Tattoos are epic, but sometimes they hurt like hell. Either that or as they heal, a sweet piece of body ink can become itchy and irritable. Not ideal. Enter tattoo numbing spray.
The best tattoo numbing spray not only takes the edge off, but it also helps to protect and preserve the skin—bringing your legendary pieces of body art to life in the process.
You can apply tattoo numbing spray before, during, and after an inking session to make the whole process more bearable (getting inked does sting, after all). Many top tattoo artists use this magic stuff to give their clients the best possible inking experience while helping with aftercare.
Yes, numbing spray for tattoos is pretty genius stuff. But, with so many out there on the market promising this and that, how do you know which ones to trust?
Read on and find out with our essential rundown of the best tattoo numbing spray products available right now.
Let’s dive in.
During my quest to find the best, I talked to countless tattoo experts, scoured the darkest depths of internet body ink forums and did some serious research-based web surfing. And, I whittled my list down to five main contenders.
Whether you’re looking for temporary tattoos, sunscreen for tattoos or tattoo numbing spray, it always pays to do your research and choose something that suits your specific needs.
For an all round product that suits all skin types and gets the job done, Hush is my top pick. And for a slightly more lavish texture, Dr Numb is the one for you.
Why it’s great: As my top pick for best tattoo numbing spray, this handy little two-pack ticks all of the body inking boxes. With lidocaine as the main active ingredient, this tattoo numbing elixir boasts plenty of top ratings on Amazon. It’s a popular product, indeed.
How it feels: This is an excellent value for money spray, especially considering its fast-acting formula (it gets to work within around 60 seconds). It also has excellent antiseptic qualities and as Hush carefully considers the ingredients it puts into its products, this bad boy also helps with the repair and aftercare process.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: If you’re looking for something unscented, this may not be the product for you.
Size: 4 oz x 2 | Formula: Water-based | Skin Type: All | Scent: Aloe
Why it’s great: As an antiseptic allrounder, Bactine offers brilliant value for money if you need a swift hit of tattoo pain relief. It’s often used for burns, cuts, and bug bites—but lots of people use it to soothe their body ink creations.
How it feels: First of all, bactine is pretty darn effective for the price. A few sprays in the desired area and you’ll enjoy the pain relief you need within minutes. Also, the spray’s tried-and-tested water-based formula absorbs into the skin with ease, helping new tattoos to heal more effectively. Bonus.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: As this is made with its fair share of pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, some fellas might prefer a skin numbing spray for tattoos that’s a little more natural.
Size: 5 oz | Formula: Water-based | Skin Type: All | Scent: Sweet
Why it’s great: While this isn’t a luxury skin numbing spray for tattoos in the sense that it comes in fancy schmancy packing or it’s eye-wateringly expensive. The reason that Dr Numb is my top tattoo luxe numbing spray pick is because of its lavish texture (daaarling).
How it feels: In addition to its reliable, fast-acting antiseptic formula and glowing reviews, this is a great option for all skin types (especially those with slightly more sensitive skin) as it’s essentially a cooling soap-based tattoo spray. Yes, its creamy texture is wonderful to the touch and a little of this stuff goes a really long way.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The above being said, it comes in a rather small quantity (1.7 oz). So, if you have a big piece of tattoo art, you might need to stock up on a few bottles.
Size: 1.7 oz | Formula: Water-based | Skin Type: Normal to sensitive | Scent: Clean and clinical
Why it’s great: Okay, this may be marketed as a numbing spray for ‘waxing’ (great if you’re going for a spot of male grooming or ‘manscaping’), but it’s actually wonderful for body ink. One of the brilliant things about this particular skin numbing spray—in addition to its literally hundreds of glowing Amazon reviews—is the fact that it helps to preserve your tattoo ink for a more successful healing process. Considering how reliable and effective Gigi is, the price tag is more than fair. And, as most people don’t realize just how brilliant this product is as a skin numbing spray for tattoos, buying it is like joining an exclusive club.
How it feels: This fast acting spray will numb the area within 2-3 minutes of application. Some reviewers noted mild irritation, so be sure to test it on a small patch of skin before going nuts.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: As one of my favorite numbing sprays for tattoos, Gigi is hard to fault. But, if I had one criticism, it would be that some fellas might find this a little light duty if they’re partial to full sleeves or bigger pieces in general.
Size: 2 x 1.5 oz | Formula: Water-based | Skin Type: All | Scent: Light understated medicinal scent
Why it’s great: An affordable and highly portable option, with no bulky packaging weighing you down at an appointment, this super little bottle works for small tattoos, minor scrapes, bug bites, or lengthy tattoo sessions. Even if you ever regret your ink this versatile numbing spray can accompany you to the laser clinic as well (fingers crossed you do the important research).
How it feels: A favorite feature of this spray is the non-greasy formula, it makes it an easy hands-free application, as you don’t need to rub it in or touch the affected area. This is especially helpful for long tattoo sessions where a few applications may make your chair experience a little bit easier. Oh, and it’s 100% cruelty-free, too. Always a bonus.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The spray application can get blocked or feel a little difficult to apply. It’s not the hardest workaround but can be an annoyance considering you’ll only get about an hour of pain relief per application. Additionally, it’s not a huge bottle and you may need to repurchase for multiple tattoo sessions.
Size: 2.4 fl oz.| Formula: 5% Lidocaine, 0.25% Phenylephrine HCl, Water-based | Skin Type: Normal to sensitive | Scent: Unscented
Buying Considerations for The Best Tattoo Numbing Sprays
When you’re looking for a numbing spray for tattoos that suits your needs, size matters. To get the best
If you’re getting a whole sleeve, for example, going for a bigger bottle is your best bet. On the flipside, if your potential body ink is going to be small, getting something in a slightly smaller container will give you the best return on your investment.
Lidocaine is an effective active ingredient found in most good tattoo numbing sprays as it temporarily dampens the nerve endings.
But, in addition to lidocaine, it’s always worth exploring the ingredients bottle of any potential tattoo numbing spray closely before pressing the ‘buy’ button. In addition to active numbing ingredients, going for something made with a blend of natural ingredients is the best way to go. Armed with fewer chemicals and more natural goodness, your skin will stay healthy, making your body ink look epic as a result.
When you’re weighing up the best numbing spray for your needs, you should always consider your skin type. When it comes to tattoos, skin care is essential after all.
If you have sensitive or irritable skin, check the label and make sure the spray’s formula—as well as its ingredients—suit your skin type. Doing so will give you the best possible results without any skin-scratching side effects or irritation.
Why You Should Trust Us
While I only have one piece of body art, I spoke to countless tattoo artists and enthusiasts to find out which numbing sprays tick all the boxes. Afterall, as a long-time fashion writer, my passion is dedicated research leading to sound advice.
In addition to many tattoo numbing spray conversations, I also scoured online forums and conducted hours of extensive web research to bring you my epic top five shortlist of the best tattoo numbing sprays money can buy.
Boasting epic value for money, a balanced mix of fast-acting ingredients that help with aftercare, Hush is my top pick for best tattoo numbing spray. A little goes a long way the fact that it suits all skin types makes Hush a real body inking all rounder.
But while this is the case, every single numbing spray for tattoos on my list is reliable, effective, and will give you plenty of
When used in conjunction with aftercare products like tattoo lotion, tattoo numbing spray is an effective tool in making the inking process more bearable.
Not only is the right kind of numbing spray great for pain relief, but it can also help in the aftercare process by keeping your skin hydrated and protected. Bonus.
Both tattoo numbing spray and tattoo numbing cream are effective for pain relief both during and after the inking process.
But, while both types of numbing agent get the job done, many inking enthusiasts we’ve talked to say that spray is far easier to use (it usually lasts a little longer, too).
Most pro tattoo artists use numbing sprays that include the ingredient lidocaine, because it’s safe and effective.
For a full rundown of the best numbing spray on the market right now (the kind that the pros use), check out our definitive list of top product picks.
Yes, the right kind of numbing spray can do wonders for tattoos. Not only do good tattoo numbing sprays seriously take the edge of the pain, but they can also help with the aftercare of your ink. A product definitely worth investing in if you’re serious about your body art.