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Can You Get a Spray Tan While Pregnant? Risks and Precautions

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Can you get a spray tan while pregnant

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Spray tan might have been your routine before you got pregnant. As an expectant mum, especially a first-timer, you are bound to raise questions about the safety of tanning while pregnant. Answering the question, “can you get a spray tan while pregnant?”, the National Health Services say yes if you follow some precautions.

Read on to learn more about Can you get a spray tan while pregnant all the while answering questions about its safety and benefits.

What Does Spray Tanning Products Contain?

A fake-and-bake or a fake tan can give your skin a lovely glow because of a color additive known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA bonds with amino acids in your skin but is not absorbed into your bloodstream. A 2004 research also showed the lack of any systemic absorption of DHA when it is applied to the skin. The FDA has approved the addition of DHA in tanning products and other cosmetics by deeming it safe. This ingredient is what brings about the color change to your skin that you call a tan.

What About Self-tanner Foams, Creams, and Lotions?

Foams, lotions, creams… whatever type of tanning product you choose, all of them contain a ton of moisturizers, aromas, and other ingredients. Since DHA has been considered safe, you are free to use any of those products. Do not apply the product close to your mucous membrane and steer clear of tanning pills.

OTC tanning pills contain canthaxanthin and beta-carotene which are FDA-approved color additives. But they have not been approved to be used in tanning pills. The bottom line is that do not consume or inhale any product to tan during pregnancy.

Risks of Spray Tan While Pregnant

Now comes the risks involved in spray tanning while pregnant. As mentioned above, as long as the product is not in your bloodstream or near your mucous membrane, your baby is safe. But you should also know all the other risks involved in tanning while you are pregnant.

  • The traditional way to get a tan is to lay in the sun for a long time. It can result in skin cancer and premature aging if you do so without sunscreen protection. It also causes dark patches on your skin called chloasma.
  • The same goes for tanning beds where artificial ultraviolet rays are used. A 2012 research showed that UV radiation breaks down folic acid in your bloodstream. Folic acid wards off certain neural tube conditions in your baby during pregnancy. Another harm of tanning beds is the excessive heat you will be exposed to which increases your baby’s risk of developing a defective spine, a condition called spina bifida.

Spray Tan While Pregnant: 4 Things to Remember

A spray tan while pregnant might give you a glow that will make you feel beautiful and boost your confidence. If you are set on getting a tan during your pregnancy, we’d say self-tanning solutions are better than laying in the sun or using tanning beds. Even then, mind these precautions:

1. Avoid Inhaling The Spray

A spray tan can cause mist and you may inhale them. It is not advisable to do so while you are pregnant even if there is no sufficient amount of research to determine if it’s dangerous or not. Better not to take the risk of taking the spray while you are pregnant so cover your mouth and hold your breath as much as possible. You may even ask for a nasal filter during the process.

2. Do Not Spray Tan During Your 1st Trimester

Most miscarriages happen during the first trimester so take no risks during those weeks. It’s impossible to not inhale the spray during a tanning session even if you use nasal plugs or other forms of nasal filters. Postpone your tanning appointments to a later time when you are less vulnerable.

3. Do Not Spray Tan Your Breasts, Hands, or Face

This advice is for women who are nearing childbirth so that newborns do not come in contact with the product. Newborns are vulnerable to all kinds of things plus you are supposed to place your baby on your chest right after they are delivered. Also, you will be breastfeeding soon after. These are the reasons why most people cover their nipples with pasties while tanning in their last trimester.

4. Limit Your Tanning Visits

No matter how you cover your mouth and nostrils, you will inhale a bit of spray during the tanning sessions. So limit your exposure and save them for those special events.

A Final Word: What are The Alternatives to Spray Tan While Pregnant?

You might want to look more gorgeous during your baby shower and maybe tanning was your first option. Hold that thought, because you could inhale the spray (whatever little amount that is). So consider other options for tanning while pregnant.

Apply tanning creams or powdered bronzer to your decolletage and face. Read the labels and pick the product with ingredients that are safe during pregnancy. Do not wear skin care products or makeup that contains retinoids. A 2011 research showed that higher doses of retinoids could be risky during pregnancy.

The conclusion: DHA is not harmful to your body as a 2011 research showed. Avoid inhaling the spray as much as you can but what’s an even better idea? Use tanning creams.

Can You Get A Spray Tan While Pregnant - FAQs

1. How can I tan while pregnant?

General guidelines suggest using tan lotions and creams during pregnancy. DHA (dihydroxyacetone) is the active ingredient in fake tan products which is a non-toxic substance. On contact with the outermost layer of the skin, it produces a brown pigmentation called melanoidin (and that’s the tan you were looking for).

2. Why can’t pregnant people tan?

Most concerns from pregnant moms about tanning beds while pregnant are the same as beach tanning. While you're pregnant, your skin is extra sensitive, and long exposure to the sun may cause hives, worsened chloasma, or heat rash. The best way to get a tan is to use tanning creams or lotions.

3. What spray tan is safe during pregnancy?

DHA, the active ingredient in spray tans, is generally considered safe so you may use any type of formula. One advantage of using self-tanning is that there won’t be any mist being sprayed on you. That means you don’t inhale any of the solutions.


On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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