I have tried different numbing creams in my microblading career. I usually use Lidocaine 5% or Zensa for topical anesthetic, let it stay on my clients' brows for 25 minutes before first pass. After the skin is open, I use an instant numbing cream. One that has absolutely made my life much easier(Ultra Duration) and one that has stressed me out during working on a client(Instant Oral Pain Relief Gel).
Ultra Duration has epinephrine in it which makes clients bleed less. After the first pass, I put a tiny bit of Ultra Duration and it not only stops the bleeding but also makes client feel comfortable during the procedure.
Also, it numbs instantly and stays for a good time. What I mean by that is if I put epinephrine on the entire brow and start working on the bulb of the brow, by the time I get to the tail of the brow, client is still numb and at ease. The area around the brows are always whiter than the rest of the skin and therefore great for pictures. The white area also shows that client is still numb.
On the contrary, I used Instant Oral Pain Relief Gel which is a numbing gel that dentists use for numbing gums. It has Benzocaine 20%. First of all, my client's eyes started getting watery. It was more of an allergic reaction. Second, it worsened the bleeding and it did not numb my client. That is when I realized how hard it is to work on a brow that bleeds and bleeds and bleeds!!! I could not work on the client, the procedure was taking longer, and the pigmentations were diluted with blood.
By the end of the procedure, the area around the brows were pinky and not good for taking after pictures. All in all, I was frustrated, the client was in pain and the process was time consuming. The only good thing about this numbing cream was that it was easy to buy. I bought it from Walgreens. Also, it did numb only if
I would use one segment at a time.
Lesson learned! Do not use dentistry numbing cream for brows!