Tattoo numbing creams contains lidocaine which works by blocking impulses that travel along your nerves, explains Dr.Jamie K. Alan, of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University. Basically, it can temporarily numb an area of your body and provide relief.
We’re here to help make your next tattoo a less painful experience. To give you more time to check out our 300 best tattoo ideas for men, we’ve taken the stress out of finding the best numbing cream for tattoos.
Get the low down on when and how to apply tattoo numbing cream to the skin. Also, check out what to look for when choosing the numbing cream for your next inking. So keep reading and discover the NINE best tattoo numbing creams to help you beat the buzz.
1. BEST OVERALL: ZENSA NUMBING CREAM
The perfect all-rounder. When it comes to the best overall tattoo numbing cream, it doesn’t get much better than Zensa Numbing Cream.
Zensa Numbing cream is one of the few tattoo numbing creams available on the market that is FDA approved. The vegan formula contains 5% lidocaine and vitamin E and is both steroid and cruelty-free.
The cream is hypoallergenic, sensitive enough to be used in the eye area, and free from blood constrictors, so it will not affect the tattoo ink’s color retention or settling.
An initial application will provide 2-4 hours of pain relief but can be re-applied to extend the numbing action up to 8 hours.
2. BEST LONG LASTING: SAMNYTE TATTOO NUMBING CREAM
If the next inking on your tattoo wishlist is on the back, chest, or leg, you’ll need a tattoo numbing cream that will go the distance. SAMNYTE tattoo numbing cream boasts an impressive 6-8 hours of soothing analgesic effect to help you get through those long sittings.
The cruelty-free cream combines 5% lidocaine with a blend of natural ingredients. Menthol, vitamin E, and aloe vera have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling and irritation. This double-action formula helps promote healing, which speeds up the recovery process.
To use the product first, clean the tattoo site with warm soapy water, then pat dry. Use the applicator spoon in the box to spread a thick layer of cream over the skin and cover it well with plastic wrap. Apply some pressure to the area and allow the cream to soak for 30-35 minutes. Remove the wrap and blot with a soft cloth to remove excess cream.
You can allow the tattoo numbing cream to sit on the skin for 45 minutes for an even more long-lasting effect.
3. BEST ON AMAZON: DR. NUMB CREAM
Dr. Numb is a multi-purpose topical anesthetic cream. It is suitable for treating everything from burning to itching. However, this versatile product is widely used and recommended by tattoo artists thanks to its deep-numbing properties.
This product makes one of the best numbing creams for tattoos because it starts to take effect in as little as 15 minutes. It can offer up to 4 hours of blissful pain relief while under the needle.
Application is similar to most tattoo numbing creams; wash the area, apply the cream, wrap well with plastic, and blot any excess product.
We have a top tip for those extra sensitive areas like the knees, elbows, and feet. When washing the area, swap regular soap for a soap for tattoos like Dr. Numb 4% Lidocaine Foaming Soap and then follow with Dr. Numb Cream. You can thank us later.
4. BEST FAST-ACTING: INK SCRIBD TATTOO NUMBING CREAM
Tattoo numbing cream needs to be applied and left to soak into the skin before your inking session. Opt for a fast-acting formula if you’re worried about the timing. Get it right, and the pain-relief will kick in right as you need it most. Ink Sribd gets to work in just 15-20 minutes and offers up to 2 hours of numbing effects.
Aim to arrive for your appointment early and allow the tattoo numbing cream to work its magic while waiting for your artist. This way, you will fully maximize the numbing period.
Ink Scribd adds more than just 5% lidocaine to its formulation. The product also features Arnica and emu oil to speed up the skin-healing process.
Arnica oil works by stimulating the body’s natural healing process. Increasing blood flow to the application site reduces swelling and bruising and alleviates pain. At the same time, emu oil, a key ingredient in Indigenous medicine, moisturizes and minimizes post-tattoo inflammation.
5. BEST FOR FACE TATTOOS: MEDINUMB TOPICAL ANESTHETIC
The face is one of the more sensitive areas on the body to get inked. It is also the most challenging body part to hide if you’re unhappy with the result. Face designs are often intricate and precise, so flinching and twitching under the gun is a surefire way to ruin the finished look.
That’s where a tattoo numbing cream comes into play. Medinumb is a general pain-relieving numbing cream suitable for use on the face. Its sensitive-skin-friendly blend of aloe vera, jojoba, and tea tree is non-oily and gentle on delicate facial skin. After leaving a thick layer to soak into the skin for 45-60 minutes, you can enjoy up to 2 hours of pain relief.
Medinumb is ideal for pre-tattooing. Yet, since it is a multi-purpose product, it’s a budget-friendly option and comes in a slightly larger 2-ounce size. This size means you will get multiple uses from one tube.