There are many kinds of numbing creams that you can get prescribed or over the counter. There are even some brands sold on online! Companies create tattoo numbing products (creams & sprays mainly) especially for use before getting a tattoo. Although, in a pinch, even numbing cream for waxing could work.
We also want to keep you informed about the use of numbing cream for tattoo work, the types of prescription numbing creams, how to use them, whether or not they actually work, and—of course—the best numbing tattoo cream.
- 1 Tattoo Numbing Cream, Gel and Spray
- 2 Tattoo Anesthetic Cream
- 3 The Best Numbing Cream, Gel or Spray for Tattoos
- 3.1 Hush Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Gel
- 3.2 Dr. Numb Maximum Topical Anesthetic Cream, Lidocaine 5%
- 3.3 Numb 520 (1.35oz/38g) 5% Lidocaine Numbing Cream
- 3.4 Uber Numb 5% Lidocaine Numbing Cream
- 3.5 H2ocean Nothing Tattoo Glide and Soothing Balm
- 3.6 Lidocaine Blue Tattoo Numbing Gel
- 3.7 Numb Master 5% Topical Anesthetic Lidocaine Tattoo Cream
- 4 Our Recommendation
- 5 Tattoo Numbing Spray
- 6 How to Use & Apply Tattoo Numbing Cream
- 7 How to Use & Apply Tattoo Numbing Spray
- 8 Tattoo Numbing Cream F.A.Q.
- 8.1 Is it bad to put numbing cream on before a tattoo?
- 8.2 What is the strongest tattoo numbing cream?
- 8.3 What is the most painful area to get a tattoo?
- 8.4 Where is the least painful place to get a tattoo?
- 8.5 Does numbing cream help with tattoo pain?
- 8.6 Can lidocaine cream be used for tattoos?
- 8.7 What kind of tattoo numbing cream should I get?
- 9 Does Tattoo Numbing Cream Really Work?
- 10 The Best Numbing Cream for Tattoos
Tattoo Numbing Cream, Gel and Spray
Tattoo artists sometimes turn down requests for skin numbing cream, gel or spray for tattoo work. Why might you ask? Well, most artists consider pain as part of the process. It works like a rite of passage. Many cultures consider the art sacred, and even in Western cultures, taking the easy way out earns you some eye rolls. Don’t let this discourage you! If people use tattoo cream to prevent infection without batting an eye, what difference does it make if you take it a step further and numb the pain?
Partial to pain? Then, the denial of numb cream greatly deters you from going under the needle. Your tattoo makes an emotional difference, but because of your pain tolerance, a full tattoo session remains out of reach. And it’s not just your willpower—studies show that people with red hair naturally perceive more pain. Even without red hair, you could be predisposed to pain sensitivity. Crucially, ask for a tattoo artist that allows for tattoo anesthetic cream and reap the benefits of an excellent tattoo.
Few and far between, these artists ignore the stigma of the use of numbing creams, but another thing factors into their rarity. First, the numbing cream could affect the fingers of your artist! Even with gloves, their fingers become a little less nimble. On top of that, the oily residue left behind by the numbing cream affects the consistency of the ink. This results in the ink not penetrating deep enough to form a permanent tattoo. Or, in bad conditions, ink that looks dull and diluted.
|HUSH anesthetic Tattoo Numbing||Gel|
|Dr. Numb Maximum Topical Anesthetic Cream, 5%||Cream|
|Uber Numb 5% Lidocaine Numbing Cream||Cream|
|H2ocean Nothing Tattoo Balm||Cream|
|Lidocaine Blue Tattoo Numbing Gel||Gel|
Tattoo Anesthetic Cream
Lastly, you use numbing creams for topical use. When inked, you essentially create an open wound that heals up with a bold pattern. This gives the anesthetic cream a chance to go deeper into your body than it should. This could result in the anesthetic wearing off during the tattoo process or spreading into unfortunate places.
Since different artists use different techniques, ask them ahead of time what kind of tattoo anesthetic/numbing creams they work with. Naturally, they name something off this page. If not, you could always bring up a product you like and see if they want to experiment with it.
Related Article: Tattoo AfterCare
Lidocaine and Prilocaine normally work as rock solid bases. But, when you mix them together, they become eutectic and transform into a cream instead of a solid. Both Lidocaine tattoo anesthetic and Prilocaine form effective anesthetics on their own, but when combined, they act fast and apply easily. Lidocaine and Prilocaine cream lowers the reaction of nerve endings, temporarily deadening them so that you don’t feel anything in the area. Even in low concentrations, it can temporarily anesthetize the skin from sensations of pain. This can be used on many different areas of the body, not just tattoos. It is also the best numbing cream for waxing.
Lidocaine tattoo numbing cream, prilocaine, and benzocaine creams are all used to treat pain in all kinds of areas. Benzocaine cream is used to numb minor wounds that need attention, such as ingrown toenails or teething pain. EMLA brand markets the prilocaine and lidocaine tattoo cream combination as EMLA numbing cream, and the cream contains many more uses. Most doctors use this easily available form of numbing cream, and you even your dentist keeps some in his closet. Because this cream works so effectively, only doctors prescribe it. If you want like to use EMLA cream before your tattoo, consult both a doctor and your tattoo artist to ensure that it works for you.
The Best Numbing Cream, Gel or Spray for Tattoos
Even for the more tolerant, numbing cream tattoo relief helps you sit for very long sessions. While you feel pain, the body becomes stressed and pumps out more blood than your tattoo artist might like. It also exhausts you over time. Applying numbing cream can help turn a two-hour session into a six-hour session. Of course, you will need your artist’s approval before using a numbing cream. Tattoos take place over long periods of time. They have to be aware of what you used and in what amount so that they know if they should apply anything for you.
Hush Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Gel
People named this product after the way it makes people hush. Tattoo anesthetics rarely work quite as well as this one. Arguably, this product works better than any on this list. It works for up to four hours, contains no epinephrine, and leaved your ink untouched. It claims that it is the only agent that can be used both before and during the process, but there are a few other products on this list that match that claim. The sheer amount of time that it lasts is what makes this product special. It is a bit on the pricey side, but that money is well spent. If you are getting a larger tattoo, you may want to purchase two bottles to ensure that you cover the whole thing.
Dr. Numb Maximum Topical Anesthetic Cream, Lidocaine 5%
Although not made specifically for tattoo pain relief, Dr. Numb still performs the job magnificently. Rather than using oils to dispense its 5% lidocaine content, it relies on a water-based formula. That cuts way down on greasy and uncomfortable skin. It also allows the skin to quickly absorb the numbing cream. It only takes a few minutes for the cream to start numbing the area. It cuts out as many frilly ingredients as possible, offering the product in a form as simple as could be.
In fact, it boasts a mere six ingredients that it uses to numb your skin: Lidocaine, Carbopol, Lechithin, Vitamin E, Propylene Glycol, and purified water. Without those frivolous ingredients, Dr. Numb Maximum Topical Anesthetic Cream cuts way down on skin reactions and is even considered hypo-allergenic. The only optional ingredient in there is Vitamin E, which is something all skin benefits from. Vitamin E helps your skin heal up after procedures that would require numbing cream. Naturally, tattoo sessions are included!
Even for sensitive procedures in places like armpits or collarbones, this numbing cream manages to dull the sensation of pain. Never do you need to fear large tattoos or full sleeves again! Please note that, as a water-based formula, it can be carried away by your circulatory system and start ‘wearing off’ faster than others. The best way to prevent this…is to simply relax! Keep your heart rate down and listen to some calming music. No matter what, it will take the edge away for a few hours.
If you buy more than one tube, check out the discounts at Dr. Numb’s online store directly. Especially if you need more than two tubes, you’ll find great deals there!
Numb 520 (1.35oz/38g) 5% Lidocaine Numbing Cream
Although originally designed for other purposes, this lidocaine tattoo pain numbing cream actually works wonders for its adopted purpose! On top of offering pain relief leading up to the tattoo process, it excels at numbing the incessant itching of a healing tattoo. Lather it onto your skin ahead of time and leave it covered at least three hours. Just before your tattoo or other painful skin procedure, wipe all of the cream off with water and a paper towel.
Uber Numb 5% Lidocaine Numbing Cream
This has the maximum amount of Lidocaine cream permitted for over-the-counter topical anesthetics by the FDA. It has a water-based formula to keep it from becoming greasy or caking up on your skin. Uber Numb is also completely made in the States, so you can be completely confident that it delivers on its promise of numbness. Lastly, it contains Vitamin E to nourish the skin after any procedure, so recovery after your tattoo is swift. It also keeps your skin from swelling after the procedure and won’t damage your tattoo ink while it does that.
On top of working for tattoo treatment, I also recommend slathering it on any minor burns, cuts, rashes, or scratches that are bothering you. Talk to a doctor if you can’t go without a numbing agent, though—that means your wound is much more serious than it seems! Anyways, it also works for more innocuous things like dermabrasion, waxing, and other types of cosmetic tidying. Although this only has 4oz, it will cover several small tattoos or one very large back cover.
H2ocean Nothing Tattoo Glide and Soothing Balm
H2Ocean is a brand that delivers when it comes to tattoo care products. Thanks to their affordable price tag, many artists use their products. If you apply it before the tattoo, use a dermaroller to break up the skin and allow the spray to soak in. If you have your artist use it during the process of getting the tattoo, they will likely soak a paper towel and apply it to the area. It can help you sit for very long tattoo sessions and can be reapplied if need be.
Lidocaine Blue Tattoo Numbing Gel
If you’re looking for a way to soothe your pain without breaking the bank, this simple little gel will do the trick. It comes in a 1 oz. bottle, which is just enough to cover your basic needs. You won’t have a huge bottle laying around that you may never end up using. This is perfect if you only plan on getting a simple permanent makeup procedure or a small tattoo. Just a tiny bit helps with dermabrasion and microblading, too. You can use bits of it to relieve every day scratches and rashes, but it’s best to save it for planned occasions like these.
So, why use this formula above the others? It’s affordable, first of all. It uses the basic necessities to get your skin numb as quick as possible without all the other frivolous stuff. It works best for quick procedures, but can last as long as three hours if you apply it properly. To apply, simply rinse the area ahead of time, dry it gently, and then put the gel on. Make sure it covers the surface evenly. If you want to preserve the effect or make it last longer, you can cover it in plastic wrap and slowly reveal it as your procedure is done. This doesn’t make it work faster, but does prevent the top layer from being ineffective as it dries out.
It uses 5% lidocaine and has no odor to speak of. That power combined with that quality-of-life feature is enough for me to recommend this blue gel for any tattoo numbing procedures. If you’re looking for a numbing gel for clients, then this is a good one to pick up. It comes in a size that works well for one-time applications.
Numb Master 5% Topical Anesthetic Lidocaine Tattoo Cream
This topical anesthetic cream is specifically formulated to numb the dermis layer of your skin, which is where the tattoo ink is destined for. It lasts for one hour and only needs half an hour of application to work. On top of that, a little of this goes a long way. It is mainly used to dull the sensation of derma rolling and the terrible incident that is Brazilian waxing, but it also does the job for small to medium-sized tattoos. Wherever you use your tattoo anesthetic cream, you are sure to feel nothing for at least an hour after application!
When choosing one to purchase, pick out the one with unique traits that you need. Pain goes easy on the environment, Hush tattoo numbing gel works for a ridiculously long time, and the others smell odorless or contain high amounts of lidocaine. If you don’t want anything in particular, then just number crunch it. Compare the amount of gel used with the price and see how much each gram of gel sells for. They all use the same active ingredients, so you might as well go for the cheapest options when you feel no need for specifications.
Tattoo Numbing Spray
If you want an easier way to apply tattoo numbing tattoo cream products, you should try tattoo numbing spray instead of tattoo numbing cream. The spray takes just a few minutes to apply and a few minutes to set in. Getting it applied evenly on hard-to-reach areas is a cinch, and you don’t have to stand around feeling like some kind of swamp monster covered in muck.
The only downside to tattoo numbing spray is that it takes a while for the effect to set in, and that effect won’t linger as long as the numbing creams do. For this reason, we only recommend two brands of tattoo numbing spray. If you worry that it will not last through your entire session, then you can leave the spray on for longer. The longer you leave the spray on, the more effective it will be, so it should at least relax your fears. You can get it here.
For an in-depth review of more numbing sprays we have a dedicated article here: The Best Tattoo Numbing Sprays
How to Use & Apply Tattoo Numbing Cream
If you already have the product and just want to know how to numb skin, look no further! The exact method depends on what brand you’re getting, but generally, these instructions should work. First, wash the area with hand soap and water. The hand soap is less harsh than body soap or dish soap, and you don’t want to dry your skin out just before a tattoo. Pat the area dry with a towel and then apply a thick amount of numbing cream. Rub it in thoroughly, using gloves if you would like to keep the feeling in your fingers.
Once the area is fully covered, go ahead and grab some plastic wrap and tape it or wrap it around the numbing cream. The exact amount of time you need to keep it there varies depending on the brand, but generally, one hour is enough for the ingredients to activate and start numbing your skin. Many creams require shorter times. Whatever you do, don’t get the numbing cream in your eyes! The longer you leave on the topical numbing cream, the more effective it will be.
If you consider a large or detailed tattoo, go with this option. Always consult both your doctor and your tattoo artist before applying tattoo numbing cream to ensure that you use the correct method. You should also have a friend drive you to your appointment since your body is technically impaired until the anesthetic wears off. To care for your tattoo after your numbing cream wears off, take a look at the best ointment for tattoos we found.
How to Use & Apply Tattoo Numbing Spray
Use your numbing cream before tattoo work begins! Go ahead and spray the area directly with the numbing spray. That’s it, super easy and simple! As always, avoid breathing in the spray or spraying near your eyes, nose, and mouth. Let the spray rest for at least three minutes before wiping it off. As you wipe it off, try to get as much of the oily substance off of your skin.
That oil could annoy your artist or affect the tattoo ink. You should feel the anesthetic start to kick in before you remove it. It’s always best to practice ahead of time to make sure you apply a proper dosage that lasts a long time. It also helps ensure that it works on you before the big appointment!
For both tattoo cream and tattoo anesthetic spray, do not apply an excessive amount. If you apply too much, it can mess with your nervous system. A good rule is to only apply it to a one foot area at a time. Your artist may also choose to apply spray during the process.
Does Tattoo Numbing Cream Really Work?
Yes, they do! When you go to purchase your tattoo cream, you want to prove it works! Thankfully, all of them work effectively. Their efficacy does depend on your personal constitution, though. If you find yourself anxious during the procedure, the tattoo numbing cream wears off quickly, leaving you to experience the whole package of pain that comes with a tattoo. If unluckiness strikes you, and you feel more pain than the average person, you need extra numbing cream or numbing spray for tattoos for the job, which interferes with the tattoo process. Longer sessions also affect whether or not your tattoo numbing cream works.
If you want a small tattoo, the numbing cream lasts all the way through. Simply try on numbing cream before tattoo work begins. But if you want a large back tattoo? Well, that makes a big difference. Slathering on more numbing cream solves no problems. Applying the numbing cream to a huge area also seems like a bad idea and could lead to poor sensation in the area for far longer than the product should induce. Your tattoo artist will help you determine how much numbing cream works for you. If you want a reasonably-sized tattoo that will takes a short time to make, then your tattoo numbing cream will work well
The Best Numbing Cream for Tattoos
Whether you retain a low pain tolerance or simply don’t enjoy the inking sensation, the best numbing cream for tattoos forms a useful tool for you to dull the pain of the needle. We gathered the best brands for you to look at, so now all you only need to select the one that best suits your needs. Then, ask your tattoo artist about it. If you live in the United States, it only takes about a week for the standard shipping to deliver products.
This means that you wait a small amount of time between order and arrival! Spend your week of waiting considering the best design options for you. Work out any kinks in the design with your artist. Once your tattoo anesthetic cream arrives, rejoice in the exciting experience of a pain free tattoo! While no walk in the park, and not preventative of aftercare pains, rest easy knowing your best numbing creams for tattoos makes your tattoo process goes smoothly!
Related Article: The Best Tattoo AfterCare Products
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