5 Tattoo Artist Tips On What To Do The Night Before Your Ink Appointment

You've booked your tattoo appointment, and now it's just days away. While there's a lot of discussion around the importance of caring for a new tattoo, we also can't forget to prepare our minds and bodies for the big day. A tattoo is like a medical procedure you prepare for, and your body has to heal from. 


To understand how to prepare ourselves even before we step into the tattoo shop, Glam chatted exclusively with tattoo expert Kelly Martinez, a paramedical tattoo artist based in Arizona. As the owner of INKredible Permanent Makeup and host of The Scottsdale Permanent Makeup & Aesthetic Conference, Martinez has an arsenal of tips for anyone getting ready for their tattoo appointment. 

From preparing your skin to minding the food and beverages you consume, there are five key things to consider (that you may have never even thought of!) the night before your ink appointment that will give you the best, most comfortable tattoo experience possible.

Moisturize and hydrate

To prepare your skin for getting a tattoo, make sure you moisturize your skin in the days leading up to your appointment. "Moisturize the area where you will be getting the tattoo to keep your skin in good condition," Kelly Martinez exclusively tells us. "Well-hydrated skin can make the tattooing process more comfortable."  Don't hesitate to reach for the best body lotions available to soothe dry skin, like any body lotions made by Aveeno or Vaseline.


And although the tattoo is on the outside of the body, we can fuel our skin from within by staying hydrated. Hydration is important for our overall health, and it's especially relevant when getting a tattoo. "Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated," says Martinez. When you're hydrated overall, your skin will follow suit and better react to the ink. For an extra boost of hydration before the appointment, you could even add electrolytes to your water.

Get a good night's sleep

You might feel jittery and excited the night before you get your tattoo, but do your best to let your body and mind rest. "Prioritize a restful sleep to allow your body and mind to recharge," Kelly Martinez exclusively tells Glam. "A well-rested state can help you feel more relaxed during the tattoo session and promote faster healing afterward." Your sleep quality can affect your mental health, and when you get a good night's sleep, you'll be feeling refreshed and ready to get your ink done. 


Depending on the size and location of your tattoo, you could be sitting in the tattoo chair for hours, so you don't want to be too tired or groggy for it. Getting enough rest will make the whole process easier for both you and your tattoo artist. In general, it's advised that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night, per Mayo Clinic. If you're feeling a bit restless or nervous before bed, consider trying these apps for mindfulness and meditation to help you relax. 

Avoid alcohol and blood-thinning medications

When you get a tattoo, it's common for the skin to bleed, so you want to prevent any excessive bleeding by monitoring what you consume beforehand. "Refrain from consuming alcohol the night before your tattoo appointment as it can thin your blood and increase bleeding during the process," Kelly Martinez exclusively explains to us.


And let's face it: Would you want to be hungover while getting a tattoo? Alcohol, as most of us know, can also cause you to be dehydrated, which ultimately can affect your skin and the overall look of the tattoo, as we've covered.

Along with alcohol, some medications have a blood-thinning effect as well. "... Avoid taking blood-thinning medications, if possible, after consulting with your healthcare provider," Martinez explains. Even taking an over-the-counter medication like aspirin for a headache may increase bleeding and slow the healing time of your tattoo (via Healthline). Be aware of any medications you take leading up to your appointment, and talk to your doctor about whether it's safe for you to get a tattoo. 


Eat a nutritious meal

Getting a tattoo requires you to sit still — sometimes for hours on end — so the last thing you'd want is for your stomach to be rumbling and your energy levels to be low. "Fuel your body with a healthy and balanced meal before your tattoo appointment," Kelly Martinez exclusively tells us. With that being said, it's important to be mindful of what you eat before the appointment.


"Having a well-nourished body can help support your immune system and aid in the healing process," Martinez explains. So skip the sweets and sugary snacks and go for protein-rich foods that give you energy and keep you full longer (via Spoon University). Meats, nuts, and eggs are all great protein sources that will keep you fueled. Additionally,  vitamin C can help with the healing process, and you can find this vitamin in foods like oranges, broccoli, kiwis, and kale. 

Skip the caffeine

For those who can't get through the day without their coffee, this one might be a challenge. But for a positive tattooing experience, it's worth the sacrifice. "It is advisable to avoid consuming coffee or other caffeinated beverages the night before your tattoo," Kelly Martinez exclusively tells Glam. "Caffeine can increase sensitivity." Yes, although you should steer clear of caffeine the night before your appointment, sadly, it's best not to have caffeine the morning of your appointment as well.


Caffeine may raise your heart rate, making you more nervous and restless, per WebMD. You may already be anxious before your appointment, so caffeine has the potential to make your jitters worse. If you become shaky, this can make things more difficult for the artist to perform steadily. "Opt for herbal tea or decaffeinated alternatives instead to keep yourself calm and relaxed," says Martinez. Your body and your tattoo artist will thank you later. Plus, once you have your new ink, you'll be so excited that you most likely won't even need the caffeine.