How to Make Temporary Tattoos Last Longer?

Being a tattoo artist myself, I often get temporary tattoos (which lasts for a few days) on my body before getting a permanent tattoo. It’s always good to try multiple tattoos before getting a permanent one, I am sure this would really help anyone who is confused which tattoo to ink.

I recently got a bunch of temporary tattoos from an online store just to try which ones would look good on me, I really liked the “Tiger” tattoo and now I have got the same tattoo as a permanent one on my right bicep. (You can buy the same pack of those temporary tattoos from here: Link to the store)

My Temporary Tiger Tattoo

In the past few years, I have tried out many temporary tattoos and have found what things make a temporary tattoo last longer than just a day or two. Some of my tattoos have even lasted for 10 days when I followed the tips which I have listed below:

Prior to application of the tattoo, you can prepare your skin in the following manner to make it last longer than it usually does:

Cleansing the spot where you intend to get the tattoo: Dry skin elongates the life of the tattoo. Makeup, skin lotions and even the natural oils of the skin tend to shorten the life of the tattoo. These act as a barrier between the tattoo ink and the skin as they prevent the tattoo from getting absorbed in the skin. Presence of oil/oily substance on the skin would dissolve the tattoo at once. Therefore, getting the tattoo on dry skin is the appropriate way out for elongating the tattoo duration.

Exfoliation of the spot prior to getting the tattoo: The skin oils and dirt reduce the life of the tattoo. Also, the top layer of the skin is composed of dead cells, so it is better to scrub it off. Exfoliation may be done with a pumice stone. Usage of products that leave the skin oily should be avoided as it would kill the purpose of increasing tattoo life. Exfoliation will generally leave your skin smooth and active that would make the tattoo last longer.

Shave the skin area before the application of tattoo: If there’s a lot of hair in the area where you want to get the tattoo, shaving them off beforehand is a good idea. If the tattoo is applied on body parts such as hands and legs that are shaved regularly, it can come off earlier while shaving the area. Therefore, shaving before getting the tattoo would ensure that you go longer without shaving after getting the tattoo. This would increase the life of the tattoo.

Also, if shaving over the tattoo is required, it should be done with a new and sharp razor. A dull and purloined razor can cause the tattoo to chip off.

Carefully choose the tattoo spot: When getting a temporary tattoo, the area where you get the tattoo should be appropriately chosen. Our hands and feet are in constant motion, which can make the tattoo fade away quickly. The hands also come in regular contact with water, soaps and oily foods that can cause the tattoo to flake. Therefore, areas that become sweaty quickly should be avoided.

Exception: Henna tattoos are most suitable for hands and feet since they work best on areas where the skin is thick.

Increasing the life of Henna Tattoo

  • Henna tattoos work differently from other temporary tattoos. To increase the lifespan of henna tattoos, the following steps should be taken:
  • The henna paste should be kept wet for as long as possible and you could spritz the same with lemon and sugar solution. This solution helps in pasting the henna to the skin and also keeps it damp. Henna dyes the skin till the time it is wet (for up to 12 hours).
  • Warming the skin over a heater or a stove while the henna is drying helps keep the paste moist, which increased the span of the tattoo.
  • Do not use black henna as it is made up of harmful chemicals and is not derived from plants like natural henna. Black henna is usually only approved as a hair dye and if applied to other body parts, it may cause skin allergies, rashes or related complications.

Post-tattoo precautions hours

Get rid of the extra ink: After applying the tattoo, it should be left for drying and any contact with clothing should be avoided. A towel should be pressed on it delicately to get rid of any extra ink.

Use baby powder/talc: By applying baby powder or talc on the tattoo, the excess of the oils from the skin are absorbed, which helps elongate the life of the tattoo. Soft brush such as makeup brush may be used for applying a thin layer of powder over the tattoo. This step can be repeated once daily till the time the tattoo is there.

Liquid band-aid: Application of liquid band-aid on the tattoo increases its stay on duration.

Hairspray: Application of hairspray on the tattoo can make it last for over a month. The hairspray should be applied from a distance of 12-16 inches from the tattoo. Baby powder should also be applied before the application of hairspray.

Things that should be totally avoided

  • Do not rub the tattoo, especially immediately after it has been applied.
  • Do not scrub the tattoo after taking bath.
  • Avoid application of oil, cosmetic lotions such as sunscreens, rubbing alcohol and sanitizers on or around the spot of the tattoo.
  • Do not use hot water over the temporary tattoo as the same can considerably reduce its lifespan.
  • Avoid having tattoos on the sweat spots such as the underarms and the back of the knees. These parts are more heat generating than the rest of the body.
  • Covering the temporary tattoo with tight-fitting clothing should be avoided.
  • Proper care can elongate the lifespan of the temporary tattoo for over a month. Therefore, by following the abovementioned tips, you can make the temporary tattoo last longer than its usual duration.

From Where You Can Buy Temporary Tattoos

Tattoos bought from ‘The Great’ Chimp online store

I have bought the temporary tattoos from several physical and online stores. I found some amazing stuff in physical stores but since this website’s readers are from all over the world, I will only mention the online stores which operate worldwide and sell very high-quality temporary tattoos:

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