Is It Safe To Use Numbing Cream Before Getting Laser Hair Removal?

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Smooth, stubble-free skin can be an intoxicating feeling for many people. While shaving and waxing can deliver those results, they certainly don't last as long as laser hair removal. The procedure uses a vibrating laser light beam that stunts hair growth at the follicle. If enough heat is created at the hair follicle, destroying the hair growth center, then no new hair should be created. While results vary from person to person, it takes about six treatments of laser hair removal to stop the growth of hair completely, per The Huffington Post.

Although this treatment has the potential to stop the growth of hair completely, it comes with a hefty price. That's not only the case when it comes to the steep financial cost — each session could run you around $400 on average, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons — but the physical pain that laser hair removal inflicts, as well. The process can be extremely uncomfortable, particularly for areas of the body such as the armpits or bikini line, reports Teen Vogue.

In order to mitigate the pain and irritation of laser hair removal, some people turn to numbing creams. But, are they safe to use before a laser procedure?

Should you use numbing cream before laser hair removal?

Infinity Laser Spa in New York recommends using a numbing cream ahead of your laser hair removal procedure. According to business' website, there are two types of numbing processes: one using a local anesthetic (a one-time injection), and another using the occlusion method, where you apply numbing cream and then wrap the area with plastic wrap.

According to Verywell Health, numbing creams are medications that work similarly to local anesthetics. When applied, they help reduce sensitivity in the body by preventing nerve signals from sending the message to your brain that you're in pain. The active ingredients include things like lidocaine, benzocaine, and pramoxine, which help to relieve pain quickly.

Glamour recommends using the numbing cream about 30 to 45 minutes ahead of your appointment. That should be the only cream you have on when you arrive at your appointment, as other creams and oils can interfere with the treatment, per Pure Aesthetics. The day before the appointment, shave the area you intend on getting hair removed from and try your best to avoid the sun (via Mayo Clinic). If you have to be outside, wear clothing that covers the area that will be lasered.

Best numbing creams for laser hair removal

The Ebanel Numb520 Topical Anesthetic Cream is a top rated cream used for hair removal. The cream uses lidocaine, which helps prevent pain signals from being transmitted to the brain. The effects of the cream kicks in at around five minutes after application and can last for up to an hour. The formula is non-greasy and water-based, so it won't interfere with the effects of your laser treatment.

The Numb Master 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing Cream also has lidocaine, dramatically decreasing the amount of pain to be felt from the laser. The cream contains aloe vera and vitamin E, moisturizing the skin without the greasy feel of oils. It starts working after about two to three minutes and lasts for an hour. It also has a child resistant cap and is easy to apply.

For long procedures, try the Everyday Medicine Numbing Cream. Lasting up to a whopping four hours, this fast-acting cream uses lidocaine to block out pain sensors. It offers skin relief from conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and is anti-inflammatory. It's deeply penetrating and has soothing and hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera gel, tea tree oil, clove oil, and jojoba oil.