Comfortably Numb: Choosing the Best Numbing Solution For Your Client
Bactine has been a tattoo artist's secret weapon for a long time. The active ingredients in Bactine are Benzalkonium Chloride and Lidocane, and while not much has changed formula-wise since its development back in the late 1940s, it’s still as effective as ever.
The spray format is easy to apply during the tattoo process, and it doesn't sting. Bactine actually soothes the skin while helping to reduce redness and swelling. The price is right too - Bactine costs just a third of what other products on this list cost.
Of the three numbing sprays/creams we currently carry, Bactine has the lowest amount of Lidocaine, coming in at 2%. This means it's good for short bursts but won't numb as much or for as long as Zensa or The Solution. Bactine also doesn't work well as a "pre-deadener," doing its best work on broken skin, so if you have a client who can't even make it through the lining... read on.
“1 LIL DAB WILL DO YA
We all know how this works. It does the job for a few mins, however, I do use it with some of the more sensitive clients. The psychology of using this with them assures them for a much more pleasurable tattoo experience.”
- Doug N
If you’re looking for numbing with a bit more stamina, Zensa may just be your client's best friend. This numbing cream is both FDA and Health Canada approved, and packs 5% lidocaine which is the legal limit in Canada.
Although best used on broken skin, Zensa can be applied pre-tattoo to start your client's journey off on the right foot. It has the maximum legal limit of Lidocaine (5%) and will work longer than Bactine. Zensa is a skincare product that contains Vitamin E, and it has a neutral pH, making it one of the more natural numbing creams on the market.
It's a cream, meaning it's a bit more hands-on, and you’ll have to rub it into the skin unlike Bactine and The Solution which offer sprays. Similar to Bactine, Zensa is topical and doesn’t contain any vasoconstrictors. While this is great for ink penetration, it also means it won’t keep your client numb for long as The Solution will.
“Works wonders if you put it on 1.5 hours before you tattoo. You can reapply it during the tattoo process, but it will take your stencil off, so be careful.”
- Adam C
The Solution Numbing Spray & Foam
The new kid on the block takes everything you know and love about Bactine and Zensa, and kicks it up to 11 (sorry, Silverback and Spinal Tap, we’re stealing your tagline here). The Solution is the only numbing agent we carry that also contains Epinephrine, which provides your client with a dentist office-like numbing experience.
The Solution is Health Canada and FDA approved. This numbing spray contains the maximum allowed 5% dose of Lidocaine, combined with 1% Epinephrine, which will keep your client more comfortable and numb longer than both Zensa and Bactine. This product works best when used later in the tattooing process as a “tap-out blocker”.
Although Epinephrine is a significant part of this product's effectiveness, it's also the reason some artists choose to avoid it. Epinephrine is a vasoconstrictor, which can make it hard to efficiently push ink into the skin. Effectiveness comes at a price; The Solution is the most expensive numbing spray in the Eikon store.
For full details and important safety information, head on over to our website to learn more about the application of The Solution.
“Definitely good for whites and helping them push through that last little bit. Recommended for sure.” - Andy B