How to remove temporary tattoos

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Temporary tattoos were fun when they were kids, and they still are as adults. There is simply no fight. Are you going to a music festival? These metallic press-ons can really complete your free-spirited look. On the way to the beach? Henna always seems to be nearby. Need to express your creativity? Temp tats to the rescue. The only major downside: They can be a royal pain to remove.

“Tattoos with certain dyes may be more difficult to remove [than others]”, says Michele Farber, a doctor at Schweiger Dermatology Group At New York. Luckily, she also has some tips to make it easier for you. But they come with a warning.

When applying tattoos, proceed with caution if you have sensitive skin. No matter how fancy your temporary ink may look, it can also cause an allergic reaction. “The most common culprit is paraphenylenediamine,” she said. It is found in various types of temporary tattoos (usually henna) and even in hair dyes.

But if you’re already in trouble and just need to pull it out, always start simple.

  1. Dip it: “Use a warm washcloth or soak [the area] with a warm cotton ball can help lift the pigments,” says Farber. You can also take the opportunity to light candles, pick up a book and take a long bubble bath. It could be worse, right?
  2. Take out the baby oil: If you’re still having trouble, she advises you to try wiping it off with baby oil. It can act as a makeup remover, so it only makes sense that it can also remove temporary tattoos. The only caveat? Be careful not to overdo it or apply too much as it can clog pores which could lead to a whole host of skin issues.
  3. Rubbing alcohol to the rescue: Farber says rubbing alcohol or acetone can also do the trick. However, if you have a reaction or have sensitive skin, it can only irritate your skin further. Only climb to this level if your tat still did not kick his stubborn tude.

Happy tatting, and here’s to never having to scrub your skin until it turns beet red again.

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