Is Spray Tan During Pregnancy Safe?
Fake tans are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy. However, there are some concerns about using chemical spray tan during pregnancy. Read on to find out more about pregnancy and spray tan.
How Does Fake Tan Work?
Most fake tan systems use the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which interacts with the top layer of skin cells and increases the production of melanoidin, the brown pigment, resulting in a deeper tan. When applied directly to the skin, DHA is non-toxic and relatively harmless. It only affects your top layer of skin cells.
However, with commercial spray tanning booths, you are likely to inhale the chemicals, which changes the story. Little is known about whether inhaling spray tan chemicals will cause harm to the fetus, so we advise to err on the side of caution. Luckily, there are safe alternatives to using spray tan during pregnancy.
What are the Alternatives to Spray Tan in Pregnancy?
The only reason we discourage using spray tan during pregnancy is that there is a risk of inhaling the chemicals. When applied directly to the skin, there is no evidence to suggest that the DHA will enter your blood stream or cross your placenta. While you’re pregnant, it’s much safer to choose a mousse or creme suntan which is rubbed into your skin, rather than getting a commercial spray tan. Better safe than sorry!
You should also avoid:
Rather than working on only the top layer of skin, the following products aim to chang melanoidin production from the inside out. Little is known about the safety of these products and because they will enter the bloodstream, it is best to avoid them.
Tanning Pills: These often contain carotenoids (color additives), are banned for sale in the US and UK, but can be purchased online. Effects on unborn babies are unknown.
Tanning Injections: These are commonly called Melanotan and are sold online and offered in some tanning salons. They are an unregistered, and largely untested, product and little is known about risks associated with their use.
Doing an Allergy Test Before Applying Fake Tan:
Because your skin can become more sensitive during pregnancy, we also advise doing an allergy test before using any fake tan product, even if you’ve used the product before. You can do this by:
- Applying a small amount of the product to an unseen area of your skin.
- Waiting for 12 to 24 hours.
- Checking for symptoms of allergy such as itching, swelling, or tenderness.
If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, it’s probably best to avoid tanning products altogether while you’re pregnant. Love the skin you’re in!
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