Which Markers Are Safe on the Skin? Best Non-Toxic Picks

While most tradespeople may afford to choose any functional marker that works for their task, you have to be more careful with choosing one to use on the skin.

Skin absorption is a dermal route of exposure to the chemicals in a marker, so it’s crucial to select a non-abrasive, non-toxic one any time you want to draw a mark on your skin, whether you have surgical or artistic purposes. 

The best non-toxic and skin-safe marker for use on the skin is the Viscot Mini XL Sterile Surgical Marker. This marker is sterile and safe for surgical procedures. It also leaves durable marks that withstand surgical scrubbing, punctures, and shaving, so it will last.

This article will examine the pros and cons of the best non-toxic markers for your skin to help you choose the best one, depending on how you want to use it. 

Best Surgical Marker

Viscot Mini XL Sterile Surgical Marker

Viscot 1450-10 Mini XL Prep Resistant Ink® Markers- 10 Count- Surgical Grade Skin Marker- Latex Free, FDA Registered, Designed for Marking Piercing and Tattoo Sites & Surgical Aesthetic Procedures

The Viscot Marker, made from gentian violet ink, is a medical-grade surgical marker fast taking over the market.

This product is not only skin-safe and non-toxic, but it’s also sterile, so it can work for medical procedures like surgeries or even an IV infusion. Because it’s so safe, it’s the perfect choice for anyone with sensitive skin or who plans to use it in a medical setting.


  • Safe on Broken Skin: The Viscot Mini XL Marker’s ink consists of sterile gentian violet that has been diluted to a skin-safe degree. This ink is antibacterial and antifungal, unlike regular body markers, so it is safe to use on broken or irritated skin.

    It’s much safer to opt for this surgical marker if you’re marking the skin for a penetrative procedure like an infusion.
  • Durability: One of the major selling points of the Viscot Surgical Marker above other markers is the durability of the ink marks. Unlike traditional surgical ink that could fade or get wiped off while you’re cleaning the skin, Viscot leaves a clear mark.

    Viscot Medical even claims that the mark can stay visible ten times longer than traditional ink. (source: Viscot)


  • Bleeding Ink: This marker uses dilute ink, so the marks can seep into tiny skin creases and get blurry.

    The bleeding ink is one of the significant reasons this marker isn’t an ideal option for art, especially when you want to draw in detail. Because of the ink type, it’s more suited for marking simple outlines than drawing elaborate images.

Best Art Marker

BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Marker

BodyMark by BIC, Temporary Tattoo Marker, Skin Safe, Flexible Brush Tip, Long-Lasting, Assorted Colors, 8-Pack (Colors/Stencils Will Vary)

The BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Marker is a favorite among tattoo artists for a reason – it does a fantastic job as a body art marker. These marker pens have a brush tip and come in a pack of 8 colors so you can achieve fine to very thick lines in every color under the sun. 


  • Color Variety: The markers come in 8 different colors, so you can get a suitable color scheme no matter what skin tone you’re drawing on. The primary colors are also in all packs, so you can explore whatever color combinations you want. 
  • Slim, Firm Tips: The brush tips are fine enough for you to draw precise, curvy lines with great detail. Though thin, they’re not abrasive enough to scratch the skin, and they’re firm enough to make your drawing stable.
  • Skin-Safe, Bright Ink: The ink includes ingredients like acrylates, water, hydrochloric acid diluted to a skin-safe degree, propyl alcohol, and coloring, all of which are non-toxic to the skin. The mark can stay on many body parts for days without causing any redness or irritation.

    The ink colors are also clear and bright enough to show off all the details in the art.


  • Non-Sterile: The BIC BodyMark ink is skin-safe but not sterile, so it must not find its way under the skin or into the body. You cannot use it near sensitive body parts like the eyes or on the lips where you could ingest it.

    If your skin is cut, broken, or irritated, you can’t use BIC BodyMark there because the ink will interact with the lower layers of your skin.
  • Selective Washing Issues: Most colors wash off easily with soap and water, but some may need a harder scrub than others. When the more resistant colors wash off, they sometimes leave residues that can stain fabric like your clothes and sheets. 

Most-Economical Art Marker

Skin Companion Twin-Tip Tattoo Pen

Skin Companion Twin Tip Tattoo Pen - Set of 6 + 1 Pc Free

The Skin Companion Twin-Tip Tattoo pen comes in a 7-color pack of twin-tipped markers. The set has red, blue, black, yellow, pink, and green, each with a fine tip on one end for precise lines and a medium tip on the other for thick, bolder lines.

You’re getting 14 markers in 7 colors in one affordable price package if you think about it!


  • Budget-Friendly Variety: Markers with a single tip can be frustrating to work with when you’re making art with different textures. You may even have to sharpen or dull the ends with standard markers just to get a certain thickness.

    The various tips of Skin Companion Markers offer a variety of textures for you to conveniently outline and shade your art, giving you all the body art tools you need to create something spectacular. 
  • Minimal Smearing: The tips of the Skin Companion marker are very smooth, so they rarely smear. The ink also dries pretty quickly, so when you’re drawing on clean, dry skin, there’s a low chance that your art could get messy.


  • Short-lasting: The Skin Companion marker does not last very long. When used, it gives clean and bright drawings, but the marks start to fade soon after.

    With the wetness from body fluid like sweat, the marks from the pen might begin to smudge. The marks wash off easily with soap and water. 


These markers are made from non-toxic materials that are safe for use on the skin. Make sure you choose one that’s best suited to what you need it for and have fun marking!