Best Numbing Cream For Laser Tattoo Removal [Review] in 2021

Last Updated on March 21, 2022

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Do you want to get a tattoo removed but are worried about the pain?

Well, don’t panic because you’re not alone. While it’s true that removing your tattoo is about as painful as getting it, that doesn’t mean you have to wear an unflattering or botched tat for the rest of your life just because you don’t want to tolerate the pain.

There are lots of options available, most notably, laser tattoo removal numbing cream. This can help reduce the pain you feel during laser treatments significantly and make the whole process just that little more bearable.

It’s important to know which cream to get as many don’t perform as advertised and you may find yourself feeling just as much pain as applying no cream.

But don’t worry, here’s the good news.

we’ve spent the last 4 hours looking at the best skin numbing creams so you can get one that’s going to make your laser tattoo removal treatment much more tolerable.

Every product we’ve chosen has its perks so be sure to have a look at them all because you may find number 3 to be far superior to number one. It’s all down to preference but we’re going to nudge you in the right direction.

So, let’s get this list started.

How we came to the conclusion of our top 3:




hours spent





Best Numbing Cream For Laser Tattoo Removal


Ink Scribd Premium Tattoo Numbing Cream


Here it is, our top pick. And it’s up here for a reason.

With 5% Lidocaine, you’re getting the most painkilling power possible without a prescription when you use this laser tattoo removal. Your skin will be numb after applying this cream meaning the tattoo removal process will be a breeze after lathering the treatment area with this stuff.

Made with a vitamin E formula, your skin will get a moisturizing boost and heal much faster. Vitamin E is perfect for skin repair and you’ll be able to take your skin healing to the next level as it’s long-lasting. Many numbing creams wear off after about 20 minutes but Ink Scribd lasts up to 2 hours so there’ll be no pain in the middle of a procedure.

But wait, there’s more.

With almost 900 reviews and a 4-star rating, this lidocaine cream is a hit with the tattoo community. one reviewer said, “HOLY COW! okay so I have 32 tattoos all on my arms and legs. I’m a pretty big baby when it comes to tattoos, and I’m always in a lot of pain – no matter the location. So I used this cream just to test out and I’m REALLY glad I did.”

We love this cream and it’s easily one of the best skin numbing solutions. So pick it up, it may just be what you need.


  • Numbs effectively
  • Lasts up to 2 hours
  • Fast absorption


  • Instructions aren’t very clear

Latest deal: Ink Scribd Premium Tattoo Numbing Cream


Dr Numb

Next up in the number two spot is Dr. Numb. the perfect choice for curing any pain.

Specially formulated for maximum potency, the 100% hypoallergenic, fast-absorbing numbing cream starts working in as little as 15 minutes and lasts anywhere between two and four hours which is fantastic as laser tattoo removal treatment options vary in length so this way you can avoid feeling the burn after just 20 minutes of putting on your tattoo removal skin numbing cream.

Dr. Numb 5% Lidocaine Cream with Vitamin E produces temporary numbness or loss of sensation of the skin and its surrounding tissues. This means you’ll feel considerably less sensation during the laser tattoo removal process which is surprisingly difficult as many creams just aren’t effective at genuinely numbing the treatment area.

Better yet.

Unlike ointments and oil-based alternatives, the fast-absorbing numbing formulation is 100% cream-based for a silky smooth, velvety feel. And if there’s one thing we hate, it’s the oily sensation many creams give which makes your skin feel unpleasant, this alone can ruin an experience and make you veer away from using the cream altogether.

For over a decade, Dr. Numb’s fast-acting, long-lasting numbing cream has been the choice of healthcare professionals and aestheticians from all over the USA & Canada. So you know you’re in safe hands when it comes to tattoo lidocaine cream for your skin.

This is really something and we can’t sing its praises enough. So check it out!


  • Multipurpose formulation
  • No oily feel
  • Recommended by professionals


  • Some reports of the cream not lasting as long

Latest deal: Dr Numb


Bengay Pain Relieving Lidocaine Cream

Coming in at number three is a real gem of a product, and here’s why?

With this package, you’ll get 3-ounces of Bengay pain relieving Lidocaine cream for maximum strength pain relief in a fresh tropical jasmine scent. This pain reliever cream works to desensitize aggravated nerves with the numbing relief of maximum strength. The lidocaine cream is made with 4% lidocaine HCl as an active ingredient making it a strong option for your tattoo removal procedure.

It’s great for back, neck, shoulder, knee, elbow, hand & wrist pain, as well as backaches, joint pain, and arthritis meaning you can get multiple uses out of this even when you’re not getting tattoo removal.

And f course, that’s not all there is.

Created with a light tropical jasmine scent that is both soothing and pleasant plus, a non-greasy formula that doesn’t leave any residue behind. To use it effectively, apply the topical lidocaine cream to the affected area no more than 3-4 times a day for effective, numbing relief.

And if you’re like us and get a little cautious buying online then have a look at the reviews. But set aside a few hours because there are almost 5,000 and pretty much all of them are from happy customers saying how much they love the product.

In short, buy this now. It works a charm and once applied you’ll blink and not even realize your tat has been removed.


  • Lowers pain responses effectively
  • Soothing to skin
  • Brilliant for other kinds of pain


  • Some people found it greasy

Latest deal: Bengay Pain Relieving Lidocaine Cream

Best Numbing Cream For Laser Tattoo Removal

When getting laser tattoo removal, we can all agree it is painful for anyone who has experienced this. Some say that it is a similar pain to when the tattoo is applied, but it can be excruciating for others. 

You may be asking yourself, do numbing creams even work? 

Well, yes, but most ‘over-the-counter’ creams have a minimal numbing effect, however for most people, even the 5%  Lidocaine is a godsend to making tattoo removal more comfortable (especially if you’re having more than one tattoo removed). 

I’ve personally had two tattoos removed in my life (drunk college regrets), and I had one on my ankle and one on my stomach; I personally found that the one on my ankle was the most painful to remove as it was also the most painful to get it done. 

I’ve definitely had my fair share of drunk tattoos that shouldn’t even be legal over the years, so I’m here to break down everything you need to know about the laser tattoo removal process and numbing creams. 

What is tattoo removal like?

Laser tattoo removal may sound scary at first, but it really isn’t as bad as many of you think. I have fairly low pain tolerance, and yes, I admit it can be uncomfortable, but it’s over in 10-15 minutes (which isn’t too bad). 

When people ask me what the laser itself felt like after applying numbing cream, I tell them that you can still feel the laser slightly, but it just feels like a rubber band pinging on your skin. 

I have never had a tattoo removed without numbing cream, so I cannot say for myself. Still, from other people, it feels like a minor, stingy burning feeling for the duration of the removal– which sounds quite uncomfortable, but it sounds worse than it is. 

Near the 15 minute mark, the pain started to get slightly more unbearable, but then it’s all over! The laser moves very quickly, and it’s over before you know it; it’s much more comfortable with numbing cream, though. 

Check out my full guide as to how laser tattoo removal works.

What Are Topical Numbing Creams?

Most numbing creams include benzocaine, lidocaine, prilocaine, or tetracaine to help numb the area it is applied to; it varies in concentrations as the active ingredient.

These numbing creams can range in strengths, from low-strength over-the-counter numbing creams to high-strength prescription numbing creams. Topical numbing creams take around 30-45 minutes to become effective and numb the area.

Most practitioners will advise you to apply numbing cream before the appointment to save time and reduce the treatment price. Many people say they benefit from numbing creams as they help ease the pain and make the treatment more comfortable.

Some clinics always use numbing creams before laser tattoo removal treatments, whereas others offer an optional additional charge for their sensitive skin patients. They will charge the numbing cream itself (which can be used for all their treatments).

How Numbing Cream Works:

This all depends on the ingredients in the numbing cream you are using. For numbing creams that contain Lidocaine, once applied to the skin, it penetrates through the dermis of the skin and works by blocking each nerve ending.

This prevents any pain receptors from sending messages to the brain; this means that you will only feel the pressure of the treatment rather than the pain.  Our body senses pressure differently from pain, so blocking off these receptors helps to block the pain. 

If you have sensitive skin, look up the main ingredient. Of the cream, ingredients including petroleum jelly may irritate your skin– instead, go for a numbing cream with mineral oil as the main ingredient. 

As soon as the numbing cream is washed away, the numbing will fade– this is why many laser removal clinics recommend it as it is very safe and has few side effects on your body. 

How To Apply Tattoo Numbing Cream:

There will be specific directions on the side of the numbing cream you’re using to ensure the best results, but there are some tips to follow to help apply tattoo numbing cream easily.

When applying numbing cream before your tattoo removal session, makes sure you apply ahead of time of what the specific brand recommends and then seal it in cling film or saran wrap. 

This is an excellent tip that I found very useful during my treatment. It prevents the cream from evaporating and prolongs the numbing effect; before your appointment, you can then rub it in gently so it absorbs into the skin, and then you have the ultimate numbing effect. 


  • Before applying the numbing cream, make sure you wash the area with soap and water and dry completely. 
  • Be generous with your numbing cream, apply a thick layer, and rub it thoroughly before applying the saran wrap. I would recommend leaving the cream wrapped for an hour before your appointment to ensure it penetrates deep into your skin. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does numbing cream work for tattoo removal?

Admittedly, numbing creams are not very effective at reducing a lot of the pain felt during the laser tattoo procedure due to the fact they will only numb the top layer of your skin and do not concentrate deep enough to eliminate all pain. The pain you experience from a laser tattoo removal happens when the ink is shattering below the skin, and numbing creams aren’t able to work this deep into the skin. However, this doesn’t make them worthless. Some find that they help enough to warrant buying them so it’s worth trying out.

Can you numb a tattoo removal?

The vast majority of tattoo removal providers offer some form of skin numbing to patients during their appointments. There are a handful of options for the practitioner dedicated to tattoo removal patients and increasing the amount of comfort they feel during the laser tattoo removal procedure. These include ice packs, numbing creams, injectable anesthetics, and cold air machines.

Can you get a local anesthetic for a tattoo?

A topical anesthetic is a localized anesthetic that is used to numb or dull the sensations of the surface of the body during laser tattoo removal treatments. They are easily obtainable, quick-acting, and affordable which makes them a favorite of tattoo collectors with low pain tolerance.

Is it bad to put numbing cream on before a tattoo?

While numbing cream does not entirely eliminate the pain, it can help reduce it and make your tattoo experience much more pleasant, especially during the beginning portion of a long tattoo session. There are no negative side effects to using a skin-numbing cream as it has the potential to numb your nerve endings. The worst case is that it has no effect on you at all.

How long does numbing cream last?

So how long does numbing cream last and how long does it take to work? This is a question I get asked frequently, but it’s daily simple. I would recommend applying the numbing cream an hour before your appointment.

The numbing effect will then last for 2 hours after applying and will start to ease when you wash the area (for most numbing creams, not all).


When it comes to easing pain during the tattoo removal, we will try anything; but numbing creams may not ease 100% of the pain, but they certainly help with the discomfort. 

It’s quite easy to get hold of numbing creams nowadays too, most companies offer them over-the-counter, they may not be as strong as prescribed ones, but if the clinic doesn’t offer numbing cream, it does certainly help. 

Choosing a numbing cream with either lidocaine, benzocaine, prilocaine or tetracaine will massively help ease the area during treatment.  Select any of the numbing creams today, and let’s get rid of those childhood regretful tattoos we have on our bodies. 

Steven Martin Headshot

Steven Martin

Pro tattoo artist


Steven loved art since his early adulthood especially tattoo art. Therefore, he picked up tattooing when he was researching it on the internet. Having experience of around 3 years in the tattoo industry, Steven has a great command over bold, bright, classic, grayscale, and tribal pieces. His passion for tattoo products drove him to do tons of research, etc. so that Tattoo Inksider can offer you the best tattoo products reviews.