Inside: What is a Temporary Tattoo and How To get One.

If you want to get a tattoo but don’t want to commit to one till you are sure what it looks like, you can get a temporary one first. Or you can opt for one or the other.

Your choice should depend on your comfort level and budget.

Temporary tattoo definition

Temporary tattoos vs. Permanent Tattoos

While both procedures implant pigment into the skin, they are dissimilar. Here are some differences that can help you make a decision:

The Pain/Discomfort Factor

Pain is the main reason some people prefer temporary tattoos over permanent ones. The latter is literally punched into the skin using needles. These puncture the skin to deposit the ink, which can cause pain and discomfort. It is often accompanied by blood which is part of the process but can make some people squeamish. While a numbing cream is applied beforehand, it only takes some of the pain away.

Temporary tattoos, in comparison, are painted on the skin using a brush rather than needles. There is no pain, blood, or discomfort involved, so you can easily sit for one for hours.

The Price

Temporary tattoos are not as complicated as permanent ones, so they are less expensive than the latter. Permanent tattoos require expensive pigments and needles. Even the smallest ones can take a lot of time to complete, so those hours are factored into the price.

You don’t have to visit a tattoo parlor to get a temporary design. You can purchase special stickers and stick them on yourself. If you want value over price, on the other hand, choose permanent tattoos.

Temporary Tattoo


Temporary tattoos last for a few days, but the ones you get from a tattoo parlor can last a lifetime. That’s because the former is made from washable ink or dyes that fade with time. Permanent tattoos require a few touch ups to remain vibrant for years.

Skin damage

Unless you have a serious dye allergy, your skin will remain safe if you get a temporary tattoo. These don’t penetrate the skin either, so bacterial infections are rare. Some toxic ones, such as black henna, should be avoided. It can cause itching and chemical burns if not made properly.

On the other hand, permanent tattoos cause significant skin trauma as ink is punched into the skin with needles. It allows the design to be set underneath. The finished tattoo is treated like a wound as well. It requires dressing and salves to heal up nicely. Otherwise, the treated skin can get infected or form scabs.

Side Effects

Temporary tattoos have little to no side effects unless the dye is made from questionable or expired materials. Check if it contains toxic or allergenic content that can prove problematic later. The permanent variety can get infected and fade significantly without proper aftercare.

Temporary Tattoo Ideas

There Is No Such Thing as Semi-Permanent Ink

The ink tattooed underneath the skin may fade, but it is there for good until it is removed via laser or surgery. No tattoo pigment can magically dissipate after a certain period. Don’t be fooled if a tattooist says they can place ink lightly enough that it won’t become permanent. There is no temporary skin layer that can wash away with the dye on top!

Ink cannot be semi-permanent since it is impossible to determine how it will affect different skin types, textures, products, and lifestyles. Our body has only three skin layers; most ink is deposited in the middle. If an artist can do this on the first layer by some miracle, the ink will fade, but not completely.

The result will be a patchy permanent tattoo that looks unsightly and unfinished. Ink sticks around longer on dry and damaged skin compared to oily skin. If the tattooist deposits the ink too deep, it will become permanent, and you will be stuck with the design forever unless you go for painful cosmetic procedures.

Best Ideas For Temporary And Permanent Tattoos That You Can Consider

Cute tattoos for girls – If you want to commemorate your sweet 16 with a cute tattoo, check out these adorable designs that look great and can be hidden easily.

Cover-up name tattoos – A temporary tattoo will fade with time. Use these ideas to cover up your ex’s name or redesign an existing permanent tattoo.

If you want to learn more about this beautiful art form, check out other articles on our page!