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The best tattoo numbing cream

to make your tattooing session painless

Is a tattoo very painful? Some people say that tattoos hurt like hell. Others say that if you use the best tattoo numbing cream, you may get by with just an unpleasant sensation. The cream is applied before and during the procedure. It makes the punctures less sensitive. Also, there is less blood.

Updated Jule 23, 2021

Our best tattoo numbing cream of 2021 rating

Zensa Numbing Cream
Best Overall

Developed specifically for the tattoo and piercing industry, Zensa cream has quickly become the best tattoo and piercing anesthetic on the market. While all other topical anesthetics available on the market contain the vasoconstrictor epinephrine or phenylephrine, making it very difficult for the tattoo artist to work, Zensa does not contain these.

The cream is made in Canada but has passed FDA quality control.

User Experience

The most important advantage of Zensa Perpeda over other analogs is that it does not change the color of the skin during operation and does not affect the tattoo ink. It does not cause skin burns. Unlike other similar preparations, it leaves the skin soft, and the skin does not "suffocate". Works great on both the body and face.

Also, this product is the longest-lasting, with up to 3 hours of pain relief. The cream will make you feel no pain in only 30 minutes after application!

It has proven effective in tattooing problems, such as painful outbreaks, redness, and irritation. Besides lidocaine, the formula is enriched with vitamin E, which gives the product the benefits of antioxidants and generally ensures faster healing. So it helps to improve and maintain a healthy tattoo appearance.

Zensa Numbing Cream is water-based and pH-balanced. So the product doesn't dry out the skin as some others can and there isn't any redness or irritation.

Zensa Numbing Cream may contain bee extracts and you should avoid using it if you are allergic to bees. We recommend an allergy test. One site did warn potential customers to not use this product on sun-damaged or chapped skin.

Pros
  • Without vasoconstrictors
  • Does not affect the color and quality of the tattoo ink
  • Does not make the tattoo artist's job harder
  • For use on the body and face
  • High-quality package
  • Balanced pH does not dry the skin
  • Promotes quick healing of the tattoo
  • Up to 3 hours of pain relief
  • Vegan
Cons
Verdict

We have read many Zensa tattoo numbing cream reviews online, and we found that most of them were positive. Many people had used the product and felt that it did an excellent job at numbing the tattoo quickly and painlessly. And then we’ve checked it ourselves. We were surprised, but it really gives customers the results they expect.

If you are thinking about getting ink soon, we would definitely advise it to try.

Dr. Numb
The most effective tattoo anesthetic

For long-lasting and effective pain relief during the tattoo session, we also recommend the well-known Dr. Numb Gel. Due to the rapid cooling effect and long-term action of the product, it is effective for use in the tattoo industry. Moreover, active components and epinephrine contained in the product promote blood outflow from the tattooed skin area and as a result, the skin bleeds much less.

Composition: Lidocaine 5%, Prilocaine 5%, Epinephrine 0.1%. Water-based cream.

User Experience

This product is an all-purpose product that is suitable for all skin types. It can be used on any area of the body.

It is a guaranteed strong quality anesthetic. There is no way, using it will significantly reduce the level of pain. It should be noted that it is expensive, but if you can't stand the pain, then every cent you spend is worth it, because this cream works. And that is exactly what you expect when you buy a pain-relieving cream for tattooing. Dr. Numb comes in lidocaine 4% and 5%. Both work well.

Generally, this painkiller has no pronounced side effects, however, in some cases, it may cause allergic reactions. Therefore, you should test it on sensitive skin before use.

The anesthetic is easy to use and absolutely safe. To achieve maximum effect, lubricate the area to be tattooed with cream liberally and then cover with clingfilm, wait 10-20 minutes as the cream starts to work. When you feel that the skin has started to "freeze" you can take off the film, rinse off the rest of the cream and proceed to work.

Pros
  • Does not produce an oily or greasy effect
  • Works in just 15 minutes
  • Long-lasting effect up to 2-4 hours
  • Effectively anesthetizes and cools the skin area
  • Works on all skin types and areas
  • The skin bleeds and swells less and there is less risk of bruising
Cons
  • Pricey
Verdict

Since the cream is water-based, it is well suited for tattooing. After use, the cream does not create an oily and greasy effect.

Uber Numb
Best Value

Thanks to Uber Numb, pain is never a problem for professional tattoo artists and tattoo buffs. This is one of the best tattoo numbing creams for pain and it is an advanced numbing gel that is used for temporary tattoo numbing during tattooing sessions. A thick foaming substance that works quickly and easily into the skin, it provides long-lasting pain relief.

User Experience

The cream's active ingredients work to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain at the point of tattooing. They are also known to relieve the client's pain AFTER the tattoo session as well. This is caused by the vitamin E contained in the product, which promotes rapid healing and skin repair after injuries.

The water-based composition does not leave an oily and greasy residue, which means that it is easy to work with this cream when tattooing. To achieve the full numbing effect, it is necessary to wait 20-25 minutes after application. The analgesic effect lasts up to 2 hours as a result of the superstrong lidocaine and propylene glycol in the composition. This combination of ingredients provides the fastest and deepest possible absorption of the anesthetic substance into the skin.

This cream is perfect for you if lower amounts of cream are not enough for the whole skin area to be tattooed. The 2-ounce jar is one of the bulkiest on the market, yet it is sold at a very, very affordable price.

Pros
  • Effects up to 2 hours
  • Affordable price per 2 oz. jar
  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Maximal effect is reached already in 20 minutes after application
  • Does not damage tattoo ink
  • Promotes tattoo healing
  • Made in USA
Cons
  • Hasn’t been evaluated by the FDA
Verdict

Using a topical numbing cream like Uber Numb Topical Numbing Cream will help reduce pain, minimize infection and improve healing by reducing inflammation. And it is all you get for a very affordable price.

Hush Over the Counter Numbing Cream
for Tattoos with Long-Lasting Effect

Hush is specially formulated for tattoo artists and is therefore considered one of the top products. It has all the basic necessary characteristics for an anesthetic tattoo gel: non-greasy, fast-acting, long-lasting, used on all skin areas, and possible to use even during tattooing. Lidocaine 5%.

User Experience

The gel is applied in a thick layer about 1 hour before the tattooing session. The numbing effect can be as much as 4 hours! This is a very good result as most painkillers do not even come close to this time frame. In addition, this product contains aloe, chamomile, and green tea, which soothes and cools the skin.

Reviews and our experience of using this gel show that it is effective also on sensitive and large areas of skin, so it can safely be used to tattoo the back or the delicate part of the inner thigh. The gel is designed to be water-based, so it doesn't make a greasy residue on the skin. The company even claims that the product can be used not only before the session but also during the session.

A large amount of product makes it convenient to use in tattoo salons for clients.

Why isn't this gel at the top of our list? Well, not everyone got the results they wanted. Everything depends on the specifics of each person's skin. Nevertheless, most of the reviews and feedback from tattoo artists indicate a good experience with this gel.

Pros
  • Has a pleasant fragrance
  • A powerful analgesic effect from the very first minutes
  • Developed for use before the tattooing session
  • Long-lasting effect - sometimes even up to 4 hours
  • High volume at an affordable price
  • Water-based
  • FDA approved
  • Has child-resistant caps
Cons
  • Does not work on all skin types
Verdict

At the cost of a relatively low price and large volume, we consider this gel one of the tops local anesthetics that actively, quickly, and permanently handles its main task of anesthetizing the skin so that the tattoo does not cause as much distress to the person as it might. But it is important - use according to the instructions on the package for maximum effect.

Ink Scribd
Premium Tattoo Numbing Cream

Designed particularly for tattoos, Ink Scribd's topical anesthetic cream is hugely popular with many professional tattoo artists. Below we will tell you why.

User Experience

The first thing that distinguishes this product from others is the presence of Emu ostrich and arnica oils. Emu ostrich oil has anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic, bactericidal effects, and also improves the absorption and penetration of the product into the deeper layers of the skin. Arnica oil, in turn, has anti-inflammatory, toning, and moisturizing effect. A powerful anti-inflammatory component Arnicin is recognized as one of the strongest stimulants to increase the skin's resilience. It takes speed and comfort during skin healing to a new level. In addition, it contributes to the preservation of the ink's brightness.

Pros
  • Numbing effect in 15-20 minutes
  • Keeps your tattoo bright
  • One year money-back guarantee
  • Prevents scurring
  • Many tattoo artists highly recommend this product
  • Numbing effect up to 2 hours
  • Developed specifically for tattoos
Cons
  • Some reviews report ineffectiveness and/or allergy on sensitive skin areas

Numb 520
The Fastest Absorption into the Skin

This is a product of the American company Ebanel. The product comes in the form of a cream. It is effective for use in the tattoo industry.

Lidocaine HCl blocking channel.
User Experience

This product takes effect in 5 minutes after application. It reaches the maximum effect in 20-25 minutes thanks to Liposomal technology. Liposomal-containing soft dosage forms, compared to traditional ointments, creams, and gels, have greater penetrating ability against the skin and its appendages and therefore are more accessible to living cells and more effective.

The average skin numbing effect with the Numb 520 lasts for 1 hour. However, in some cases (depending on the individual's skin conditions) this effect can last up to 2 hours.

The composition is water-based, hence the cream does not leave grease and is easy to work with for the tattoo artist. In addition to the active ingredient - 5% Lidocaine - aloe vera, vitamin E and lecithin are present, which have a soothing and moisturizing effect on the skin. The product is completely vegan, hypoallergenic, and suitable for all skin types.

However, since the product is not specifically designed for the tattoo industry, there are reviews that it can change some skin types, making the skin rougher. This can cause the skin to reject the ink.

Pros
  • Liposomal technology improves absorption into the skin
  • Vegan, hypoallergenic product
  • Non-greasy
  • Odorless
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Made in USA
  • Maximum strength Lidocaine
  • Childproof packaging
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Some say it has a coarse and hard texture
  • Can change the condition of the skin

Deeveeant
Tattoo Numbing that Promotes Tattoo Healing

It is a special tattoo-designed numbing agent that helps prevent the swelling of the skin and remove the painful sensations caused by tattooing. Deeveeant Numbing Cream has received positive reviews from tattoo artists, who say that the numbing action works wonders on their clients and helps prevent any major complications.

Some people, however, do not feel comfortable using it due to its strong odor.

User Experience

This cream takes quite a long time to start working, compared to its counterparts: you can feel the numbness after 30 minutes, but the full effect is usually achieved after 45 minutes. So we recommend thinking about anesthetizing the tattooed skin area even BEFORE your tattoo session begins.

It contains 4% lidocaine, which means that it is not the strongest, but quite an effective analgesic effect. Besides lidocaine, it contains natural substances, which together enhance the effect of each other. Non-greasy.

Pros
  • Designed specifically for tattoos
  • Does not ruin the quality and brightness of the ink
  • Special formula has a "Triple-Dip"
  • Affordable
  • Convenient and large packaging
  • Promotes tattoo healing
  • Non-greasy
Cons
  • Works in about 45 minutes
  • Not the strongest numbing effect
  • Has a specific smell

What are analgesics and how do they work?

There are two categories of anesthetics for tattoos:

  • External - are applied to the skin, absorbed to a depth of a few millimeters, have a superficial effect.
  • Systemic - are taken orally or injected, absorbed into the bloodstream, affecting the entire body.

The use of systemic drugs is not desirable for tattooing. They affect blood characteristics, particularly thinning it. Bleeding interferes with fixing the dye under the skin, forming multiple hematomas. Therefore tattoo artists use only topical numbing cream.

How do external products work?

Topical anesthesia agents use substances:

  • Lidocaine
  • Tetracaine
  • Prilocaine
  • Benzocaine
  • Epinephrine
  • Phenylephrine

The compositions are always made of several substances. The time of anesthesia and the period of action depend on the composition and concentration of the active ingredients, the place where the tattoo is applied, the time of pre-application.

The normal concentration of each anesthetic is about 5%. Exceeding the norm does not increase the anesthetic effect, but increases the drug’s toxicity and the risk of side effects.

Artificial hormones epinephrine and phenylephrine prolong the effect of the anesthetic and reduce its toxicity. They constrict the blood vessels. The areas treated with them turn pale due to the outflow of blood. The session becomes less painful and faster: the blood protrudes weakly, the tattoo ink is well fixed.

There is a difference in pain relief time on the back and inner side of the forearm because the sensitivity in the areas is different. The manufacturer specifies an average time in the instructions. Experienced tattoo artists know these nuances, so they maintain the time before starting work at their discretion.

Lidocaine tattoo numbing cream and other anesthetics are water-based. Therefore, after application, it is covered with food film. This is necessary so that the product will be more strongly and deeply absorbed into the skin. If you do not cover the film, the water will evaporate quickly and the active ingredients will not have time to be absorbed into the body.

Numbing spray can be applied as part of the process to already inked or pierced areas. This is done during long sessions when the initial anesthesia begins to wear off. One of the possible products for this would be UberNumb Numbing Spray.

The anesthetic cream for tattoos should not be used when:

  • Skin diseases
  • Nervous and cardiovascular system diseases
  • During pregnancy and lactation
  • Individual intolerance to the components

The best tattoo numbing cream

Choosing the best pre tattoo numbing cream, pay attention to the following characteristics:

  • How long does it take for the anesthetic effect to work? You can save time and apply the cream before you come to the parlor.
  • Effect Duration. If you intend to tattoo a couple of letters, there is no point in buying the strongest tattoo numbing cream HUSH, running 4 hours. But if it' s a long job, you have to buy primary and secondary anesthetics.
  • Whether there are any contraindications in the instructions. Whether they affect your health.

Although beauty requires sacrifice, you don't have to endure pain. Numerous customer testimonials claim that special external anesthetics help significantly reduce pain. But don't take an anesthetic before the visit. This way you could complicate the artist's job and you may not get the result you were hoping for. Buy products that are appropriate to the scale of the tattoo to be done.

FAQ

Does tattoo numbing cream work?

Most certified creams designed specifically for topical external pain relief and made by certified manufacturers work. Their period of action may vary. There are products that make the skin go numb after 5 minutes for 30-40 minutes. This is convenient for small tattoos and tattooing. There are drugs with strong anesthesia that start acting in 15-30 minutes and work for 2-4 hours.

How to numb tattoo pain?

Use best numbing creams for tattoos for external use. Some experts recommend listening to your favorite music or an audiobook if the sensations are too uncomfortable. Or you can call a friend. By distracting yourself with a conversation, you can forget about your sensations for a while.

How long does topical lidocaine last?

We hope to have helped you choose the best cream or spray to make your tattoo experience less painfu.

Now you can tattoo even the whole body!

No more worrying about painful tattooing sessions!