Best Numbing Cream Reviewed
When training for a fight, or just spending a little bit of time at the gym on a daily basis, your skin and muscles take quite a beating. Whether it is sore knuckles from landing blows or a sore nose from taking a punch, using an effective numbing cream can ease your pain a little bit.
What we love most about using cream like this is that it is typically made from natural ingredients that work quickly and effectively on the surface of your skin to ease the pain. There is no need to take any pills, and it works almost instantly. Most formulas contain lidocaine that works by blocking pain receptors on the surface of the skin.
In this guide, we have compiled a list of some of our very favorite numbing creams so that something as simple as pain will not hold you back!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
No oily feel
Top 10 Numbing Cream Picks
1. Dr. Numb
No oily feel
If you need something that works quickly and goes on easy, this is one of your best options. The reason that we selected Dr. Numb for the very top of our list is that it uses high-quality materials that penetrate the surface of the skin so that you feel no pain!Read more
The ingredients in this bottle are composed of about 5% lidocaine. Lidocaine acts as an antiseptic that numbs that surface of the skin and blocks pain receptors from sending pain signals to your brain. Five perfect means that it is enough that it will numb the skin, but it won’t feel like you just came back from the dentist!
One of the things that users love most about this option is that it doesn’t have an oily feel. You can layer this cream on your skin and it will sit on top of your skin without feeling oily and uncomfortable. Plus, the formula is packed with vitamin E that will actually help you heal faster and feel better!
If you are in the market for something that comes from one of the most trusted names in this field, this is one of your best options. It comes in a modest size tube that you can throw into your gym bag for those moments that you need it.
2. Numb Master
Doesn’t feel oily
Very small tub
The one thing that users loved most about this blend from Numb Master is that feels great when you put it on your skin. While some other designs feel like you are putting medicine on your skin, this water-based design absorbs into your skin quickly and gets to work just as fast.Read more
As we mentioned earlier, we love that this formula is water-based so that it goes on smooth and doesn’t feel oily or cakey. It actually feels like a typical body lotion that you would put on your skin to moisturize. This means that you can wear it over your clothes without worrying about it staining the fabric.
It contains 5 percent lidocaine which is about average compared to other designs. It is made to numb the skin without feeling overwhelmingly numb. One of the things that we found in the list of the inactive ingredients was aloe vera juice. Aloe is great because it helps soothe irritated skin in an all-natural way.
If you are in the market for something that feels great when you put it on your skin, this is a great choice. Users love that it goes on smooth without feeling oily and cakey due to the fact that it contains aloe vera. Plus, it has just enough lidocaine to really numb the skin quickly and effectively.
Doesn’t feel oily
Very small tub
What we liked most about this option from Ebanel is that it offers a little bit more in the active ingredient label to penetrate the skin just a little bit quicker than most. Plus, users love that it goes on really smoothly and it doesn’t feel terrible against your skin. If you need something quick and effective, this is a really great option.Read more
One of the first things that we noticed about this formula is that it contains Liposomal. We won’t bore you with the intense science around Liposomal (mostly because it goes just a little bit over our heads!). What we can tell you, however, is that it is a chemical compound that works to expedite the delivery to medicine under your skin.
It also contains the standard 5 percent of lidocaine. This means that it will penetrate your skin quickly to effectively numb it. From what we have read, one application lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours. This is slightly lower than most, but many previous users feel that it is accurate.
For those in the market for something that works quickly, this is one of your best options, Due to the fact that it contains Liposomal, it delivers the numbing agents under your skin just a little bit more quickly than some of the other brands currently out there on the market.
Weak Pain Relief
Aspercreme is one of the original pain-relieving ointments, so it is no wonder that it is found on our list at least once. What we loved about this cream is that it uses quality ingredients to soothe your angry skin as well as numb away the pain. If you need something quick and effective, you may want to check out this option.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this formula is that it contains 4% lidocaine. While most out there on the offer a maximum of 5%, this blend falls just a little bit short. For some users, this is actually a benefit to them because other blends may numb the skin just a little too much.
Another thing that users really liked about this blend is that it doesn’t have an odor to it. There are many lidocaine blends out there on the market that has that very distinctive smell, and this option does not have that signature scent. If you don’t want the whole room to know that you are in pain, this is a great option to try.
For those in the market for something that goes on easy and doesn’t have a scent, this is one of your best options. Users also like that it has just slightly less lidocaine that some of the other brands out there on the market. This means that you won’t be numbed to the point that you cannot feel your hands!
Goes on lightly
What we liked most about this option from Numbskin is that it is made from quality ingredients that you can feel good about. Their formula was never tested on animals, and it is made of ingredients that are safe to use on just about everyone. If you need something that goes on easy and is effective, this option is worth checking out!Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this blend is that it has a slightly different application process than some of the others out there on the market. This process means that it will absorb better into your skin. While most apply to your skin like a basic sunscreen, Numbskin is just a little bit different.
To apply this cream, be sure that your skin is clean and dry. Rub the cream onto the surface of your skin until all of the creams absorbs into your skin. This means that no residue will be left behind on your skin to possibly rub off on other surfaces. Also, be sure to apply enough so that the surface of your skin is just a little wet.
What we liked most about this option from Numbskin is that it is made to last for a very long time with one application without rubbing off onto your clothes or other surfaces. It is made from 5% lidocaine so that you get the maximum OTC level of pain relief with just one application.
Heals and numbs
If you are a big fan of those big and mean flightless birds, you may want to move on to another product. This cream from Blue-Emu actually contains emu-oil! This blend uses a combination of lidocaine with the benefits of emu-oil to help relieve pain and heal at the same time.Read more
Emu oil actually has a lot of beneficial features that not only help soothe angry skin, but it can also help heal and increases moisture absorption (and can help the lidocaine be absorbed into your skin as well). In conjunction with 5% lidocaine, this blend works great at numbing away pain while expediting the healing process as well.
One of the things that users really loved about this design is that it comes with a CR-SpongeTop applicator that makes application simple and easy. With other creams, the palm of your hands goes numb as you rub it into your skin. With the help of this applicator, you can rub it into your skin and only numbs the parts of your body that you want numb.
For those in the market for something that really helps relieve pain while healing your skin at the same time, this is a really great product. Just keep in mind that unlike most of the other brands out there on the market, emu’s did not willingly sign up to provide their oil for this blend.
Great for skin
Don’t like the idea of applying a chemical compound such as lidocaine to the surface of the skin? If you are looking for a more natural approach to pain management, you may want to check out this option from Biofreeze. Instead of using traditional lidocaine to numb, it approached pain relief just a little bit differently.Read more
Menthol is the number one active ingredient in this formula. When applied to the skin, menthol works in a similar way to lidocaine. It blocks the pain receptors on the surface of your skin to prevent your brain from receiving the pain signals from the affected source. Plus, the use of menthol will not dry out your skin even with multiple applications.
One of the downsides to the formula from Biofreeze is that it has that classic menthol smells that will get you noticed even before you enter the room! The smell often transfers to your clothing, and ghosts of the scent still linger after a long and hot shower. A thick scent is a price you pay for an all-natural and effective source of pain relief.
For those in the market for a natural way to relieve pain without the use of lidocaine or topical NSAIDs, this is a really great option. By using menthol as the active ingredient, this is a really great choice (as long as you like the smell of menthol!).
Will not burn
Modest pain relief
What we liked most about this option from Dragon is that it goes on smooth and feels great against your skin. It has a lower percentage of lidocaine that helps kill pain without being as numbing as some of the other options out there on the market. Plus, this gentle formula doesn’t burn and it doesn’t smell.Read more
What users love most about this formula from Dragon is that it uses all of the powerful ingredients that you want to kill pain, but just at a lower degree. This cream contains 4% lidocaine that is just slightly lower than most. This means that it will not burn and tingle the way sone of the more potent designs can burn.
Another thing that users really liked about this option is that it is odorless. This means that you can apply as much as you want without worrying about a potent odor following you around and rubbing off on your clothes. Plus, the formula is light and absorbs quickly into your skin.
For those in the market for something that will not have the same burn and smell of some of the more potent options out there on the market, this is a really great option. We love that it is made with powerful ingredients that help knock out pain without any of the unpleasant side effects that come with some of the powerful options.
Easy roller application
Need something that has an easy application process? Many of the creams out there on the market need to be rubbed into the skin, which means your hands will become numb in the process! What we loved most about this cream from Workvie is that it comes in a roller bottle for an effective and easy application process that keeps your hands clean and dry.Read more
This formula uses 4% lidocaine to provide effective pain relief that isn’t too strong. The formula is lightweight and rolls on very easily. One of the things that users really liked most about this option is that it adds aloe vera into its formula. This means that it will help heal your skin, moisturize as the lidocaine soothes away the pain.
As mention before, the most notable feature of this option is that it comes in a simple roll-on tube. Many roll on options are made from a thin liquid that often isn’t very effective. Even though this option comes in a roll-on bottle, it is still dispersed in a cream form.
For those in the market for something that is easy to use that will keep your hands dry and free from becoming numb in the process, this is an excellent option. It may not be as potent as some of the other options out there on the market, but it is soothing to your skin and a cinch to apply.
This option from LMX5 is for those that need something thick and powerful. This formula contains a higher level of lidocaine that helps numb the skin quickly and effectively. It goes on a bit thicker than most to provide excellent numbing. Plus, it also has a few extra ingredients that help soothe skin and help heal a little bit faster.Read more
This blend has 5% lidocaine as the active ingredient that is the move powerful strength level that you can buy over the counter. What we found in the ingredients is that it also has the addition of vitamin E in the formula as well. Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe troubled skin as lidocaine helps to numb away the pain.
From what we read from previous users, this is one of the most potent options out there on the market. Even users that find they have a high tolerance for lidocaine found that this product was super effective to help numb away their pain. It might feel thick and a little gloopy, but it is incredibly effective.
If you are in the market for something that is strong and powerful, this is one of your best options. It uses a high level of lidocaine that you can currently buy over the counter, and it is a thick cream that really penetrates deep down into the surface of your skin.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The very first thing that we looked at for each and every tube or tub was the active ingredient.
What we found during our research is that most brands opt for the same numbing agent across the board. In some instances, there were some companies that opted for a more natural approach to numbing.
Lidocaine was the active ingredient that was found in most options currently out there on the market. However, the amount of lidocaine varied from brand to brand. The highest level of lidocaine that we found was 5%. If you want to buy lidocaine over the counter, 5% is the highest that you can get without the need of a prescription.
If you don’t need something that is super powerful because you don’t like a burning or tingling feeling, you may want to opt for a 4% option. With 4%, you can still get a moderate level of numbing relief, but it will just be a little milder.
If you don’t like the idea of place a chemical compound onto your skin, there are more natural options out there on the market. Menthol, for instance, offers users a natural way to numb the nerve endings that send pain signals to your brain. It works much in the same way as lidocaine.
The only downside to menthol, however, is that it has a very potent and distinct smell. When applying menthol to your skin, you may have a method ghost following you around- even after you shower!
The good news here is that when shopping for numbing cream, you won’t become paralyzed in indecision when comparing different ingredients. You will simply need to make one decision: lidocaine or menthol.
Differences in the various options out there on the market often lie in simple things such as application, thickness, beneficial inactive ingredients, and odor.
Above all else, you want it to be effective.
Pain is something that is hard to shake, and it is hard to keep your head in the ring when your brain is busy alerting you to pain on your skin! That’s why we wanted to make sure that we selected brands that were not only easy on the skin but were also considered to be incredibly effective.
The very first thing that we looked at was the active ingredient in each and every formula. The most potent formulas are those that contain lidocaine as their active ingredient. We tried to stick with formulas that have between 4-5% lidocaine in each and every bottle.
The highest amount of lidocaine that is offered over the counter is 5%. If you want anything over 5%, you will need to seek out a prescription from your doctor.
Another thing that we took into consideration was that previous users had to say about each product. We combed through hundreds of user reviews to get a general picture of how well each option performed. If we found that an overwhelming number of users didn’t feel that each product worked effectively, we moved on to another brand.
When it comes to any type of medicine, side effects are something to take into consideration.
Even though it is simply applied topically still means that side effects can occur. The good news here is that most side effects are considered to be mild and will go away if you simply stop using the product.
Possible side effects are more prone to occurring when you use products that are made from lidocaine, which is a little harsher than menthol. Many of the side effects that can occur may be unpleasant, but they are not life-threatening.
One of the most common side effects of the use of lidocaine is a red rash developing at the application site. If this occurs, simply stop the use of the product. Other side effects include swelling at the application size as well as red or purple spots.
These symptoms generally will go away after you stop using the product. However, if you find that your symptoms continue to get worse even after you stop using the product, you may want to consult your doctor.
Some of the more serious side effects are considered to be extremely rare, but they have been known to happen on occasion. Some of the more serious side effects include symptoms such as headache, nausea, constipation, and low blood pressure. Everyone’s body is different and reacts to medications differently.
We suggest placing a small sample on your skin to seek how your body will react before placing it on larger areas. If you find that you don’t have a reaction, it is safe to use elsewhere. If you find that you do have a reaction to lidocaine, it may be in your best interest to try out a menthol option.
No one likes to wear thick, gloopy lotion.
We searched for formulas that were made to feel comfortable on your skin. There were a few things that we took into consideration to make sure that you could get a clean and even coat on your skin and not on your clothes!
One of the best options to ensure an even coat was to select a formula that was water-based. Oil-based formulas often feel slick and oily on your skin, and never quite get absorbed. This means that the solution only sits on the top of your skin, so that the moment you rub up against anything, the cream will rub right off! On the flip side, if the formula is too dry is can often feel cakey and uncomfortable, and leaves little white flakes everywhere you go.
That’s why waterbased formulas are the way to go. These options absorb right into your skin to reduce the risk of flaking or rubbing off in places that you don’t want it to rub off. Be sure to read what previous users have had to say as well about how well the formula glides onto your skin and stays there as well!
A few key features really make some products stand out from the rest.
We have broken down some of our favorite features found in some of the products out there on the market and the reason you may want to give them a try.
Vitamin E: When treating your muscles, it’s also important to treat your skin as well. An infusion of vitamin E into the blend promotes healing of your skin and also helps to promote skin health and reduce inflammation.
Aloe Vera: Products that contain aloe vera means that it will be very kind to your skin! Aloe is one of the best natural ingredients that you can put on your skin. It moisturizes as well as heals at the same time. Products that use aloe typically feel better when placed on the skin, and absorb a little quicker.
Applicator: Applicators can be beneficial because they keep your hands clean and dry. It requires a little bit of rubbing to ensure that the cream is completely absorbed, and when you use your hands it means that your palms become numb as well.
Sure, you could invest in a pair of glove for easy application, but many products come with an applicator included. These rounded applicators ensure that you not only keep your hands clean, but you can also create an even coat on the affected surface of your skin.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The skin is the body’s largest organ. The average adult carries around about 8 pounds of skin that measure to be about 22 square feet! Unlike other organs that are protected by skin, fat, and bone, your skin vulnerable to burns, cuts, and discomfort. That’s why keeping topical pain solutions such as numbing cream at your disposal in a medicine cabinet is always a good idea!
The skin is pretty amazing, and can completely regenerate itself in about 27 days. This means that it can heal and repair most burns, cuts, and scraps relatively fast. The general rule of thumb is that you do not need to see a doctor as long as your injury doesn’t get worse over time. If you notice that your skin or muscles are getting worse as time goes on, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor!
It is important to know the possible side effects that can occur. While sensations such as burning and tingling per perfectly normal, there are some other sensations that aren’t so normal. Size effects such as hive, redness, and swelling have been known to occur in some users. While these side effects are not life-threatening, we recommend that you stop using numbing creams and opt more natural formulas such as menthol.
Other Factors to Consider
Pain is an everyday fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be. Keeping a tub or a tube of numbing cream in your medicine cabinet is a great way to squash annoying pain on the surface or your skin or muscles in its tracks.
What makes this option great is that it works quickly and effectively within seconds of use. Many OTC pills can take a long time to get to work inside of your system and can have some pretty bad side effects when used over a long period of time.
What makes this option great is that there are typically no side effects, and the side effects that can occur are generally mild.
Taking a hit is inevitable when fighting, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be in pain for the remainder of the day! Keeping a tube of numbing cream in your gym bag is a great way to combat pain on sight so you won’t have your mind distracted by pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do I need numbing cream?
When you train hard, your skin sometimes pays the price. It’s hard to focus on the task at hand when you are in pain, and numbing cream acts to counteract the pain so that you can focus.
These creams are applied topically right at the source of the problem and get to work almost immediately. OTC pain pills such as NSAIDs often take anywhere from 30-60 minutes to get to work and have some unwanted side effects when used over long periods of time. These topical solutions sit on the top of your skin and won’t be absorbed into the bloodstream.
q: How does it work?
Pain occurs when your nerve endings send signals to your brain that you have become injured. The biological reason for this is so that you will make efforts to ease the source of the pain. In the case of minor injuries that will heal on their own, pain is simply an annoyance.
Lidocaine works by numbing the nerve endings to block the neurotransmitters from telling your brain that you are in pain. This numbing method doesn’t last as long as over the counter NSAIDs and will need to be reapplied every 1-4 hours (depending on the brand).
q: Can it help my sore muscles?
Yes! The most common use for the numbing cream is to soothe topical maladies, but it can actually penetrate deeper to give your sore muscles a little bit of relief as well.
Mant users that suffer from chronic pain from arthritis have been proven to find relief when using even smaller OTC doses of lidocaine. If your muscles ache from a brutal training session and you need to get back to the mat as soon as possible, topical lidocaine or menthol can bring you immediate relief!
Also, if you suffer from chronic lower back pain, rubbing some numbing cream on your tired back at the end of a long day can bring you enough relief that will help you get a good night's sleep.
q: Is it safe to use?
Like with anything that you put on your skin, there is the potential of side effects. Some users that have notoriously sensitive skin may want to try using it on s small area on their body to see if it has a reaction. Possible side effects are rare but are typically rather mild.
Some of the most common side effects to lidocaine include a rash at the application site, skin irritation, red or purple spots at the place of application. If you notice any of these symptoms, you may want to try a more natural solution such as menthol.
q: Is menthol effective?
Menthol works much in the same way as lidocaine, but it is derived from natural sources. The source of menthol is derived from any number of natural sources that include peppermint, corn mint, or other sources of mint. It provides a cooling sensation to the skin that can be incredibly beneficial to burns or other similar sources of irritation.
When it comes to effectiveness, it is considered to be just a little less effective than lidocaine. Plus, it often is accompanied by a very strong menthol scent that some users do not like.
q: How often will I need to apply it?
For most options, this needs to be something you need to apply once every few hours. Just like any numbing agent, it only works for so long before wearing off. On the weaker end of the spectrum, it needs to be applied once every hour, and on the higher end, it needs to be applied every 3-4 hours.
It is important to note that there is a limit to how many times a day you should apply. For most, it can only be applied about 4 times per day. It is important that you don’t gove over the recommended dosage because irritation can occur if you do.
q: Can I use it for anything else?
One thing that we discovered is that this type of cream has a lot of various uses that don’t just stop at muscle pain and burns. Many users apply a thick layer right before going in for a myriad of procedures such as tattoos or dermabrasion.
If you need to have any type of procedure that involves the top layer of your skin, numbing the problem area before heading into your appoint can help mitigate a lot of the pain from the procedure!
q: Can I get it wet while wearing it?
Unlike sunscreen, lidocaine washes off once it gets wet. This means that it f you want to stay numb for hours at a time, the affected area cannot get wet. Activities such as showering, swimming, and sweating are if off-limits if you want it to be as effective as possible.
However, there are some ways to work around this particular problem. Some users found that applying a layer of numbing cream and then wrapping it in a waterproof seal such as sean wrap is a great way to workout at the gym without pain. While this method is great for the gym and, it is not ideal for swimming or showering.