They always say that pain is part of the process of getting a tattoo. But does it really have to be? Sure, getting a tattoo is a rite of passage for some, but some of us just like turning our skin into a beautiful canvas.
Can the tattoo process be enjoyable and without pain. It was a question I investigated in hopes of finding the best tattoo numbing cream. I'll share what I found with you about the use of numbing cream before getting your tattoo. I also wondered which is the strongest tattoo numbing cream, and which is the best tattoo skin numbing cream.
The first thing I learned is that not all of the tattoo pain numbing creams that are available are suitable for the actual tattooing process. So, none of those are included in this list. I've cut out hours of googling "best tattoo numbing cream" and listed the five best products below according to research and experience. Through the reviews of tattoo artists and clients alike, I've tried to summarize what makes these five tattoo numbing creams the best.
Does tattoo numbing cream work?
Of course tattoo numbing cream works. That's based on experience and being in the industry. You can also try it even before getting a tattoo. But make sure you have purchased the correct one.
Basically, there are two types of tattoo numbing creams that don't alter the healing process, those are called nerve deadeners. These nerve deadeners are used in lidocaine tattoo numbing cream. There are also nerve blockers which use tetracaine, which ignores the pain signal being sent to your brain.
Specifically hush tattoo numbing cream comes to mind, but I'll get back to that later.
I wanted to know exactly how lidocaine tattoo numbing cream worked in the tattoo pain numbing process and which was going to be the best tattoo numbing cream, the safest, and the most accessible.
Types of Tattoo Numbing Products
Tattoo culture is a way of life that is incredibly diverse; you have both the hardliners that believe that the pain of being tattooed is part of the process. And you have those that would enjoy that pain to be numbed. Finding a tattoo artist that is comfortable with working with a pre tattoo numbing cream is important.
It's a reality that some people are naturally pre-dispositioned to feel pain more acutely, but this should not be a reason to deter a person from receiving a tattoo! Your artist is going to use a tattoo cream to prevent infection, so it's no big deal to ask for a pre tattoo numbing cream to be used as well.
It's crucial to communicate the use, or desire, to use a numbing cream before tattoo with your artist. There's nothing wrong with having this discussion.
However you should be aware that the oily residue of the numbing cream (and numbing gels and numbing sprays) applied before a tattoo can lead to the ink not penetrating deep enough. This can have an impact on the permanency of the tattoo and maybe dull the ink. The application of the numbing creams, gels, or sprays could also make it easier for your artist to slip as the nimble nature of their fingers is affected by the gloves they wear for your protection as well.
Lidocaine sprays, gels, and skin numbing cream for tattoos all work in the same way. They are typically applied before the tattoo, with the consent of your artist, to dull the pain of the tattoo process.
Numbing Creams and Other Products
Numbing cream works by combining Lidocaine and Prilocaine; two strong anaesthetics that form a cream when combined. The cream dulls the nerves and deadens them so you don't feel any pain in the area when getting tattooed.
But numbing creams, gels, and sprays also have a tendency to saturate too deep during the process of getting your artwork done. This leads to both, shortening of the time the product is effective and it may numb any area you don't necessarily need pain relief. That said, these tattoo numbing cream products can be used anywhere externally on the body, and not just for being tattooed!
EMLA creams are made from benzocaine and like lidocaine creams can be used anywhere on the body. Benzocaine is not used as often for tattoo creams. However be aware that you CAN overdose on Emla creams if enough is absorbd through the skin.
Benzocaine is used to numb pain in minor wounds but it's available by prescription only, so be sure to consult both your doctor and tattoo artist before use.
The Best of Tattoo Numbing Creams
Hush Numbing Cream
One of the most popular numbing tattoo creams in the market is the Hush Numbing Cream. Hush products are, according to their website, "cruelty-free, topical lidocaine for a better experience" and the hush tattoo numbing cream social proof back it up!
Hush products work like this; the unique blend of botanicals used are safe to apply before you are tattooed, to reduce skin inflammation and expedite the healing process while the lidocaine dulls the pain of the session itself. And while the Hush company claims that it lasts up to 40 minutes, some users say that it can last up to two hours, making it a long lasting tattoo numbing cream!
While Hush is a bit on the pricey side, it's well worth it as it meets the expectations they boast that it will not affect the inkwork of a tattoo.
- Lasts up to 2 HOURS
- Epinephrine Free. Paraben Free Cruelty Free and Vegan
- FDA Compliant
- Expedites healing
- Safe on sensitive skin.
Another great topical numbing cream for tattoos is the Dr Numb tattoo numbing cream. Dr Numb is a great product that isn't specifically made for tattoo pain relief, but can certainly be used for it with great success.
Dr Numb's water-based formula that takes an anaesthetic gel down to the bare basics, is not as oily as other products. That means that it will breakdown faster and get absorbed by your circulatory system quicker.
So, keep your heart rate down and relax! That's why you're using a topical numbing cream for tattoo in the first place! Dr Numb is the only tattoo numbing cream Walgreens carries, which makes it easy to snag on the way to your appointment.
Who knew there was a tattoo numbing cream Walgreens carried, right? But for your convenience you can also find it on Amazon.
- 100% hypoallergenic,
- starts working in as little as 15 minutes
- Long Lasting 2 Hours plus
- Multipurpose uses
- 100% cream-based
Blue Gel tattoo numbing cream is a great little product in a small, one-ounce bottle. Perfect size for small tattoos, avoid the wasted expense of what wasn't used in your other sessions.
The small bottle gets you an affordable price and also makes it a great option for tattoo shops to stock.
But it's not just traditional tattooing that benefits from blue gel tattoo numbing cream, since it's also considered to be the best for the delicate work of cosmetic tattoos and microblading.
Blue Gel is also a long lasting tattoo numbing cream, lasting up to 3 hours. It is considered to be a top tattoo numbing cream, numbing cream for the eyeliner tattoo, and a numbing cream for the eyebrow.
The Blue Gel numbing cream for tattoo needs to be kept moist to remain effective. It's best to wrap the area in which it was applied until the actual session. In being both fast and effective, Blue Gel is touted as being one of the best tattoo numbing creams of 2019.
- Works quickly in 2-5 minutes
- Contains 4% Lidocaine
- Will not affect color or the healing process
- No prescription needed
- not as long lasting as others
Tattoo Soothe numbing cream is another expensive but effective way to numb the pain from a tattoo. Although on the more expensive end of the numbing cream for the tattoo market, Tattoo Soothe is a pain cream that is highly regarded by artists. These tattoo artists provide their clients with the option of using a tattoo pain numbing cream.
It's made from a combination of lidocaine, tetracaine, and epinephrine to relieve pain, swelling, and bleeding during your tattoo session.
Tattoo artists have said that it's both fast-acting and long-lasting, making it a solid contender to be the best tattoo numbing cream.
Ebanel Numb 520
So, the Ebanel Numbing pain cream, like Dr Numb, was not made for this purpose. However, it's the longest-lasting of the bunch, the most effective, and works to help soothe the itching during the healing process as well!
It's also a highly rated numbing cream for tattoo removal. The downside is that it has to remain covered while on the skin, but so long as you do that, it'll last up to 3 hours!!!
- Max strength 5% Lidocaine
- Long Lasting
- Liposomal helps penetrate the skin easier
- FDA licensed
What's the best Tattoo Numbing Cream?
After the research, reviewing the prices and ingredients of each tattoo pain numbing cream, I feel that the Hush cream beats the competition. Considered to be the best tattoo numbing cream of 2019, Hush is great as a numbing cream for tattoo removal, and is hands down the strongest tattoo numbing cream on the market.
And to top it off, it is considered the safest for you and your artist. The majority of tattoo numbing cream experts named it the top tattoo numbing cream and from experience, I have to agree that is well worth its price tag.