Wondering if it’s safe to bronze that baby bump or slather those limbs in fake tan while pregnant? You’re not alone! We get LOADS of questions at Coco & Eve HQ about fake tanning while pregnant – so we wanted to set the record straight, once and for all.
The good news for our beautiful expectant mamas – self-tanning IS considered safe while pregnant (Woo-hoo!). However, there are some important things you need to know. From how to choose a pregnancy-safe self-tanner to some pregnancy quirks you might not expect, here’s our glow-to guide to fake tanning with a bub on board.
Is it OK to use fake tan when pregnant?
You’re probably already bummed about having to ditch soft cheese, so you’ll be pleased to know you don’t have to can your fake tan! While the use of certain skincare ingredients, such as retinoids, is advised against during pregnancy, the general consensus by health experts is that at-home self-tanners won’t put your little one at risk.
Whether a cream, foam, lotion or water, fake tanners do their thing thanks to a non-toxic active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When DHA comes into contact with the outermost later of skin, a chemical reaction occurs – resulting in the desired browning or ‘tanning’ effect. “As the DHA isn't thought to go beyond the outer layer of skin, it isn't absorbed into the body and can't harm your baby,” confirms the NHS website.
So, whether you’re 8 days or 8 months pregnant, you can go ahead and get your glow on – without feeling worried or guilty!
What about spray tans?
Unfortunately, the news isn’t quite so good for spray tan fans. This is because it’s really easy to breathe in some of that fine tanning mist floating around your cubicle. As the impact of inhaling DHA and other tanning chemicals is unclear, some health experts recommend avoiding spray tans, while others advise pregnant women to take extra precautions, such as wearing a mask. If unsure, check with your GP. Or save the stress and money by sticking with rub-on self-tanners you can apply at home.
How to choose a pregnancy-safe self-tanner
Non-toxic and FDA-approved, the DHA used in non-spray sunless tanners doesn’t absorb into the bloody stream, so it’s safe for Junior. However, it’s still important to consider the ingredients you’re putting on your skin while pregnant.
To keep your skin looking gorgeous and your mind at ease, consider a formula that’s free from unnecessary nasties, like our Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam. Formulated with 100% natural DHA and nourishing Balinese botanicals, it contains zero toxins, parabens or silicones.
Pregnancy hormones and fake tanning
One of the less desirable impacts of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy is increased skin sensitivity. So, it’s more important than ever to make sure you do a patch test 24 hours before applying your self-tan. Experienced any kind of rash or irritation? Discontinue use immediately.
With anecdotal evidence suggesting many women have a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy, the pong of some self-tanners can also be particularly overwhelming. Our tip? Opt for a sweet-smelling formula like Sunny Honey, which is gorgeously fragranced with tropical mango and guava – with ZERO biscuit smell!
How to apply fake tan while pregnant
The general rules for applying fake tan are the same whether you’re pregnant or not. However, you may need help applying self-tanner to your back, particularly when your bump gets extra big! If you can’t see your toes, you might also want to sit on a bathroom stool when applying tanner to your legs and feet ☺.
Otherwise, simply follow these easy steps for self-tanning success.
- Prep by exfoliating thoroughly and removing any unwanted hair 12-24 hours before applying fake tan.
- Apply a little moisturiser to dry areas like knees, elbows and wrists to prevent them drinking up too much colour.
- Using a self-tanning mitt to protect your palms and ensure an even application, apply tanner to clean, dry skin in sweeping motions. Work from the legs up.
- Use a kabuki brush to apply self-tan to tricky areas like the face, ears, feet and hands.
- Allow tan to develop as directed (for at least 2 hours if using Sunny Honey), then rinse with warm water and gently pat your bod dry.
- Moisturise daily to prolong your glow!
Check out tan guides & tips here!
Written by: Pip Jarvis
Edited By: Vidhya