How Long Does Permanent Marker Stay on Skin

Been so long using the permanent marker in my daily life. Be it teaching my students to mark my essentials, this pen became an essential factor in our daily life.

It was not easy at the beginning to mend it. The ink used to cause havoc to my skin, clothes, desks, etc. Knowing about the marker’s toxic components, I had to take preventive measures against it.

This paved my research to know how long permanent marker stays on the skin. And it went pretty well.

It is mainly the usage and cares you take upon the skin that will verify the marker’s existence. Some wash it immediately, while others prefer to do it later.

Here we got you an article that’ll disclose everything you need to know about the existence and nature of the permanent marker ink on your skin and its functioning.

Also, I’ll be answering several asked questions, along with brief details. So, without further any do let’s get started.

Permanent Marker Stay on Skin


Though a permanent marker is not meant to be used on the skin, if you use it, how long it’ll stay depends on how you care about it.

Tattoo ink is something that is embedded in your skin. But the ink of a Permanent marker only touches your skin, so it will eventually disappear from your skin over a few days.

But what if you’ve forgotten to leave your child playing with a permanent marker? They like to draw little on paper and mainly create artworks on their body, making a huge mess. But nothing to panic about.

As I’ve said earlier, permanent markers only touch the skin, and they will eventually fade. But you can remove the stains from your or your child’s skin a bit quicker with some easy remedies.

here are several easy yet practical methods for removing ink from the skin.

Baby oil or different oils, regular toothpaste, etc., can be used. Besides, you can also use chemical removers like rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer or nail polish remover, etc. Try them on in the right way, and you are free from that stain on your skin.

Composition of Permanent Marker

Generally, the ink of a permanent marker contains three essential components. These are Colorant, Carrier Solvent, and Resin.

The colorant is a component responsible for the color of the ink. We usually use more durable pigments that don’t fade quickly as a colorant.

Carrier solvent helps to evaporate the liquid portion of the ink and makes it dry. In the past, chemicals such as xylene and toluene were used as the carrier solvent. But at present, xylene and toluene are replaced by alcohol. Nowadays, we use alcohol as a carrier solvent.

The resin is a binder. It creates a film over the ink when the ink dries appropriately. That’s how the ink clings to the surface.

Because of using these three components, colorant, carrier solvent, and resin, the ink becomes water-resistant.

You can commonly find two types of markers: water-based and oil-based.

Water-based marker doesn’t last long on any surface. If you want your art or writing to last for the most extended period, you must choose an oil-based marker.

Oil-based markers are generally used as a permanent markers on surfaces like glass, plastic, metal, pottery, wood, rubber, etc.

So, How Long Does Permanent Marker Stay on Skin?

Writing or art done with a permanent marker can last three or four months to several years. It varies depending on the surfaces on which it’s being applied.

Permanent marker taints will fade away from your skin in two to three days on their own. But in case you want to remove it within a short time, you’ll have to use chemicals or other remedies.

Quick Methods to Remove Permanent Marker from Skin

A permanent marker taints vanishes from the skin on its own. But what if I want an instant solution? There are a few standard methods to follow to remove the permanent marker from the skin surely.

Technique 1: You can easily remove the marker taints using olive oil or coconut oil. The oil can mix with the permanent marker on the skin and make a leisurely getaway.

  • Take a specific amount of olive oil or coconut oil and rub it onto the marker taints on your skin.
  • Use your fingers or take a piece of the washcloth to rub.
  • Wash that marked the spot with soap and water. This won’t remove the taints altogether but help it fade the ink.

Technique 2: The taints can easily be removed by using baby oil or mineral oil. The baby oil can attach to the permanent marker on the skin and help to remove it very quickly.

  • Take a specific amount of baby oil and rub it onto the marker that taints the skin.
  • You can use your fingers or take a piece of the washcloth to rub.
  • You may need to repeat these processes several times to remove the marker taints completely.

NB: Be careful if you have an acne problem because extra oil may irritate your skin.

Technique 3: Ever tried using toothpaste? Yes, toothpaste has a property that helps lighten up the surface taints of teeth. So, it may also lighten the permanent marker spots on the skin.

  • Take a small amount of any toothpaste and apply directly onto the marked area and rub it onto the skin. The toothpaste will help to remove the top layers of ink.
  • Then, apply alcohol-based mouthwash over the skin and use a washcloth or a cotton ball to rub it onto the skin. This alcohol in the mouthwash will help to vanish the marker taints.

Technique 4: Try using chemical-based removers. These include:

1. Using Rubbing Alcohol

  • Take a specific amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and use it on the marked area of the skin.
  • Just hold the cotton ball for a while in that place to let the rubbing alcohol work altogether.
  • Repeat this process until the marker spot disappears.

NB: Don’t scrub onto the skin. It may create irritation on your skin.

2. Nail polish remover

Nail polish remover is mainly acetone-based solvents, and it’s the most efficient way of removing permanent markers from the skin, in my opinion.

  • Take a specific amount of nail polish remover on a cotton ball and use it on the marked area of the skin.
  • Hold the cotton ball for a while in that place, and let the nail polish remover work properly.
  • Rub the cotton ball onto the skin repeatedly. Thus, the spot is removed from the skin.

3. Using Hand Sanitizer

  • Take a certain amount of the hand sanitizer onto the blotchy skin, and wipe with a cloth, tissue, or cotton ball.
  • You may need to repeat this process several times to remove the permanent marker altogether.


Is permanent marker toxic? Sadly, the answer is yes. The main ingredients of this ink are resin, xylene, and toluene. These are poisonous and can cause mild irritation on your skin. Allergic reactions to the nose, throat, eyes, redness, swelling, and itchiness of the skin are also widespread problems due to permanent marker ink.

However, don’t rush to remove these taints using harsh chemicals, like bleach or baking soda. That might cost you your skin. Be patient with using the proper method.


Q: Does permanent Sharpie come off skin?

Sharpie markers are hydrophobic. Hydrophobic refers to the characteristic of a thing that doesn’t allow it to be in contact with water.

So, sharpie can leave a stubborn stain on your skin, and water won’t be able to remove it. But nothing to worry about. You can apply some methods to get rid of the permanent sharpie stain on your skin without scrubbing.

Q: Is it wrong to put a permanent marker on your skin?

Unfortunately, yes. The ink of the permanent markers contains ingredients like resin, xylene, and toluene, which are toxic. Sharpie also contains toxic substances. It may lead to skin irritation, itchiness, swelling, redness, allergic reaction, wrinkles, etc.

Dyes used in ink are a potential irritant and can come out dangerous. The scented ink may attract children to eat or lick their art, leading them to digest toxic xylene, and it’s alarming.

So, applying any permanent marker on the skin or letting your children play with it is never recommended.

Read Also: Do Markers Safe for Your Skin?

Q: What marker washes off skin?

You can wash any marker stain by sticking it to regular oils like baby oil, mineral oil, etc., and then washing it off with water.

Standard sharpie markers are designed to use on paper or other surfaces but not on fabric. It can be washed and withstand regular wash cycles.

Final Words

Would you still be worried after getting permanent marker stains on your skin? Not. Because now you know how long permanent markers stay on your skin and their remedies. This article guides you to be acquainted with the methods and techniques of removing it off your skin in the most feasible way.  

Whether you use a sharpie or any other permanent marker, you should never use it nor let others use it on their skin. Utilize these cleaning solutions to maintain the above cautions and get valid results.

So, try these methods correctly and implement them accordingly. Our mission only succeeds once you get a good result using it.

Related Content:

Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

Recent Posts