How Long Does Body Paint Last? Explained

body paint lasts

Body paints are used by artists from all over the world to express themselves and show their skills. It is traditional in several cultures either to paint the whole body or parts of the body. 

However, body paints are not made to stay for a very long time on the body. They are not meant to be permanent, although they can be used for extended periods of time. 

There are several factors that influence how long body paints can last on your skin. In this article, we will go over how different types of body paint can last in your body.

How long does body paint typically last?

Let’s look at some of the most common types of body paints, and see how long each one lasts.

Latex-based body paint

Latex-based body paint is one of the most common types of body paint. It is used extensively in movies, to replicate wrinkles or scars. Due to the nature of latex body paint, it can last between a few couples of hours to a day or even two, depending on a few factors. Keep reading as we will reveal the factors that affect how long body paint can last.

Temporary Henna tattoo

Mehndi which is also called henna tattoo uses some natural pigment extracted from henna leaves. It is then mixed with water so that the color of the leaves is transposed and forms a body paint.

Due to the strongness of the pigment, henna tattoos can last for up to two weeks in some cases. Although you might see some smudging during that time, it is truly one of the least harmful body paints and the one that lasts longer.

Water-based Body Paint 

Water-based body paints tend to last just from just a few hours to 8 hours and are not the best solution if you are spending the whole day with your body paint artwork. However, they tend to be inexpensive, and easy to apply. It can be rinsed off easily by taking a shower using soap and then soaking the body with a cloth.

Temporary Tattoo Paint

Temporary tattoos have also become extremely popular, and there is a good reason for it – they last a long time. The tattooing paint used is not permanent but still, it can last on the body for up to 2 weeks. 

In fact, some people actually try temporary tattoos to get used to the looks before they do the real thing. The tattoo paint is alcoholic and water cannot remove this paint from the body. To remove we need isopropyl alcohol which we rub on the paint area to remove it.

What influences how long body paint lasts?

There are several factors that can influence how long latex body paint can last, such as:

  • Preparation before painting
  • Quality of the body paint painting
  • Sealing of the paint
  • Temperature 
  • How much you are moving
  • Don’t create too many layers
  • Let the body paint dry


Preparing your skin before applying body paint can make it last a lot longer. This means that you should wash your skin and hydrate it, so it is easy to apply the body paint. There are also other products you might want to use, that help the paint stick to your body, like Ben Nye LiquiSet.

By preparing your skin accordingly you can prevent your body paint from rubbing off.

Quality of the body paint

This is another important factor that you should take into consideration. The quality of the body paint will often determine how long it lasts. Lower quality and cheaper body painting will often not adhere to the body in the same way as the more expensive options.

The difference in price is not that significant, and the difference in the quality of the artwork, and how long the body paint lasts are very noticeable.

Sealing of the paint

Sealing body paint is another way to ensure that it will last longer. Some body paints already have a certain sealing due to the materials, and quality of the paint. However, other alternatives can easily sweat off or be rubbed off, especially if you are moving around constantly.


This is another important factor that will affect if the paint ends up smudged or not. To prevent this, try to avoid going outside if it is very hot, otherwise, you will see your body paint start to rub off very easily in a short time.

How much you are moving

Lastly, if you are moving constantly it becomes very difficult to not smudge or rub off body paint. The more friction you apply to some parts of the body, the easier the paint might start to crack. Be aware of this if you want your body paint to last longer.

Don’t create too many layers

One of the most common mistakes beginner body painters make is that they often use too much body paint, than what their design needs. This creates an excessive layer that will not make your body paint last a long time. It can also easily crack.

Let the body paint dry

For body paint to last a long time you need to let it dry. After each layer is applied you should wait a few minutes before applying the next one.

After you have completed your design it is extremely important to let the body paint dry. This will allow it to stick to your body, and it affects how long it lasts. Wait at least 10 minutes after applying the body paint, and if possible try not to move during this time.

Does body paint crack?

Yes, body paint can crack, and in order to prevent this from happening you need to follow the advice we gave on how to make body paint last longer.

Does body paint come off with sweat?

Body or face paint can start coming off when there are cracks on it or there is excessive sweating because of hot weather. 

The sweating caused by human skin affects body paints and it starts coming off gradually. And after 2 or 3 hours of painting the body when there is enough sweating you will see some parts of the body where the paint is coming off itself.

Is there permanent body paint?

As told earlier body paints are not made to stay on the body for a longer period. But still, if someone wants to have their specific part of body painted which remains for about years. Then they can engrave a tattoo on their body that stays for years. 

The two types of body paint that last longer are henna painting, and temporary tattoo paint. These should be a good option if you want to get a tattoo but you are unsure if it is the right option. You can use these paints to try out for up to two weeks how it would feel to have a tattoo.


Although most body paint is only used for a few hours, there are several types that can last weeks. If you are looking to showcase your artwork for a long time, follow our advice, and make sure you choose the right type of body paint for you.

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