How long do temporary tattoos last?

Posted on by Emma Levy

It’s one of the questions we’re asked most often. How long do temporary tattoos last?

We understand completely why you might want to know. When you decide you’d like to liven things up by getting a temporary tattoo, of course you want an idea of how long you’ll have it on display.

The simple answer is that there isn’t a simple answer. We reckon your tattoo should last for between three and ten days - but there are at least three factors that determine roughly where in the spectrum you and your temporary tattoo will be found.

1/ Skin type

Believe it or not, there’s a great deal of variety to be found in skin. The particular aspect we’re looking at here is the acidity.

If you have, for whatever reason, more acidic skin than normal, this will react poorly with the chemicals in the ink we use to create your temporary tattoo. As a result, it will last less long.

There have been extremely rare instances of people’s temporary tattoos dropping off almost immediately because of the acidity of their skin. In extreme circumstances, that acidity can effectively melt the adhesive we use to make sure the tattoo sticks to your skin. But - and we have to reiterate it - this is an unbelievably rare occurrence.

The other factor that may affect how long your temporary tattoos last is how oily your skin is. If the answer is “very”, it might affect the ability of the adhesive to secure your design in place. 

2/ Location

The choice of where on your body you put your chosen temporary tattoo is, of course, entirely up to you. But that selection can have repercussions when it comes to the durability of your design.

We always advise that you don’t place your tattoo on broken or sensitive skin, and it’s a good idea not to site it too close to your eyes or mouth.

However, if you put it somewhere that’s going to attract a lot of friction from your clothes, a place where something is frequently rubbing against the design, that can cut down on the number of days your tattoo will stay in place.

That can also play a part in the next consideration, which is…

3/ Exercise

All our temporary tattoos are waterproof, so it should be perfectly OK for you to take a shower or a bath while you’re wearing one.

However, vigorous exercise can make a difference to how long it lasts. For one thing, if you’re wearing sportswear to go running or to work out in the gym, the friction between your clothing and your skin can rub it away.

Also, if you’re raising your body temperature that can affect the tattoo, as can lots of sweat. The chemicals in sweat can speed up the process by which the tattoo gradually fades away.

As you can see, there are numerous factors that go into determining how long your temporary tattoo lasts. But we are confident that as long as it is on your skin, you will enjoy having one!