You’re about to get inked, but what’s the best way to deal with the pain? One option is to use the best numbing creams for tattoos. Topical anesthetics like these dull the sting of the needle. People also use them for piercings and permanent makeup procedures.
The most common ingredients you’ll find in over-the-counter numbing creams are lidocaine, benzocaine, prilocaine, and tetracaine. Some formulas have a blend of two or more of the above plus other components.
Let’s pause here for just a moment to warn you about the downside of numbing creams. If you use them over a large area or broken skin, you run the risk of side effects that could send you to the hospital. So please, follow the directions to the letter.
Keep in mind, the tattoo numbing creams don’t take away all the pain but deaden it. Their effects last up to two hours maximum.
Top Numbing Creams for Tattoos
With that said, let’s get into the reviews of the top numbing creams for tattoos. If you’re in doubt as to which one is best for you, check with the tattoo artist beforehand.
HUSH Anesthetic – Tattoo Numbing Gel
The HUSH numbing gel is a popular choice among tattoo artists worldwide. They recommend applying a thick layer an hour before the skin is broken. Then wrap the spot in plastic wrap to let it absorb.
The gel is based on 4% lidocaine with other ingredients like aloe, propylene glycol, and glycerin to help it penetrate the skin. It also has soothing plant extracts like comfrey, chamomile, and menthol. The effects last up to two hours and they won’t interfere with the ink or your blood circulation.
Also important, this product is FDA-compliant for tattooing, piercing, laser hair removal, and other procedures. It’s not oily and it’s free of parabens.
Ebanel 5% Lidocaine Numbing Cream
Ebanel’s NUMB 520 has a slightly higher concentration of lidocaine than the HUSH gel above, but that doesn’t mean that it’s more powerful. Part of what makes a cream effective is more than the anesthetic ingredient. It’s also necessary to have good absorption and the ability to keep numbing as long as possible.
This water-based cream gets to work fast in as little as 20 minutes. Then the effects last between one to two hours. Plus, it has a technology called Liposomal to help it penetrate the skin. Try it, and if you’re not satisfied, the company offers a full refund.
Clinical Resolution Numb Master Topical Anesthetic Cream
The Numb Master cream contains 5% lidocaine. It reaches maximum power in 20 to 25 minutes and continues to work for about one hour afterward. As it absorbs into your skin, it won’t leave a greasy or sticky residue.
Uber Numb 5% Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream
As we continue with reviews, you’ll notice that many of these numbing creams are quite similar. This one stands out because it mentions an essential ingredient. No, not the 5% lidocaine. They point out that it has Vitamin E to condition the skin and reduce inflammation.
Like the competition, the cream reaches full potency about 20 minutes after you apply it and keeps working for about one hour afterward.
DermaChange Organic Shingles Symptoms Relief Cream
Let’s switch gears for a moment to a pain-relieving cream for after you get the tattoo. Once your tat begins to heal, you might notice that your skin is sensitive and itchy. This product uses natural ingredients to soothe your epidermis and speed up healing. It works on regular wounds, too.
The key ingredients include Manuka honey, a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Next, Cehami, from Australia, stops itching and pain better than aspirin. And finally, cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil ensure that your skin stays hydrated and healthy.
UltraNumb Anesthetic Skin Numbing Cream
Now, let’s go back to our selection of skin numbing creams. UltraNumb recommends a double application. To illustrate, two hours before the procedure, apply a thick layer and massage it into your skin. Then apply a second layer and cover with plastic wrap. If you follow these steps, you should stay numb for up to four hours.
Numbskin Numbing Cream
Numbskin’s cream relies on 5% lidocaine to create a formula that prevents pain for up to four hours on any part of your body. It only takes 15 to 30 minutes to start working, and it’s backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Aspercreme Pain Relieving Creme with Lidocaine
Aspercreme contains 4% lidocaine to desensitize your skin for a variety of reasons besides getting tattoos. If you don’t use the whole tube on your tat, it can treat backaches, arthritis, bruises, and pulled muscles.
Aspercreme says that they target more pain receptors than other over-the-counter analgesics. You only need to apply a thin layer, and you can do that up to three times each day.
Lidocaine Blue Gel Tattoo Numbing
The Blue Gel blends 4% lidocaine with 2% tetracaine in a water-based formula that won’t interfere with body art.
Dr. Numb Maximum Topical Anesthetic Anorectal Cream
Dr. Numb’s cream stops the sting for up to two hours. It relieves the unpleasant sensation of needles, sunburns, and other wounds. This water-based cream is based on lidocaine that has you ready for ink in 45 minutes.
Deeveeant Lidocaine Numbing Cream
Deveeant’s cream is recommended for tattoos, like waxing, and piercing. It starts numbing in about half an hour, but the company recommends waiting for at least 45 minutes pass for best results. It blends lidocaine with tea tree and jojoba oils plus aloe vera so that your skin stays calm and regenerates more quickly.
The TOPICAINE 5 gel has 5% lidocaine with ingredients that help it permeate the skin. Just apply it at least 30 minutes before you get the tattoo.
Medinumb Lidocaine Numbing Cream
Medinumb lasts up to two hours. It’s based on 4% lidocaine plus botanicals so it isn’t greasy and it won’t stain clothing. It also comes with a child-resistant cap.
Zensa – Maximum Strength Topical Anesthetic Numbing Cream
Zensa’s 5% lidocaine topical anesthetic is made in the USA but also approved by Health Canada. It features Vitamin E to reduce inflammation and increase healing. It begins working about half an hour after you apply it. Then pain relief lasts for about three hours total.
GREENCAINE BLAST Numbing Cream
The GREENCAINE BLAST cream shows up in diverse places like permanent makeup schools, beauty salons, and nonprofits that do tattoo removal. It has 4% lidocaine to block pain signals. And it’s covered by a 100% refund guarantee.
Advanced Numb 5% Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream
Advanced Numb’s pain relief cream is best for small tattoos as it blocks pain for up to an hour. Once you rub it in, your skin is ready to ink in 20 minutes. And the cream won’t interfere as it’s water-based and doesn’t leave a residue.
Bactine Original First Aid Liquid
Bactine contains just 2.5% lidocaine which makes it pleasant for cooling down itchy skin while your tattoo is healing. It also prevents and treats infections.
H2ocean Nothing Tattoo Glide and Soothing Balm
With 4% lidocaine, this balm preps your skin for the needle. In combination with Aquatat ointment, it serves as a glide for tattoo artists. It’s free of petroleum so it won’t disrupt work with stencils.
SUPER NUMB Anesthetic Skin Numbing Cream
Just like so many of the other creams we found, this one has 5% lidocaine and claims to work for up to four hours. In reality, you may begin to feel discomfort after just two hours. But the full effect of lidocaine might take as long as four hours to completely wear off.
Clean + Easy Numb Anesthetic Numbing Solution
If you’re going to get a small tattoo, you might like this numbing liquid with benzocaine. It also contains chamomile to reduce inflammation and calm irritated skin.
Relax and Wax – No Scream Cream
If you’ve waxed before, you might be familiar with the No Scream Cream. It’s mild enough to use on sensitive areas like your bikini, underarms, and upper lip. The active ingredient is benzocaine, and it takes about half an hour to prep your skin for the procedure.
As we mentioned before, benzocaine doesn’t numb your skin as long as lidocaine can. It’s best for small tattoos. But benzocaine is useful for numbing pain after thinking is done as it can usually be applied up to three times a day.
What to Do If You’re Allergic to Skin Numbing Creams
A small number of people are allergic to either benzocaine or lidocaine, the most common skin numbing anesthetics. Then, some folks can’t tolerate either one. If you fall into that category, how else can you numb your skin?
First, if you’ve never had a tattoo before, get your first one where it doesn’t hurt as much. In other words, don’t tattoo your face or neck or ribs or the back of your knees until you know how well you tolerate the sensation.
Next, before you begin, make sure you’ve had plenty to eat and drink and that you feel relaxed. Breathe calmly. It might help to bring along headphones and listen to soothing music.
It’s possible to numb your skin with ice before getting the tattoo. Unfortunately, the effects won’t last long. But your tattoo artist may have a cooling spray that they can put on you.
Finally, consider taking an oral painkiller about an hour before you begin.
You can make it easier on yourself if you’re going to get your first tattoo, or stepping up the game with body art in sensitive places. Try one of these numbing creams to ease the pain. Then both your body and mind will be at ease to enjoy the experience.