How Long Does a Stick and Poke Tattoo Last with Pen Ink?

No wonder how the local kids and youths are so into tattooing themselves. Their body, hand, legs, etc., are covered with some fantastic works of art.

Thanks to the stick and poke that made the tattoo simple and easy to make. It is also cheaper than the other methods as it requires no machine or advanced technology.

As I see the people doing the tattoo, I wonder how long a stick and poke tattoo lasts with pen ink. As an artist, I had to go out of the box to do the work my way.

And my work went successful as I tried making a stick and poking a tattoo with gel pen ink. The tattoo was strong and rigid for years; even now, it stays active. It was about making the tattoo, but I also had to check certain things like the ink, procedure, type of skin, and whatnot.

Summing them up, I am presenting the whole experience in this article with proper guidance in making the tattoo.

How Long Does a Stick and Poke Tattoo Last


Stick and poke tattoo is dangerous. On the one hand, you have the risk of a needle, and on the other hand, you have to choose the perfect non-toxic ink to work with because the whole thing works with a needle and ink.

A lot of complications arise if any of the mentioned factors go wrong. You’re doing it without any electrical appliances. That means no extra auto precision for the work. Experts mainly do the stick and poke methods. If you are a newbie in the field, don’t even try to do it without expert guidance.

We all believe in complete care and guidance for your skin. And that’s why our article will work as an expert to assist your stick and poke.

How Long Does a Stick and Poke Tattoo Last?

5 to 8 years. Yes, the stick and poke tattoo will last for 5 to 8 years, depending on the tattooed location and care.

Now the question arises, does the tattoo remains confined automatically? Not. The tattoo will function as long as you are taking care of it. There are many considerations for a stick and poke tattoo to sustain for a long time.

The central strand depends on how you take care of it after making one. If your initial care is perfect, you are to see the tattoo for a long time. Otherwise, you’ll find it getting faded after a while.

Now comes certain factors that decide how long it will last. You can assume the mentioned period as a base or minimal one. But for that, you have to make sure you create a feasible medium for the tattoo to stick upon. So, after getting one, you must care about the whole tattoo considering some factors.

Cover up the Tattoo

After you are done with the brand-new tattoo, let it give some rest and initial protection to settle down. Apply a bandage on the tattoo and let it remain in the dark for a while.

After 3-4 hours, you can peel off the bandage and expose the tattoo to the air. When the tattoo is large, you can use a towel. Make sure your towel remains confined to its position without any complications. Even if it doesn’t, take measures to hold it up.

Caring the Tattoo

It is not difficult to care for your tattoo. All you have to do is to keep it dry always. Excess use of soap or other relevant liquid might help rip off the tattoo.

You can use liquid or soap on them, but at a specific limit. Otherwise, you might damage the longevity of the sticker. Don’t worry; the whole sticker will never get off.

Remember, it is OK to have a shower in the first days but a bath. Bathing will destroy the chemical composition of the tattoo, which requires minimal time to sort out. Usually, take a break from bathing for 3-4 days after getting tattooing.

Exposing to Air

Anything kept exhausted can hardly function properly. The same goes with the tattoo. Be it on your hand or your back or body; it is a must to keep them exposed to air. The air helps them to function and settle appropriately with time.

After a specific time, the tattoo will trick and leave the skin. Otherwise, you’ll find the color getting faded and pale.

Comfortable Dressing

You have to keep your tattoo exposed to the air; you need to dress appropriately. It is not like you have to keep the area open forever or always. A loose-fitting dress or shirt will do the work properly.

All you have to do is make sure that your tattoo is getting proper air inside and out. And when you are at home, try to keep the area exposed fully. This will accelerate the drying and settling process. Otherwise, staying casual and routine is also acceptable.

Refrain External Impacts

After you are done making a fantastic tattoo, don’t lose control of yourself. By that, don’t touch or feel the tattoo over time.

Whenever you touch it at its beginning stage, you restrict the tattoo particles from binding themselves to the skin. And this will result in you further ahead by disengaging from the surface. The tattoo will quickly wash away with a bit of impact.

Not only hands but also any kind of external stuff that includes water, touching, clothes, etc., should be strictly kept aloof.

Is It Safe to Use Pen Ink for Stick and Poke Tattoo?

Pens are used more or less by everyone around us. It is obvious to deal with pen ink on hands, fingers, or clothes. Even you must’ve dealt with the same thing. Does it impact much? Maybe not.

Now think of the ink getting inside your body. It might be through oral or skin. Things will not remain normal as it seems.

The same thing implies using pen ink for sticks and poking tattoos. You are safe with the ink as long as it is non-toxic and doesn’t get inside your skin.

Just give a checklist of the following things when you are using the pen gel for making the art on your skin:

  • Make sure you are non-allergic to inks.
  • Read the components of the ink. Use the ones that are non-colored and free of toxic materials.
  • Do the work properly. Don’t damage your skin while doing so.
  • Stick and poke is nonelectrical. Make sure you are aware of it every time. Everything will be carried out manually with the usual visualization.

Don’t wash the tattoo frequently after doing it. The tattoo components might create toxins with the soap components at early stages.

What Happens If You Use Pen Ink for a Stick and Poke?

When you use pen ink for your stick and poke tattoo, you must ensure that it is safe and sound to use. Any kind of harmful component or anti-skin settlement will result in destroying your skin.

And that is what we call ink poisoning. It is such a toxic phase to your skin that it hampers your skin’s natural existence and vibe. Nevertheless, you can get aloof from ink poisoning if you are conscious of it.

Ink Poisoning

Ink poisoning is nothing but poisoning your skin by the ink. When you use the link on your skin, you are to see a drastic change in your skin surface. It can be rash or swelling, or spot.

Sometimes, this causes extreme dangers if not appropriately enacted. Overall, you must be aware of keeping aloof from such pen inks. Mainly the ink that contains lead, chromium, cadmium, nickel, and titanium is toxic. They have mainly colored inks and pose harm to the skin.

Remedies of Ink poisoning

  • Swelling
  • Joint pain
  • Body temperature increase
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Delayed fixation of tattoo

How to Restrain from Ink Poisoning?

Infecting your skin because of your tattoo is nothing less than grief and regret. On the one hand, you are losing the natural tone of your skin, and on the other hand, you are not enjoying the tattoo you have planned for a long time.

You must remain sincere while doing the tattoo. And here are some considerations you should implement while doing the tattoo.

  • Get the tattoo from an experienced person. It can be said obviously that the person won’t be using toxic ink for his business. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be famous, right?
  • Always read the information of the link you are using for tattooing. Both the color as well as pen ink can be toxic. So, know the ink components and ensure they are aloof from specific components. Mainly chromium, different fillers, sunscreen nickel, lead, manganese, denatured alcohol, carbon black, cinnabar, iron oxide, titanium oxide, cadmium, antimony, beryllium, rubbing alcohol or animal fat and oil.
  • Make sure that you aren’t allergic to inks. It is recommended to check a skin doctor and get his approval before you make a tattoo.
  • Maintain the tattooed area with proper care and concentration. Maintain the tattoo well and expose it to frequent air. Your job doesn’t get over after doing the tattoo.

In case of other effects, consult a doctor immediately. Remember, any kind of slight underestimation might bring big problems in the future.

What Type of Ink Is Safe for Stick and Poke?

Now, at least we are aware of the dark side of the stick and poke tattoo by pen ink. You can easily assume how crucial the ink can be! So, this makes it a must to ensure that you are using the correct pen ink for making them stick and poke.

I have seen many artists using different colors for stick and poke based on different experiments and reviews. The best tattoo artist in NY also recommended some specific brands only.

Based on all the recommendations and usages, here are some fantastic inks safe to use for stick and poke. Don’t worry about them; they are safe with lab tests and expert recommendations.

1. India Ink

India ink is one of the most common inks used for stick and poke. They are non-toxic with a pleasing odor. One of the best things I liked about them was their non-skin rash property. They have a lot of good brands.

Some fantastic brands include Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India InkHiggins Waterproof Black India Ink, and others. They are cheap, readily available, and completely safe to implement on your skin.

2. Sharpie Ink

Who doesn’t know sharpie? They are a fantastic marker brand with a wide range of markers available worldwide.

Surpassing the marker pen range, their pen ink is used for different purposes. One of them is for making a design on skin or tattooing. They have made the ink so precisely and perfectly that it is safe and sound for stick and poke.

Experts, as well as I, have used the ink for tattoo making. My tattoo is still lasting, but the ink container has finished as I have used it for different works.

3. BIC Pen Ink

People hardly know BIC pen pink. Because of their lack of variations and color shades, they are not widely known to people like the other inks.

But yes, at the minor level, you can use it as ink for stick and poke. We can at least confirm that they are safe and sound for the skin but not confident about their accuracy on the skin.

One of the main reasons is its large ink particles. It is difficult for the artist to draw with the BIC pen.

So, only the experienced one can work successfully with it. The same goes while removing it. You will lose all your sweat while removing the stick and poke by BIC.

The modern laser technology made the work quite feasible and more accessible. Otherwise, the ink would’ve extinct from the field.

4. Eyeliner

I laughed so hard when I first heard that eyeliner could be used for stick and poke. After laughing for a while, I took the matter seriously and went for trying it out. And it worked well!

The components of the eye-liner can be removed easily. They are the easiest ones to remove, and that is too quickly. With some soap components and water, you are getting to do the work fast as ever. That makes the ink, not for professional or long-time art.

Not if you are aiming to keep the tattoo for years. For temporary usage, yes, you can go for it.

5. Graphite

No ink is used for the process. Instead, we’ll be using a graphite pencil. Surprised? You should be.

As days got modern, we, the artists, are also paving with the same flow. That brought the innovation to graphite pencils for stick and poke. The pencil gives a silver texture over the sticker that increases the brightness and visuality of the whole art.

Don’t worry; you won’t get hurt for it. The end of the pencil is made blunt and then implied on your skin. Mainly the side part of the lead is used and sketched.

The accuracy of the graphite is low. It has a high chance of removing just with a slight rubbing. So, don’t go for a good aim with it.

How to Make Stick and Poke with Pen Ink?

How to Make Stick and Poke with Pen Ink

Now comes the procedure of making a fantastic stick and poke tattoo with pen ink. Just a reminder, make sure you are eligible to use the ink on your skin. Also, confirm that the ink is safe and sound, aloof from toxic ingredients. Now, let’s jump to the steps.

Step 1: The primary materials for doing the stick and poke are needles and ink. You can get the needles from a local tattoo shop, so as the ink. They are also available in different online portals.

You’ll also need cotton thread, water, and alcohol, mainly rubbing alcohol. They are to be used while working with the needle and ink.

Step 2: The most effective way is to shave the surface or wax it out. This will remove all the hair particles and dirt from your skin. Then you can work on it calmly.

Step 3: A graphite pencil is ideal for doing it. All you have to do is make the detailed artwork on your skin of the design you will make.

Consider the place, position, and art as the ideal preferences here. Make the sample art with a pencil or pen.

Step 4: The first step of starting the tattooing is too sterile the needle properly. And the ideal way of doing it is by using flames on it.

Take the head of the needle and hold it on the flame until it glows. You’ll notice the glow when it changes the color and creates an ideal smoky vibe around it.

Step 5: Dip the flamed needle inside the ink tube. With the ink-wrapped needle, poke it on sample art on your skin and start making the tattooing properly.

You might have little to no bleeding on your hand. As your progress, they’ll stop.

Step 6: After you are completely done with the tattooing, you can go on to dry the whole work. Be patient and wait for 2-3 hours without affecting the tattoo. Once it is dried thoroughly, just wipe the area with a towel or paper. Remove the excess stains or ink and make a good room for the tattoo to breathe.


Is pen ink poisonous to tattoo with?

Pen inks are not poisonous to tattoo with, but colored inks are. They might contain a certain amount of iron oxides, cadmium, lead particles, and many more. Those enacted with your skin will cause swelling, infection, spots, etc.

What pen is ink safe for stick and poke?

India ink is said to be the safest pen ink for tattooing. Most experts and artists use tattoo ink for stick and poke. They are great to use and sustain for a long time. Variation and color range is also excellent.

You can also use eyeliner, food color, sharpie ink, etc. People have been using them every day. Even the experts recommend them to be safe and usable.

Can you use Bic ink for stick and poke?

BIC ink can be used for stick and poke. Just because their color particles are significant, that doesn’t mean that you cannot use them. For usual techniques, they might not last for a long time.

But with laser implementation, you are to get the maximum time sustainability by them. Apart from high costs, using BIC ink with laser technology for stick and poke is effective.

Final Words

Making and drawing tattoos is a passion. If you waste your passion wondering how long a stick and poke tattoo last with pen ink, you will miss a big excitement of your life.

All you have to do is get the correct ink and proper needle. All the measures and perfect implementations of using the pen ink for stick and poke are mentioned. You are also getting an excellent guide to follow.

Many times, stating it again, make sure you are doing the tattoo without causing any harm. Remember, safety is the first thing, then going for your passion is.

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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.

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