The 5 Best Tattoo Numbing Creams [Relax with your Ink]

November 10, 2022
by Dan Skewes

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Tattoo numbing creams are great if you are getting a tattoo in a very sensitive location or about to get a very big tattoo.

They are also recommended if you are worried since if the fear of pain is the only thing preventing you from having your dream tattoo, then getting your hands on some numbing cream will be exactly what you need.

Here are the 5 best tattoo numbing creams to make your tattoo process much more relaxing.

Just make sure that you have a proper think about which cream to get as they all have different strengths and durations.

How Does Tattoo Numbing Cream Work?

Tattoo numbing lotions, ointments, and sprays all function similarly. That is, you put them to the tattoo spot and they numb it.

Lidocaine is the active component that contributes to the desired numbing.

Lidocaine is a member of the "caine" family of medicines originating from the Coca plant; you may be more familiar with lidocaine's wild cousin Cocaine.

Lidocaine does not contain the intoxicating effects of cocaine, but when applied to the skin, it causes numbness by blocking your nerves from delivering pain impulses to your brain.

Different Types Of Tattoos Numbing Products

Tattoo numbing products come in a variety of forms, including tattoo cream, spray, and ointment.

You may be wondering which one is ideal for you and your new tattoo. Fortunately, the distinctions between the three are simple.

Numbing Cream

Tattoo Numbing Cream is the most adaptable tattoo numbing agent. It is reasonably easy to administer and does not require reapplication as frequently as numbing spray.

Tattoo Numbing Cream can work for practically any tattoo, however, it does really well with tattoos that are medium in size.

Numbing Spray

Tattoo Numbing Spray is the easiest tattoo numbing agent to use.

That being stated, it must also be used the most frequently. Tattoo numbing spray is an excellent tattoo numbing agent for tiny tattoos in sensitive locations, such as the face.

Numbing Ointment

Tattoo Numbing Ointment is the most powerful of the tattoo numbing methods.

It simply has to be used once or twice. It effectively onto your skin and is ideal for bigger tattoos or ones that are in sensitive areas.

Your tattoo artist will advise you on what tattoo numbing product to use for your tattoo, so don't be concerned about which one they use; they are looking out for your best interests.

How Do You Use Tattoo Numbing Cream?

To guarantee optimal numbing, avoid drinking alcohol within 24 hours following tattooing; otherwise, the numbing may be less effective or linger longer.

The next step is to spot test the day before usage on a tiny region that will be tattooed the following day, especially if you have sensitive skin, for 10-20 minutes to verify that your skin does not get irritated.

It is typical to have some little localized redness.

The first thing you need to do is both wash and exfoliate the area of skin which will apply the numbing agent to.

By cleaning the area well, it will clear the pores and make the cream much more likely to sink into the deeper layers of skin.

Before you move on to applying the numbing cream, make sure that you dry the area completely. Apply a layer that is about 2 mm in thickness and rub it in well.

Next, cover the cream with cling film which will prevent the cream from drying out and becoming ineffective as the heat from your body will keep it moist.

You should leave the cream on your leg for about 90 minutes (depending on the cream you use).

When it is time for you to get your tattoo, unwrap the cling film from the area and use a paper towel to wipe the excess away.

Risks Of Using Tattoo Numbing Cream

Numbing creams are typically regarded as harmless, as long as all instructions on the label are followed.

Putting an additional dab of cream on your skin may seem like a good idea, but applying too much might result in hazardous side effects or toxicity.

Take caution not to reapply too frequently or to use too much cream.

Preservatives and other substances that might cause adverse responses are included in all creams. Make sure you thoroughly study the contents list on any cream you buy.

If you have sensitive skin, you may want to pick a cream that is more organically based and has less ingredients.

The numbing drugs alone pose certain health hazards.

Again, we highly advise you to consult with your doctor before purchasing numbing cream to address any potential health issues.

Why Don't Tattoo Artists Use Numbing Cream?

Tattoo artists avoid using numbing lotions on their customers for a variety of reasons.

The biggest one is that they still adhere to the "old school" belief that their clients must experience the agony of the tattooing procedure.

They are unable to accept that an increasing number of individuals desire to get tattoos but are afraid of the discomfort.

Furthermore, some tattooists believe that using numbing cream would be a burden because it takes time to apply and wipe it off before the operation.

The customer, on the other hand, can use the numbing cream one hour before going to the tattoo shop and then wipe it off before the tattoo.

It does not even entail the tattooist's time.

Finally, some tattoo artists believe that numbing treatments will interfere with the tattooing process. This is due to the fact that some numbing cream products are specifically designed for tattooing.

It has no effect on the quality of the tattoo ink, therefore they should check it out first as other tattooists are already using it.

Best Tattoo Numbing Creams

Zensa Numbing Cream 5% Lidocaine

Zensa Numbing Cream 5% Lidocaine | Fast Acting Topical Anesthetic | Max Pain Relief for Tattoos, Piercings, Microblading, PMU, Microneedling, Injections, Waxing, Electrolysis & Non-Invasive Procedures

This cream is one of the few FDA-approved tattoo numbing treatments on the market.

It is the most natural numbing lotion available, and it contains anti-inflammatory elements including Vitamin E oil that help minimize redness and irritation after tattoos or permanent cosmetics.

It can even aid with skin disorders including psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

Professional tattoo artists all around the world suggest it as well.

The reason for this is because the cream does not interfere with their job and does not contaminate the design or ink. It just ensures that the clients enjoy a pain-free experience.


  • Hypoallergenic – this cream is so gentle that you can even use it near your eyes without them being irritated.
  • Encourages healing – the ingredients in this cream are known to promote healing.


  • Expensive – this cream is more expensive than others, you will have to pay $44 for just over an ounce of it.

Also available at Zensa Skin Care.

Base Laboratories Lidocaine Numbing Cream

Base Labs 5% Lidocaine Numbing Cream for Tattoos, Piercings, Waxing - 4 FL oz - Topical Anesthetic Cream I Numb Gel Brazilian, Microneedling, Microblading Lip Injections I 120ML

A 5% lidocaine formulation functions as a topical anesthetic, with the natural numbing effects of clove oil and tea tree oil assisting.

Clove oil and Jojoba function as high-nutrient transporters, increasing absorption into the skin while nourishing recuperating cells.

Finally, the anti-inflammatory qualities of licorice and aloe vera soothe the skin.

To increase the numbing power even further, bathe the area with warm water before applying the cream and wrapping it tightly with the skin wrap.

This will open the skin's pores and allow the tattoo numbing lotion to soak more thoroughly.

The most intense numbing effects will occur after 40-45 minutes of bathing and will persist for up to four hours.


  • Natural Ingredients – tea tree oil and clove oil are used to naturally numb the skin.
  • Comes with Wrap – the appropriate wrap is provided with the cream.


  • Doesn't last as long as others – four hours is usually long enough for most standard tattoos but if you are getting a bigger piece that will take all day, you will have to top it up.

Also available at Base Laboratories.

TKTX Numbing Cream

Each active component in this product serves to reduce inflammation, edema, and discomfort associated with tattooing or piercing.

The cream can also be used to relieve discomfort during permanent cosmetics, micro-needling, hair removal, or laser tattoo removal.

Creams often take around 20 minutes to take action. It varies from person to person since everyone reacts differently, but as a general rule, it lasts between three and five hours.


  • Fast acting – it only takes 20 minutes to start working which is much faster than a lot of other numbing creams.
  • Prevents swelling – swelling is quite common during a tattoo session, but this cream helps to prevent this.


  • Not FDA Approved – this cream has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Deeveeant Numbing Cream

Deeveeant Lidocaine Numbing Cream Tattoo Numbing [2 oz] – Fast-Acting, Maximum Strength Numbing Cream for Tattoos, Piercing, Waxing & Laser – Topical Numbing Numbing Pain w/Aloe, Tea Tree & Jojoba

You can't beat Deeveeant for a quality numbing cream with the best numbing strength.

With 4% lidocaine, it delivers good pain relief during a tattoo session and lasts around two hours.

A triple-botanical mixture of Aloe Vera, Tea-Tree extract, and Jojoba is combined with a powerful 4 percent anesthetic lidocaine.

They work together to soothe and hydrate your skin while also leaving you smelling great.

This is a non-sticky, non-oil mixture that leaves the skin supple and ready to ink; also, it will not dry on the surface, preventing any complications while the artist does their magic.

This cream takes around 30 minutes to work and should last about four hours.


  • No Residue – the cream will not leave a sticky or slippery finish which can affect the artist's tattooing process.
  • Fast acting – takes just 30 minutes for this cream to come into full effect.


  • Lasts four hours – this would not be the best cream to use for those who are getting a big piece done that will last longer than four hours.

Also available at Deeveant.

INK Scribd Tattoo Numbing Cream

Ink Scribd Premium Tattoo Numbing Cream Topical Pain Treatment for Tattoos. Also for Laser Hair Removal, Brazilian Waxing, Microblading, Microneedling - Maximum Strength 5% Lidocaine (1 oz)

Sribd begins working in 15-20 minutes and can provide up to two hours of numbing effects.

Arrive early for your appointment to let the tattoo numbing lotion work its magic as you wait for your artist.

This will allow you to fully use the numbing phase.

Emu Oil and Arnica are used in the recipe to help your skin recover faster. Emu oil is the most often used tattoo aftercare component, while arnica aids in the healing of new wounds.

Another excellent feature of this product is that you have a full year to decide whether or not it works for you, and if you decide to return it, you will receive a full refund.


  • Fast acting – takes about 20 minutes to begin working.
  • Emu oil and Arnica oil – these ingredients encourage the skin to heal faster.


  • Does not last long – this cream may work quickly but it only provides numbing for two hours at a time.

Also available at Inkscribd.

Buyer's Guide

Here are some of the most important things to look for when looking for a tattoo numbing cream.


Tattoo numbing lotions work well in most cases. However, this is dependent on a few critical factors.

To begin, if you want a cream that is more potent than others, go for one with a larger proportion of lidocaine.

Over-the-counter creams have a maximum strength of 5%, and it normally takes 20-40 minutes for the cream to absorb and start working.

This sensation will often last a few hours, peaking at an hour.

If necessary, reapply it every few hours. However, most experts advise against using it more than three times in a single session.

It is crucial to remember that you will still be able to feel the tattoo pen when using it, but this cream will help to decrease the initial agony.


There are many various kinds of numbing creams on the market, but they all contain the same quantity of lidocaine.

Numbing creams containing lidocaine are typically 4% to 5% in concentration.

This is the safest degree of numbing strength available without a prescription and is gentle on the skin.

Other lotions with components like tea tree or eucalyptus oil, on the other hand, can help you feel less discomfort.


While some tattoo numbing creams claim to have unique compositions, many of them use the same mix.

The most effective mixture contains lidocaine (4% to 5%), which locks nerve endings and prevents pain receptors from reaching your brain.

From there, look for products that have skin-softening components like jojoba oil, tea tree, or eucalyptus, which help to relieve inflammation and keep the skin's surface soft and supple.

Choose a cream over an ointment since it will soak easier, providing your tattoo artist the proper texture to produce the ink.


The final thing that you should think about is how much you are willing to spend on the numbing cream.

This is not to say that numbing cream is a big investment, but some brands can cost upwards of $50 whereas others are less than $20.

Therefore, getting the balance between quality and price is very beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Numbing Creams Affect Tattoos?

Some artists dislike the way it feels on the skin, but it does not get in the way of the tattooing and maintains the skin "wet" like glides do while keeping the customer comfortable and numbed.

Overuse of numbing creams can be harmful to your health, and applying the cream wrongly can impair the design and quality of your tattoo.

Check the creams' adverse effects to ensure that the cream will work for you.

How Long Do Tattoo Numbing Creams Last?

The anesthetic effect of tattoo numbing lotion will last for two to eight hours, depending on the brand. Following that, the sensation will gradually return to the tattooed region.

In certain situations, letting the cream soak into the skin for longer periods of time or repeating the soaking process again might prolong the numbing phase.

Is Tattoo Numbing Cream Worth It?

The majority of the time, tattoo numbing creams are secure, efficient, and likely to give clients a more comfortable tattooing experience.

A good quality tattoo numbing lotion may really help to take the edge off for folks who want a little additional support with dealing with the discomfort.

Can You Take Painkillers Before A Tattoo?

Take no ibuprofen or aspirin for at least 24 hours before your session. Pain relievers thin your blood, causing you to bleed more throughout your tattoo session.

Since your blood is thinned, it will result in you bleeding more and therefore making it trickier for the tattoo artist.

Having blood constantly trickling through the design will obstruct the view of where the artist is applying the ink and can lead to the ink to blow out more.


Tattoo numbing lotions are an excellent choice if you are afraid of tattoo discomfort or needles.

It is suggested, however, that you conduct extensive research or contact a medical practitioner before utilizing topical anesthetic medicines.

This is especially true if the individual has skin allergies or a skin ailment.

When purchasing a numbing cream, read the reviews and learn about other people's experiences with the product. Also, pay attention to the ingredient list and look for any potential negative effects.

Numbing creams are often not reviewed by the FDA, but they nonetheless give the desired benefits, so don't let that deter you.

Related: The 5 Best Tattoo Concealers [That Actually Work]

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