Here's How To Prepare Your Skin For Getting A Tattoo

While deciding to get a tattoo can be exciting, preparing for the process requires a lot of work beforehand such as picking your design, researching an artist, and choosing where you want to get the tattoo done. Choosing to get a tattoo is a commitment to something pretty permanent, so preparing in all the ways you can is important. This includes getting your skin ready for the ink, and there is a lot more that goes into it than you think.


Making sure that your skin is ready for the procedure ensures that you have a more pleasant tattoo experience. This makes it better not only for the needle and the ink, but for the health of your skin. When getting a tattoo, you want to be as prepared as possible for a smooth experience. In doing so, it will not only help the ink stick better, but it will also make recovery easier (via Inked Ritual).

Hydrate and moisturize

One of the most important things you can do to prep for a tattoo is moisturize your skin. Ideally, you should do this weeks in advance to combat dryness on the day of your tattoo. In addition, staying hydrated plays an important role as well. Hydration from the inside out will help your skin's resiliency which will then make ink application easier (via Skin Design Tattoo). "Dry, flaky skin can present considerable issues for a tattoo artist and negatively impact the final outcome," professional tattoo artist Asami tells POPSUGAR. "Dehydrated skin accepts the dye unevenly, which can impact the look of the tattoo."


Shaving the area of your skin where you will be getting the tattoo also matters. If you shave that area regularly with no issues, continue to do so because this will help prepare your skin in advance. Plus, shaving is a form of exfoliation that helps moisturizing absorb better afterward. However, you want to keep an eye out for any skin irritation possibly caused by shaving. Adrenaline Studios states that if you experience irritation or have never shaved the area of where your tattoo will be, it is best to leave it alone until the day of the tattoo.

Consume with caution

To avoid feeling lightheaded, it's vital that you eat something before your tattoo session on the day of your appointment. Inked Ritual also states that eating nutritious food impacts your skin long term as well. The company suggests eating clean foods about three to four weeks out before your appointment to support your immune system. This means cutting out sugars, processed or junk foods, as well as watching your salt intake to avoid dehydration. It says that getting a tattoo causes trauma to your skin; therefore, the body needs a strong immune system to properly respond to it.


Additionally, be cautious with your alcohol, caffeine, and blood thinner (pain reliever) intake. Tattoo artists will usually suggest avoiding these at least 24 hours before your appointment. "Alcohol thins the blood, which can impact the tattoo process, healing, and final look of the artwork," professional tattoo artist Asami tells POPSUGAR. Failing to do so can cause excessive bleeding as the tattoo is created on your skin.

Making sure your skin is prepared will make your experience less complicated for both you and the artist. It's important that you feel confident and comfortable going into your appointment.