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 sold on Amazon! Companies create tattoo numbing cream 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 want a tattoo, despite your low pain threshold, this article lets you skip the research and go straight to the facts!
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 sometimes turn down requests for numbing cream. Why, you might 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!
Partial to pain? Then, the denial of numb cream greatly deters you from going under the needle. Your tattoo makes a 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 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.
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 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 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, 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 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 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. 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. You can get it here.
Active Ingredient: Lidocaine (4%). Inactive ingredients: Purified Water, SD Alcohol 40B, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Propylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Glycerin, Menthol, Chamomile (Chamomilla Recutita) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Extract, Comfrey (Symphytum Officinale) Root Extract, Acrylates/c10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylisothiazolinone.
Numb Master 5% Topical Anesthetic Lidocaine 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 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.
Active Ingredient: Lidocaine Inactive Ingredients: Water, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethoxydiglycol, Lecithin, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Trideceth-10, Cholesterol, Allantoin.
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.
Pain 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 works poorly on open wounds, apply it before the inking 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 numbing tattoo creams 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 skin numbing cream for tattoos is meant for small areas of application, the tube of gel is pretty small. You can get it here.
TOPICAINE® 4% contains lidocaine 5% formulated in a cooling, penetrating gel composed of water, ethanol, glycerin, jojoba oil, aloe vera oil, glyceryl monolaureate, benzyl alcohol, carbomer 940 and EDTA, alpha bisobolol, shea butter.
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 one to purchase, pick out the one with unique traits that you need. Peain 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 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 recommending 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.
Vasocaine Numbing Spray Painless Anesthetic Numb
This product works excellently, but learn some special things about the process before it takes effect. First, you need to use this on an open wound. That sounds counterproductive, but it works! In order to easily break the skin ahead of time, you use a dermaroller on the area. The micro-needles break up the skin and let 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.
Ingredients: 5% Lidocaine hydrochloride, purified water, propylene glycol, sodium metabisulfite, citric said, epinephrine HCI, diazolldinyl urea, methyl paraben, propyl paraben, and disodium EDTA.
H2Ocean Nothing Pain Relieving Foam Soap
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. Get it here.
Ingredients: Purified Water, Poloxamer 188, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disodium EDTA, Salt, Benzalkonium Chloride. Purified Water, Stearic Acid (Coconut), Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin (Vegetable), Dimethicone (Silica), Jojoba Oil, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Rose Hip Seed Oil, PEG 8 Stearate, Cety Alcohol, Aloe Vera Gel, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sclerotium Gum, Sea Salt. Purified Water, Propellant, Dimethicone, Glycerine, Stearic Acid, Coconut Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, polyvinylpyrrolidone, Triethanolamine(tea), Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Allantoin, Sea Kelp, Methyl Paraben, Sea Salt, Lysozyme, Propyl Paraben
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.
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 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 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 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. 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
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|
The Best Numbing Cream for Tattoos
Whether you retain a low pain tolerance or simply don’t enjoy the inking sensation, numbing creams form 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 numbing 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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