For some people, getting a tattoo can be quite a painful experience. As the skin is pierced with needles it is expected for the process to be a bit painful. The skin sensibility varies based on the part of the body. On some body parts, you can easily get a tattoo without too much pain, but for some parts of the body, it is a wise decision to use something to ease your pain such as numb creams. The tattooing process is not the only painful part. As your skin is hurt and vulnerable, the healing process can be quite painful and may require numbing creams as well to ease the pain. The numbing cream must be chosen carefully and applied with extra care while following the guidelines as there is a small potential to be exposed at risks such as adverse reactions, side effects and other problems caused by the wrong usage.
Top 10 Best Tattoo Numbing Creams
1.Hush Numb Gel
Considering its reviews and the price, Hush numb gel is one of the best numbing creams you can find on the market, which incorporates a unique blend of botanicals (including aloe vera), vitamin E and hydrating ingredients which not only helps to pain relief, but it also helps the skin to recover. It is odour-free and non-greasy which makes it perfect applying it before going to sleep as it won’t strain.
The anaesthetic contained by the cream is called lidocaine and it can be found in a proportion of 5%, the largest dose allowed by the FDA for a non-prescription anaesthetic.
It may be utilised up to 6 times a day.
- It is hypo-allergic and it’s suitable for all types of skins, even the sensitive one as it does not contain harsh chemicals
- It is fast-acting, because of the lidocaine used which is activated in 2-3 minutes, peaks after 20-30 minutes
- Does not require a prescription.
- Suitable to use prior to the tattooing session.
- Suitable to use during the tattoo healing period.
- It may not last as long as expected in very sensitive areas.
UberNumb is an authentic USA tattoo numbing cream. Used and recommended by different tattoo artists, also one of the best-reviewed tattoo numbing creams, loved for reducing inflammation thanks to Vitamin E. As its manufacturer states, it absorbs quick, reaching full effect in only 20-25 minutes and it keeps numbing for up 2 hours, but the users claimed it keeps numbing up to five hours. UberNumb formula works by obstructing the nerve conduction in the area where the cream is applied, this leads to temporary loss of sensation, thus you will feel nothing when the needles are being punctured into the body.
– The full numbing effect reached within a short period of time.
– Good fit for dry skin as it acts not only as numbing cream but also as a moistener.
– Does not leave any oily residue.
– Water-based cream that does not gives greasy or cakey sensation.
– Suitable to use before the tattooing session.
– Can be used during the tattoo healing process.
– Can reducing the inflammations as it has anti-inflammatory agents.
– A bit pricey compared to similar numbing creams.
– Not suitable for long tattoo sessions as it may not last as long as expected.
3. Everyday Medical Numbing Cream
Everyday Medical Numbing Cream contains 5% lidocaine. Its long-lasting formula makes it a perfect choice not only for tattooing but also for piercing, waxing and microneedling. The cream allows the user to experience tattoo sessions without pain. The numbing effect reaches its fullest potential within 15 – 30 minutes after application and it can last for up to four hours (depending on the skin sensibility and area applied on).
– Can be used for long tattooing sessions.
– It is quite cheap compared to similar products.
– It numbs the area within a short period of time after it was applied.
– Does not contain paraben or harsh chemicals.
– Never tested on animals, cruelty-free labelled.
– Suitable for a wide variety of uses (piercing, microneedling, waxing, microblading, injections, etc.)
– Some customers complained about the numbing effect.
4. Zensa Topical Anesthetic
This numbing cream contains high-quality ingredients like purified water and Vitamin E which makes it one of the most natural numbing cream on the market with minimal filler ingredients. The shelf life of this cream is up to three years. Its numbing effect is given by the Lidocaine, and it is safe to use on sensitive areas such as eyelids and lips.
One tube being enough to cover half of your arm or approximately two faces.
- pH Neutral
- Last up to 3 hours, but it is safe to reapply it
- It is cruelty-free
- Does not affect the ink and it’s artist-approved.
- Some customers complained about its numbing quality
5. Deeveeant Numb
If you are looking for a cream with strong healing properties, you may want to check this product. Because of the 4% Lidocaine content which is an anaesthetic agent you can experience a session without pain. It contains aloe vera, which enhances antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and also helps with relieving the pain and treats itching. It is made with jojoba that boosts the skins healing and rejuvenation ability. It also contains tea tree which protects the skin from infections while helping the tattoo healing process. After reaching its peak, it can last for at least 2 hours. Deeveeant Numb is FDA certified and produced in the USA.
– Contains potent anaesthetic agents.
– Treats itching areas.
– Contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents.
– Can be considered quite pricey compared to other similar products.
– Requires at least 30 minutes to reach its peak.
6. Maxocaine Liquid Gel
Maxocaine Liquid Gel is manufactured in the USA. It contains the maximum amount of Lidocaine accepted by FDA. The numbing effect can last about 4 hours, depending on the affected area. It contains aloe vera within its formula that acts as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. Having menthol as one of its ingredients, Maxocaine liquid gel is able to give a cooling feeling and relief the pain. The product does not contain harsh chemicals, it is paraben-free and steroids-free.
- Long last, up to 4 hours
- Does not contains harsh chemicals
- Some customer noticed the numbing effect it is not as strong as expected
7. Advanced Numb
If you want a small-sized tattoo then, this cream may be the right choice for you, as it blocks the pain up to one hour at it reaches its peak in 20 minutes. It is a water-based cream and contains 5% Lidocaine. As it is water-based it does not feel greasy at all and does not leave an oily residue on the skin. Its helps in reducing the inflammation due to its vitamin E ingredient (a potent anti-inflammatory agent). Advanced Numb is suitable for dry skin as it moisturizes it and prevents itching.
- It is cheap
- It contains Vitamin E which prevent itching
- If you are not satisfied with the product for any reason you will get a full refund without being asked the reason
- It lasts up to 2 hours
8. Dr Numb
Dr Numb is a well-known brand for years. This cream features the highest permissible Lidocaine content as well. The difference between this cream and the ones presented above is that this cream has an almost instant anaesthesia effect. Instead of waiting 1-2 hours you have to wait only 15 minutes before you can start the tattooing session. It is 100% hypoallergenic and it’s suitable for all skin types.
- This tattoo numbing cream needs only 15 minutes to sit on your skin
- It lasts up to 4 hours
- It is a well-known brand, therefore it is trusty
- Helps your skin to recover faster due to Vitamin-E
- Regarding the quantity and price, this cream is pretty expensive
9. Hush Numbing Gel
Specially designed with the tattoo and the client in mind, this non-oily numbing gel contains aloe vera which reduces skin inflammation and redness. As its manufacturer states, it is safe to use on sensitive skin.
Using it is simple, just apply a thick layer of Hush Gel on the skin, but it should NOT BE rubbed onto the skin as may cause the product to evaporate, and cover the area with a plastic wrap and allow at least one hour for absorption. Its effects last up to two hours.
- Recommended by the tattoo artists
- It is cruelty-free and Vegan
- Safe to use on sensitive skin
- Some costumers complained about the product quantity which was not as big as they were expecting
- It does not last as much as other numbing creams
10. LMX 4
Even if it contains only 4% lidocaine( which is enough as a painkiller), this clinically proven safe across a range of applications cream is perfect for numbing the area before a tattoo session, as well for small tattoo removals as it can reduce up to 75% of the pain. It is also good as a treatment after the tattoo removal process, it can be used up to 4 times a day and treats skin irritations and swelling. It is water-based and it does contain Vitamin E.
- Effective numbing effect with potent anaesthetic agents.
- Does not leaves an oily residue as it is water-based.
- Contains anti-inflammatory agents.
- Not as powerful as other numbing creams.
- Short shelf life, up to six months after opening it.
What should consider before buying a numbing tattoo cream ?
You have to consider a couple of things in order to get a good quality numbing cream that actually does its job. In order to get a product that suits your needs, you should consider the following:
As lidocaine is an anaesthetic agent, it produces the numbing effect. Therefore your cream must contain lidocaine. However, the maximum quantity accepted by FDA is 5%. As it works by blocking your nerve signals on the affected area. A cream with a high concentration of lidocaine can lead to adverse reactions such as blisters, burning sensations, depigmentation, dermatitis, discoloration, exfoliation, irritation and even more serious reactions. Also, adverse reactions can occur if the cream is applied to very large areas or for a long period of time. You can also find numbing creams that contain benzocaine or tetracaine, but these are less effective. Therefore if you are looking for a proper numbing effect, you should opt for a numbing cream that contains lidocaine.
The cream should not contain harsh chemicals as these chemicals can damage the skin. It should also contain anti-inflammatory agents as the risk of inflammation is quite high on areas affected by the tattoo. It can be also a good choice to pick a cream that also has antibacterial agents.
When used prior to a tattoo session, it is recommended for the cream to be water-based as it won’t leave any oily residue that may lead to mistakes during the session due to the slippery effect. Some artists may even refuse to start the session if you used oily creams.
Consider the side effects
Sometimes the use of numbing creams can lead to unpleasant situations. Some of the side effects of getting a tattoo after applying numb cream can be: Not actually numbing, you will have to deal with the pain caused by the needles on your own; Irritation of the skin and discomfort can occur during the tattoo session and it can persist after the session is over as well; It can prevent the ink from properly settle and you can end up with a poor-quality tattoo design.
The side effects can occur even when the cream was used in a proper manner. However, the side effects are very rare and are more likely to appear to persons with particularly sensitive skin. Even if the side effects occur there is no major health risk as the problem is usually resolved quickly. However, if you have concerns after side effects occurred, it is recommended to seek a doctor’s guidance.
Consider the reviews
You should check other buyers opinions before finalizing the purchase. Most of the times the products will have both good and bad reviews. If it does not have bad reviews and it only has 5-star ones, it’s quality may be questionable as it may use fake reviews to fool the customers. However, if it has bad reviews it doesn’t mean that the reviews are always true as using the product in a wrong manner can lead to an unpleasant experience and some people refuse to admit that they make mistakes as well, they will try to put the product in a bad light. However, if the product has more bad reviews than good ones, then it is quite impossible for that many people to mistake and the product may be of poor quality.
Consider your tattoo artist advice
Consulting with your tattoo artist is not a half-bad idea. As he is more experienced, he can give you bits of advice about what do you really need for the type of tattoo you are going to get. Based on the tattoo type, you can get information about the percentage of anaesthetic agents that may do the job. And also, your tattoo artist can inform you about the ingredients you should avoid to lower the risk of adverse reactions when the ink comes in contact with the cream.
Even if you do use the cream correctly, it’s possible to develop sides effects
How long does a numbing cream last?
It is important to apply and leave the numbing cream approximately between one and two hours before the tattooing session. The effect of the numbing cream usually last 2 hours, but it really depends on what cream are you using.
What is the difference between pre-tattoo creams and post-tattoo/aftercare creams?
Pre-tattoo creams are numbing creams which help you manage the pain. For a better effect, some people pre-wash the area where they want to apply the numbing cream and peels the dead skin cells using a peeling cream one day before applying the numbing cream.
Post-tattoo/aftercare tattoo creams play an important role after getting a tattoo. Usually, a tattoo completely heals in 4-6 weeks, and you should not dry it up, therefore a cream should be applied constantly. Another thing to consider is using antibacterial soap for the tattoo as it can reduce the chances to get infections.
Is it safe to use a numbing cream?
Generally speaking, if you are using correctly a high-quality numbing cream it is safe and it does not affect the tattoo, but before making a tattoo, always seek guidance to your artists regarding the numbing creams, as sometimes, they may think it is a bad idea to use it and they may cancel the session.
Does numbing cream really work?
In most of the cases, it works. However, on sensitive areas, it may not be as effective as it is on other areas because, during the tattoo process, the numbing effect can slowly fade due to the needle bites.
Also, the numbing effect varies from cream to cream as they contain different formulas with different proportions of lidocaine and the method of production differs as well.
Is it safe to use numbing cream on the face and on sensitive areas?
Usually, numbing creams are safe to be used on face and sensitive areas but not all of them. If you are looking for a numbing cream suitable for face or sensitive area, you should properly read the product description and instruction before using. You can also seek guidance from your tattoo artist as he may be able to help you.
How do you properly apply the numbing cream?
To properly apply the numbing cream and to use it at its fullest, you must first wash the area. It is important to clear the area from any residue.
After you properly washed the area, you will have to gently apply the cream. For information about the quantity, you should follow the product instructions and you have to make sure that every step is followed properly in order to benefit from the cream.
After the cream is evenly spread over all the area, you should cover the area with plastic paper / medical tape and wait for the numbing effect to reach its peak.
As time may vary for each cream, you should check the time required for the cream to reach its peak within its details. When it reached its peak you can remove the paper.
Everyone may feel the pain different but, thanks to the numbing creams, you can get a tattoo without too much suffering, but in order to benefit of the cream at its fullest, a bit research must be done. The key is to apply them correctly, but don’t forget to ask the artist before if you can use numbing creams as some artists will refuse to tattoo you if they think the cream destroys or affect the tattoo. Also, it is important to disinfect and moisture the area where you want to apply the numbing cream.
Extra care is essential when using numbing creams in order to avoid all the potential risks (side effects, advert reactions and wrong usage related problems).
Persons with very sensitive skin may have a different experience compared to persons with “regular” skin, therefore it is recommended for this type of persons to seek medical guidance before using numbing creams.