15 Best Tattoo Numbing Creams Of 2021 For A Painless Experience

by Sneha Manandhar
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Haven’t we all thought of getting a tattoo at some point of our lives? Sometimes the mere thought of needles drilling into your skin may have changed your mind. And sometimes, you may have reached the tattoo parlor and heard the sound of the tattoo gun and instantly changed your mind. Not to mention the horror stories you hear from friends and acquaintances about the experience. Of course, you also hear the stories of brave people who feel that getting inked is a rite of passage, but then you may not necessarily want to put your bravery on display at a tattoo parlor.

However, getting inked with one of the best tattoo numbing creams is a whole new ball game. Now, you can get that tattoo of your dreams without the fear and pain that comes with it and they even reduce the chances of a post-tattoo infection. Not everyone has a high threshold for pain and that’s no reason why you should miss out on the fun when you can just use a topical anesthetic. So, check out the 15 best tattoo numbing creams of 2021 for painless tattoos.

TOP 10 PRODUCTSCheck Price
Ebanel Numb520 Topical Anesthetic Cream
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Uber Numb Topical Anesthetic Cream
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Numb Master Topical Anesthetic Cream
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Numb Maximum Strength Pain Reliever
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Hush Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Gel
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Lidocaine Plus Maximum Strength Pain Relieving Cream
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Zensa Numbing Cream
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Numb Skin Maximum Strength Pain Reliever Cream
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Everyday Medical Numbing Cream
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Bravado Labs Topical Anesthetic Cream
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15 Best Tattoo Numbing Creams Of 2021 To Put That Brave Face On!

1. Ebanel Numb520 Topical Anesthetic Cream

This over-the-counter numbing cream will relieve all the trauma of pain, burning, itching, and soreness while you are getting the tattoo of your dreams. With a strong 5% concentration of lidocaine, this numbing cream sets in action within 2-3 minutes, reaches its peak within 20-25 minutes, and lasts for another hour. Infused with aloe vera, vitamin E, lecithin, and allantoin, this tattoo pain relief cream makes the whole process more comfortable. This non-greasy, water-based anesthetic cream is safe for all skin types and is easy to apply and remove. It has the added safety feature of a secure child-resistant cap.

PROS:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Oil-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Non-addictive
  • Doctor-recommended
  • Cruelty-free

CONS:

  • Some users felt that it dried on their skin like glue

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2. Uber Numb Topical Anesthetic Cream

If you have always looked at people’s tattoos enviously but never had the stomach to get one yourself, it’s time to look at one of the best numbing creams for tattoos. You can count on it for maximum pain relief as it contains 5% lidocaine and takes effect rather and numbs your skin for 1 hour. Enriched with a strong anti-inflammatory vitamin C, it prevents painful swelling and also moisturizes your skin, which prevents itching and flaking of the skin. It has a water-based, non-greasy formula, which means you don’t get that icky, cakey feeling and it doesn’t stain or leave an oily residue.

PROS:

  • Doctor-formulated
  • Cruelty-free
  • 100% vegan
  • Non-oily formula

CONS:

  • It may take about half an hour to take effect

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3. Numb Master Topical Anesthetic Cream

If getting inked has always felt like a distant dream, it’s time to try this over-the-counter topical tattoo numbing cream for maximum pain relief. It contains 5% lidocaine, which is fast acting and takes effect within 20 minutes and lasts for about 2 hours. This numbing cream utilizes liposomal encapsulation technology that is non-invasive, penetrates deeper for greater intracellular delivery, and is encapsulated for maximum strength and efficacy. Its phospholipid bi-layer increases intracellular absorption while protecting the active ingredients. This numbing cream is infused with vitamin E, aloe vera, and lecithin, which are natural soothing ingredients. It comes with a child-resistant cap and a tamper-proof seal and may just be the product you have been looking for.

PROS:

  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Doctor-recommended
  • Non-greasy
  • Water-based formula

CONS:

  • May not suit very sensitive skin

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4. Numb Maximum Strength Pain Reliever

This anesthetic cream for tattoos is especially formulated for a long-lasting effect. It is quickly absorbed by the skin and set into motion in 15 minutes and works for about 4 hours. Formulated with 5% lidocaine and infused with vitamin E, it provides temporary numbness effectively. It’s 100% cream-based, giving it a smooth texture and consistency and is popular with aestheticians and healthcare professionals. This good numbing cream for tattoos is secured with a child-proof cap and is completely safe for your skin.

PROS:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-greasy
  • No harsh chemicals
  • cGMP-certified
  • Doctor-recommended
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • May not be practical for big tattoos

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5. Hush Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Gel

Most of us postpone that long-desired tattoo because of the pain involved. This product was developed keeping both the tattoo artist and client in mind for a pleasant experience. This long-lasting tattoo numbing cream numbs your skin for about 2 hours, so you can think of going ahead with that big tattoo that you have been dreaming of. It is an efficient blend of botanical extracts like aloe vera, and reduces skin inflammation and redness. It also hastens the healing of the tattoo and is safe, even for the most sensitive skin types. It has a non-oily formula that guarantees no mess and has the added advantage of coming with a child-proof cap.

PROS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Epinephrine-free
  • FDA-complaint

CONS:

  • Slightly expensive

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6. Lidocaine Plus Maximum Strength Pain Relieving Cream

Have you been hearing horror stories about the pain involved with getting a tattoo? This over-the-counter skin numbing cream for tattoos contains 4% lidocaine hydrochloride, which works well for pain, burns, and itching. This gel starts working the moment you apply it to your skin, reaches its maximum numbing level in about 25 minutes, and lasts for 1-2 hours. This numbing cream contains pure aloe vera, which soothes, nourishes, and hydrates inflamed skin and also helps in fast healing. Suitable for even the most sensitive skin, it contains no synthetic or harmful ingredients. Definitely worth trying!

PROS:

  • No alcohol
  • No steroids
  • No mineral oil
  • No camphor
  • No menthol
  • No synthetic vitamins

CONS:

  • Some may not find it very absorbent

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7. Zensa Numbing Cream

Still wondering whether you should get that tattoo? With 5% lidocaine, this tattoo numbing cream desensitizes your skin in preparation for painful procedures like laser hair removal, waxing, tattoos, and piercings. It contains vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties, which calms itching, burning and stinging, and also helps your skin to heal faster. One of the most natural numbing creams in the market, it does not contain vasoconstrictors, and poses no ill-effects on the tattooing as it doesn’t affect the ink, microblading, or waxing. It’s safe for even the most sensitive skin and sensitive areas like the eyes. It takes 30-45 minutes to get absorbed by the skin and its effect lasts for more than 3 hours. This tattoo pain relief cream has proved its effectiveness and has a shelf life of 3 years.

PROS:

  • FDA-approved
  • Contains vitamin E
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • 3-year shelf life

CONS:

  • Some may not be satisfied with its consistency

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8. Numb Skin Maximum Strength Pain Reliever Cream

If you are still waiting to get that tattoo that says you are unique, we recommend you try this one as it is considered the most effective tattoo numbing cream, which is used by doctors all over the world, because of its fast action. It prevents the nerves from carrying the pain message to your brain and after a few hours, its effect disappears without causing any harm to your body. It contains 5% lidocaine, which takes effect after about 15-30 minutes and its long-lasting effect lasts for upto 4 hours. This cream is not only good for painless tattoos but also works very well in laser hair removal, waxing, nerve pain, and piercings.

PROS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Child-proof cap
  • Long-lasting effect
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • Some may find the texture slightly sticky

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9. Everyday Medical Numbing Cream

This skin numbing cream for tattoos uses 4% lidocaine and natural ingredients to numb, soothe, and heal your skin. It contains all-natural herbal ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties and offer a soothing effect to the skin. It has aloe vera, which contains potent antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and enzymes, jojoba oil, which contains vitamins B and E and are again anti-inflammatory. It also contains clove oil to promote regeneration of skin cells and licorice that defends your skin against free radicals. This numbing cream penetrates deep into the skin and effectively numbs the pain for hours as you get inked. It begins to numb your skin within15-30 minutes and its effect lasts upto 4 hours. Apart from tattoos, it’s good to relieve pain of piercings, waxing, microblading, and microneedling.

PROS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Chemical-free
  • Water-based
  • Oil-free
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • May not be very safe for use around the eyes

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10. Bravado Labs Topical Anesthetic Cream

This deep penetrating topical cream will never allow you to stress over pain again! It’s perfect to use for tattoos, laser hair removal, Brazillian waxing, derma-rolling, microblading, and microneedles. It contains 5% lidocaine and all you need to do is cover the area with a thick layer of cream and in about half an hour you will not feel anything! Its effect lasts for about 2 hours, so you can even think of going for  a bigger tattoo. It comes with a child-proof cap as an added safety measure.

PROS:

  • Quick effects
  • Long-lasting effect
  • Child-proof packaging
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • The area of application needs to be covered in plastic for half an hour.

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11. LMX Tattoo Numbing Cream

Can you imagine getting a tattoo without any pain at all? Well, you can now with this painless tattoo numbing cream that contains 5% lidocaine and is available over the counter. It can be used to numb the skin before any painful treatment like tattoos and tattoo removal, piercings, waxing, laser hair removal, and microblading. It has a fast-acting and long-lasting formula and gets absorbed by the skin very quickly. It is completely safe and can be used to avoid unnecessary pain and irritation during any minor procedure.

PROS:

  • Fast-acting
  • Long-lasting
  • Completely safe
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • Contains propylene glycol to which some people may be sensitive

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12. Ink Scribd Numbing Cream

Have you ever felt that getting a tattoo was a bad idea right in the middle of the inking session because all you wanted to do was yell? Well, that scenario will never play out with this long-lasting tattoo numbing cream that contains 5% lidocaine, which is the strongest anesthetic you can get without a prescription. It’s infused with vitamin E to moisturize your skin and to heal it faster. While many numbing creams wear off in 30 minutes this one lasts for up to 2 hours, which means you can comfortably sit in for an extensive tattooing session. It takes effect within 15-20 minutes as it’s quick \-acting and gets absorbed by your skin in no time.

PROS:

  • Contains vitamin E
  • Contains 5% lidocaine
  • Fast-acting
  • Long-lasting effect

CONS:

  • Slightly expensive

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13. Ultra Numb Topical Anesthetic Cream

Don’t let pain and fear come between you and your dream tattoo. This professional tattoo numbing cream is quickly absorbed by your skin and desensitizes it, so that you don’t have to bear unnecessary pain while getting a tattoo, body piercing, tattoo removal, laser hair removal, or waxing. This tattoo pain relief cream is water-based and it’s neither oily or greasy, and doesn’t cause any unnecessary mess. The skin remains numb for 3-4 hours once the cream is removed from the numbed skin depending on your skin type and the location of the tattoo on the body.

PROS:

  • Long=lasting
  • Contains 5% lidocaine
  • Non-greasy
  • Water-based

CONS:

  • The quantity may only be enough for a small tattoo

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14. Topicaine Topical Anesthetic Gel

Getting a tattoo has never been simpler! This painless tattoo numbing cream is available over the counter and is a fantastic choice for desensitizing your skin before a tattoo or any other sensitive skin procedure. This penetrating gel contains 4% lidocaine and should be applied 30-minutes to 1 hour before the procedure. This clear gel is non-oily, so it doesn’t make your skin greasy or create a mess or stain. Unlike many gels, it doesn’t dry on your skin and effectively numbs your skin before the tattoo. So, don’t let the fear of pain deprive you of the tattoo of your dreams.

PROS:

  • 4% lidocaine
  • Non-greasy
  • Fast-acting
  • Long-lasting effect
  • No prescription required

CONS:

  • Some may not like the smell of the gel

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15. Face And Body Super Trio Topical Anesthetic

Don’t wait for that much desired tattoo any longer! One of the best numbing creams for tattoos, this product contains 12% benzocaine, 4% lidocaine hydrochloride, and 2% tetracaine hydrochloride. This super trio numbing cream is a very potent pre-procedure topical anesthetic for numbing. It’s very effective for getting a tattoo, permanent makeup, laser procedure, piercing, or any other sensitive procedure. It takes 15-20 minutes to numb your skin and desensitizes your skin for quite a long time. It’s non greasy and easy to apply and remove.

PROS:

  • Fast acting
  • Non-greasy
  • Combination of 3 anesthetics
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • Slightly expensive

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Now that you have been through the 15 best tattoo numbing creams of 2021, here are a few pointers as to how numbing creams work, what you need to keep in mind before buying one, how to apply it, and the precautions you need to take. Hopefully, this will help you to choose what works best for you and getting a tattoo becomes a painless experience for you.

How Does A Tattoo Numbing Cream Work?

As the name suggests, a tattoo numbing cream numbs the skin but it all depends on the active essential ingredients that are present in the cream. On the basis of the active ingredient these numbing creams can be divided into nerve deadners, nerve blockers, and vasoconstrictors.

  • Nerve deadners

Unlike its name, these are the mildest numbing creams. Most commonly, lidocaine is used to temporarily deaden the nerves. As it’s a pretty mild numbing cream, it may have to be reapplied during the tattoo mainly because nerve deadners sit on the skin while the tattoo needles go below the surface of the skin. Nerve deadners temporarily stop nerves from registering pain but don’t go deep enough into the skin to deaden all the nerves affected by the needles. So, sometimes to make the numbing cream more effective, nerve deadners and nerve blockers are combined to make a pain-free tattoo numbing cream.

  • Nerve blockers

These are a bit more effective than nerve deadners as the nerves, though they register the pain, don’t carry the pain signals to the brain. Tetracaine is used most commonly as a nerve blocker. This is how most local anesthesia works and is also used in some tattoo numbing creams. Though nerve blockers significantly reduce the pain, they can’t cancel it completely and work best when combined with a nerve deadener.

  • Vasoconstrictors

These usually use epinephrine to constrict the blood vessels, which reduces bleeding and swelling and automatically takes care of the pain. It works effectively as a cream to numb the skin before a tattoo, but may affect the healing of the tattoo. Vasoconstrictors themselves do not cause numbing but when they are added to creams that have other numbing agents, the reduced blood flow causes the other numbing agents to be effective for a longer period of time. It also reduces the amount of bleeding in the tattooed area.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Numbing Cream For Tattoos

  • Your purpose

You need to be sure of the purpose that you are going to use the numbing cream for. Depending on whether you need it for a tattoo, piercing, waxing, or minor surgery will determine the numbing cream you buy.

  • Active ingredients

A topical tattoo numbing cream would usually contain lidocaine. 5% of lidocaine is the best quantity for a numbing cream but check that the pH value is less than 7 or it can spoil your tattoo’s ink. Benzocaine and tetracaine are other ingredients found in numbing creams though lidocaine is more effective.

  • Pros and cons

Usually, numbing creams do not cause side effects as long as you use them correctly. Otherwise they may cause irritation, redness, or burning. Also, some numbing creams take longer to kick in than others.

  • Quality

Not all numbing creams work efficiently to numb the skin properly. It’s advisable to choose one after reading their reviews and doing some research. It should also be approved by  the FDA or other health organizations.

  • Water- based cream

After checking the numbing agent, you need to check the consistency of the cream. Water-based creams allow the tattoo ink to rest on the skin properly and they are easy to wipe off as well.

  • Pre-tattooing or post-tattooing numbing cream

Some numbing creams are used before the tattooing, some are used during or at the end of the process. A pre-tattooing numbing cream prepares the skin so that you don’t feel the pain, while a post-tattooing numbing cream eases the pain of the needles during the process.

  • Guidelines on the pack

All numbing creams are different and so are the directions to use them. Before buying a tattoo numbing cream, check how long you have to use it, what to do before applying it, and how to remove it. If you use it for a shorter time than directed it may not be effective and it may cause side effects if you leave it on for too long.

How To Apply A Tattoo Numbing Cream

  • Choose a suitable tattoo numbing cream.
  • Wash the area with soap and water so that all dirt and oil is removed, thus enabling your skin to absorb the tattoo numbing cream more effectively.
  • Dry with a clean towel.
  • Use a pair of waterproof or latex gloves, so that the tattoo numbing cream doesn’t seep through and cause your fingers to go numb.
  • Apply the cream after carefully reading the instructions to find out how much cream you should be applying to the area and if there are any precautions you need to take.
  • Wrap the area in plastic as the heat under the wrapping helps to activate the cream and speed up the numbing process. All numbing creams may not require wrapping.
  • Remove the wrap after about 30-45 minutes or once you can feel the numbing effect. Check the recommended time on the cream.
  • Go and get your tattoo!
  • In case of any skin conditions or skin sensitivity, please consult a dermatologist.

Safety Precautions For When You Are Using Tattoo Numbing Creams

  • If you are using a tattoo numbing cream for the first time, apply it only on a small area to do a patch test.
  • Never use it on broken or inflamed skin, unless you have consulted a doctor. If your skin is broken, the anesthetic can enter the bloodstream and can cause serious problems like breathing difficulties and in very severe and rare cases, even coma.
  • Make sure you are not allergic to the numbing cream as it can cause irritation, burning, or redness.
  • Always use latex gloves while applying tattoo numbing creams or your fingers will go numb.

A good numbing cream for tattoos can help you get a tattoo without the pain and discomfort usually associated with it. Often we decide against a tattoo simply because of the pain. Of course, the results of a numbing cream differ from person to person but by and far, they do a great job of dulling the pain. Also, don’t forget to check out details for how long they take before they kick in and how long their effect lasts and if the tattoo artist doesn’t mind you using it. So, do check out our reviews of the 15 best tattoo numbing creams of 2021 and get that piece of ink you have been waiting for.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Does a tattoo numbing cream work for everybody?

Tattoo numbing creams don’t eliminate the pain completely, but they do reduce the pain and make the experience less unpleasant. A number of tattoo artists don’t use numbing creams because they feel they don’t work and many feel that the pain is a rite of passage that you need to go through if you are getting a tattoo.

Can I use numbing cream after getting a tattoo?

If you find the itching after getting a tattoo unbearable, you can apply a numbing cream with 5% lidocaine for relief.

Does a tattoo numbing cream have side effects?

Sometimes you may have mild side effects like skin reactions in the form of skin discoloration, swelling, rashes, redness, hives, itching, and dry skin or even a headache.

Can you numb skin with ice before tattooing?

An ice pack applied for 5-10 minutes will numb your skin sufficiently to make the tattoo less painful.

How long does a numbing cream work for?

A numbing cream works best 2-3 hours after applying. The cream is removed before the artist starts tattooing and the numbness lasts for another 1-2 hours.

Do I need to wear gloves when applying a numbing cream?

Latex gloves that block out water and moisture should be used to ensure that the tattoo numbing cream doesn’t  seep through and cause numbness in your hands and fingertips.

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Sneha Manandhar

Sneha Manandhar holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Pune. She has previously worked with media and publication houses in varied capacities as a lifestyle writer, an editor, a copywriter, and a translator. She reviews beauty, skin care, and wellness products from specialized curated lists. She believes that SEO-driven content is the present and the future and keeps herself busy by dabbling in SEO-related tools and honing her editing skills.
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