A fake tattoo is just what its name suggests – it’s fake and lasts only for a short time (or as long as you want it to), ranging from a few days to a few weeks. But don’t worry, if you want to make it last a bit longer. We have made this simple guide with a few simple things you can do before and after applying it to make a fake tattoo last longer.
How to Make a Fake Tattoo Last Longer
Before you begin this process, you need to get your skin ready. Then there are a few more steps to take to make sure you make a fake tattoo last longer. Let’s delve in.
1. Pick a good spot on your body
Since the goal is to have your fake tattoo stay longer, the spot you pick matters. Pick a spot for your tattoo where the skin doesn’t move or flex too much and isn’t exposed to oils and other substances.
Areas like hands and feet are always moving, which can lead to cracking or fading. Also, frequent contact with various substances might make the tattoo fade faster.
- When it comes to henna tattoos, hands, and feet are an exception because they work best on thicker skin. The extra layers of skin allow the ink to stain deeper, making the design last longer.
- Stay away from naturally sweaty or oily areas like your temples or feet when wearing socks and shoes for tattoo placement.
- Choose areas for your tattoo that won’t rub against your clothes.
2. Prepare your skin
Before applying the fake tattoo, shave the area to avoid any interference from hairs. If you apply the tattoo to a regularly shaved area like your legs or neck, shaving may cause it to fade faster. Shave before applying the tattoo to prolong its lifespan between shavings. When shaving over your tattoo, use a new, sharp razor. A dull or nicked razor can cause the tattoo to flake.
3. Keep the tattoo area dry
Before wearing a fake tattoo, clean the target area well. You don’t need lotions, makeup, and skin oils – these can reduce your fake tattoo’s lifespan. These substances create a barrier that prevents proper ink absorption, causing the tattoo to come off with the barrier. Oils can break down tattoo inks, so avoid them before tattooing. Keep it clean for a long-lasting tattoo.
So, the proper thing to do before putting on the tattoo is to dry your skin thoroughly. Before applying a temporary tattoo, exfoliate the area to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, giving you a smooth surface for better adhesion and longer-lasting results.
Skin exfoliation is simple – use a loofah or pumice stone. Avoid oily techniques like salt or sugar rubs, as they can interfere with the tattoo application.
Now, you want to make a fake tattoo last longer. Pay good attention to the next sections so that you will increase the duration of your decal or airbrush tattoo.
4. Don’t scrub or wash the tattoo
Make sure to clean the skin around the tattoo and avoid washing the fake tattoo itself. Some temporary tattoos claim to be waterproof, but using soap might harm your tattoo. Also, if you scrub too hard, it could damage the tattoo and cause the ink to come off. Consider these few tips:
- You can swim or shower with a waterproof temporary tattoo, but avoid soaking it in a bath or using soap, body wash, or oils on it.
- Use petroleum jelly to cover your fake tattoo as a sealant. Even though it’s known as a moisturizer, it actually acts like a layer of plastic, sealing the moisture into your skin.
- Clear nail polish works similarly to petroleum jelly as a sealant, but it’s less messy since it dries on your skin. However, a downside is that it may start to flake, which could remove the tattoo along with it.
5. Apply baby powder, corn starch, or talcum powder
You read the heading right – apply baby powder, corn starch, or talcum powder on the fake tattoo. These are highly absorbent and will soak up the natural oils on your skin that could break down the tattoo ink.
Just note this. Do not breathe in these powders – they can be harmful to your lungs.
When your tattoo starts to fade, use a permanent marker to refresh it. For simple, single-color tattoos, a thin or sharp-tipped marker works great to bring it back to life. Simply trace over the design with a marker of the same color and fill it in with ink. Remember, this touch-up may only last a day or two.
Also, you want to give your tattoo a break from working out. Excessive sweat and skin movement can speed up fading, especially if it rubs against your workout clothes.
Do you use a henna fake tattoo? Tips in the last three sections will really help you to extend the lifespan of a Henna tattoo.
6. Avoid water
After removing the henna, steer clear of water for 24 hours. You can apply petroleum jelly to create a protective layer over the tattoo and keep water away. Water can dry out the skin, leading to more shedding of dead and dry skin.
To remove the henna, gently scrape it off your skin without using water. After scraping off the henna, apply oil to your skin.
7. Keep the henna paste wet for best results
Use a mixture of lemon juice and sugar (make it at home or get it from a henna artist) to seal and maintain the paste’s moisture. This way, your skin will get a rich, long-lasting, and darker color.
- If you keep the henna wet, it will keep working for up to 12 hours after applying it.
- Be careful not to overspray the paste—avoid making it too wet, as it may cause the paste to slide or spread on your skin, which can blur your design.
- Create your own spray by mixing 1 1/2 tsp of sugar with 3 tsp of lemon juice. If the sugar doesn’t dissolve quickly, gently heat the mixture in a saucepan while stirring for about a minute.
8. Keep your skin warm as the henna paste dries
Place your hand or feet near a heater, stove, or fire to keep your skin heated and the henna paste moist. Another option is to use a heating pad, but be careful not to accidentally rub off the design.
Make sure to keep the area warm, but avoid excessive heat as it may cause the henna paste to smudge.
9. Avoid using “black henna” for tattoos
Even if it claims to be long-lasting. Black henna isn’t real henna; it’s a chemical called PPD, approved only for hair dye, and it can be harmful to your skin. Some countries have even banned it due to safety concerns, as it can cause rashes, allergic reactions, swelling, and other issues. Stick to natural henna derived from plants for safe and beautiful tattoos.
Be cautious with black hennas as they might not contain any real henna and could be made entirely of harsh PPD chemicals.
Making a fake tattoo last longer is possible, it just involves careful placement, thorough skin preparation, and mindful aftercare. So, be sure to choose a less flexible and oil-exposed area for your tattoo, and clean, exfoliate, and dry the skin before application. The most important aspect is to avoid scrubbing or soaking your tattoo and not use absorbent powders to manage skin oils.
If using henna, maintain its moisture and warmth, but steer clear of harmful ‘black henna’. Following these guidelines will help prolong your temporary tattoo’s lifespan.
- Everything You Need to Know About Henna Tattoos. Good Housekeeping
- Ephemeral Tattoos Were ‘Made to Fade.’ Some Have a Ways to Go. The New York Times
- Tattoos that will be ‘gone in a year’? Not so much, say regretful customers. CBC.ca