The Best Tattoo Numbing Creams & Sprays 2017
There are many kinds of numbing creams that you can get prescribed or over the counter. There are even some brands that can be sold on Amazon. Tattoo numbing cream is made especially for use before getting a tattoo, although even numbing cream for waxing could work in a pinch. We wanted to find you the best tattoo numbing cream, so we scoured the net to find all kinds of brands. We also want to keep you informed about the use of numbing cream, the types of prescription numbing creams, how to use them, whether or not they actually work, and—of course—the best tattoo numbing cream. If you are thinking of getting a tattoo despite your low pain threshold, this article lays out the different kinds of products for you, so that you don’t have to waste time researching every little thing!
Don’t have time for the whole article? We got you covered; here is our best product pick for Tattoo Numbing!
Tattoo Numbing Cream
Tattoo artists might turn down your request for numbing cream. Why, you might ask? Well, most artists and inked people consider pain to be a part of the process. It works like a rite of passage. There are many cultures that consider the art of tattooing to be sacred, and even in Western cultures, you might be looked down on if you take the easy way out.
If you are partial to pain, the denial of numb cream is a huge deterrent from getting a tattoo. Your tattoo is just as important as anyone else’s, but because of your pain tolerance, you may not be able to sit through a session. And it’s not just a matter of willpower—studies have shown that people with red hair are naturally more sensitive to pain and less receptive to skin numbing creams. Even without red hair, you could be predisposed to pain sensitivity. This is why it’s crucial that you seek out a tattoo artist that allows anesthetic cream.
These artists are few and far between, since there is more than just a stigma that makes artists reluctant to allow the use of numbing creams. First, the numbing cream could affect the fingers of your artist! Even with gloves, there is a good chance that their fingers will become a little less nimble. On top of that, the oily residue left behind by the numbing cream will affect the consistency of the ink. This could result in the ink not penetrating deep enough to form a permanent tattoo or ink that looks dull and diluted. Lastly, most numbing creams are meant for topical use. When you get a tattoo, you are essentially creating an open wound that will heal up with a bold pattern. This gives the anesthetic cream a chance to get far deeper into your body than it should. This could result in the anesthetic wearing off during the tattoo process or spreading into places it shouldn’t.
Since different artists use different techniques, you have to ask them ahead of time what kind of tattoo numbing creams they are comfortable with allowing. Chances are, they will name something off this page. If they don’t, 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 are normally rock solid bases, but when you mix them together they become eutectic and transform into a cream instead of a solid. Both Lidocaine and Prilocaine are effective anesthetics on their own, but when they are combined, they become fast-acting and easily applied. Lidocaine and Prilocaine cream is used to lower 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, 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. The prilocaine and lidocaine cream combination is marketed under the EMLA brand as EMLA numbing cream and is used for far more. This is the most easily available form of numbing cream, and the type of topical anesthetic you are most likely to run into at the dentist’s or doctor’s office. Because this cream is so effective at what it does, it can only be prescribed. If you would like to use EMLA cream before your tattoo, consult both a doctor and your tattoo artist to ensure that it’s the right option for you.
The Best Numbing Cream for Tattoos
Even for the more tolerant, numbing cream for tattoos can help 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. 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
This product is named for the way it makes people with low pain tolerance hush. Tattoo anesthetics rarely work quite as well as this one. This product is arguably the most effective on the list. It can work for up to four hours and is designed in such a way that it does not affect the ink or contain epinephrine. 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. You can get it here.
Numb Master 5% Topical Anesthetic Lidocaine Cream
This 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 do the job. On top of that, a little of this goes a long way. It is mainly used to dull the sensation of dermarolling and the terrible incident that is Brazilian waxing, but it also does the job for small to medium-sized tattoos. Wherever you get your tattoo, you are sure to feel nothing for at least an hour after application! You can get it here.
LMX 5% Topical Anorectal Cream
This product is mainly used for hemorrhoid and anorectal discomfort, so it might seem out of place. Since the prices of tattoo numbing products can fluctuate, we thought we would include it. It has a higher concentration of lidocaine than most of the products here, making it very effective. The inclusion of alcohol means that it has to be entirely washed off ahead of time, or the ink may become blurry. This product is good to use if you are getting a smaller tattoo in a painful place like the elbow or collarbone, but in all other situations you’ll want to use a different product. You can get it here.
Peain Script Concentrated Pain Relief Cream
This numbing cream focuses less on killing your senses and more on removing the feeling of pain. You will still be able to feel things like heat or cold, but you will not get feel any pain. It has no odor (most of the other products here smell like menthol) and leaves little residue behind. On top of that, the company strives to be environmentally friendly in both its formula and its company. Since this is not for open wounds, it should not be applied during the tattoo process. You are welcome to use it ahead of time and clean it off, though. You can get it here.
TOPICAINE 5%- Lidocaine Gel (10 grams) Anesthetic Skin Numbing Cream
Like many other products on this list, this is not primarily used for numbing the sensation of getting a tattoo. Instead, it is marketed as a gel for laser removal! It works just as well for tattoos, though. To maximize its effect, you should have it on for about an hour before you clean it off and get your tattoo. Since this is meant for small areas of application, the tube of gel is pretty small. You can get it here.
Extra Strength Pre-TAT by Tat Balm
Not only does this tattoo numbing cream serve as an anesthetic gel, it also does several good things to prepare your skin for a tattoo! It is an antiseptic that fights off infections. Since infections are the single worst thing that can happen to your tattoo, that’s a big thing. It also moisturizes your skin and makes it easier for both you and your tattoo artist to get the tattoo done. Less blood means a better tattoo, as far as your artist is concerned! This product has to be applied ahead of time in order to work, and should be left on for at least thirty minutes. You can get it here.
When choosing which one to purchase, you should pick out the one with unique traits that you need. Peain is the most environmentally friendly, Hush works for a ridiculously long time, and others are odorless or have high doses 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 is worth. They all use the same active ingredient, so you might as well go for the cheapest option if you aren’t picky about other features.
Tattoo Numbing Spray
If you want an easier way to apply tattoo numbing 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 are only recommending two brands of tattoo numbing spray. If you are worried 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.
Vasocaine Numbing Spray Painless Anesthetic Numb
This product works excellently, but there are some special things you have to do before it can start to take effect. First, your skin must already be broken for it to soak in. That might sound counterproductive, but it works! In order to easily break the skin ahead of time, you can use a dermaroller on the area. The micro-needles will break up the skin and let the Vasocaine numbing spray seep in without drawing blood. This product works especially well for shading, as opposed to outlines, since it becomes more and more effective each time the needle is used in an area. It might be obvious, but you should only apply this product before you get a tattoo or during the process, since it will need special cleaning and aftercare once you have received the tattoo. You can get it here.
H2Ocean Nothing Pain Relieving Foam Soap
H2Ocean is a brand that delivers when it comes to tattoo care products. They are affordable and 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. Get it here.
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 are considering getting a large or detailed tattoo, this might be your best option. Always consult both your doctor and your tattoo artist before applying tattoo numbing cream to ensure that you are using 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.
How to Use & Apply Tattoo Numbing Spray
Before getting a tattoo or waxing, 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 are getting a proper dosage that lasts as long as you need it to. It also helps ensure that it works on you before the big appointment!
For both tattoo cream and tattoo 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.
Do Tattoo Numbing Creams and Sprays Really Work?
When you go to purchase your tattoo cream, you want to be sure that it works! Thankfully, it’s safe to say that all of them are effective at what they do. Their efficacy does depend on your personal constitution, though. If you are very anxious during the procedure, the tattoo numbing cream could wear off quickly, leaving you to experience the whole package of pain that comes with getting a tattoo. If you are very unlucky and were born with a naturally low pain threshold, you may need extra numbing cream or numbing spray to do the job, and this could interfere with the tattooing process. The last thing that could lead to tattoo numbing cream not working is the amount of time you are under a needle.
If you are getting a small tattoo, the numbing cream is certain to last all the way through. But if you are getting a large back tattoo? Well, that’s another matter entirely. Making the numbing cream effective is not as simple as slathering more on. 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 is appropriate for the tattoo. If you are getting a reasonably-sized tattoo that will take a short time to do, then your tattoo numbing cream will do its job.
Tattoo Numbing Gel (60 grams) 2oz.
|Numb Master 5% Topical |
Anesthetic Lidocaine Cream
|LMX 5% Topical Anorectal Cream||Cream|
|Peain Script Concentrated Pain Relief Cream, 2 Oz |
100% Money Back Guarantee
|TOPICAINE 5%- Lidocaine Gel||Cream|
|Tattoo Numbing Cream/Gel |
Maximum/Extra Strength Numb
|Vasocaine Numbing Spray||Spray|
|H2Ocean Nothing Pain Relieving Foam Soap||Spray|
Whether you have a low pain tolerance or simply don’t enjoy the sensation of getting inked, numbing creams are a useful tool for you to dull the pain of the needle. We’ve gathered the best brands for you to look at, so now all you have to do is select the one that best suits your needs and 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 don’t have to wait ages to get your tattoo! The week you spend waiting is an excellent time to truly consider if the design will be good for you and work out any kinks in the design with your artist. Once the tattoo numbing cream arrives, you can rejoice in the fact that getting a tattoo will be a pain free and exciting experience! While it’s still no walk in the park and you will still have to deal with a little pain during aftercare, you can be sure that the actual process of getting the tattoo will be enjoyable!
Related Article: The Best Tattoo AfterCare Products
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