is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The Best Tattoo Numbing Cream for 2021

People get tattoos for many reasons. Chances are, you’re considering to get one. There are basic things you must consider before inking one on.

First, you need a design

Second, you have to decide where you want it – some areas of the body are more painful to tattoo than others

Third, you have to consider who’s going to etch it out for you

Lastly, and this you know, it’s going to hurt.

Best Tattoo Numbing Cream

1. Numb Master

Numb Master

This product is widely used for a variety of dermatologic procedures other than tattooing, which includes dermapen and microdermabrasion treatments, laser treatments and waxing.

It is one of the most preferred brands by users and by professionals alike with fast and deep penetrating capability and a numbing sensation that lasts up to 120 minutes.

The inclusion of glycols and cholesterol in the ingredients may cause the surface of the skin to become slightly greasy.


  • Contains 5% topical anaesthetic lidocaine cream
  • Offers higher concentration of lidocaine that most but still within FDA limits
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Full effect sets in between 20 and 30 minutes after application
  • Numbing effect lasts for 90 up to 120 minutes
  • Numbing effect is enhanced by running the pen over treatment area


  • Some users have complained against non-efficacy
  • Very few reported cases of possible reaction with tattoo ink used

2. Hush Anesthetic Numbing Gel

HUSH anesthetic - Tattoo Numbing Gel

This product has been specifically designed to take the pain away from the tattooing experience.

Manufacturer claims that this product was formulated with the welfare of both the user and the artist in mind.

Hush has come out with three products in the line, which includes a gel, a spray and a soap.

All of which contains lidocaine and provide painless benefits before, during and after the session.

Using this gel with the two other products in the line allows reapplication which may be required for longer sessions.


  • Contains 4% lidocaine
  • Safer at below than maximum FDA limits
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Full numbing effects within an hour from application
  • Numbing effect lasts up to an hour
  • Complemented by a spray formulation
  • 100% vegan formulation
  • Epinephrine-free
  • Paraben-free
  • No reports of the product possibly affecting ink quality


  • A quarter of product reviews point out that product is ineffective
  • May turn out more expensive as it is supposed to be complemented by the spray
  • Takes longer to be effective, and less time to stay effective

3. Ebanel Laboratories – Numb 520

Ebanel Laboratories Numb 520

This product is manufactured in the USA by Ebanel Laboratories, which is involved in a number of product development undertakings in the area of dermatology and cosmetics.

It contains a high 5% concentration of lidocaine, which makes skin numb in as short as 20 minutes following application.

Numbness has been reported to last for up to two hours. However, the inclusion of greasy ingredients in the substances might cause some issues with how the pen glides across and how the ink adheres to the skin.


  • Contains 5% lidocaine
  • Provides fast-acting numbness in just 20 minutes
  • Up to 2 hours in effect
  • No reports noted on possible reaction with tattoo ink


  • Contains glycol and cholesterol which can make skin surface greasy
  • A fifth of reviews have pointed out product ineffectiveness

4. Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter

Hustle Butter Deluxe - Tattoo Butter

People often confuse this for a pain removal cream. It’s not.

This is a cream formulated and meant for the before, during and after care of a tattoo session.

Before the inking begins, this product is applied on the skin to help prep the canvas but not to numb the skin.

​This product may be reapplied throughout the session without causing problems on the part of either the user or the artist.

Aftercare is when this product becomes so much more useful with its natural ingredients that enhance the skin’s powerful healing and treatment process.

The Hustle line consists of four other products:

  • the magnificent multi-purpose cream
  • comfort enhancer foaming soap
  • residue remover and luxury threads.


  • Enhances the skin before, during and after a tattoo session
  • Creates a canvas that artists find easier to work on
  • Enhances the appearance of tattoo inks
  • Provides highlights to tattoos
  • 100% vegan
  • Petroleum-free
  • Contains aloe, coconut, Vitamin E and other plant oils that help heal and moisturize skin
  • No reports noted on possible reaction to tattoo ink


  • Does not provide any numbing effect
  • Plant and natural ingredients cause high risks for possible irritation
  • If inflammation occurs, tattoo may become affected
  • Users have complained of poor product packaging

How the best numbing cream for tattoos work

girl with tattoo in hand

The pain that comes with tattooing earns you a right of passage. The hardcore tattoo artists don’t like the idea of taking away the pain but also, they complain that such creams numb their finger, affecting the quality of their art and even the ink as well.

Those who will agree to use a numbing cream may also have their personal product preferences so make sure to bring up the idea before scheduling an appointment.

When you’re getting a tattoo for cosmetic purposes, like a tattoo on your eyebrow or eyelids, using a numbing cream usually isn’t an issue, it’s a given.

Other things you must consider when choosing a numbing cream are:


Analgesics are known to cause allergies in some people. If you have a history of any irritation or allergies with such drugs, don’t risk it.


Some people can tolerate more pain than most. If you have low tolerance to pain, you may need higher concentrations of lidocaine or any other active ingredient contained in your numbing cream.


Use of these drugs can lead to serious side effects like vomiting or addiction. You’re better off without it if you’ve experienced these side effects before.


These may react with the active ingredient in your numbing cream and therefore may require a quick consultation with your physician.


Getting tattoos in areas where there’s very little fat between the bone and the skin such as the spine, ribs, elbows, knees and ankles, as well as those where skin is naturally thinner such as the back of thighs and inner side of the arms, can be expected to be more painful.

How does a numbing tattoo work?

Numbing tattoo creams, or topical anaesthesia, work by blocking synapses from nerves that tell your brain there’s pain or, cause your muscles to become temporarily paralyzed or, both.

A number of active ingredients are used, the more common ones being Lidocaine, Benzocaine and Tetracaine.

Though it may sound like you’re only using a small amount of these analgesics when you apply your cream, you must follow use instructions closely

According to a review of local pain management procedures, these synthetic pain relievers, even when applied topically, can lead to systemic toxicity and poor organ functioning.

Due to these potential health and safety risks, allowable concentrations in such products are often dictated by local authorities.

More advanced and potentially safer alternatives include the use of self-adjusting hydrogels, as well as the use of plant toxins in place of lidocaine and other synthetic pain blockers. Most of these, however, remain in the experimental phase.

At this point, therefore, your most viable choices remain to be synthetic, topical anaesthetics.


Based on product specifications and actual user and artist reviews, the best product that gives the utmost skin numbing sensation for a painless tattoo will have to be Numb Master.

  • The product has been used widely across cosmetic and dermatologic procedures, and there must be a reason why this product is highly preferred by users and professionals alike.
  • The product is quick acting with 5% lidocaine. It can be assured that effectivity can last from one up to two hours.

Keep in mind that the same product may work differently for different people.

Some people simply have a higher or lower sensitivity to pain than most others. Also, some people may exhibit certain reactions, allergies or irritations to certain product ingredients.

If you find out that Numb Master causes your skin to breakout or become inflamed, the next best option is Numb 520.

It contains almost the same formulation as the Numb Master but, you may have a different, more pleasurable experience with this product.

Leave a Comment