The Best Numbing Cream For Tattoo – 2017 Reviews & Top Picks

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In line with our mission to support your beauty, we’ve rounded up the best numbing cream for tattoo. The creams in this list were carefully picked based on their effectiveness in helping you keep the pain down for your next tattoo. We believe these products deserve a permanent place in your beauty arsenal, especially when you are a tattoo lover.

Nowadays, having a tattoo is as common as getting a snack at the local mall.

Tattoos were previously associated with scary bikers, inmates, and eccentrics, but now, even celebrities, co-eds, parents, and professionals are getting inked up as tattoos have become accepted as part of modern culture.

While everyone from moms to your next door neighbor may be making a beeline towards the nearest and hottest tattoo parlor, not everyone relishes the pain of getting repeatedly poked with ink-tipped needles.

This is why some prefer to reach for numbing products instead of enduring the pain throughout the whole process.

With tattoos becoming part of mainstream culture comes the prevalence of products meant to lessen the pain from getting a tattoo.

Numbing gels, creams, and sprays have flooded the market, each one claiming to be more effective than the others.

And this is why we’ve come up with a list of the best numbing creams for tattoos to help you prepare for your next ink session and, hopefully, make it go a little smoother and make it less of a white-knuckle experience for you.​


Quick Overview: Our Top 5 Picks For the Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos

The number one spot on our top 5 picks for the best numbing cream for tattoos goes to Numb 100 Topical Anaesthetic Cream. The formula penetrates deeply and may keep you pain-free for almost 90 minutes.

The second spot goes to UberScience Uber Numb Topical Anaesthetic Cream. This fast-absorbing cream lessens the pain of tattooing and microblading.

The next product on our list is Ebanel Numb 520 Topical Anaesthetic Cream. It contains 5% lidocaine and works in as fast as 20 minutes.

The fourth product on our list is HUSH Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Gel. Apart from numbing the skin in preparation for tattooing, it’s also useful for other painful beauty procedures such as waxing and laser hair removal.

Last but not the least on our list is Clinical Resolution Non-Oily Numb Master Topical Anaesthetic Cream. It numbs the top layer of the skin and is non-oily and non-sticky.

What Are Numbing Creams?

Numbing creams, or topical anesthetics, are used to numb an area of the body in preparation for painful procedures such as tattooing, waxing, piercing, tattoo removal, and laser hair removal, among others.

Some tattoo enthusiasts would scoff at the thought of using a numbing cream, as many think that the pain is an integral part of the whole process.

However, some people have low pain thresholds, which means that they are very sensitive to pain.

It’s quite astounding to think that those who can barely stand getting their eyebrows plucked or getting vaccinated would even think of getting a tattoo.

However, many people who have a low tolerance for pain have found that it’s possible to withstand the pain of getting tattoos through the use of a good numbing cream.

What exactly makes a good numbing cream?​

Most topical anesthetics usually contain lidocaine, which works by blocking nerve signals in the body.

It’s often used in creams to reduce discomfort caused by skin irritations such as insect bites, poison ivy, or burns.

If you have liver disease, a serious heart condition, or an allergy to any drugs, it’s best to consult your doctor before using a numbing cream that contains lidocaine.

Most numbing creams that are available over the counter contain 5% lidocaine, which is the maximum amount approved by the FDA.

How To Use A Numbing Cream Before Getting a Tattoo​

If you’re set on getting your first dainty tattoo on your wrist, but you’re dreading the pain of needles, fear not: A good numbing cream may help you get through it with little to no pain.

Keep in mind that using a numbing cream isn’t the same as slathering on a regular cream or lotion to your skin.

For best results, follow the instructions on the packaging, and make sure to give the cream enough time to numb your skin.

When it comes to using a numbing cream, timing is everything, so make sure to give it time to work. Moreover, don’t use it too early to avoid the effects from wearing off prematurely.

For instance, if the instruction says that you need to let the cream sit for 20 minutes before starting your ink session, then that’s what you should do to get the full effect of the numbing cream.

Though it may be tempting to use the numbing cream hours before your tattoo appointment, don’t—there’s a chance that the numbing sensation might wear off before the needle penetrates your skin.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your tattoo artist before using a numbing cream.

They need to know what you used, and since some tattoos can take hours to finish, you should expect that the numbing effect may wear off at some point while you’re getting that sleeve tattoo.

Here are the things that you need if you decide to use a numbing cream:​

  • Plastic gloves
  • Numbing cream
  • Cling wrap or plastic wrap (optional)

Here’s how to use a numbing cream:

  1. Start with clean skin. Wash the area where you’ll have the tattoo with soap and water. Dry it completely with a clean towel.
  2. Don’t apply moisturizer, lotion, or any other product to the area.
  3. Wear the gloves and apply a generous layer of the numbing cream to the area.
  4. You can cover the area with plastic wrap to help the cream penetrate deeper into the skin. This is an optional step. Keep the plastic wrap in place for no more than 45 minutes.
  5. Once you’re about to start your ink session, your tattoo artist will wipe off the numbing cream and will get started on your tattoo.

Product Reviews: Our Top 5 Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 1

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This is our number one pick on our list of the best numbing creams for tattoos because it’s formulated to last longer than other topical anesthetics out there.

It contains 5% lidocaine, and the cream’s numbing effects may last up to 90 minutes.

Apart from using it before getting a tattoo, this cream may also be used before getting your legs waxed. It can also numb your skin in preparation for microblading or electrolysis.

We used this on the area above our ankle and covered it with plastic wrap before getting a tattoo, and it did lessen the pain.

We hardly felt the needle as our tattoo artist got started on our small tattoo. After about an hour, the feeling gradually began to return, but the pain was tolerable.

What We Liked:

  • May give lasting numbing effect
  • Easy to apply

What We Didn't Like:

  • Comes in a small container
  • May cause slight burning sensation during application

Number two on our list of the best numbing creams for tattoos is UberScience Uber Numb Topical Anaesthetic Cream.

This cream contains 5% lidocaine, which penetrates into the skin to reach the pain receptors located beneath it.

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 2

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Apart from its active ingredient, vitamin E soothes skin, while allantoin conditions, moisturizes, and smoothes skin.

We used this cream on our ring finger in preparation for the delicate vine design that we wanted to be tattooed on our digit, and we covered it loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 45 minutes.

It took the sting out of the ink session and made getting a tattoo a good experience.

The only thing that we didn’t like about this is that there’s very little of the product, so if you’re planning to get a larger tattoo, you may need a few more jars of this numbing cream.​

What We Liked:

  • Contains vitamin E
  • Helps moisturize and smooth the skin

What We Didn't Like:

  • May cause slight stinging and redness
  • Comes in a tiny jar

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 3

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Next on our list is this numbing cream that leaves a non-greasy feeling and gets the job done.

Its active ingredient is 5% lidocaine, and the numbing feeling starts minutes after application. The full numbing effect may be felt within 20 to 30 minutes.

This numbing cream also contains allantoin to moisturize skin, as well as triethanolamine, which helps the cream spread smoothly.

We applied this cream to our eyebrows before getting permanent makeup, and for this session, we had our eyebrows tattooed so we wouldn’t have to do them every day.

We carefully avoided our eyes as we did so, and covered our cream-saturated brows with plastic wrap.

We also held a washcloth over our eyes to avoid getting the product into our eyes while we let it sit and do its magic.

It did numb our eyebrows while getting permanent makeup, so we were able to get beautiful brows without squirming the whole time.

Our only issue with this cream is that it does have a tendency to get cakey, so you’ll need to spread it evenly when you’re using it.​

What We Liked:

  • Numbing effect starts quickly
  • Moisturizing effect

What We Didn't Like:

  • May get cakey during application

The only gel on our list of the best numbing creams for tattoos, this product from HUSH made the cut because of its use of natural elements in addition to its active ingredient - 4% lidocaine.

Aloe leaf extract has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and it also reduces skin inflammation.

Chamomile flower extract has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and it has been a popular natural remedy for reducing pain.

Meanwhile, green tea leaf extract protects skin cells and is a good anti-inflammatory, which makes it an excellent ingredient in a numbing cream.

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 4

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We love that out of all the products on this list, this gel has the most product - about 2 ounces in a bottle, which may be enough to cover larger areas of the body in preparation for a large tattoo.

While the gel did numb our wrist before we got our script tattoo, the numbness started to fade after 30 minutes, and we could feel every prick of the needle.

This may be because the gel has a lower percentage of lidocaine than the other creams on this list.​

What We Liked:

  • Contains plant extracts
  • Easy to spread

What We Didn't Like:

  • Numbing effect may not last
  • May not completely numb larger areas of the body

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 5

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Last but definitely not the least on our list of the best numbing creams for tattoos is Clinical Resolution Non-Oily Master Topical Anaesthetic Cream.

Like all the other creams on this list, it contains 5% lidocaine in a water-based formula, so we really liked how non-oily and non-sticky it is.

Unlike the other numbing creams, this can be applied up to six times a day for the temporary relief of anorectal discomfort, so it’s definitely versatile and may be used beyond tattooing.

It contains allantoin to moisturize and soothe skin, as well as trolamine, which is a type of salicylate often used to treat minor aches and pains of joints and muscles.

This time, we used this cream prior to leg waxing, and while it decreased the pain, we could still feel the hair being ripped out of our legs.

This may or may not work for you if it’s applied to a small area in preparation for a small tattoo.

We also used this prior to getting a small daisy tattoo behind our ear, and while the pain was lessened, we still felt the needle all throughout our entire ink session.​

What We Liked:

  • Non-oily and non-sticky
  • Water-based formula

What We Didn't Like:

  • May not sufficiently numb skin prior to waxing or tattooing
  • May cause slight redness or burning sensation

Latest Reviews and Comparisons of The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos




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  Best Choice  

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 1
  • 5% lidocaine
  • Numbing effect may last as long as 90 minutes
  • May also be used for microblading, electrolysis, and other procedures

2nd Choice

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 2
  • 5% lidocaine
  • Vitamin E
  • Allantoin
  • Works in as fast as 20 minutes
  • Moisturizes and soothes skin

3rd Choice

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 3
  • 5% lidocaine
  • Allantoin
  • Triethanolamine
  • Numbing effect starts minutes after application
  • Moisturizing effect

4th Choice

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 4
  • 4% lidocaine
  • Green tea leaf extract
  • Aloe Leaf Extract
  • Has antioxidant and antibacterial properties
  • Contains plant extracts

5th Choice

The Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos - 5
  • 5% lidocaine
  • Allantoin
  • Trolamine
  • Non-oily and non-sticky
  • May be used up to six times a day

The Bottom Line

After much testing, we picked Numb 100 Topical Anaesthetic Cream as the best numbing cream for tattoos.

This product won our hearts for its long-lasting numbing effect, as well as its versatility.

Aside from using it for tattoos, it may also be used for other potentially painful aesthetic procedures such as microblading, waxing, electrolysis, permanent makeup, and the like.

Our top pick, as well as all the products on this list, are formulated to lessen the pain from tattooing and other beauty procedures.

Be sure to talk to your tattoo artist or doctor before using any of these topical anesthetics.​