Are Sharpie Tattoos Non Toxic for the Skin?

Last Updated on June 20, 2022

Are you one of those people who uses a sharpie to make a fake tattoo? If so, then have you ever wondered if this is safe to use IT on your skin? Or are sharpies non-toxic? If you’re contemplating this now, then the answer is that it depends on the sharpie you’re using.

 Sharpie Ingredients

While it depends on the sharpie that you’re using if it’s safe on the skin or not, in general, you’re not encouraged to do so. Prevention is better than cure, right? So, as much as possible, just don’t use sharpies for tattoo purposes unless you’re certain that the ingredients used are not damaging.  

Are Sharpie Tattoos Non Toxic for the Skin

And while they are ingredients in sharpies that are not necessarily harmful to the skin, most of them have other ingredients that can be dangerous when ingested or when absorbed in the skin, leading them to enter your bloodstream.

N-propanol, one of the ingredients used in making a sharpie, is not really toxic. In fact, it’s even used in cosmetics. However, if you notice that the sharpie has other ingredients such as diacetone alcohol, cresol, n-butanol, and xylene, then don’t even think about tattooing your arm with it.

 What Sharpie to Use?

An example of a safe Sharpie that you can use is the Sharpie Fine Point Marker. However, others like Magnum Sharpie, King Size Sharpie, and Touch-Up Sharpie contains xylene, which isn’t recommended to be used on one’s skin.

This is because xylene can damage your organs and nervous system. That’s why if inhaling the vapors or ingesting the ink happens, it’s best that you go to your nearest hospital for inspection, especially when you start feeling drowsy.

Are Sharpie Tattoos Non Toxic for the Skin

Common xylene intoxication symptoms include:

  •       Dizziness
  •       Headache
  •       Nausea
  •       Vomiting

 How to Remove a Sharpie Tattoo?

While all of this sounds alarming, especially when you just applied a sharpie tattoo at the moment, note that more harm is caused when you inhale or ingest the solvent. But, if it has dried up, chances are the pigment on the ink will not cause any harm.


This is because reactions from pigment rarely happen and the pigment only enters the topmost layer of the skin, which gets off after a few days. However, if you do want to take the sharpie tattoo off, there are some easy steps to follow:

  •       Step 1: Preparation

You will need either a baby oil, rubbing alcohol (Ethanol alcohol) or a hand sanitizers. However, don’t use alcohol that has toxic elements such as acetone, benzene, methanol, and toluene.

  •       Step 2: Application

This is where you’re going to apply the baby oil or alcohol on the inked skin. Thereafter, gently rub the area until the pigment loosens.

  •       Step 3: Washing

Once done, wash your hands with soap and water.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the pigment is completely removed.

 If you plan to use sharpies for tattooing, it’s best if you do your research first. Know which types are safe and which are not. If you have any questions regarding sharpies or have suggestions on which sharpies are safe to use, you can post your comments below.