A tattoo can be painful. When you get a piece of body art you are essentially creating a wound by puncturing your skin hundreds to thousands of times. The location of the art can intensify the pain. Tattoo artists often use topical numbing agents to help reduce the pain their clients might experience during the session.
We reached out to a vast number of artists to try and determine the best numbing sprays and creams for tattoos. The following products were the most frequently recommended by those artists.
The 7 Best Tattoo Numbing Spray Reviews
#1. Lidocaine Topical Numbing Cream by Ebanel Laboratories
5% of Lidocaine is the maximum dose of this topical pain relief approved for over-the-counter medications. To get anything stronger than this you will have to see a doctor for a prescription.
Liposomal has been used in this product to help the pain-relieving ointment to penetrate the skin and deliver effective relief faster. After applying the ointment, you can expect the maximum amount of relief in 25 minutes or less. The effects of the numbing agent will be noticeable for up to two hours.
The ointment is packaged in a safety package that has a child-resistant cap. Although the medication is non-toxic and has no harmful additives the manufacturer still packages the cream so children cannot accidentally open the container. The medicine is not tested on animals, it is not greasy and it is Paraben free.
This product can be used after a tattoo to help alleviate the pain. It can be used for hemorrhoid pain, and even to relieve the discomfort of heat rashes.
- Non-toxic formula
- No prescription needed
- Manufacturer does cruelty free testing
- Easy to apply
- May cause redness or irritation on sensitive skin
#2. Anesthetic Numbing Spray for Sensitive Skin by GiGi
4% Lidocaine has been used in this spray to help numb your skin so you do not feel the pain associated with bikini waxing, tattoo creation, minor scrapes, and even severe heat rashes. The contents of the spray can be applied onto a cotton ball and then applied to the area where you need pain relief or pain prevention.
This is a fast-acting product. Within three minutes of applying the spray, you will start to feel the numbing effects. Within thirty minutes you will be feeling the maximum pain relief. It is made in the US and not tested on animals. It is a safe product that is trusted by many professional tattoo and hair removal specialists for effective pain reduction or prevention.
This is designed to be easy to use and gentle on the skin so even sensitive skin, and sensitive areas of the body can benefit from the powerful pain relief. The spray may not completely block all sensations of pain associated with a tattoo, piercing, or hair removal procedure, but it will reduce the pain to a level that is more tolerable.
- Non-greasy formula
- Non-toxic ingredients safe to have around children and pets
- Does not discolor the skin or stain clothing
- Variety of application methods can be used
- Does not completely eliminate pain
#3. Numbing Spray for Tattoos by Base Laboratories
The spray bottle holding the soothing menthol numbing spray is a non-aerosol container. It contains 4% Lidocaine which is a safe and effective topical numbing agent. It is effective for the pain associated with tattoos, piercings, hair removal and waxing, and other topical pain.
This fast-acting formula is able to prevent some of the pain associated with tattoos and waxing. It can also be used as a part of the aftercare, and even used after childbirth to relieve associated pain.
The spray is most effective for tattoo-associated pain when it is allowed to remain on the area for ten to fifteen minutes prior to the punctures beginning. If the effects of the spray start to wear off during the procedure you can re-apply the product for additional pain relief. If the spray is allowed a thirty-minute time period before the tattoo begins the numbing effects will have reached their maximum potential and will be as much as twice the relief.
This product will not stain your clothing or discolor your skin. It is not tested on animals and is safe and non-toxic.
- Available over-the-counter without a prescription
- Is not habit forming
- Does not have a foul odor
- Can be applied to people with sensitive skin
- Takes fifteen minutes or more to start working
#4. Lidocaine Numbing Cream for Tattoos by Base Laboratories
5% Lidocaine solution has the greatest amount of Lidocaine allowed in a non-prescription product. It is safe to use on broken skin like open wounds after a tattoo. It is non-toxic and has not been tested on laboratory animals.
The cream is relatively thick and applies smoothly. It is very quickly absorbed by your skin, and it does not have a strong lingering odor. It is not greasy and will not leave your skin looking or feeling oily. It is not going to stain your clothing or leave a discolored area on your skin as some creams can.
You can use this cream to numb the pain associated with getting a tattoo, having a tattoo removed, waxing and removal of hair, and microblading. You apply the ointment to the area about thirty minutes before the procedure to ensure the maximum relief effect. You should start feeling the area go num within fifteen minutes of application but it is advised that you wait at least thirty minutes to experience the full effect. The numbing sensation can last for up to four hours after application.
- Clear formula has no harmful dyes
- Easy to use
- Safe to carry with you in your purse or vehicle
- Non-toxic formula
- Takes thirty minutes or more to be effective
#5. Topical Pain Tattoo Numbing Cream by Ink Scribd
This numbing cream has 5% Lidocaine as its active numbing agent. That is the most Lidocaine allowed for over-the-counter medications of this type. It provides up to two hours of numbing pain relief while many other varieties of numbing creams are effective for less than twenty minutes.
You will have a shorter wait for the full effects of the cream. In fifteen to twenty minutes the cream will be at its maximum effectiveness. Many other creams have a wait time of up to forty-five minutes. The quicker relief time is due to the fast absorption rate of the cream, and the strength of the Lidocaine.
This cream also promotes skin healing. It contains Vitamin E which will help to keep the moisture in your skin and promote healing after your procedure. You will heal more quickly and experience less pain by using this product.
Effective relief for tattoos, tattoo removal procedures, piercings, waxing and hair removal, and many other topical pains. Can be used prior to getting the tattoo and as an aftercare product.
- Hydrating so tattoos and skin does not dry out
- Pleasant smelling
- Easy to open tube
- Complete relief does not last the full two hours the package says it will
#6. Tattoo Numbing Gel by Hush Hush Projects
Amazing numbing effects that can last for up to five hours after application. You are advised to apply the ointment and then wait for at least thirty minutes before getting a tattoo. During those thirty minutes, your skin should tingle, feel as if ice has been applied, and then numb.
This is safe to use the topical product. The cap on the container is a child-proof cap so there are no worries of a small child accidentally opening the container and ingesting the contents, or getting the substance in their eyes.
The instructions on the bottle are very clear and very easy to follow. It is important that you follow these instructions, and do not attempt to apply in manners not specified as safe.
This product is meant to specifically be used as topical pain prevention, but there are people who have used it to help ease the pain of a recent tattoo.
- Effective relief
- Not greasy or oily
- Will not stain your clothing or skin
- Does not cause redness or irritation
- Designed for prevention not for use after tattoo has been applied
#7. Numbing Cream by Zensa
Safe and effective cream that contains 5% Lidocaine to alleviate topical pain associated with tattoos, electrolysis, non-invasive tattoo removal procedures, piercings, microblading, PMU and more.
This cream will not only help to reduce the pain you experience it can help to reduce the swelling and inflammation that is often experienced after procedures like getting a tattoo. The anti-inflammatory benefits are from the Vitamin E in the formula. The Vitamin E also promotes quick healing and helps to maintain moisture in the affected area.
The maximum benefits of the cream will be felt in as little as thirty minutes. The effects will be felt for as long as three hours after application. The cream does not restrict or constrict the flow of blood so tattooing and microblading procedures are not distorted.
- Reduces both pain and swelling
- Does not irritate the skin
- Has a pleasant odor
- Sold over-the-counter without a prescription
- Takes thirty minutes or more to be completely effective
How to Use Numbing Spray for Tattoos
Numbing sprays are quite effective at reducing or eliminating the pain that people often experience when they are getting tattoos and other body art, or beautification procedures like hair removal.
The sprays usually contain an active ingredient like Lidocaine that numbs the area to reduce the sensation of pain. Applying these sprays is easy to do.
Spray it on
Your spray will have a nozzle that emits the contents of the can when it is depressed. Depress the nozzle and spray a generous amount of the contents onto your skin. Allow sufficient time for the Lidocaine to begin to take effect before you begin the tattoo process.
Many people spray the contents onto a cotton swab and rub the ingredients onto their skin. By rubbing with a cotton swab, you do not spray areas where you do not need the numbness, and the rubbing of the skin can cause the spray to be quicker to absorb into the skin.
Why don’t tattoo artists use numbing cream
Numbing cream is beneficial to the person getting the tattoo because it reduces or stops the pain associated with the procedure. During the application of a tattoo, the artist uses a machine that holds groupings of needles on the end. Those needles are dipped into ink and then punctured through the skin to create body art. This procedure can be anywhere from mildly uncomfortable to outright painful.
Most tattoo artists do not like to put numbing cream on the area about to be tattooed because the cream can cause the skin to be slick and the slickness can cause the needles to slip. If the needles slip, they do not deliver the ink precisely where the artist needs it to be deposited.
Things to Consider while Buying Numbing Spray
If you plan to purchase numbing spray there are a few things to consider about the products so you get the spray that will be most beneficial to your situation.
The ingredient in the spray or cream that creates a numbing sensation and blocks the sensation of pain is referred to as a numbing agent. Lidocaine is the most common numbing agent. 5% Lidocaine is the strongest amount allowed in over-the-counter medications.
Speed and Durability
You want to buy a spray that is quickly absorbed by the skin so you will start to feel the effects sooner. You also want a spray that is going to last for hours so you do not have to keep re-applying.
Some products add Vitamin E and other ingredients to help their spray or cream be positive for your skin. Vitamin E promotes healing so the cream can help your skin heal faster. It helps your skin say hydrate, and it can even help in the reduction of inflammation and redness.
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Most people prefer a spray that is non-greasy and will not leave their skin feeling oily or slick.
A spray of this type can come in an aerosol can or in a pump sprayer. Most people prefer pump sprayers because they are less harmful to the environment. The pump sprayer also has less of a tendency to overspray so you get the product where you want it.
People Also Ask for Tattoo Numbing Cream
Is it bad to put numbing cream on before a tattoo?
Numbing cream can help to reduce the pain that is experienced during the application of a tattoo. Numbing cream can also change the skin prior to the tattoo and make the surface slick so the needles of the gun have a tendency to slip and not go in exactly where the artist wanted them to. Ask your artist how they feel about the application of these products prior to tattooing.
Do tattoo shops use numbing cream?
The use of numbing cream is a personal preference so some tattoo shops do have the substance on hand and others will not use it or allow it to be used prior to the work. You must ask your shop what their rules and regulations are concerning numbing creams and sprays.
Do I need to wear gloves when applying numbing cream?
Wearing gloves will protect your fingers from being affected by the numbing cream. If you are the person operating the tattoo equipment you do not want your fingers to be numbed or affected so yes, you should don gloves prior to applying the substance.
Can I apply numbing cream to stop pain after getting a tattoo?
This is a controversial question that people often debate. Some people believe that the numbing cream could be harmful if applied after the skin has been broken and others recommend the creams to help alleviate pain and itching during healing. Most of the creams have nothing in them that could actually be harmful after the tattoo. The greatest risk they pose is keeping the area from properly scabbing and thus introducing possible bacteria for infection.
You know that there is going to be some discomfort or pain associated with a tattoo. Using a numbing cream or spray to alleviate the discomfort can allow you to enjoy your tattoo experience more.
Always check with your tattoo artist before using these products. Some artists will not tattoo skin the product has been applied to. Some artists have specific brands of creams and sprays they prefer.
Always follow the instructions given to you on the package.