The Best Tattoo Numbing Spray in 2018

I talk about tattoo numbing creams all the time, but have you ever wondered about numbing spray for tattoos? Tattoo numbing spray works surprisingly well for its method of application. When you think about spray-on sunscreen, for example, the spray-on sunscreen wears off quickly compared to sunscreen lotion. Not so for tattoo numbing spray! That’s because a thin layer of numbing spray absorbs at the same rate as a thick layer of lotion—the surface area limits the speed of the numbing effect! With its simple application and consistency compared to lotions and gels, it works just as well!

Today, I talk all about what makes tattoo numbing spray work, how both artists and clients use tattoo numbing spray, and uses other than tattoo relief for numbing sprays. On top of that, I review the favorites of tattoo artists around the globe to provide a high-quality list for you to choose from! Of course, certain aspects of tattoo numbing spray pose a problem compared to numbing cream, and I discuss that as well. Without further ado, let’s talk all about tattoo numbing spray and why you need it in your life.


Tattoo Numbing Spray Product Overview

Product NameType 
Hush Tattoo Numbing SpraySpray
Vasocaine Numbing SpraySpray
Derma NumbSpray


Don’t have time for the whole article? We got you covered; here is our best product pick for Tattoo Numbing Sprays!




How Tattoo Numbing Spray Works

In simple terms, numbing spray soaks straight into your skin and targets your nervous system. Specifically, it only affects the tips of your nerves. It prevents your nerves from sending pain signals back to the brain, ensuring you feel nothing during the tattoo process. Your body naturally processes the tattoo numbing spray, and once it circulates through your system, the effect completely disappears. People who express a short duration of effect tend to boast an active immune system—something which helps during their healing process, but not during the numbing process. Tattoo spray helps these sensitive people reapply as needed very quickly.

Of course, the science goes much deeper than that. Something called Lidocaine makes up the active ingredient of numbing cream. When injected intravenously, it poses a few side effects due to its nerve blocking property. Your vision, digestive system, circadian rhythm, heart rate, and blood pressure all make heavy use of your nervous system. For this reason, simple procedures like numbing during a tattoo work better with localized creams and sprays, which pose far fewer side effects. Plus, only a doctor should administer intravenous Lidocaine. Ask a doctor about that sort of thing if you need more information.

Continuing on with the effects of Lidocaine, it works by blocking sodium channels that communicate with your nerves. This happens very quickly and only effects a shallow portion of the skin, making it quite safe—enough for the FDA to allow over-the-counter variants. Several other uses exist for tattoo numbing spray, which I go over in a bit! If you’re interested in exploring the world of tattoo care, start at our general tattoo care article!


Numbing Cream for Tattoos Over the Counter

We provide a few tattoo numbing cream reviews on the site, but I want to elaborate here what sort of pros and cons they have compared to tattoo numbing spray. For one, spray quickly applies and takes effect. Creams require between ten minutes to an hour to start working. Immediately, the tattoo spray looks better for tattoo sessions. Creams contain several organic ingredients to help with absorption and healing, while sprays contain concentrated product along with a simple medium. This helps people with plant or pollen allergies. At the same time, creams that contain those very ingredients speed up the healing process thanks to the vitamins contained therein.

Figuring out the correct dosage proves the best benefit of using sprays over creams. With creams, if you apply too much, you deal with numbness for far longer than needed. With spray, you apply as needed—and if your spray wears out in the middle, just as cream sometimes does, then reapplication is a simple matter. Lastly, many artists prefer spray over cream due to its consistency. Creams provide a smooth texture that helps artists ‘glide’ over the skin. However, many artists prefer the natural friction that the skin provides, and sprays keep that texture untouched. For more details on how numbing cream compares to numbing sprays, read our in-depth numbing cream article.

Best Tattoo Numbing Spray


Does Numbing Cream Work on Tattoos?

So, do numbing sprays or creams work on tattoos? By now, you know the answer to this question. With a resounding and emphatic, ‘Yes!’ I proclaim numbing cream and spray work perfectly on tattoos. On top of that, certain benefits exist for artists who need a glide anyways. Many types of soaps, lotions, and creams negatively affect tattoos thanks to their ingredients. In example, things containing excess petroleum, lanolin preservatives, or alcohol-based disinfectant all tamper with your tattoo’s ability to heal and even damage your tattoo ink. Check out the ingredients of everything you use.

But wait—what makes numbing cream safe compared to regular creams and soaps? Simply put, every numbing cream and spray on this list avoids problem ingredients. In fact, companies designed a few of these specifically to numb tattoos. Since numbing sprays primarily affect pain, no reason exists to put in extra ingredients or disinfectants. Occasionally, companies put in vitamins to help with absorption, but those same vitamins help your tattoo to heal and your ink to settle. Convenient, right?

We go over way more information on the tattoo healing process here. It helps you learn all sorts of things to speed up the healing of your tattoo! For general tattoo protection after you receive your tattoo, consider using tattoo sunscreen.


Best Tattoo Numbing Spray

These tattoo numbing spray reviews look at the price, effect length, effect speed, coverage, advantages during the tattoo process, alternative uses, manufacturing practices, and ingredients. Naturally, I point out my favorite in the list, but know that every single one of these works. Simply find something that meets your ethics, ideals, or budget! Also keep in mind that a few of them contain natural oil extract from plants. If flowers give you the sniffles, check to make sure all the ingredients agree with you, and make sure to spot test all new beauty products regardless! For tattoo care lotions that focus on skin health, check out our full article on the stuff.

Hush Tattoo Numbing Spray

Hush Numbing Spray definitely ranks at the top of this list. Well, not literally. You know the saying—save the best for last! We talk about this stuff in our in-depth Hush Tattoo Numbing Spray review, but I’ll put the short version here. They created this spray specifically for use with tattoo procedures. For the ethically inclined, it only contains vegan ingredients and no animal testing went into its creation process.

Out of all the sprays, this one lasts the longest at a whopping four hours. Even after the numbing starts to wear off, you barely feel anything. Rather than drop off steeply, it wears off gradually—letting you continue your session even without reapplication! I can’t recommend this one enough! Hush also makes a numbing cream, which you can read about on our numbing creams page.


Vasocaine Numbing Spray Painless Anesthetic

Vasocaine numbing spray stands out from the others in terms of efficacy and convenience. Lots of artists carry this in their shops, and for good reason. It takes effect instantly and works during the tattoo process. Unfortunately, it only works after you break the skin, but artists find ways around this. Most start with the outline, follow up with Vasocaine numbing spray, and then go back in for the rest of the tattoo.

Many artists charge for applying their own anesthetic, so I recommend bringing your own if you want to keep your bill down. If you want to use it before your tattoo—which works better with a few other products on this list, but to each their own—use a dermaroller or similar apparatus to open up your skin. Out of everything on this list, artists stock Vasocaine numbing spray the most.


Derma Numb BEFORE Tattoo Anesthetic Gel

This stuff packs a punch—wait, no. The opposite. It lets you take a serious beating. For especially problematic tattoo areas—such as your lips, collarbone, armpits, or rib cage—this tattoo anesthetic gel completely removes the sensation. Rather than suffering through hours of pain, you enjoy a nice chat with your artist and walk out without any sort of fuss. For best results, apply it two hours before your tattoo and wrap it up quickly. Remove both the wrap and the cream just before the tattoo session. Your skin remains completely numb for thirty minutes and the pain-free sensation lasts for several hours. It complements the Derma Numb DURING Tattoo Anesthetic Spray.


What Else Can I Use Numbing Spray For?

Now that we know all about numbing spray for tattoos, I want to talk about why you need it in your medicine cabinet in general! Numbing spray works for far more than taking the sting off of tattoos. It works for any skin procedure that induces pain—although I would personally avoid using it around your eyes. For beauty examples, consider some frequent routines for us ladies. Waxing, hair removal, permanent makeup, and even dermabrasion cause significant discomfort. Numbing spray negates all of that.

Of course, it also works in a clinical setting. I’m not a doctor, so I highly recommend seeking out a doctor’s advice before going through any self-treatment like this. Cyst removal involves cutting the skin and removing a mass of unwanted material. Laser removal—including laser tattoo removal—also causes a burning sensation. Use numbing spray to circumvent that.



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