Tattoo Numbing Cream Explained

A Tattoo Numbing Cream will Ease your Pain; but is it true?

Have you ever thought about how does tattoo numbing cream work, what are the benefits and limitations? Many people would love to get some stylish tattoos carved on their body but thinking about the pain makes them reconsider.

This article will uncover what are your options when it comes to easing the pain from tattoo machines and long sessions.


This is not medical advice of any sort. People’s body and skin can react differently so it is very important that you visit a general practitioner if you have concerns before using a specific product.

Six (6) Best Tattoo Numbing Cream for Tattoos

Talking about numbing creams, it’s time to take a look at some of the best tattoo numbing creams in the market.

Tktx numbing cream

Tktx numbing cream for tattoo

  • Brand: TKTX.
  • Composition (main ingredient): 7% Lidocaine.
  • Time of application: Apply the cream 25-50 minutes prior to the procedure for best results.

Tktx numbing cream is a great product for reducing skin sensitivity before getting a tattoo. It is a fast-acting cream, which starts working between 10-20 minutes and its effects can last up to 3-6 hours.

It can also be combined with other vasoconstrictors for increased effectiveness. Like any other numbing ointment, your tattoo artist will never recommend it to you but most people seem to love this product.

It’s easy to use and pocket friendly.

There are different version of the cream. Each version provides specific effectiveness so check their website for more details

Dr. Numb Cream


Dr Numb creamRead public reviews and rating

  • Brand: Dr. Numb.
  • Composition (main ingredient): 5% Lidocaine.
  • Time of application: Leave cream on for one (1) hour before the session.

Now, here is one for people who are wanting to get carved in places that are quite sensitive.

Dr. Numb Cream is 100% hypoallergenic, fast-absorbing and it starts its work in about 15 minutes.

The effect can last up to 4 hours.

It is good for long procedures and unlike other oil-based creams, it gives a smooth and silky feel to your skin.

This tattoo numbing cream is clinically proven to relieve pain and most of its users highly recommend the product.

Tattoo Goo Kit

Tattoo goo kit Read public reviews and rating

  • Brand: Tattoo Goo.
  • Composition (main ingredient): Olive Oil.
  • Time of application: Use the cream after you are done getting a tattoo. For usage instructions, consult an expert.

Tattoo Goo is perfect to serve the numbing purpose. It is naturally made and filled with vitamins known for soothing the skin, which also help to relieve the pain caused by the process.

The natural moisturizing chemicals also replace the lost moisture and aids in a faster healing process.

The cream can start functioning within 10 minutes after you apply it and in no time you will begin to feel the effect.

Tattoo Goo creams and after tattoo kits are approved by many people because of their healing and skin-repairing properties.

One drawback that needs to be mentioned, is that it feels a bit sticky, which may gross some people out.

Numbskin cream

NumbSkin tattoo numbing creamRead public reviews and rating

  • Brand: Numbskin.
  • Composition (main ingredient): 5% Lidocaine.
  • Time of application: Based on its composition, it can start working within 30 seconds of usage, with a lasting effect of around 4 hours.

Numbskin cream is a wonderful product for temporarily blocking nerve signals to pass through your skin.

It’s made of 5% pure lidocaine and it is one of the few water-based products which doesn’t affect the smoothness of your skin.

Apparently, you don’t have to worry about feeling any kind of pain even if you are planning to get carved on sensitive areas.

Numbskin has been providing their customers with the best products and many people also call it the best numbing cream in the world.

Hush tattoo numbing gel

Hush tattoo numbing gelRead public reviews and rating

  • Brand: Hush.
  • Composition (main ingredient): 5% Lidocaine.
  • Time of application: Apply the gel 1 hour before the tattooing session and cover the area with plastic wrap.

This one is a fantastic product from one of the top emerging brands in the numbing cream industry.

Hush tattoo numbing gel is a unique blend of botanical ingredients that enhance the numbness of the skin.

Besides relieving the pain, it can also decrease skin inflammations and redness.

The effectiveness of this gel can last up to 3 hours after being applied.

Customers love the way the cream feels on their skin and they also recommend it because it’s safe to use on sensitive areas. What’s the con? It may be a little overpriced when compared to similar products.

Mithra numbing cream

Mithra numbing cream for tattoos

  • Brand: Mithra.
  • Composition (main ingredient): 10% Lidocaine.
  • Time of application: Apply on the skin prior to 25-50 minutes of the tattooing procedure.

Last but not the least, it is the Mithra Numbing Cream. This cream blocks nerve impulses making you feel no kind of pain (apparently).

The effect of the cream is also incredible, lasting up to 5 hours.

It contains 10% lidocaine (higher than the previous cream) making it good for numbing nerves and reduce redness.

For added effectiveness, you might combine it with other nerve blockers. Experts and customers say that this tattoo numbing cream doesn’t allow them to feel anything except a slight tickle.

Even though the ointment has a very lasting effect, the process to get it working is kind of tedious.

How does a Tattoo Numbing Cream Works?

Numbing creams work as an anesthetic which blocks, deaden or restricts the nerve actions temporarily. Simply you can refer to them as the red and yellow light traffic signals for your nerves.

The time of effectiveness lasts from few minutes to hours. The strongest numbing cream can stimulate the nerves for many hours or a few days.

Based on the active ingredient and working type, tattoo numbing creams can be distinguished into three (3) main categories:

  • Nerve deadeners: They restrict the nerves from feeling pain by temporarily deadening their connection with the rest of the body.
  • Nerve blockers: As the name suggests, they block the nerve impulses from reaching your brain but still your nerves trigger some level of pain. They are generally combined with nerve deadeners for increased effectiveness.
  • Vasoconstrictors: These are the most powerful tattoo numbing creams and they can temporarily slow down and reduce blood flow from your blood vessels.

A tattoo numbing cream is made with chemicals, so you must be cautious before using it. If you have any kind of skin allergies or rashes you should definitely consult a doctor (or dermatologist) before using them before or after a tattoo session.

Thinks to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo Numbing Cream

Many people question the effectiveness of numbing products when it comes to calming skin pain. But, you know, things are different depending on the manufacturers, main ingredients and what people say. So let’s dig a bit deeper into some of these factors.


The pharmaceutical market is flooded with different brands that promise to have the best products for skincare.

Some of them are more specialized in what they do, so the prices are higher. To be honest, more expensive is not an indication of the quality of the cream or spray. Check their main active ingredients and public say.

Active Ingredients

As you have learnt before, numbing creams work as local anesthetics. The main thing is how potent they can work on the affected area.

Lidocaine, the main active component, is what you should at least have present in the product.

Some other creams and sprays will have Prilocaine, which in conjunction with lidocaine, will generate a stronger numbing effect.

There are other elements included to moisturize the skin or protect it from UV light (like zinc). You will need to be careful since they could affect the colors of the ink.

Before and after the tattooing session

There are different schools of thought about applying the numbing cream before or after the tattooing process.

If you haven’t tried it ever before, and if you feel confident that the cream is the right for your skin, you can give it a go.

Personally, I would try it 20 minutes before the session, not after.

Tattoo artist and people thoughts

Some tattoo artists don’t like to recommend the use of numbing creams. Why? First, every person and skin could react differently and second, they are not general practitioners.

You know, they don’t want to get a client back complaining that the cream is messing with the tattoo’s ink.

On the other hand, maybe a good source of information could be your friends. You could have first-hand details about their experience with the cream but still, be careful.

Downsides of numbing creams and sprays (this is not medical advice)

Like everything, tattoo numbing sprays and creams also have their limitations. Let’s talk about a few of them:

  • Using too much numbing cream may lead to health problems like irregular heartbeats, slowed breathing, nerve damage and in serious cases, it can also cause respiratory problems.
  • If you may be allergic to some of the components used to manufacture the creams or sprays, you should never use them. They may cause swelling making the pain even worse.
  • Some of them could affect the look of the final tattoo. For instance, tattoos could lose intensity of the colors.
  • The tattoo artist may not be able to see the real skin condition as the cream could mask it up. At least, this is what my artist said to me the first time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does numbing cream work for tattoos?

As mentioned above, numbing creams are made to provide relief and try to give a pain-free experience to you. Despite working great for tattoos, there are some limitation and variables that can change the effectiveness of the cream.

Some of those variables are:

  • The skin condition where the tattoo is going to be done.
  • The size of the tattoo.
  • The number of hours involved to get the piece.
  • The body area involved (over the bone?).
  • Last but not least, and possibly something that not many people think, the hand of the artist and tattoo gun used.

Does numbing cream affect tattoos?

It basically depends on the type of cream you’re using. If the quality is not okay, your tattoo may be affected in a bad way. On the contrary, if you are applying a high-quality cream it can make your tattoo look better.

Also, it is known that some creams may have zinc. This component works well for certain things but there is a vast majority of people saying the color can be affected by it.

On the other hand, it also may not affect directly the ink but it may affect the tattoo artist’s ability to see the color grades (some say this).

Can you use numbing cream before a tattoo?

Yes, you can use them before a tattoo. Truth to be told, there is no clear evidence that using an ointment to numb your skin will affect the tattoo.

Ask your artist what they could “recommend” if they feel comfortable with you using it and most importantly, check with a doctor.

Does numbing cream work for tattoo removal?

Not only getting a tattoo but removing one may be also severely painful. It may minimize the pain caused during the procedure. Regardless of what the cream can do for the pain, it is advisable you ask this question to the person doing the tattoo removal procedure.

Why? In this case, they are using other methods to remove the ink, which could burn the skin.

Some chemicals contained by numbing ointments could react to certain high temperatures, something that the removal could involve.

Tattoo Numbing Cream Wrap Up

Getting a tattoo may be scary for many people and obviously, they don’t want to change their minds just to escape the pain.

As you have seen so far, we have listed only six (6) of the most renowned tattoo numbing ointments in the market.

There is more of them out there that you may hear of.

Regardless of what you feel like using (if using them), please do your investigation either with friends, the tattoo artist and especially, your trusted doctor.

This tattoo numbing cream article is just an “article”. Again, it is NOT medical advice of any kind.



Hi!, I'm Thomas, the driver of TMA. Tattoos are a way to express our thoughts, right? but how can we do it without the right tattoo machine? Thanks to my tattoo artist friends, I can transfer their point of view about their experiences in the industry.

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