If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, one particular thought has probably crossed your mind; the pain. Yes, we know, getting a tattoo is incredibly painful even for those who are already experienced and familiar with tattooing. So, if you’re reading this, you’re at the right place.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll dive into the world of numbing sprays. These sprays are used to create a numbing effect in the area that is to be tattooed. This means, the pain levels will be minimal during the very process, so you can have a pleasant tattoo experience.
We’ll take a look at what these sprays are, how they work, and which ones should you buy.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Tattoo Numbing Sprays – Quick Insight
So, What Are These Numbing Spays Everybody Talks About?
Numbing sprays are very similar to numbing or topical anesthetic creams. Their principle of work is the same, the only difference is the very application.
So, numbing sprays are over-the-counter anesthetic sprays designed to provide pain relief during specific, often painful procedures like tattooing or piercing. They are equally effective as numbing creams, and people don’t experience any significant advantages in terms of sprays over creams regarding pain relief, apart from the lasting period.
How Do Numbing Sprays Work? (Ingredients)
Just like numbing creams, numbing sprays contain nerve deadeners and nerve blockers which prevent the nerves from recognizing and transmitting pain to your brain.
Lidocaine is the main ingredient of numbing creams and sprays, and it falls under the nerve deadeners. It is a local anesthetic that prevents the nerves from recognizing the pain, or if it does recognize it, the pain levels are significantly lowered.
Then, when it comes to nerve blockers, numbing sprays often rely on benzocaine, which assists Lidocaine in its mission to make you feel nothing during a tattooing process or a piercing procedure. Alone, nerve blockers can’t do much, so they need to be paired with nerve deadeners.
Some numbing sprays also contain phenylephrine together with Lidocaine. This ingredient acts as a blood vessel constriction, which prevents the spray from moving elsewhere from the designated area. So, the pain relief stays where you apply the spray.
So, that is pretty much how these sprays work; you apply a spritz or two (sometimes more), let it sit on the skin anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour (depending on the spray), and during that time the ingredients will block the external skin contact with the nerves. Because of this you either won’t feel pain at all or subdued levels of pain (which are often more uncomfortable than painful).
Are Numbing Sprays Available Over-The-Counter?
Yes, numbing sprays and creams are available to buy at any pharmacy or online store. However, the best numbing sprays are only available to doctors and medical practitioners (for obvious reasons).
The ones we are allowed to buy for personal use aren’t as strong, mostly because they have a different purpose. Numbing sprays are often intended for small, usually bearable procedures, like getting a tattoo or getting your ears pierced.
The sprays used at your doctor’s office are intended for injuries and major, painful procedures no one would go through without some anesthetic.
Are Numbing Sprays Safe?
Well, generally these sprays are completely safe, when used and applied properly. However, if you apply too much, you’re increasing the risk of an allergic reaction. Your skin might get irritated, red, swollen, etc.
Some people are allergic to Lidocaine as well, so before you use a numbing spray or cream, make sure to check whether you’re allergic or not.
Furthermore, numbing sprays can be dangerous when applied on skin that has cuts and wounds. That is because a cut or a wound enables the spray to easily enter your bloodstream and spread around the body. As a result, one can experience serious respiratory issues, coma, and even death.
So, always make sure to apply this spray safely, onto healthy skin!
So, How Should I Apply The Numbing Spray?
First of all, if your preparation for a tattoo involves shaving the soon-to-be-tattooed area, make sure you do NOT cut yourself. Otherwise, you cannot apply numbing products, like creams and sprays.
Other than that, you should wash the skin and make sure it is dry. If the skin is clean, the spray will absorb better and be more efficient in the numbing effects.
Then, simply spray the product onto the skin and follow the instructions on how long you’ll wait for the spray to absorb and take effect. This can be done by your tattoo artists as well if you think you’ll mess it up somehow.
If you’ve applied the spray beforehand, let your tattooist know!
Which Numbing Sprays Are The Best?
Ebanel Lidocaine Numbing Spray – Amazon BestSeller
The Ebanel numbing spray is the Amazon bestseller for a reason. This numbing spray provides the maximum numbing efficiency, and it does not only reduce pain but also itching, soreness and swelling during and after the tattooing is done. It is a fast-acting spray, but it is designed to last longer than the majority of the numbing sprays.
- Ingredients – the spray contains 5% Lidocaine, which makes it almost as strong as the numbing creams. Alongside Lidocaine, it also contains phenylephrine, arginine, and allantoin (soothing ingredients and pain-relieving effects).
- Lasting period – upon application, the spray will take approximately between 10 and 20 minutes to start taking effect. This alone depends on the type of skin and how well it is prepared for the spray. Then, once numbing effect reaches its peak, the spray will last for 1 hour.
- Cost – the cost of Ebanel numbing spray varies and usually changes. So, make sure to check for the price on Amazon or the Ebanel official website.
The Ebanel numbing spray can be applied before and after the tattooing process, as the Ebanel company states. However, we strongly advise you not to apply this spray once the tattoo is done; your tattoo is an open wound, so when you apply the spray onto a finished tattoo, it WILL end up in your bloodstream and create serious health issues!
Americaine Hospital Formula Numbing Spray – Best Lidocaine Alternative
The Americaine numbing spray is one of the rare products that rely on ingredients other than Lidocaine. This makes it perfect for people who experience allergic reactions to a product that contains Lidocaine. The spray has powerful numbing effects and is perfect for tattooing sessions and piercing procedures. It can also be used for reducing itchiness and swelling, or soreness, depending on the situation.
- Ingredients – instead of Lidocaine, this spray contains active ingredients like 20% benzocaine, which equals 5% of Lidocaine. This makes it excellent for those allergic to Lidocaine, but still want to use numbing sprays.
- Lasting period – upon application, the spray will take between 6 and 12 minutes to start numbing the sprayed area. Once it starts acting, it will last between 30 and 40 minutes. If a child deals with some kind of itching or irritation, the parent can apply the spray up to 4 times in one day to relieve the symptoms.
- Cost – the cost of the Americaine numbing spray varies from one seller to the other. The shipping cost is also susceptible to change, so bear that in mind.
The spray is proven safe for children over the age of 2. For children under the age of 2, make sure to consult a physician before the use of the spray.
The spray can be used for tattooing purposes as well as for piercing procedures. We recommend one uses this spray if the tattoo session is a short one because it cannot be reapplied once the tattoo session has started.
Hush Anesthetic Numbing Spray – Tattoo Community Favorite
The Hush numbing spray is surely our favorite one. It is specifically designed to assist in tattoo and piercing situations and is rather fast-acting. It absorbs much faster than the numbing creams. Or even the Hush Gel. It doesn’t, however, last as long as the gel, but still, it lasts long enough to cover an hour-long tattoo session.
- Ingredients – the spray contains a blend of botanicals including aloe vera (for inflammation reduction), as well as Lidocaine, of course.
- Lasting period – upon application, the spray will take approximately 10 minutes to start taking effect. The numbing effects will remain for the next 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the type of skin and whether the spray was properly applied.
The spray is applied as needed, only after the tattoo outline is complete!
Aspercreme Max Strength Numbing Spray – Best Quality and Value Ratio
We know this one is an unusual choice, but we had to include it on the list because it works like a charm. The Aspercreme spray is designed for pain relief in case of muscle pain, joint pain, and back pain. However, it provides such a targeted and instant pain relief that some professional tattooists have started using it. The spray is discreet, odor-free, and non-greasy, which makes it perfect for tattooing purposes.
- Ingredients – of course, the Aspercream contains active ingredients like 4% Lidocaine, and other ingredients like menthol, which is a topical analgesic. It doesn’t contain other inactive ingredients which simply serve the purpose of faster and better Lidocaine absorption.
- Lasting period – it will take this spray approximately 10 minutes to start providing the numbing effects. The peak effects last between 30 and 40 minutes, which should be enough for a shorter tattooing session or a piercing procedure.
- Cost – depending on the seller, the price of the Aspercreme spray changes a lot. However, what we’ve seen during our research is that the price remains relatively low and affordable (compared to other numbing sprays).
Because this spray is not designed to be specifically used for tattooing and piercing procedures, make sure to consult your tattooist or a medical professional before you use the spray!
Vasocaine Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Spray – The Fastest and Longest Acting
When using a numbing spray before tattooing, it is important it acts fast. Numbing creams are great but they take up to 40 minutes to start numbing the skin. Well, with the Vasocaine spray, you won’t have to wait a lifetime for the ingredients to start acting. This is the fastest acting spray on the market, and one of the best pain relief sprays in general.
- Ingredients – the spray contains active ingredients like 5% Lidocaine and Epinephrine (which constrict the blood vessels). There’s also purified water and other inactive ingredients which promote fast Lidocaine absorption.
- Lasting period – upon application, the Vasocaine spray will take only 90 seconds to start numbing the skin. After it takes effect, it will continue numbing the skin effectively for the following 2 hours. This makes it perfect for longer tattooing sessions or piercing procedures.
- Cost – depending on the seller, the cost of the spray may vary significantly. Most of the time, you’ll have to order the spray from the EU if Walmart is out of stock, so bear that in mind as well.
The Bottom Line
Many would, at this point, question the existence of numbing creams when numbing sprays seem much more effective. Well, let’s make some things clear;
Numbing creams do take longer to take effect, but they also ensure the effect lasts for hours. Numbing sprays, on the other hand, last half an hour on average. That can be enough for shorter tattooing sessions.
So, we recommend numbing sprays if you’re doing a smaller tattoo or if you need pain relief during a piercing procedure. If you’re looking for a longer-lasting product, then turn to numbing creams.
Both numbing creams and sprays are highly effective, and they will ensure you feel no pain during a tattoo procedure. However, before you use any of the aforementioned products, consult with your tattoo artist or a medical professional!