Are you getting a tattoo done for the first time? Did you know your diet and lifestyle can influence the outcome of your tattoo? We show you why it’s important you eat well, avoid alcohol and stay hydrated (and no, it’s not because your mum got in our ear!)
Make sure you eat beforehand
Nerves and excitement might give you a loss of appetite before hitting the tattoo studio, but it’s important to eat a balanced meal before you go.
Remember you are about to undergo a cosmetic procedure that could take a while, so it’s important your body is properly fuelled with a full stomach.
Embrace the protein
If you’re wondering what to eat before you visit the tattoo studio, cook a meal that’s protein-rich with plenty of eggs, fish or red meat. Protein helps with recovery, so it’s a great way to prepare for the procedure ahead.
If you want to snack during the tattooing process, consider packing some healthy foods such as nuts or fruit to fight any hunger pangs you might get while sitting in the chair.
Make sure you arrive at the tattoo studio having drunk plenty of water beforehand. Take some water with you too, so you can top up your fluids as you get inked.
Being dehydrated during your tattoo session isn’t great for your pain levels and makes the job harder for your artist. The more hydrated you are, the softer your skin is and the easier it is for the artist to work their magic.
Avoid the hangover
It can be tempting to have a few beers or wines with friends the night before your tattoo appointment, but try to avoid alcohol in the 24 hours leading up to your studio visit.
Having alcohol within your bloodstream can lead to your blood thinning, which could result in excess bleeding during the tattooing process.
Not only this, but a big night out on the booze can leave you feeling exhausted. It’s important to get a good night’s sleep and arrive to your appointment as rested as possible – something that’s hard to do when you’ve had too many schooners or cocktails.
Plus, if you show up tipsy to a tattoo studio, no reputable artist will go ahead with tattooing your skin, as they are required by law to deny anyone who they feel is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Avoid coffee and energy drinks
It can be tempting to have a few cups of coffee before you head into the tattoo studio, especially if excitement about your tattoo kept you from sleeping the night before. But try to avoid caffeine if possible.
Energy drinks and coffee have been shown to thin the blood, like alcohol does, which could mean you bleed more during the tattoo process than you normally would. For this reason, taking aspirin 24 hours in the lead-up to getting a tattoo should be avoided too.
Keep your Vitamin C levels up
It’s helpful to eat foods rich in vitamin C both before and after getting your tattoo. Fruit and vegetables like oranges, broccoli and kale are high in Vitamin C and have been proven to assist with wound healing.
Prepare your skin
Eating a balanced diet and looking after your skin in the weeks before getting your tattoo can mean you will be looking your best when you turn up to your appointment.
Cuts, scratches and acne can make it more difficult for an artist to carry out their work properly, so ensure a smooth canvas by taking care of your skin in the lead up to your tattoo. This includes implementing a skin care regime such as using a loofah with skin-sensitive body wash to remove dead skin cells each day, before moisturising with body butter or lotion.
Looking after your skin also means avoiding the sun, as sunburned skin is damaged skin and many artists will refuse to tattoo you if your skin is in poor condition. Not only this, but getting a tattoo done on sunburned skin is extremely painful. So if you happen to get sunburnt before your tattoo appointment, it’s best to postpone until your skin has healed.
Avoid the pain by arriving prepared
There’s no doubt getting inked is a big decision, but you can make the process run smoothly by preparing your body for the process. Take the time to implement a good skin care regime, eat a balanced diet and arrive hydrated to your appointment. Follow these simple steps and your body will thank you for it!