How Long Does Sharpie Last on Skin? – Things to Consider

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how long does sharpie last on skin

Kids surely love playing with markers and getting the ink everywhere, even on their hands and faces. Have you ever wondered what Sharpie markers are made of? Are those ingredients safe for your kids when left on for too long?

Even though Sharpie markers are permanent, they can be erased off our skin with rubbing alcohol. If you wonder, how long does Sharpie last on skin? The answer will be 2 – 3 days, yet let’s not leave them on for that long.

How Long Does Sharpie Stay on Skin?

If you use Sharpie permanent on skin, it typically stays on for about 48 hours or maybe, an estimated maximum of three days (72 hours). This is especially true if the marker is not drawn too dark on the skin.

Although you can eventually get marker off skin, Sharpie pens are not the ideal marker to use on your body.These markers are office and school materials manufactured for writing on many surfaces, such as paper, glass, and metal.

However, many people are unaware that permanent markers are bad for skin as it causes different kinds of irritation and, possibly, organ damage if consumed in a large amount.

Can Sharpies Be Used on Our Skin?


1. Markers safe for body art

With the endless avenue of creativity the art industry provides, there are markers made specifically for body art. These are typically called body art pens or markers. They work very similarly to permanent markers but are safer to use on the skin.

Mainly, body art markers use liquid ink formulas that dry up pretty quickly and are suitable for use on the body or face as they are non-toxic. They also have different nib types and can render vivid colors, like permanent markers!

Body art pens usually stay on the skin for a few days and are washable. They are accessible as they can be bought online or in stores that sell art supplies.

2. Sharpie on skin

Sharpie markers look very much like body art markers– both have marker nibs and a long tubular body. Sharpie also uses ink that allows the artist to draw with vibrant colors and have various nib kinds.

Body art marker and Sharpie permanent marker last on skin almost within the same duration and can be removed from the surface with some techniques.

But the only difference is the ink composition. This determines why permanent markers are not safe to use on your body.

Composition of Permanent Marker


Let’s break down the components of Sharpie markers to know what makes a permanent marker on skin dangerous.

Sharpie or permanent markers are composed of colorant, solvent, and resin.

  • Colorants are dyes or pigments that give color to the ink.
  • Solvents allow the ink to stay longer on the material– Sharpies often use xylene and toluene.
  • Meanwhile, resin makes sure that the dye sticks to the surface as the solvent dries up.

Resin, xylene, and toluene are chemicals that are harmful to one’s system when exposed– whether externally on the skin, through inhaling, or ingesting.

That is why if you keep Sharpie on skin, there’s a high possibility of an eye, nose, or other irritation. It can also result in the redness and itchiness of the epidermis if you make Sharpie stay on skin.

Or, in worse scenarios, higher exposure or consumption of these chemicals can cause organ dysfunctions and other problems in the internal system.

As much as possible, guide your kids when using Sharpie or other permanent markers as they might ingest it or write on their face or body without warning. In this case, you may need to get rid of Sharpie on skin.

Ways to Removing Permanent Marker From Your Skin

The good news is we can make Sharpie come off skin with available home remedies.

These cleaners are safe for adult and toddler skin as they are mild and without alcohol. You may also need to repeat the steps a few times to get the desired result.

Method #1: Use soap!


This is a fast and easy way to remove Sharpie marks from the skin! Much like a regular bath, you must wash off skin first to get excess dirt out. Apply soap on the area like usual and rub for a couple of minutes. Then, rinse again with water.

Method #2: Use sea salt!


Sea salt mainly functions as an exfoliant– that is why it can remove dirt and marks on your body. First, you should mix warm water with it and directly put the mixture on the area. Lightly scrub the substance and rinse your body with water.

Method #3: Use toothpaste!


If it does a fine job washing off the dirt from your teeth, toothpaste can also remove marks from your body! All you have to do is apply toothpaste onto the spot and gently rub it using your fingers. Finally, rinse the area with water.

Frequently asked questions


What happens if you leave Sharpie on your skin?

Sharpie markers can be used on surfaces such as paper, plastic, clothes, metal, and many more.

However, using Sharpie markers on the skin is not advisable as they can cause eye, nose, and other irritations. Long-term exposures and consumption can also lead to many serious internal problems.

How do you make Sharpie last longer on your skin?

Sharpie markers are not meant to be used on the skin as they can bring about irritations and other more serious problems. Nonetheless, people still use it to make body art or temporary tattoos.

It can be said that rinsing beforehand or taking out oil and grease from your body can make permanent marker stay on skin for a longer time.

Can you use oil to remove permanent marker ink on skin?

Yes! Olive oil, coconut oil, or baby oil can be applied to the marked skin to erase the ink.

However, adding oil to a skin type susceptible to developing pimples is not ideal. That is why it is not part of the top three recommended solutions to remove permanent marker ink on the skin.


When letting our kids use permanent markers, we should be responsible enough to know how long does Sharpie last on skin, what are the components of these markers, and how to remove permanent marker ink on the skin.

Surely, having the necessary knowledge of these things will keep our kids safe while they get creative and play with markers and other drawing tools.

4.3/5 - (6 votes)

Magazine Posts

How to Hold a Fountain Pen Correctly

How to Hold a Fountain Pen Correctly for Beginners?

Laura Walker

The fountain pen, an elegant writing instrument, continues to captivate those who ...

best furniture touch up markers

8 Best Furniture Touch-up Markers to Fix Any Scratch in Minutes

Laura Walker

Despite your best efforts to protect your chairs, tables, and other wooden ...

how to remove permanent marker from stone

How to Remove Permanent Marker from Stone? – 7 Methods

Laura Walker

Stone surfaces bring an elegant beauty to our homes and public spaces. ...

best alcohol based markers

8 Best Alcohol Based Markers for Artists and Crafters

Laura Walker

Popular among cartoonists, animators, architects, and designers, blendable alcohol markers enable users ...