Can you spray tan while pregnant?

Heidi Reid

Posted on June 09 2016


 Is fake tanning safe for pregnancy?

You've got the pregnancy glow - but you still really want to rock your sunless tan.  Is it safe while you have a bun in the oven?


The science:

All sunless tanning products have an ingredient called DHA (Dihydroxyacetane) in varying percentages with lower percentages for retail products as opposed to professional products.

Tanning products also contain various other ingredients and depending on the manufacturer can include vitamins, parabens and fragrances which may affect skin while pregnant. 


What you may like to be aware of:

Crazy things happen when you grow tiny humans.  While cravings can be crazy, no two pregnancies are the same.  

You may also notice random hairs growing and changes within the skin.  Your skin is your biggest organ and as while it's stretching to the shape of the new baby, it can get sensitive too.  

Some ladies experience itchy skin, and some have problems with products that they've used in the past, and never experienced before being pregnant.

As skin can be more sensitive in general, it may be more sensitive to tanning. 

What the experts say:

"Dihydroxyacetone is a colour additive that is found in self-tanning products to produce an artificial tan.

Colour develops following topical application owing to dihydroxyacetone binding to amino acids in the stratum corneum.

These products contain dihydroxyacetone in concentrations ranging from 1% to 15%, and when applied topically, systemic levels are minimal (0.5%); therefore, use during pregnancy would not be of concern"  source: National Center for Biotechnology information, US National Library of Medicine article link

What can you do if you are concerned:

While there are no studies done on DHA usage during pregnancy, and the above information says that use would not be of concern, you may still have reservations.

You may like to:

a) do a patch test. Have a small swab of tan applied behind the ear and leave it to see if a reaction develops 

b) take the list of ingredients to your GP or consulting doctor for advice.

c) use a lower percentage tanning product so you can test your skin's susceptibility

d) check out this helpful blog post on skin irritations with tanning 


Tanning while you are breastfeeding 

 If you've chosen to go ahead with tanning you aren't alone, thousands of girls do.  I spray tanned myself until the week both of my children were born.  


In reality bubs old enough to breastfeed should only really injest milk, so we don't want tan going into their tiny tummies. 

I put my hand up and can say I have first hand experience with this.  My little man sported a brown cheek for a week after feeding while I had my spray tan solution on.  

And then of course - there is always this to remind us - tanning boobs and breastfeeding are never a good idea.  



What do you think about tanning during pregnancy?  Is this something you've done?  Either on yourself or clients?  Let us know your feedback below.

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