Why Do Tattoo Artists Use Sharpies? Any Hidden Benefits?

If you have ever gone to tattoo or watched tattoo artists at work, have you ever seen that the tattoo artists use sharpies that look like the pen we use to write to draw on the tattoos before getting the actual tattoo with a needle? Do you have questions about Why do tattoo artists use sharpies? If yes, then this article is for you.

Are Sharpies Safe For Tattoos?

Before knowing whether Sharpies are safe or not for tattoos, we should learn about their ingredients. 

N-propanol, n-butanol, diacetone alcohol, and cresol are all possible ingredients in Sharpie pens. While n-propanol is deemed safe for cosmetic application, the other solvents may induce allergic reactions or health problems. 

Sharpie Fine Point Markers are safe for inhalation, skin contact, eye contact, and ingestion under normal conditions. However, Sharpie markers come in three different forms: the King Size Sharpie, Magnum Sharpie, and Touch-Up Sharpie. A chemical named Xylene found in these products can harm the respiratory, neurological, cardiovascular, and renal systems if inhaled or swallowed.

Sharpie company also announce that markers with the ACMI “non-toxic” seal have been tested and found safe for art, even by youngsters, but this does not include body art like drawing eyeliner, filling in tattoos, or producing temporary tattoos. The firm advises against using the markers on the skin.

Sharpies pens for tattoos

Why Do Tattoo Artists Use Markers?

Tattoo artists usually work out a design using Sharpies before inking it. Because using Sharpies allows them to sketch directly on the skin instead of transferring a stencil. This approach can aid in the body’s natural flow and contour. This is the most effective method for tackling curving or angled surfaces on the tattoo areas.

In addition, if a client wants to add to an existing tattoo, the new pattern can be easy to fill in the blanks with sharpies.

Moreover, customers can also see what the artist is working on their skin up close during the process so that they can make decisions and additions to artists’ pieces. Changing and deleting concepts is also more straightforward as the design develops when using sharpies before inking.

Therefore, after the formal design has been developed, the client and artist can thoroughly check the regions and make any last decisions before the tattoo begins. The tattoo will delicately go over the on-skin artwork thanks to being sketched first.

From markers to tattoos

How Long Do Sharpie Tattoos Last?

Typically, Sharpie tattoos last two to three days if you let them fade independently. But if you want to remove the tattoo, rather than letting it wear off, apply mineral oil to release the pigment molecules. After the oil has been applied, most of the color will wash away with washing and water.

An alcohol-based cleaner also helps remove sharpie ink. However, alcohols penetrate the skin and transmit harmful compounds into circulation. Grain alcohol, such as that found in hand sanitizer gel, is a superior option.

Although intact skin can be penetrated by ethanol, the sort of alcohol is not very hazardous. Avoid toxic solvents such as methanol, acetone, benzene, and toluene. They will remove the pigment, but they are hazardous to your health while better alternatives are available.

What Pen Do I Use To Draw On The Skin For Tattooing?

If you plan to draw on the skin for tattooing, you should use a sterilized pen. This pen’s ink is designed to mark on the skin and will glide on smoothly and stay put. These pens are extensively utilized in the medical, dental, and tattoo industries.

Some products are designed for drawing directly on the skin before getting a tattoo, such as Skin Surfer Pens, which Tattoo Artists favor. Another skin-friendly pen is recommended, Sharpie Fine Point Markers. However, it is best to avoid writing on the lips or close to the eyes.

How Do You Give Yourself A Sharpie Tattoo?

Suppose you are not a tattoo artist, but you still want to experience body art. Then, using Sharpie is a great idea. These steps below are helpful for you to know how to give yourself a temporary tattoo. 

A Sharpie tattoo
A Sharpie tattoo

Before getting to do it, you need to prepare some basic stuff. First and foremost, choose whatever color Sharpie you like. Then, you may also need some baby powder and hairspray to help your tattoo last longer, but it is no problem if you do not have those items. 

After having entirely essential things, let’s create your tattoo. Draw any layout you like and put it wherever you want. Just make sure it is easily accessible.

When finishing the drawing, apply baby powder to the tattoo. If you do not have it, you can use makeup power instead or skip this step.

The last step is to keep your work of art last longer by applying a light layer of hairspray to the tattoo. Remember not to use too much, or your skin will dry. If you accidentally spray too much, use a cotton swab to dab the area around the tattoo with water. 

Finally, everything is almost done; enjoy your new unique features.

***Fake Sharpie Tattoo Guide***


Some tattoo artists usually use Sharpies to draw the tattoo sketch on your body before inking. This practice is seen as a pre-tattoo step to make sure you want to own the design as a permanent tattoo or have any changes. While it allows tattoo artists to adjust the tattoo to fit your body and ensure the design can come up as ideally as your desire.

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