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Don’t miss out on decorating your body with ink because you’re afraid of pain. Tattoo-numbing cream can be a lifesaver. In fact, even expert tattoo collectors can’t deny that using the best tattoo numbing cream you can find minimizes the pain significantly and makes especially long sessions more bearable.
Before we look at our tattoo expert’s top five picks, let’s find out more about topical anesthetics.
What Are Tattoo Numbing Creams?
Numbing creams for tattoos are designed to numb the nerve endings and stop them from sending pain signals to the brain. How exactly these creams work depends on the ingredients used in them. You get three types of numbing creams:
- Nerve deadeners. This is the most common type of skin numbing cream for tattoos. It contains lidocaine which is a local anaesthetic that stops the nerves from recognizing pain. That being said, it does not penetrate the skin, which means you may still feel the sensation of the needle entering the skin when you get your tattoo—albeit at a significantly reduced pain level.
- Nerve blockers, Tetracaine and benzocaine are the ingredients that stop your nerves from feeling some of the pain. On its own, this type of tattoo numbing cream doesn’t do much. You will have to add lidocaine to the mix to really beat the pain.
- Vasoconstrictors. Epinephrine is even more potent than lidocaine. It works by constricting the blood vessels where it is applied. Not only does this numb your pain longer than any other type of topical numbing cream for tattoos, but it also reduces bleeding and swelling.
Before you decide to use a numbing cream for tattoos, there are some things you should consider:
- It may not work on you.
- You may experience more intense pain once the numbing wears off.
- You may have an allergic reaction.
- The numbing cream can impact the final look of your tattoo.
Now that we covered that, let’s answer the most important question: What is the best tattoo numbing cream?
5 Best Tattoo Numbing Creams Overview
We asked a tattoo expert to list what they consider the best topical numbing creams to be, so that you can buy only the best before your next ink session.
1. Ebanel Liposomal Numb520: Overall Top Pick
Apart from its 5% lidocaine content, it is enhanced with Liposomal Technology. This is a fancy way of saying the cream will start working in five minutes, peak at 20-25 minutes, and last for one hour after its peak.
It’s also infused with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera to soothe and protect during the tattoo and promote healing afterward.
With an oil-free and non-greasy formula, you can expect smooth application and easy removal. It’s also completely odor free.
Best news yet: This tattoo numbing cream is super affordable.
- Fast acting (5 minutes)
- Contains Liposomal Technology
- Infused with vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Lecithin, and Allantoin
- Does not contain parabens or oil
- Cruelty free
- Thin consistency
- It doesn’t last as long as some of the other tattoo numbing creams on this list
- 5% Topical Lidocaine Cream Maximum Strength - This lidocaine gel cream temporarily relieves pain, burning, and itching, reduces inflammation and soreness
- FSA HSA Approved Eligible - Infused with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, this numb cream soothes and protects the skin from irritations. Best for minor cuts, minor scrapes, minor burns, insect bites, and anorectal disorders
- Best Efficacy, Fast-Acting & Long-Lasting - This topical numbing cream begins numbing in 3-5 minutes, peaks after 20-25 minutes, and lasts for 1 hour from its peak. Enhanced with Liposomal Technology
- Oil-Free, Odor-Free & Non-Greasy - Doctor recommended. Water-based skin numbing cream gel for easy application and no-mess removal
- Made In USA - Secured with Child-Resistant Cap, never tested on animals - Cruelty-Free, cGMP Certified, Hypoallergenic, no harsh chemicals, non-addictive. A performance test prior to treatment is highly recommended to assess your best performance timing
2. Uber Numb: Best Budget Option
If you want something that works fast, then this topical numbing cream is for you. It gets absorbed into the skin as soon as it is applied and reaches its full effect in 25 minutes. After hitting its peak, it will continue to block pain for an hour.
Enriched with powerful anti-inflammatory vitamin E, this tattoo numbing cream won’t only take off the edge, but it will also help relieve swelling and prevent itchy flaking.
With a water-based formula, you don’t have to worry about an oily residue staining your clothes.
You also won’t break the bank if you buy this numbing cream—it is reasonably priced.
- Rapid absorption
- Fasting acting (25 minutes)
- Long lasting (1 hour)
- Contains vitamin E
- Non-greasy formula
- You have to apply it 40 minutes before your tattoo session
- Have to apply twice for best results
- 5% TOPICAL LIDOCAINE CREAM MAXIMUM STRENGTH - This numbing gel cream temporarily relieves pain, itching, soreness, burning, reduces swelling, and protects irritated skin
- FAST-ACTING & LONG-LASTING - This lidocaine gel cream begins numbing in 3-5 minutes; peaks after 20-25 minutes; lasts for 1 hour from its peak.
- EXTRA SOOTHING & HYDRATING FEATURES - Infused Vitamin E and Allantoin, this topical anesthetic numb cream soothes and protects the skin from irritations. Best for minor cuts, minor scrapes, minor burns, insect bites, anorectal disorders
- ODOR-FREE, OIL-FREE & NON-GREASY - Doctor Formulated. Water-based skin numbing cream for easy application and no-mess removal
- MADE IN USA - Secured with Child-Resistant Cap, never tested on animals - Cruelty-Free, cGMP Certified, Hypoallergenic, no harsh chemicals, non-addictive. A performance test prior to treatment is highly recommended to assess your best performance timing
3. Zensa Numbing Cream: Best for Sensitive Areas
Described as “the most natural numbing cream on the market,” what sets this tattoo numbing cream apart is that it was made with tattoos in mind. It contains vitamin E, and this is great news since it is a powerful antioxidant that will help your tattoo heal.
This topical tattoo numbing cream is a little on the pricey side, which may not be good for your wallet if you plan on getting a large tattoo. Of course, numbing creams for tattoos may not be where you want to tighten your budget. This product contains high-quality ingredients, which will give you high-quality results.
- Fast acting (30-35 minutes)
- Super-long numbing action (3 hours)
- Contains vitamin E
- Made specifically with tattoos, tattoo removal, and piercing in mind.
- Safe to use around sensitive areas
- Thin consistency which means you may have to apply two or more layers
- It is expensive
- ✅ MAXIMUM STRENGTH 5% LIDOCAINE CREAM — Effective over-the-counter topical numbing cream that does not change skin texture, constrict blood vessels, or affect color settling and retention.
- ✅ LONG-LASTING PAIN RELIEF & PREVENTION — Fast-absorbing formulation provides numbing for 2 to 4 hours, and can be extended to 6-8 hours with reapplication mid-session. Starts acting as quickly as 20 minutes after application.
- ✅ IDEAL FOR TATTOOS, COSMETIC, MEDICAL USES — Common applications include tattoos and piercings, microblading/permanent makeup, microneedling, fillers/botox injections, waxing and laser hair removal, electrolysis, as well as relief for arthritis, dialysis, shots or vaccinations. Water-based, non-oily formulation leaves no trace when absorbed.
- ✅ LOVED BY 50,000+ ARTISTS, BEAUTY & HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS — Zensa is the preferred choice of top tattoo artists, medi-spas, plastic surgeons, and microblading artists across North America. It’s also hypoallergenic and cruelty-free.
- ✅ MADE IN THE U.S.A. — Safe to use on open skin, and on sensitive areas on the face and body (such as lips). Made for all skin types. Safe to use on children.
4. Dr Numb: Endorsed by Professionals
This topical numbing cream is 100% hypoallergenic. It contains the maximum amount of lidocaine (5%) and is infused with vitamin E to help the skin heal.
Where the other tattoo numbing creams listed so far are water-based, Dr Numb is cream-based. That doesn’t mean it is going to leave your skin feeling oily. Its fast-absorbing formula will suck into your skin and get working in 15 minutes. Its numbing effects will continue between two and four hours.
Dr Numb is recommended by not only tattoo artists but healthcare professionals and aestheticians across the U.S.
This tattoo numbing cream is on the expensive side but considering that it is one of the longer-lasting creams on the market, as well as the fact that it has the stamp of approval of professionals, make it worth the splurge.
- Fast acting (15 minutes)
- Long lasting (2-4 hours)
- Contains vitamin E
- Endorsed by healthcare professionals
- Cream-based which means the product will last longer
- It is very expensive
- ✔️ 𝗘𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲, 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗳: Specially formulated for maximum potency, our 100% hypoallergenic, fast-absorbing numbing cream starts working in as little as 15 minutes and lasts anywhere between two and four hours.
- ✔️ 𝗠𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗙𝗼𝗿𝗺𝘂𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: Dr. Numb 5% Lidocaine Cream with Vitamin E produces temporary numbness or loss of sensation of the skin and its surrounding tissues.
- ✔️ 𝗡𝗼 𝗢𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗙𝗲𝗲𝗹: Unlike ointments and oil-based alternatives, our fast-absorbing numbing formulation is 100% cream-based for a silky smooth, velvety feel. You'll never have to worry about having oily skin ever again.
- ✔️ 𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝘀: For over a decade, our fast-acting, long-lasting tattoo numbing cream has been the choice of healthcare professionals and aestheticians from all over USA & Canada.
- ✔️ 𝗠𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗱𝗮: Secured with Child-Resistant Cap, we value your safety. Our fast-absorbing, hypoallergenic numbing cream is 100% safe for your skin and never tested on Animals.
5. Base Numb: Best Ingredients
This topical tattoo numbing cream contains some ingredients we haven’t seen in the other products that are listed: Menthol and chamomile. These agents will boost lidocaine’s numbing ability and take away even more pain. It will also help your skin heal after the tattoo.
When it comes to its efficiency, Base Numb takes between 15 and 30 minutes to start working and lasts for up to four hours! It has a cooling gel consistency, which will leave your skin feeling supple and smooth.
You’ll be happy to learn that it is affordable, meaning you can lather bigger sections of skin without making your wallet hurt.
- Fast acting (15-30 minutes)
- Long lasting (4 hours)
- Contains calming ingredients menthol and chamomile
- It’s affordable
- Get your money back if it doesn’t work as advertised
- The thin consistency may require you to apply more than one layer
- ✨ NUMBING CREAM FOR TATTOOS - Our extra strength Numbing cream completely numbs the often unbearable pain of getting a tattoo! With Lidocaine 5% it contains the highest allowed amount in non-prescription topicals. Our Tattoo Numbing cream is best used for many cosmetic and medical procedures such as Piercings, Microneedling, Microblading, Lip Injections, Brazilian & Laser Hair Removal, Waxing, Dermal Fillers, Eyebrow, Electrolysis and Botox.
- 💁🏼♀️ PAIN FREE TATTOO NUMBING EFFECT - Our Topical Numbing Cream contains many natural ingredients such as hemp seed oil, chamomile, aloe vera and tea tree oil, which help excel the benefits of Lidocaine and care for your skin simultaneously. So whether you use a brazilian waxing kit for women, microblading kit, home waxing kit for women, microblading eyebrow kit, doing lip injections, botox or jelly waxing kit it will be a much more bearable procedure than without our cream!
- 🏎 FAST ACTING LOCAL ANESTHETIC - Our Maximum Strength Pain Relief Numbing Gel only takes 15-30 minutes to numb your skin! It should be part of every tattoo kit out there! Just apply the cream shortly before you’re ready for whatever treatment you’re getting! Tattoo Numbing Creams should be part of everyone's tattoo supplies and tattoo kits. After your treatment your practitioner can apply tattoo aftercare like tattoo goo or tattoo lotion without any problem as our cream is grease free!
- ⏳ EXTRA STRENGTH PAIN RELIEF - Our skin numbing cream works for up to 4 hours! It’s the ideal numb cream for tattoo & numbing cream for laser hair removal as you can use it for short and long sessions likewise. There’s no stronger Lidocaine numbing cream available OTC! Our topical numbing cream contains Lidocaine 5 percent and is the ideal lidocaine gel & topical lidocaine for tattoo numbing. Our numbing gel, wax numbing cream & piercing numbing cream will make many treatments much less painful!
- 🔒LIDOCAINE PAIN RELIEF CREAM - Extra Strength Topical Anesthetic Pain Relieving Cream which Reduces the pain and discomfort from Nerve Pain, Itching, Sutures, Burning, Minor Cuts, Soreness, Muscle/Joint Pain and bruises. Our Lidocaine Cream is so effective, we offer a Full Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're among those very few non-responders to Lidocaine and don’t feel the anticipated numbing effect of our cream, please reach out to us! We’ll issue you a FULL REFUND - no questions asked 🙋🏼♀️
Getting a tattoo is truly one of the coolest experiences; missing out on it because you’re afraid of the pain would be such a waste. Now that you know what the best tattoo numbing creams are, you’re ready to get the tattoo of your dreams.
So, grab the product you think will work best with your skin and let your tattoo artist know you’re ready to decorate your skin. The experience will be much more enjoyable with the help of a topical numbing cream.