best tattoo numbing cream

Best Tattoo Numbing Cream: Reviews and Buying Guide 2022

Does it hurt to get a tattoo?

The fact that we can easily find the best tattoo numbing creams says it all.

It may not be the most painful thing to go through, but painful enough to make many people refuse to get one.

Apparently, everyone has a different pain threshold. What you perceive as intolerable pain might feel like ant bite to someone else.

Another factor that affects the level of pain you’ll get from tattooing is the size of the design.

A large tattoo takes hours to work on, meaning that needles will be poking through your skin for longer. This will make the pain intensify with every hour.

Another essential factor to consider is the location of the tattoo. Some parts of the skin are highly sensitive, like the side chest. If you decide to get a tattoo in this area, it will be more painful then drawing it on, let’s say the forearm.

This will no longer be a problem if you have applied numbing cream prior to getting a tattoo. You can choose one of the following products:

Spiritus Tattoo is reader-supported, and as an Amazon Associate, we earn commissions from qualifying purchases (at no extra cost to you). See our disclaimer page for more information.

The Best Tattoo Numbing Creams


1. Inked Inspired Premium Tattoo Numbing Lidocaine Cream

With tattoo topical lidocaine 5%, this cream reduces pain for up to 2 hours and may be used on any area of the body.

Apply a thin layer on the skin to quickly numb it. Once the effect wears off, you can apply it again. This cream contains potent ingredients.

It doesn’t matter if you have low pain tolerance. You can count on this product to manage the pain caused by the needles. And it’s not just for tattoos.

Whenever you decide to get body piercing, this product would help also alleviate the pain. It absorbs quickly thanks to the water-based formula. Active ingredients that penetrate through the skin quickly will allow faster absorption.

As a result, the area will go numb more quickly. Application is easy, too. You must first clean the area of the tattoo with soapy water. Rinse it off and then remove excess water with a towel.

After that, apply a thick layer of the cream on the surface. Follow with the second application.

Before going to Tattoo parlor, rub it all over the skin and then cover with plastic wrap.

The great thing about the product is, you don’t have to wait for hours. It only takes 15-20 minutes for this quick acting pain relief lotion to take effect.

2. Zensa Tattoo Pain Relief Cream

How does it compare to other similar products?

Zensa is made in the United States and is approved by both Health Canada and the FDA.

It contains Vitamin E, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that helps the skin recover quicker by relieving itching, burning, and stinging.

This cream has a numbing effect that lasts for up to 3 hours.

It’s a pretty good deal considering many products require another application every 2 hours or less.

If you want to try this, follow the instructions carefully.

To make sure that the ingredients can be absorbed efficiently, you should exfoliate the dead skin cells first.

Any exfoliating product is welcome, but best stay away from chemicals because the skin is going to deal with harsh tattoo work.

You can also use alcohol to sterilize the whole area and open the pores. It aims to allow better absorption of the ingredients.

Once you’ve done the cleanup, apply the cream approximately 3mm in thickness. Rub it gently until it covers the skin where the tattoo will be placed.

This product doesn’t require a repeated application. Just one layer is enough, but seal it tightly using plastic wrap.

It takes about 30-45 minutes until the skin goes numb. It will remain in this state for another 3 hours.

3. Numbskin Numbing Lotion for Tattoos

Many numbing creams use lidocaine as the main ingredient because it has the ability to reduce sensitivity in the skin tissue.

This product boasts lidocaine 5% for fast relief of local discomfort.

Remember that the onset of pain varies depending on the area where the tattoo is at.

Some parts of the skin are super sensitive, so a stronger formula is required to avoid torture during a tattoo session.

This product lasts up to 4 hours. There’s a lot your tattoo artist can do within this time frame.

He’d probably ask to stop once the effect wears off and makes another appointment to finish the tattoo.

Another benefit of using this cream is it doesn’t get tested on animals.

Although the product has cosmetic motivation behind it, it’s just as useful for treating health problems like nerve pain.

This can be debilitating because the pain strikes anytime we put pressure on the feet or hands.

4. Dr. Numb Fast Acting Numbing Cream

This is another product that uses lidocaine as the main ingredient. It’s not really surprising given its potency as a topical anesthetic agent. This cream has a hypoallergenic formula, so it should be safe for application on sensitive skin.

It takes just about 15 minutes to be fully absorbed. And after the application, the area will experience a decrease in sensitivity for up to 4 hours. The multipurpose formulation also makes it suitable for all kinds of procedures.

Whether you want to have a tattoo or about to undergo minor surgery, it can help manage the pain. Additionally, the cream doesn’t feel greasy.

Too much oil can slow down absorption. This one, on the other hand, penetrates through the skin quickly.

In regard to safety, this product has been FDA-certified, which is an accomplishment in itself.

5. UltraNumb Topical Anesthetic Cream

The jar contains 10 gram of numbing cream. It’s equal to 4” x 4” of covered area. If one jar isn’t enough to cover your large tattoo, you can buy a few more.

This product isn’t less impressive than the ones already mentioned. It’s also powerful for numbing the skin tissue. It’s not just for tattoos. You can use the same product for other procedures that can trigger pain, including laser treatment, waxing, and piercing.

Its non-sticky formula is water based. Apply it directly on the location of the tattoo, it will melt right into the skin.

6. Ebanel Numbing Ointment for Tattoos

Lidocaine has become an integral part of topical anesthesia. This anesthetic agent can be found in many numbing creams, including this one. It contains 5% lidocain, which has the potency to block pain signals from the nerves to the brain.

Thus, you will no longer feel pain on the area where the cream has been applied to. It takes no more than 30 minutes until the numbing effect occurs.

The desensitization continues for about 2 hours. This product is totally safe for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it contains no parabens. Secondly, it’s free of animal cruelty. Thirdly, there are no harsh chemicals added during the manufacturing process.

Picking The Best Numbing Cream for Tattoo / Piercing


1. Fast acting

A good numbing cream is one that can numb quickly. In other words, you don’t have to wait for too long before the cream takes effect.

Some products require 1 hour pre-tattoo application. Since every product has different ingredients, you should focus on the main components. There is probably one or two that plays a big role in creating the numbing effect.

2. Lasting effect

Depending on the formula, a numbing cream may have an anesthetic effect that lasts from an hour to a couple of hours. You can find this information on the listing page.

When a cream has good durability, you don’t need to apply it over and over again. This can, in turn, save you and your tattoo artist from stress.

Timing is everything. Read the directions of use to find out when the cream is supposed to be applied before tattooing starts.

3. Active ingredients

Some products combine several active ingredients to boost the anesthetic effect. Lidocaine is a common medicine added to these type of products. When used in combination with prilocaine, it will boost the efficacy.

As a result, the skin upon which you apply the cream will be dead quickly after application. For you information, the use of numbing cream is not just for tattooing.

Since it helps dull the sensation of pain, it works for just about any procedure that involves pain and discomfort.


If you still have any concerns, the following are some commonly asked questions about the best tattoo numbing agent that may provide an answer to your query.

Do tattoos hurt less if you’re fat?

Fat distribution is different for everyone, but despite that, a tattoo is likely less painful when done in an area with more fat under the skin.

Another thing that affects pain intensity is how close the bones are to the tattoo. If they’re close to the surface, then the pain would be more severe, too.

And then, the technique used by the artist can’t be ruled out. Every tattooist has their own way of injecting ink, which may influence how you perceive pain.

Is it bad to put numbing cream on before a tattoo?

No, it’s actually a good idea because numbing creams are designed to lessen pain during tattoo procedures.

Although they work, they can’t completely remove pain because the lotion doesn’t penetrate into the deeper layers. It would be more effective when combined with another painkiller.

Unless the products are available over-the-counter, you’d need physician supervision before mixing medicines. By the way, your tattoo artist can provide information about these creams because they’re quite commonplace in tattoo practice.

What’s the strongest numbing cream?

What plays a vital role in the efficacy of numbing cream is the ingredient. Some products are widely acknowledged for their potency, but they share something in common, which is the key ingredient.

You may find that lidocaine is listed as the core component. Some creams contain up to 10.56% of this substance to produce a strong effect. One of the examples is Neo-Cain Cream, which starts to take effect within minutes after application.

What is the longest-lasting tattoo numbing cream?

We’d recommend Zensa numbing cream not only for its long-lasting effect but also for its fast-acting. Most importantly, it’s formulated with natural ingredients.

If you’re passionate about things derived from nature, this can be an alternative to other creams in the market. It’s also enriched with Vitamin E and ingredients to relieve inflammation. This product is totally safe for skin application because it’s FDA-approved.

Do tattoo artists recommend numbing cream?

Some do, but they won’t force it as the main option to alleviate pain. Some people do just fine without applying it to their skin. As said before, many factors come into play when bearing pain inflicted by a tattoo procedure.

Pain tolerance is definitely a big factor. People with higher thresholds of pain probably don’t need any nerve deadener. But if it potentially causes excruciating pain, your artist may suggest something.

Why do (some) tattoo artists hate numbing cream?

They’re probably concerned if the ingredients are safe enough or may trigger allergic reactions. Tattoo ink is already considered a foreign object by the body. This alone can cause irritation in some people.

For those with sensitive skin, chemicals in numbing creams pose similar risks. This is probably what makes some artists hesitant to use the topical medication.

They recommend it as the last option when clients can’t handle the discomfort due to the low pain tolerance

Good Tattoo Numbing Cream Conclusion


Having low pain tolerance shouldn’t stop you from getting a tattoo. It may cause a lot of discomfort, but the best tattoo numbing creams can take care of that. These creams contain ingredients that block nerve signals in the body.

In choosing a product, you should take into account the lasting effect it can provide. Besides, pay attention to the directions of use.

Remember that such creams aren’t just useful to prepare for a tattoo. You can also use the same products for painful procedures like waxing and laser hair removal.

Last but not least, safety should be a concern because some ingredients may cause allergic reactions. Always do a test before applying a cream on a larger part of the skin. This way, you can tell if the skin can tolerate all the compounds or not.

Scroll to Top