If you’re preparing for a cosmetic procedure like getting a tattoo, skin piercing, or waxing, here are some skin numbing options that can help decrease pain and discomfort. Things like numbing with ice, sitting on arms or legs, and using an over-the-counter numbing agent are the most common methods. But not all are created equally!
The ice method is quite useful to deaden the sensation in the face and ears. Put the ice in a plastic bag or wrap it in a piece of cloth to prevent the natural heat of your skin from quickly melting it. Apply the ice pack to your skin for about 5 to 7 minutes. Within a few minutes, you’ll see some reddening and feel the numbness set in.
Be mindful not to apply the ice to your skin for more than 10 minutes because you might trigger an onset of frostbite, which can be very painful and can permanently damage your skin or muscle tissue. Finally, remember to use the ice AFTER hair removal. If you use it before the procedure, the cold will force your skin pores to close, making it doubly difficult to remove the hair.
Sitting on Your Arms or Legs
Another common method used by those with low pain tolerance is to force your muscles and skin to go numb by sitting on it. This can be useful when you’re waxing your forearms or lower legs. After sitting on your arms or legs for a few minutes, you’ll feel the pins and needles as you change position. The trick is to quickly do the waxing as the numbness will likely go away within a minute or two.
Using a Numbing Agent
A topical numbing agent, like GoNumb, is also a good option to decrease or remove pain during a cosmetic procedure. These products usually contain anesthetics like lidocaine (4% or 5%), benzocaine, methyl salicylate, tetracaine, or natural pain relievers like belladonna and echinacea. These can be ordered online or over the counter at your local pharmacy without a prescription. Read and follow the instructions carefully to maximize effectiveness. Avoid applying a topical cream or gel over an open wound or broken skin, as this might cause chemicals to enter your bloodstream.
If you’ve used any of these skin numbing methods for a cosmetic procedure in the past, we’d love to hear how it went and which method worked best for you.