Are you thinking about getting a tattoo but are concerned about the inevitable pain?
Maybe some of your friends have convinced you it doesn’t hurt, but others tell you it’s painful enough to make you scream. Well, there’s some good news about getting a tattoo that might excite you.
With the best tattoo numbing cream, you can ensure your skin is anesthetized and the pain from that needle is reduced to an absolute minimum.
This type of topical treatment comes in a vast array of styles. You can choose from sprays, creams, and gels. You’ll also find some numbing agents that are suitable for use before your session and others that require the skin to be broken before being applied.
You can choose between all-natural formulations and those containing chemical anesthetics like lidocaine or tetracaine.
Today, we’ll break down nine of the best tattoo numbing creams. These are the most effective products at your disposal to keep pain and expenditure to a minimum without causing too much numbness.
Read below for all the latest tattoo numbing creams for 2019
- Best Numbing Cream – Quick List
- What is The Best Skin Numbing Cream for Tattoos?
- Do Tattoos Hurt with Anesthetic Numbing Cream?
- Do Tattoo Artists Use Anesthetic Numbing Cream?
- Best Tattoo Numbing Cream and Sprays for Tattoos 2019
- 1. HUSH anesthetic – Anesthetic Desensitizing Tattoo Numbing Gel Cream
- 2. UberNumb Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream – Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing
- 3. Clinical Resolution Non-oily Numb Master – Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Cream
- 4. Numb 520 (1.35oz / 38g) 5% Lidocaine – Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Cream
- 5. Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter [ Mild Anesthetic Numbing ]
- 6. TOPICAINE 5 – Net Weight 1/3 OZ Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Cream
- 7. Lidocaine Blue Gel Tattoo Numbing Cream [ Anesthetic ]
- 8. Topicaine Numbing Cream – Tattoo Anesthetic
- 9. Vasocaine Tattoo Numbing Spray – Anesthetic
- Numbing Cream How To Apply To Skin?
Best Numbing Cream – Quick List
What is The Best Skin Numbing Cream for Tattoos?
Since skin numbing cream is a relatively narrow niche, you’ll tend to encounter the same handful of numbing brands when you’re hunting for the most effective anti-pain treatment. While you can’t escape the dominance of numbing creams from HUSH and Numb Master, we would advise you strongly to consider another more relevant question instead…
What’s the right skin numbing cream for you?
If you seek a boilerplate solution or fixate purely on the product your friend uses, you might end up with something that doesn’t work well with your skin.
Ask yourself whether you need something that will start numbing the area before you get in the tattoo chair or if you can withstand a little pain from outlining first.
Think about the size of tattoo you’re having done so you can better decide how long you need the numbing treatment to last. With larger pieces, think about a numbing cream or gel you can re-apply midway.
If you’ve started researching these tattoo numbing creams, there’s one obvious question that will keep cropping up in your mind…Do they really work?
Before we jump into our reviews, we’ll address a few of the most commonly asked questions people have when considering using a numbing cream for tattoos.
Do Tattoos Hurt with Anesthetic Numbing Cream?
Pain is obviously relative. Some people can handle the sting of getting a tattoo while others squirm and wail. How effective these numbing creams are depends on each person’s skin and pain tolerance.
Scouring a large body of user reviews is one surefire way to detect that, despite variation in opinion, the general consensus is that numbing agents work.
Think of it this way — Would you have your teeth worked on without anesthetic?
Do you think you’d consider any type of surgery requiring local anesthetic and refuse it claiming it “doesn’t work”?
It seems like hardly anyone would agree to that.
Local anesthetics like lidocaine are proven to be effective in terms of numbing. So, while you’ll still feel a little pain, a tattoo will not cause agonizing pain if you take the precaution of using one of these numbing creams.
Do Tattoo Artists Use Anesthetic Numbing Cream?
That said, some tattoo artists will refuse to work with certain numbing agents if they feel the needle is likely to slip. That’s obviously in nobody’s best interests.
Since having a tattoo should never be a decision made on a whim, it pays to speak with your tattoo artist before investing in a numbing cream. Find out their stance on using this type of treatment and ask for their advice.
Best Tattoo Numbing Cream and Sprays for Tattoos 2019
We’ll dive right in now with nine of the strongest numbing cream options at your disposal.
1. HUSH anesthetic – Anesthetic Desensitizing Tattoo Numbing Gel Cream
If you’re looking for a numbing formula that claims to be more powerful than a traditional cream, this anesthetic gel from HUSH is a rock-solid choice.
It is named for the way users tend to keep quiet during tattooing; the numbing creams effect really is that strong. HUSH comes in a 2oz or 4oz bottle. Given the generous layer of gel you need to apply, it’s worth investing in the larger container, especially if you’re having a more substantial tattoo.
There’s no need to break the skin before application, whether you’re being tattooed or getting a piercing. Instead, you slather on the numbing gel an hour or more before your tattoo procedure, cover the area with a plastic wrap, and then allow it to penetrate the skin.
You’ll see a few hopeful claims that this numbing cream lasts for 4 hours, but a more realistic estimate is 2 hours after removal of the wrap.
The natural ingredients, including aloe, chamomile, menthol, and green tea, are complemented by 4% lidocaine. This represents a soothing, cooling, and numbing combination that is ideal for removing the bulk of pain from getting a tattoo. While the percentage of lidocaine could be slightly higher, the effective botanical extracts compensate.
While no numbing cream can eliminate tattoo pain completely, this HUSH gel certainly reduces it to the bare minimum.
- No parabens or epinephrine, so it is fully FDA-compliant without you needing a prescription
- Non-oily gel won’t interfere with the tattooing process or coloring and reduces redness
- Contain natural soothing botanical extracts like aloe vera to numb tattoo pain
- You need to apply a thick layer, so you’ll have to buy the larger 4oz bottle
— Read More Hush Anesthetic Reviews —
2. UberNumb Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream – Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing
Once a topical anesthetic contains more than 5% lidocaine, you’ll need a prescription. Sidestep this hassle with UberNumb, a numbing cream right on that legal threshold to give you maximum relief with minimum fuss.
Where many topical treatments for numbing tattoo pain are oily concoctions, UberNumb is water-based to avoid that gloopy mess. Offsetting this, it’s packed with Vitamin E so you’ll not only experience less tenderness, but your skin also gets fully moisturized.
With this type of numbing product, it can be tough to establish accurate times for relief. This is due to a mixture of inaccurate information available online and the fact no person is the same. With UberNumb, you can apply it less than 30 minutes before your tattoo session. By then, it will have reached peak effect. Expect numbing properties to continue for over an hour from this point.
If you’re not completely satisfied with the effects of this cream, you can call in for a full refund. Sure, you might already have experienced some pain if you feel the need to complain, but you’ll get your money back as some consolation.
- Contains 5% lidocaine, the maximum concentration permitted in an OTC topical numbing anesthetic
- Vitamin E works to combat inflammation while also moisturizing the area efficiently
- Water-based formula for rapid absorption and no oiliness or greasy residue
- Full effects wear off after around an hour so think twice if you’re having a large tattoo
— Read More Uber Numb Cream Reviews —
3. Clinical Resolution Non-oily Numb Master – Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Cream
As the name makes clear, this is another numbing cream that won’t create an oily barrier to mess with the tattooing process.
Packing 5% lidocaine, you can expect a full hour of numbing relief. The effects start kicking in within minutes, and the full anesthetizing benefit starts after 20 minutes then dissipates an hour later.
For best results, apply this numbing cream in advance of your tattoo session. Be sure to pile it on thickly. Use plastic wrap to allow it to fully seep in, and then you’ll be ready to brave the tattoo needle without making a sound.
It’s worth diving deeper into the ingredients of this numbing cream if you suffer from any allergies or skin irritations. While not widespread, a few complaints have cropped up from people suffering adverse reactions. We can’t accurately confirm what brought about these reactions – after all, the person might simply be allergic to lidocaine – but it’s worth doing your due diligence.
Numb Master works well for tattooing along with any other procedure involving broken skin. Although a single application works better for small tattoos, if you’re having larger pieces of work carried out, you could always break them down into multiple sessions.
- Maximum permissible concentration of lidocaine for powerful numbing
- Straightforward to remove using nothing but water and a mild facial cleanser or handwash
- Generous 4oz bottle should give you enough cream for perhaps 4 small tattoos
- A few complaints about users breaking out in allergies so check ingredients closely if you suffer from sensitivities
— Read More Numb Master Reviews —
4. Numb 520 (1.35oz / 38g) 5% Lidocaine – Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Cream
Ebanel’s Numb 520 is yet another topical tattoo numbing application straddling that legal barrier neatly with the highest concentration of lidocaine allowable.
This California FDA-registered firm specializes in producing high-grade skincare products with deep scientific expertise.
Making use of 5% lidocaine as the active ingredient, Numb 520 also harnesses Liposomal technology along with botanical stem cell extracts. This process helps the numbing cream to penetrate your skin quickly while ensuring the effects will last longer.
Ebanel recommends you apply a thick layer of the cream and cover the area with some plastic wrap and apply light pressure. After 10 minutes, remove the wrap, reapply the cream and cover before pressing down on the area again. This process brings about the full anesthetic effects in just 20 to 25 minutes. Allow yourself an hour or so before your tattoo appointment to make sure you have time for this process.
Available in 1.35oz and 4.38oz tubs, this is a tech-driven numbing cream with very little downside. That said, it leaves a gluey consistency when it dries out that’s not to everyone’s liking.
- Offers relief from itching and general discomfort as well as the numbing required to counteract the pain of tattoos
- One of the longer-lasting numbing creams, delivering up to 2 hours of numbing
- Uses Liposomal technology to promote rapid action and enhanced skin penetration
- Dries out with a glue-like effect
— Read More Numb 520 Reviews —
5. Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter [ Mild Anesthetic Numbing ]
A little goes a long way with Hustle Butter, and this lush gloopy product offers outstanding performance at a pocket-friendly price-point.
Shea, mango, and green tea along with aloe butter and essential oils mean this natural product is completely free of chemicals and any synthetics. Suitable for vegans, you won’t get the traditional pain-numbing agents, but you will still get relief when you’re being tattooed.
How does that work?
First, by applying this balm before your session, you’ll get moisturizing effects to tamp down the pain of dried out skin going under the needle. In the immediate aftermath, you’ll get a deeply soothing feel from applying just a thin layer of butter. Beyond this, the natural extracts work wonderfully to speed up healing, so the all-round anti-pain package is complete.
You will experience some transferal of this cream to sheets and clothing so cover the area to avoid smearing up your bedding or outfit.
This tattoo care cream stands apart in a crowded market. While it lacks the chemical anesthetics that can numb the skin more powerfully, this eco-friendly and all-natural butter appeals to anyone with an aversion to chemicals. While not necessarily the best tattoo numbing cream for those who want total loss of feeling, its 3-in-1 functionality provides strong overall pain relief the natural way.
- Vegan-friendly ingredients including natural butter with no parabens or petroleum
- Consistency does not interfere with tattooing equipment or color penetration while still offering first-class pain relief
- Apply before and during tattooing while using Hustle Butter after your session can hasten the healing process
- Does not have a powerful topical anesthetic
— Read More Hustle Butter Deluxe Reviews —
6. TOPICAINE 5 – Net Weight 1/3 OZ Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Cream
The maximum strength Topicaine formulation, this anesthetic gel contains 5% lidocaine as the name hints. This active ingredient offers an efficient and potent numbing effect to take the sting out of getting your next tattoo.
While you’ll benefit from this elevated concentration of lidocaine, you won’t need to go through the grief of getting a prescription since this puts it right on the legal boundary for OTC treatments.
It’s a matter of personal preference when it comes to choosing between a cream or a gel. This soothing gel doesn’t dry out and delivers both moisturizing and numbing effects simultaneously to tackle the pain of tattooing and piercing head-on. You won’t find any of the gel making its way onto your clothes or sheets either.
With natural plant extracts and jojoba oil along with soothing shea butter and the chemical kick of lidocaine, this gel neatly appeals to lovers of natural products in need of a helping hand against pain without itching, soreness, or irritated skin.
- Gel is not at all oily and won’t dry out after application like some of the competition
- Natural skin soothing agents including shea butter and alpha bisabolol to work alongside that lidocaine
- Highly absorbent and although it takes a while to penetrate the skin, effects are long-lasting and powerful
- 1oz tube is a little small, especially if you’re having sleeves or other large pieces
— Read More Topicaine 5 Reviews —
7. Lidocaine Blue Gel Tattoo Numbing Cream [ Anesthetic ]
The Original Blue Gel Anasthetic from Dermal Source is intended for use during all types of broken skin procedures. This gel is not suitable for use before your session, so what makes it worthwhile?
Well, if your tattooist applies this gel after outlining your tattoo, the vascular constrictor works very rapidly to bring down swelling and to minimize any bleeding. As well as 4% lidocaine, the other active ingredient is 2% tetracaine, so you’ll find a surprisingly strong numbing effect once you’ve undergone the initial pain of outlining work.
Due to its effectiveness at stopping bleeding and bruising, this gel is well worth considering if you’re having your inner arms tattooed.
Effects of this blue gel start working in minutes flat. You can expect up to 2 hours of relief from pain, meaning this treatment outperforms the bulk of the competition.
It’s crucial not to mop away any excess of this gel since the skin could otherwise become slippery. You should also avoid the temptation to reapply this gel to prevent any outside risk of irritation through over-application.
- Remarkably efficient at reducing both bleeding and swelling during the tattooing process
- Contains both lidocaine and tetracaine for a double-headed assault on tender skin
- Keeps skin constricted and anesthetized for up to 2 hours so ideal for larger procedures
- Not effective unless used on broken skin so no use as a pre-numbing agent
— Read More Lidocaine Blue Gel Reviews —
8. Topicaine Numbing Cream – Tattoo Anesthetic
The slightly weaker version of the classic Topicaine 5, this numbing gel contains 4% lidocaine rather than the maximum concentration permissible by law.
Unlike some creams, this gel is completely non-greasy, so you won’t have any problems with needle slippage while the natural ingredients thoroughly soften your skin to prepare it for less painful tattooing.
Although you’ll get slightly less lidocaine, the numbing effects are still more than fit for purpose at 4% concentration. The microemulsion delivery system gives you super-swift action while you’ll get enough pain relief for an hour-long session.
Double-blind controlled scientific studies showed that Topicaine demonstrated “the highest level of anesthetic efficacy overall” based on a half-hour application time.
If you’re using this gel on areas where the skin is thick, the skin permeation enhancers temporarily make your skin barrier more permeable. Once across this barrier, the gel makes its way to the pain receptors, and that numbing action takes hold.
You won’t get the shea butter or alpha bisabolol that the 5% version contains, so there’s a little less soothing delivered. That said, this gel is still well worth checking out. Remember to apply a thick layer for superior numbing.
- Rapid delivery with onset of effects after as little as 30 minutes
- Aloe vera and jojoba oil for excellent moisturizing, leading to less pain
- Numbs the skin for a full hour after application
- Slightly less lidocaine than the premium Topicaine 5
9. Vasocaine Tattoo Numbing Spray – Anesthetic
Vasocaine differentiates itself from the other balms on the market by alleviating the pain from tattooing in spray form. If you dislike the idea of creams and gels, Vasocaine might be just what you’ve been looking for.
Although this spray is not suitable for use before the skin is broken, if you can endure the slight pain of outlining first, you’ll soon reap the many benefits of this spray.
Not only do you get the vigorous numbing lidocaine delivers, Vasocaine also performs as a vascular constrictor. Since you’ll tend to bleed less and there’s not as much chance of bruising, the spray is a fine weapon against tattoos in tender places.
The spray needs just 90 seconds to seep in, so you won’t keep your tattooist hanging around. Numbing sets in after as little as 5 minutes. If you’re having a larger piece of work done, this spray lends well to repeated application, so there’s no need to suffer in silence.
- Made in Dermal Source’s FDA-approved lab
- Perfectly possible to re-apply the spray during tattooing if numbing effects subside
- 5% lidocaine for full-strength numbing combined with active vascular constriction to minimize swelling, bruising, and bleeding
- Not a pre-numb, so you’ll need the spray applied to broken skin
Numbing Cream How To Apply To Skin?
Each cream comes with slight variations in terms of timing, and there are 2 distinct types of agent:
- Numbing Creams for Use on Broken Skin
With this type of numbing cream or gel, you get to work up to an hour before your tattooist gets going.
Once you’ve selected the best tattoo numbing cream of spray for you, application is straightforward:
- Wash and scrub the area thoroughly to remove all dirt and oils
- Wearing latex gloves, apply the cream to the area you want to be numbed. Instructions can be vague but read them to see what information is given. Many creams tell you to apply a thick layer. This is not marketing trickery. If requested to apply generously, make sure you comply. This will ensure the product works as intended
- Use some plastic wrap to cover the area. Even if your chosen cream doesn’t specify this, it’s generally a smart move. The heat generated under the wrap will accelerate activation and the numbing process. Try using a couple strips of tape to keep the wrap in place
- After roughly 30 minutes, remove the plastic wrap. You’ll be able to feel the numbing effect kicking in. If you’re not feeling anything like numbness, leave the plastic in place for a further 15 minutes. Unless directly specified to the contrary, 45 minutes under plastic should be sufficient
If, on the other hand, you have a tattoo that requires the skin to be broken first, the process is even easier.
Numbing Creams for Use on Broken Skin
This type of numbing application can generally be applied more than once if you find the pain starts to rise.
- Wait until the outline of the tattoo is finished before using the spray, gel, or cream
- Your tattooist will apply the best numbing cream, and you’ll be good to proceed with far less jarring pain in a matter of minutes
- Repeat if necessary
We hope you’ve found this hunt for the best tattoo numbing cream and spray has given you plenty of options to lessen the pain when you get inked.
We curated the most effective products on the market and tried to bring something for all tastes and budgets. We’re aware that some people prefer creams, while some like the idea of a numbing spray. We’ve also served up a mixture of pre-numbs and topical treatments for application once the skin is broken.
Whatever your preference, you’re in safe hands with any of the numbing agents above.
So take your pick, make a very modest investment, and reap an instant return when you get tattooed. You will experience remarkably little pain so you can enjoy the experience rather than dreading it.
Read our blog for more tattoo related articles