Weekend Beauty Hack: The Easiest Way to Remove Flash Tattoos

Alle Connell

Out of all the summer beauty trends, we have to say that we’ve been enjoying metallic Flash Tattoos the most. Whether we’re embracing our inner Beyonce or rocking the hell out of a stack of necklaces, we can’t get enough of this chic, sparkly body art.


But when it comes to removal? That’s another story. Anyone who’s ever sported one—or more—of these tattoos know that actually getting them off your skin is a serious chore. On one hand, we love that these are incredibly long-lasting; temporary tattoos that err on the side of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them leave us wondering why we bothered. On the other, we can’t exactly go to work with a Queen Bey-inspired gun on our shoulder. Short of passing on the glittering body art altogether, what’s a girl to do?

The answer is as simple as it is unexpected: spray-on sunscreen. We’ve tried a myriad of removal techniques, and nothing—seriously, nothing—works as quickly and easily to remove our temporary tatts as this amazing hack discovered (and backed, naturally) by our editors.

So without further ado, here’s how to use spray-on sunscreen to remove your metallic flash tattoos.


1. Spray the tattoo liberally with a spray-on sunscreen. Make sure your chosen SPF has chemical, rather than physical, sun protection—common ingredients such as Avobenzone and Octisalate tend to work the best, whereas zinc has no effect. Bonus points if your sunscreen contains an oil, which makes it extra-gentle on your skin. Try L’Oreal Advanced Suncare Invisible Protect Sheer Spray SPF 50 ($8.79, drugstore.com), which features grapeseed-oil extract.

2. Let the sunscreen sit on the tattoo for about two minutes. You may notice the metallic ink start to discolor slightly. Don’t panic about this, it’s a good sign!

3. Using a textured paper towel, or just your clean fingers, firmly rub the tattoo in one direction. It will peel away under your fingers. Be careful if you’re taking it off your face, or a similarly delicate area—it’s easy to press too hard and bruise yourself.

4. You may notice some small, sparkly “scraps” left behind by the tattoo; cover them with more sunscreen and repeat the wiping process until your skin is completely clean.

5. If you want to reapply a new tattoo over the same area, remove the sunscreen completely first or it won’t adhere to your skin. To do this, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and gently swipe it over your skin.

Voila! Your Flash Tattoo is gone and you’re ready for the office…or you know, your next design. Because really, shouldn’t the world know how flawless you truly are?

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