Is it okay to rub Vibuthi or Tilak off one's forehead? Does it amount to insulting god?

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    Not unless you mean to insult God. God by definition is omniscient and can therefore identify whether you're trying to insult Him or not. So as long as your intentions are good and you don't harm anyone in the process, it doesn't matter to God. In fact, they say that as you become more and more devoted to God, your attachment to these insignia such as Tilak, Vibhuti, etc starts to fade. But at the same time, if you are at a gathering or group, then sometimes others will follow what you're doing. Therefore, some people choose to wear the tilak, even though they;re unattached, just to inspire. – Sai Jun 28 '16 at 18:52

I don't have an internet source for this, but I have heard in upanyasams (spiritual discourses) that No, we are not allowed to remove Thiruman, Vibuthi, Kumkum purposely. If it happens by accident, that's fine, and we need to re-apply.

In modern world, we don't want to show to others our religious markings, so either we do not apply them at all, or we apply them in morning after bath, and erase them before leaving to work.

But a compromise is to apply it faintly, and not erase it. Over course of day, with sweating/oil on face, it is only visible for acute observers.

Another name for the things we apply on forehead is called - Namam (or name), because they are applied by saying God's name. So, even if actual chandan, tilak or vibuthi is missing, you can use sand, or water, intone God's name and apply it. You can do this if you think the original will be too visible.

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