How to Use Zensa Numbing Cream for Tattoos – Mini Guide

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on April 18, 2024
how to use zensa numbing cream for tattoos
⏱️ 6 min read

DISCLAIMER: Check local rules and regulations regarding topical anesthetics before you use any numbing product on any client.

From lip blush to machine brows, the Zensa Numbing Cream has been a popular product choice between artists and their clients for reducing pain and discomfort. Read our mini guide and learn how to use Zensa Numbing Cream for tattoos, plus where to purchase it.

Let’s get started!

What Is Zensa Numbing Cream?

The Zensa Numbing Cream is a fast-acting, reliable topical anesthetic, specially formulated to provide optimal pain relief.

It is a maximum strength 5% lidocaine cream with a neutral pH value, which makes it suitable for various beauty procedures like microblading and machine brows, permanent eyeliner and lip tattoo, as well as different skin and hair removal treatments.

The numbing effect of the Zensa Numbing Cream can last anywhere from 2-3 hours, but you can safely reapply the cream even on broken skin to prolong its effects further.

You can learn more about the Zensa Numbing Cream and its properties here.

What is Zensa numbing cream?
Image source: Instagram @zensaskin

Do You Apply Numbing Cream Before or After Tattoo?

Numbing cream should always be applied an hour or so before the treatment or procedure begins. The time needed for the cream to start working depends on the included ingredients and the manufacturer.

Zensa’s topical anesthetic takes about 15-30 minutes to work and is applied on cleaned and prepped skin for maximum effectiveness. 

This numbing cream is an all-in-1 product which means that it can be used on untouched skin as a primary numbing solution, as well as a secondary anesthetic on broken skin.

Some beauty treatments last longer than 2-3 hours so the initial effects of the Zensa Numbing Cream begin to wear off. Thankfully, you can go in and reapply it on top of the treated area without any side effects.

If you’re looking for a way to relieve post-tattoo symptoms like redness and itching, or just want to help your PMU heal faster, we recommend trying the Zensa Healing Cream.

Learn more about it here.

Where to Buy Zensa Numbing Cream

You can purchase the Zensa Numbing Cream and more Zensa products right here, on PMUHub’s Shop.

If you’re a permanent makeup artist you will also be able to find high-quality PMU products like pigments, cartridges, and PMU machines plus all the extra accessories you may need for your business.

Click here to explore our range of PMU supplies.

How Do Topical Anesthetics Work Exactly?

Before we explain how to use Zensa for tattoos, it’s important to first understand the process of how a topical anesthetic works.

When you apply a topical anesthetic like the Zensa Numbing Cream, the active ingredients found in the cream get absorbed into the skin and reach the nerve endings in the dermis layer.

They then prevent the nerves from sending signals to the brain that cause the sensation of pain, making your tattooing procedure completely pain-free.

You can learn more about how numbing creams work here.

How to Use Zensa for Tattoos

You can use your Zensa Numbing Cream to pre-numb the treated area before various eyebrow, lip, and eyelid treatments. Here’s a simple step-by-step look at how to use Zensa Numbing Cream for tattoos:

Step 1

Use rubbing alcohol to clean and disinfect the treated area before applying numbing cream.

Step 2

Apply a thick layer of Zensa Numbing Cream by dabbing it on – do not rub it in.

Step 3

Cover the area with plastic wrap to promote absorption. The wrap traps moisture and heat, opening up the pores and allowing the cream to easily sink in.

Step 4

Wait about 15-30 minutes for the numbing cream to start working.

Step 5

Remove the plastic wrap and wipe away the excess before starting your tattooing procedure.

Step 6

If needed, apply a second layer of Zensa Numbing Cream towards the end of the procedure as a form of secondary numbing. Wait a couple of minutes for it to work, then remove it and continue your procedure.

How to use Zensa numbing cream for tattoos?
Image source: Instagram @zensaskin

How Long Do You Leave Zensa Numbing Cream?

How well and how quickly the numbing solution will act depends mostly on the client. Some people need a bit more time for the numbing to take effect, while others don’t need as much.

The general rule of thumb is to leave your Zensa Numbing Cream on the skin for about 15-20 minutes when doing permanent makeup, or 30-40 minutes when doing a traditional ink tattoo.

To speed up the numbing process, remember to cover the treated area with plastic wrap.

Tips on Making the Most out of Zensa Numbing Cream

If you’re a permanent makeup artist, you should aim to provide the most comfortable experience for your clients.

Out of the standard use, the Zensa Numbing Cream can be adapted to suit your permanent makeup treatment of choice. Here are our tips and tricks on how to make the most out of your Zensa Numbing Cream:

How to Use Zensa Numbing Cream for Tattoos on Eyebrows

For eyebrow treatments like microblading and powder brows, it is highly recommended to use a lidocaine-based topical cream, since lidocaine is an agent that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

The Zensa cream has a maximum strength 5% lidocaine formula that also contains Vitamin E and purified water, so you will be able to provide your clients with the optimal numbing effect and hydrate the treated skin at the same time. Less bleeding and irritation during the procedure will also help you apply each stroke with the utmost precision.

Before numbing, there is a trick that you can use to allow the cream to penetrate the skin better and deeper, and that is to exfoliate the eyebrow area by brushing it with a spoolie. This is especially beneficial when working on fuller natural brows which trap a lot of dead skin.

One more tip from experienced brow artists implies applying a hot towel over the plastic wrap in order to open up the pores.


If you want to skip the pre-numbing part altogether, you can just use your cream as a secondary numbing solution after opening up the skin with micro incisions. Since the skin is broken at this point, the numbing cream will sink in faster and take effect in about a minute.

@zensaskin Painless is possible. Zensa Numbing Cream absorbs quickly for long-lasting pain relief. Learn how to apply in 4 easy steps. #Zensa #Microblading ♬ original sound - Zensa Skin Care

How to Use Zensa Numbing Cream for Tattoos on Eyelids

A numbing cream used for permanent eyeliner tattoos should have a balanced pH and be safe around the eyes. This means that you should avoid runny formulas as they can potentially wind up in your client’s eyes and cause irritation.

The Zensa Numbing Cream has a thicker formulation that has a natural pH as well, which means it can be used on sensitive skin – including the eye area.

Zensa Numbing cream for tattoos on eyelids
Image source: Instagram @zensaskin

How to Use Zensa Numbing Cream for Tattoos on Lips

Obtaining vibrancy and good pigment saturation is crucial when it comes to a professionally done lip tattoo treatment like lip blush. Choosing a lidocaine-based formula is the best option for pre-numbing the lips.

Since the lips tend to swell a lot during lip blushing, the Zensa Numbing Cream also helps calm down irritation. Also, this topical anesthetic doesn’t contain vasoconstrictors so it won’t disrupt or affect ink settling in any way.

Zensa Numbing Cream for Tattoos on Lips
Image source: Freepik

How to Use Zensa Numbing Cream for Decorative Tattoos

Since traditional tattooing engages a similar color implementation method to permanent makeup, topical anesthetics like the Zensa Numbing Cream can be a great solution for minimizing pain and post-tattoo irritation.

However, there is still an ongoing debate in the tattoo industry about whether or not artists should offer numbing creams in their studios. For some artists, pain is a part of the process, while others don’t see anything wrong with wanting their clients to be as comfortable as possible during their session.

The good news about using the Zensa Numbing Cream, in particular, is that it won’t wipe away your pre-draw or affect your stencil in any way. Besides, it’ll prevent your clients from twitching due to pain. If you decide to give it a try, here’s how to use Zensa for tattoos:

  • Clean the treated area with an alcohol swab or soap and water.
  • While wearing a pair of gloves, apply the cream over the area getting inked. About 1mm thick layer should be enough. Don’t rub it in.
  • Cover the area in plastic wrap to activate the cream and speed up the numbing process.
  • Remove the plastic wrap in about 30-40 minutes and wash the area before the session begins.

To Sum Up

Using a numbing cream during permanent makeup application is highly recommended for keeping the procedure pleasant.

That’s why you should invest in a topical anesthetic cream that can give you the best numbing effects in the shortest amount of time. The Zensa Numbing Cream does just that.

Besides, it’s also the best choice budget-wise as it helps you save money on multiple anesthetics since it can be used as both a pre-numbing and secondary numbing agent.

Cover image source: Instagram @zensaskin



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