’ll look like at school on Monday. There are a few great, easy ways to remove temporary tattoos, and we’ve covered them all here.

Fake tattoos will typically wear off on their own in about a week or so, but there are all sorts of reasons you might want to remove a temporary tattoo right away. Maybe it's starting to peel or fade, and you'd rather remove it all at once. Maybe your kid decides they don't really want to rock that dinosaur on the arm after the initial excitement wears off. Whatever the case, it's easy enough to make temporary tattoos disappear fast.

Temporary tattoos have come a long way in recent years. The newer models are nothing like the blurry cartoon characters that used to come in gum ball machines (although those were great at the time). New temporary tattoos can look real and function as a fashion accessory. Honestly, the floral ones are so intricate, they would fool just about anyone into thinking you got the real thing.

But, when you’re ready to get temporary tattoos off? Simply follow these tips for removing a temporary tattoo to start all over.

1

Rubbing alcohol

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Chances are you already have a bottle of the stuff handy underneath the bathroom sink. This is probably the best way to remove temporary tattoos — it’ll work fast and easily. Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, let it sit over the tattoo for a few seconds, then scrub away.

2

Exfoliate

Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Try removing temporary tattoos by using a gentle body scrub. By rubbing an exfoliating scrub on the temporary tattoo with gentle, circular motions for about half a minute, most of the image should disappear. If you don't have anything on hand, then make a simple DIY sugar scrub. The only ingredients are sugar, coconut oil, and some drops of essential oil if desired. It's a sweet and sort of luxurious way to remove that temporary tattoo.

3

Coconut oil

Cindy Ord/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The oil with a million uses can also work here. Simply put a few drops of coconut oil on the design and rub in small circles to the remove temporary tattoo.

4

Cold cream

If it's good enough to remove a full face of makeup, then it can probably take on a temporary tattoo with no problem. Rub some cold cream on the temporary tattoo, then gently scrub with a washcloth. The tat should wipe right off.

5

Nail polish remover

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Acetone, the main ingredient in many nail polish removers, will get rid of just about anything. Dab a cotton swab with nail polish remover to wipe off the temporary tattoo in no time, but try not to use any more than you absolutely need — it’s harsh stuff.

6

Mouthwash

Break out the minty stuff. A splash of mouthwash should help break apart the tattoo, which you can then rub off with a warm washcloth.

7

Tape

If the tattoo is larger, then this might be the quickest way to remove it. Stick a piece of clear tape over the entire temporary tattoo, press down firmly for a few seconds, then remove the tape. If you have particularly sensitive skin, however, consider doing a small patch test with the tape first. Removing a temporary tattoo should not hurt in any way.

It’s likely you have the supplies you need to try at least one of these ways to remove temporary tattoos at home already, so that lovely design that you’re ready to part with can be easily removed in no time.

This article was originally published on