If you’re about to get a tattoo for the first time, you might feel really nervous about the pain level, especially if you already know that you have a low pain tolerance.
A tattoo numbing cream or gel is a great way to make your pain and discomfort levels much more manageable while getting a tattoo, which makes the entire experience so much nicer for both you and your tattoo artist.
Here’s our favorite tattoo numbing cream on the market, as well as a handy-dandy buying guide that’ll answer all of your questions about tattoo pain and numbing creams!
Best Tattoo Numbing Cream Reviews
|Best Tattoo Numbing Cream Reviews||Rate||Price|
|HUSH Anesthetic – Tattoo Numbing Gel (Editor’s Pick)||4.9/5||$$|
|Numb 520 (1.35 oz./ 38 g) 5% Lidocaine||4.3/5||$|
|Lidocaine Blue Gel Tattoo Numbing Cream Gel||4.8/5||$$|
|Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter||4.8/5||$|
|Clinical Resolution Non-Oily Numb Master||4.8/5||$|
|Dr. Numb Lidocaine Cream 4% Topical Anesthetic||4.5/5||$$|
|Uber Numb (2 oz) 5% Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream||4.5/5||$|
|GREENCAINE BLAST Numbing Cream||4.7/5||$$|
|Numbing Cream 5% Lidocaine Topical Anesthetic||4.0/5||$$|
1. HUSH Anesthetic – Tattoo Numbing Gel 2 oz. – More Powerful than Numbing Cream [Editor’s Pick]
This powerful and innovative tattoo numbing gel is the only numbing agent that’s specifically formulated for use both before and during tattooing. It’s an excellent investment for any tattoo enthusiast!
This tattoo numbing gel is epinephrine and paraben-free. Instead, it uses botanical ingredients like aloe, chamomile, green tea, and calendula flower to reduce inflammation, pain, and redness before and during the tattoo process without affecting the color or design of your tattoo!
Works for Many Procedures
Not only can this tattoo numbing gel be used during the tattooing process, but it can also be used to reduce pain, redness, and inflammation for tattoo removal, piercing, waxing, electrolysis, laser hair removal, and permanent makeup procedures. Plus, it’s safe for use on all areas of the body!
Effective for All Sizes of Tattoo
This tattoo numbing gel works really well for various different sizes of tattoos, since it’s proven to be effective for up to 2 hours after initial application. Regardless of whether you’re just getting a tiny, delicate tattoo or a large, intricate sleeve or chest piece, this tattoo numbing gel will keep you pain-free!
This tattoo gel is one of the most highly recommended numbing creams on the market. Even if you’re getting a tattoo in a notoriously sensitive or painful area, a nice thick layer of this numbing gel will make the process so much more bearable, instead of torturously painful.
2. Numb 520 (1.35 oz./ 38 g) Child-Resistant Cap 5% Lidocaine, Liposomal Technology for Deeper Penetration
If you’re looking for a tattoo numbing cream that works just as well as prescription lidocaine creams, but you don’t want to have to visit a doctor, this numbing cream is the perfect product for you!
This potent 5% lidocaine formula begins to work 2 to 3 minutes after your initial application. After 20 minutes, it’ll reach its peak numbing potential. After that initial 20-minute period, you’ll experience full-force numbness for one entire hour, which is plenty of time to get a tattoo!
Blocks Nerve Pain
Lidocaine is one of the most effective pain-relief ingredients out there. It blocks your nerves from transmitting and receiving pain signals by forming a blocking channel across your nerve ending, preventing sodium ions from passing through and causing a painful sensation.
In addition to working excellently for pain relief during the tattooing process, this numbing cream also comes highly recommended for tattoo removal, waxing, laser hair removal, and micro-needling procedures.
When applied in a thick layer, this numbing cream works wonders for preventing pain and discomfort during the tattooing process. It reduces pain significantly, making the process of getting a tattoo so much more pleasant for both you and your tattoo artist!
3. Lidocaine Blue Gel Tattoo Numbing Topical Anesthetic Cream Gel
This unassuming little bottle contains one of the most highly recommended tattoo numbing gels of all time. Many people trust The Original Blue Gel Anesthetic to keep them pain and discomfort free while getting tattoos, piercings, laser hair removal, and other painful procedures.
Powerful Combination of Ingredients
This numbing gel contains 4% lidocaine and 2% tetracaine, as well as a powerful vascular constrictor, which work together to reduce pain, redness, inflammation, swelling, bruising, and bleeding for up to 2 whole hours.
If you’re gearing up to get any sort of pain-sensitive procedure that involves broken skin, this numbing cream is a must. Apply it 2 to 5 minutes before getting a tattoo, piercing, micro-blading, or permanent makeup procedure. For the next 2 hours, you’ll be absolutely pain-free!
It’s very important that you only apply this numbing cream once during your tattooing, piercing, micro-blading, or permanent makeup process. Just one application is more than enough to numb your skin. Over-application can damage your tissues and cause inferior final results.
Makes Tattooing Experience More Pleasant
This numbing cream is an excellent way to minimize pain and discomfort during any pain sensitive procedure. It doesn’t interfere with the tattooing or piercing process, but it still works to manage your pain levels and make the entire experience much more pleasant.
4. Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter for Before, During, and After the Tattoo Process
This potent, luxurious tattoo numbing cream works to manage your pain levels during every step of the tattoo preparation, application, and healing processes. Not only does it reduce pain, but it also helps moisturize and heal your skin!
This numbing cream is paraben and petroleum-free, which makes for a much easier tattoo application. Instead, it uses natural ingredients like shea butter, mango butter, aloe, sunflower oil, rice bran oil, papaya, coconut, green tea, mint, and vitamin E.
Doesn’t Clog Skin
Other tattoo creams can clog your pores and cause buildup, which irritates your skin and makes the tattooing process much more difficult for your tattoo artist. This cream is unique because it helps colored ink penetrate your skin more easily, making the tattooing process much more pleasant for both you and your tattoo artist.
Moisturizes and Soothes
This tattoo cream helps reduce redness, swelling, bleeding, and bruising. Plus, its natural and nourishing ingredients also help smooth, moisturize, and smooth your skin, which significantly speeds up the tattoo healing process.
Favorite Among Tattoo Enthusiasts
This specialized tattoo cream is a favorite among tattoo enthusiasts for pain management during the tattooing process, but also to heal their skin after they’ve gotten a new tattoo. It works double duty, making it an incredible value for its price!
5. Clinical Resolution Non-Oily Numb Master Topical Anesthetic Cream, 1 oz.
This powerful, doctor-recommended numbing cream features a 5% concentration of lidocaine, which will minimize your pain for up to one hour after initial application. It works great for tattoos or any other pain sensitive procedure involving broken skin.
This numbing cream has a lightweight water-based gel formula, which doesn’t feel greasy, oily, sticky, or cakey on your skin. Plus, it’s also designed to penetrate and absorb into your skin quickly without leaving an uncomfortable residue.
Works for Up to an Hour
This numbing cream will begin to numb your skin only a couple of minutes after initial application. After about 20 minutes, it’ll reach its full numbing capacity and stay that way for up to an hour, giving your tattoo artist enough time to give you a tattoo without too much pain or discomfort.
For the best results, apply a generous layer of this numbing cream to your intended area a few minutes before you get a tattoo. Then, wrap the entire area in plastic wrap. This minimizes evaporation and helps the cream penetrate more deeply into your skin for better results.
This tattoo numbing cream comes highly recommended by many tattoo artists and tattoo enthusiasts. It helps minimize pain and discomfort, even for large tattoos that would ordinarily be extremely painful.
6. Dr. Numb Lidocaine Cream 4% Topical Anesthetic, 30 Gram
This numbing cream is extremely versatile. It contains 4% lidocaine and uses only the most high-quality ingredients to ensure that your pain and discomfort are at an absolute minimum whenever you use it.
Not Just Tattoos
Not only can this numbing cream be used to reduce pain during the tattooing process, but it can also be used to minimize pain and itching due to bug bites, minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, and sunburns. It’s incredibly versatile, so even if you don’t get tattoos often, it’s still a great value.
In addition to its power and versatility, Dr. Numb Lidocaine Cream also has a non-oily, water-based formula that doesn’t interfere with your skin’s elasticity. That means that it’s comfortable to apply and that it sinks into your skin quickly and easily, making tattooing a breeze.
Lasts for Over 3 Hours
This tattoo cream lasts for up to 3 hours and 30 minutes after initial application, making it one of the most long-lasting numbing creams on the market. Plus, its formula does not interfere with the ink used in tattoos or micro-blading.
Great for Small Tattoos
This tattoo cream works best for small tattoos or tattoos in relatively tough and insensitive areas. It numbs effectively enough to reduce pain for these relatively minor procedures. However, it makes up for its gentleness with its versatility, since it can also be used for bug bites, sunburns, and small cuts, scrapes, burns, and bruises.
7. Uber Numb 5% Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream, Lidocaine Ointment Numbing Cream
This powerful numbing cream has the highest concentration of lidocaine approved by the FDA for an over-the-counter topical anesthetic. That means that it’s one of the most powerful numbing creams on the market!
Lidocaine and Vitamin E
In addition to lidocaine, this numbing cream also contains vitamin E, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. In addition to minimizing your pain, this cream’s ingredients will also help moisturize and soothe your skin!
This cream has a water-based formula, which means that it absorbs into your skin quickly and seamlessly without creating a greasy or oily-feeling residue. It also doesn’t stain your clothing, upholstery, or sheets, making it safe to wear anywhere!
Works in Just 20 Minutes
20 minutes after you first apply this numbing cream, you’ll begin to feel its full effects. The pain relief capacity of this cream lasts for up to one hour and thirty minutes, which is plenty of time to get a small to mid-sized tattoo.
Great for Tattoo Newbies
This numbing cream comes highly recommended from tattoo novices who were nervous about the pain levels of their first tattoos. If you have a low pain threshold or have never gotten a tattoo before, this cream is a great way to make your very first tattoo experience as enjoyable as possible!
8. GREENCAINE BLAST Numbing Cream Topical Anesthetic Lidocaine 4%
This powerful numbing cream features a concentration of 4% lidocaine, which effectively manages pain, swelling, inflammation, and bleeding for a variety of procedures, including tattoos, tattoo removal, waxing, laser hair removal, micro-needling, and micro-blading.
In addition to lidocaine, GREENCAINE BLAST Numbing Cream also features a high concentration of aloe gel, which is well-known for its soothing, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory properties.
Great Way to Prepare for a Tattoo
This numbing cream is a great way to prepare for your tattoo, waxing, or micro-needling procedure at home. One hour before your appointment begins, apply a generous amount to the pertinent area. After about 10 minutes, you’ll start to feel a tingling sensation. By the time you get to the tattoo parlor or spa, you’ll be completely numb!
Made in the USA
This numbing cream was made in the USA at an FDA-approved facility, so you can trust its claims, safety, and results. If for whatever reason you’re dissatisfied with your experience, you can return your cream for a full refund within 30 days of your initial purchase!
Manages Your Pain
This cream does a great job at keeping your pain levels manageable during any tattooing, waxing, laser hair removal, micro-needling, or micro-blading procedure. Plus, it works well for medical conditions like shingles, chicken pox, and poison ivy!
9. Numbing Cream 5% Lidocaine Topical Anesthetic
This numbing cream does a great job at reducing your pain sensitivity, making it so much easier to get tattoos, piercings, waxing, laser hair removal, micro-needling, or micro-blading procedures.
Powerful and Long-Lasting
This numbing cream features 5% lidocaine, a powerful concentration that will help minimize pain, swelling, redness, and bleeding. Plus, the numbing effects last for up to 4 hours after initial application!
Easy to Apply
An hour before your procedure, wipe down the affected area of your skin with a damp cloth. Then, apply a thick layer of numbing cream and lightly rub it in. Before you leave your house, wrap the affected area in plastic wrap to prevent the cream from rubbing off or evaporating.
In addition, to use for tattoos, piercings, laser hair removal, waxing, and micro-needling procedures, this numbing cream also works great to prevent pain and itching due to minor burns, cuts, scrapes, bug bites, sunburns, and nerve pain.
This numbing cream is super effective for tattoos, especially if you know you have a low pain tolerance or are planning to get a large tattoo done. Plus, it’s a great addition to your first aid kit, and can also reduce discomfort due to bug bites, sunburns, and more!
What’s the Best Tattoo Numbing Cream?
If you’re looking for the best tattoo numbing cream, we’d highly recommend the HUSH Anesthetic – Tattoo Numbing Gel. It’s specifically formulated for the tattooing process, so it’s effective at managing your pain, but it also doesn’t interfere with your tattoo artist’s work. Plus, it can be used for all tattoo sizes, making it incredibly versatile in addition to powerful!
Is It Bad to Put Numbing Cream on Before a Tattoo?
It’s not necessarily bad to put on numbing cream before getting tattooed, but if you’re going to do it, you need to know how to do it right. Make sure you buy a formula that’s specifically designed to work on unbroken skin.
If you buy the wrong kind of formula, it won’t be effective until the tattoo gun actually starts penetrating the upper layer of your skin. Also, make sure that you don’t leave your numbing cream on for over an hour. Otherwise, it can damage your tissues and lead to inferior tattoo results. However, if you follow these steps, your tattoo should turn out great, with much less pain!
What Is the Least Painful Place to Get a Tattoo?
The least painful places to get a tattoo generally have fewer nerve endings, which of course means less pain and sensitivity. They include the outer arms, shoulders, forearms, thighs, calves, shins, and the tops of the knuckles.
Of course, tattoo pain levels are relative and depend a lot on your personal pain threshold and health history, so what might be super painful for you might not be that bad for someone else, and vice versa. However, generally speaking, the places we mentioned above are normally the least painful places to get a tattoo.
Can You Numb Your Skin Before Getting a Tattoo?
As we mentioned before, yes! The easiest way to numb your skin before getting a tattoo is with an over-the-counter topical anesthetic cream that contains 4% to 5% lidocaine, which is a common pain relief compound.
Again, make sure that the numbing cream you buy is formulated for use on unbroken skin, otherwise, it won’t work well until the tattooing process actually begins. Finally, you should keep in mind that taking a painkiller or applying a numbing cream will drastically decrease your pain levels while getting a tattoo, but that doesn’t mean that your tattooing experience will be 100% pain-free.
No over-the-counter painkiller or numbing cream can successfully eliminate pain, but if you follow their instructions, they can make the pain much more manageable and tolerable. (Read more: Best Lotion For Tattoo Aftercare)
What Should You Do Before Getting a Tattoo?
Once you’ve found a tattoo artist, agreed on a design that’s perfect for you and booked an appointment, there are still a few things you should do leading up your tattoo appointment to make sure that your tattooing experience goes as smoothly as possible.
The night before you get your tattoo, it’s a good idea to stay sober, or at least, don’t drink heavily. The aftereffects of a night of heavy drinking can thin your blood, making the tattooing process much more painful. You should also try to get a full 8 hours of sleep the night before getting a tattoo.
Being refreshed and well-rested will reduce your anxiety levels and make it easier to sit still in the tattooing chair on the day of your appointment. The day that you get your tattoo, it’s a good idea to stay hydrated, and maybe even bring a water bottle to the tattooing studio. You might also want to bring a snack if you know that you tend to get low blood sugar.
Also, make sure that you’ve brought enough money to pay for the cost of your tattoo and tip your tattoo artist, as well as a printed-out reference photo to help your tattoo artist create a design that perfectly suits your needs. Make sure that the area you’re getting tattooed is clean and shaven. If you’re planning on taking a painkiller or applying a numbing cream, make sure you do that before you get to the tattooing studio.
How Long Do Most Numbing Creams Last?
On average, most over-the-counter numbing creams last about one hour after initial application. Generally speaking, you’ll begin to feel the first effects of a numbing cream only a couple of minutes after you first slather it on.
You might experience a faint tingling sensation or a gradual loss of sharp sensation in the affected area. About 20 to 25 minutes after initial application, most tattoo numbing creams will reach their full effect. Your skin will feel almost completely numb. After one hour, the numbing effects of the cream will gradually begin to fade until you regain total sensation in the affected area.
Some more potent formulas claim to last much longer than the one hour benchmark, with the most powerful products lasting up to four hours after the initial application before beginning to fade away. Those powerful tattoo numbing creams are better for larger tattoos, such as a full arm sleeve or back tattoo. If you’re only getting a small tattoo, you definitely don’t need such a powerful cream.