Getting a tattoo is like having an artwork on your skin, which is why a lot of people would like to have one. However, for those who have a low pain threshold, their fear often gets the better of them. It is normal to be afraid over the thought of a needle piercing your skin. Nonetheless, there is no need for you to be scared! The best numbing cream for tattoos is sure to save the day!
The numbing cream will be applied to the specific part of the skin that will be tattooed. It will temporarily numb the nerves so that you won’t feel the pain. The effect will depend on the strength of the cream that will be chosen. Which one should you pick? If you have no idea what to buy, keep on reading and we’ll let you know some of the top choices.
Our Top Picks for the Best Numbing Creams for Tattoos
If you are clueless on which one will make an excellent choice, here are some of the products that should be on your radar.
#1. Numb Master Topical Anesthetic Cream
The company claims that they have the strongest numbing cream that is available on the market, but it is for you to experience and tell if it is indeed true. It is fast-acting and long-lasting. More than just for tattoos, common applications of this cream include insect bites, minor cuts, skin inflammation, and sunburn. This cream contains 5% lidocaine, which is the main ingredient responsible for its numbing effect. On average, the effects of the cream can be felt from 90 to 120 minutes. Meanwhile, the optimal level will be reached within 20 to 25 minutes after its initial application.
#2. Ebanel Laboratories Numb 520
This is another numbing cream that contains 5% lidocaine that converts into a liposome. With the latter, it enhances the rate of skin absorption, making it penetrate deeper and deliver a higher level of effectiveness against pain. The effects can be felt approximately two to three minutes after the application. You can feel the maximum effects after 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, after the peak effect, it will numb the skin for about an hour. It is also non-greasy and can be removed easily. To ensure its maximum effects, see to it that the cream applied is thick so that it won’t easily evaporate.
#3. Deeveeant Lidocaine Numbing Cream Anesthetic
With 4% lidocaine, this numbing cream contains high-quality ingredients that make it effective on what it intends to do. It has botanicals that work along with lidocaine to numb the nerves. It has what the company calls triple-dip of botanicals, which include tea tree, jojoba, and aloe vera. These ingredients are known for their anti-bacterial properties and they can also speed up the healing process of the skin after getting a tattoo. The tube packaging is also great as it won’t leak or crack, as long as you follow the storage directions recommended by the manufacturer.
#4. Workvie Lidocaine Pain Relief Roll-On Cream
This numbing cream exists in the form of a roll-on stick, which makes its application a lot easier and mess-free. It is an extra-strength cream, which can provide you with the assurance that getting a tattoo does not have to result in excruciating pain. It contains three powerful ingredients – 4% lidocaine, menthol, and arnica. It also helps to reduce the swelling and inflammation after getting your tattoo. Even if you have sensitive skin, there is no need to worry as it won’t cause irritation.
#5. Greencaine Blast Numbing Cream
It is a topical anesthetic cream in a gel format. It has a microemulsion delivery system, which makes it effective in numbing the nerves prior to getting a tattoo. It also contains skin permeation enhancers, increasing the penetration of the cream for it to work better. The non-greasy formulation is also a plus, making it easy to apply and remove. Also, you won’t feel sticky. For the best effect, it is recommended that you apply a moderately thick layer of the gel on the area where you will get a tattoo, which should be roughly two to three millimeters. To provide you with peace of mind, the manufacturer offers a refund within 30 days if you are unhappy in any way with how the product works.
#6. Numb Treatment Pain Relief Cream
This pre-treatment cream penetrates deeply into the skin’s dermal layer. Specifically, it will reach the epidermis, which is the part of the skin where the pain receptors are located. Compared to most numbing creams that contain lidocaine, the effect of this product is believed to be longer, which is about 80 minutes on average. Using this cream won’t result in side effects, such as redness and swelling. Lastly, you can get a refund within 45 days after purchase if the cream does not deliver the outcomes that you expect.
#7. Medinumb Lidocaine Numbing Cream
Aside from the 4% lidocaine, this numbing cream also contains three botanicals – tea tree, jojoba, and aloe. The ingredients work together to minimize the pain that you will feel when getting a tattoo. It also makes the healing period quicker and minimizes the likelihood that you will suffer from skin swelling. It paralyzes the pain receptors in the skin for about two hours! The manufacturer also provides a 100% hassle-free refund if the cream does not perform as anticipated.
#8. LMX5 Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream
With 5% lidocaine, this cream will work not only for a tattoo but as well as for preparing the skin for various cosmetic procedures that are expected to be painful. It is effortless to apply and the effects can be felt in an instant. No wonder, it is endorsed even by doctors, which should be enough to provide you with peace of mind regarding its effectiveness! However, unlike most of the premium options for a numbing cream, the packaging is not child-resistant, so make sure to keep it away from the reach of the little ones.
Why Are Tattoo Artists Not Using Numbing Creams?
Once you enter a tattoo parlor, do not expect to see any numbing cream. The use of it is usually the prerogative of the individual. Even the tattoo artist will not suggest this. This is basically because pain is part of the experience of getting the tattoo. It makes it more memorable and special. The tattoo will feel more meaningful knowing that you have to go through pain to have it.
Also, using numbing creams can be an added cost. Tattoo artists would want to offer their services at affordable prices, which is why they try to eliminate some things that are unnecessary.
Tattoo numbing creams may not also work for everyone. There are also side effects that can happen, which will be discussed later on. Nonetheless, if the product used demonstrates top-notch quality, there should be no problem!
How Does a Tattoo Numbing Cream Work?
It may work like magic when it comes to how it makes tattoo a less painful experience, but there is actually a science behind such a mechanism. The way they work will depend on the active ingredient that is present in the tattoo.
The products that have been mentioned in this post contain lidocaine as their active ingredient, which works by deadening the nerves. Once they are applied on the surface of the skin, they make it numb.
Meanwhile, in the case of the creams that contain tetracaine, they work as nerve blockers. While the pain can still be felt by the nerves, not much of the signal is sent to the brain. They are often combined with nerve deadeners to prevent involuntary flinching.
The most powerful numbing creams are those that contain epinephrine and they are vasoconstrictors. They work by constricting the blood vessels, which will reduce the bleeding and swelling.
The Right Way to Use a Numbing Cream for Tattoo
To maximize the effectiveness of the numbing cream, it is important that you use it properly. Most manufacturers will indicate instructions in the packaging. Generally, below are the simple steps that you have to follow.
- To start with, wash the part of the skin that will be tattooed. Use warm water and an anti-bacterial soap. Wait until it dries.
- Wear gloves and apply the cream. Apply a generous layer on the portion to be tattooed. It should be on to two millimeters thick, depending on what is recommended in the label.
- Use a cling wrap or film to cover the skin. Leave the cover for about 30 to 45 minutes. This will give the skin the time to absorb the cream. Do not leave it for more than an hour. If you do, the cream will no longer be effective and it needs to be reapplied.
- Wipe off the numbing cream and the tattoo artist can now get started!
Possible Side Effects of Using Numbing Creams
Numbing creams do not promise an all-encompassing or a perfect solution to eliminate pain when having a tattoo. The effectiveness will depend on how well the individual will respond to the cream. Especially for people with sensitive skin, it is important to be more meticulous in choosing a product, making sure that it is free of ingredients that can cause irritation.
Among others, some of the most common possible side effects include minor skin irritation, redness, inflammation or swelling, itchiness, and burning.
To avoid side effects, carefully read the label and see the warnings from the manufacturer. Also, make sure to follow the instructions on its application. In some cases, the negative effects can arise not from the cream, but possibly because of contaminated equipment or wrong procedures.
Choosing the Best Numbing Creams for Tattoo
Not all of the numbing creams are created equal. To be provided with the best value for money and an assurance that it will work as expected, here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
- Ingredients: The first thing that you have to do is to look at the active ingredients. Lidocaine is one of the most effective, which should be about 4 to 5%. Several studies in the past revealed that this is the most effective ingredient, so look for products with lidocaine. Botanical extracts are also commonly found in numbing creams.
- Consistency: The cream should be thick enough, which will make sure that it won’t easily evaporate upon application. Also, if it is watery, it can end up being messy. It should be non-oily and non-greasy.
- Reviews: Take the time to read about the real-life experiences of other people. Ask around from people you know with tattoos and see if they have used a numbing cream. It will help you to weigh the pros and cons of the possibilities that you will be confronted with.
The Best Ways to Deal with Tattoo Pain
Using a numbing cream is not the only pain management strategy that can prove to be effective. Below are some of the things that you can do to make it less painful:
- Work with the right tattoo artist. Take the time to read the reviews about artists with light hands to be more confident that you won’t have to suffer from extreme pain.
- Think about where you would want the tattoo to be. The pain will be the least on the parts of the body with lots of fats and muscles, such as arms and legs. Sensitive areas and those that are close to the bones will be the most painful, which include collarbone and hands.
- Eat a filling and healthy meal before your tattoo. This will give you the stamina and will make it easier to manage the pain.
- Talk to someone while getting a tattoo. This is why it is a good idea to bring a friend along with you. It will be a good form of distraction. Avoid chatting to the tattoo artist as this might distract him or her.
- Keep calm and enjoy the experience. Think of how it will look like and do not focus on the needle piercing the skin.
Do not be afraid to get a tattoo! Yes, it is going to be painful! However, with the use of a top-rated numbing cream, including those that have been mentioned above, pain is not a thing that you should be worried about. The write cream will make the nerves numb, making you less vulnerable to pain from the needle!