Many women worry about using fake tan in pregnancy. On the whole self-tanning products are considered safe to use when you’re expecting but they’re not recommended. I would definitely stay clear of sunbeds and always use a sun cream when out in the sun.
The active ingredient in self-tanning creams is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is non-toxic and works by interacting with cells in the top layer of skin. These skin cells are already dead – they’re shed as new skin appears and the DHA is not absorbed into the body.
Although not common, it’s still possible to have an allergic reaction to fake tan as your skin is more sensitive in pregnancy, so if you’re happy to use nothing, this is probably the safest bet.
If you really can’t bear to go without, then do a patch test before using a tanning product even if you’ve tried it before. Remember, most fake tans do not contain any sun protection so you will need to use a minimum of SPF 15 if you’re exposed to sunlight.
I would be reluctant to use a tanning booth where the product is sprayed all over you, if only to avoid the build up of chemicals in such a small space.
You may occasionally see advertisements in magazines and websites for tanning pills. These pills contain beta-carotene or canthaxanthin and can be toxic to your unborn baby. They have also been known to cause hepatitis and eye damage. For this reason they are banned for cosmetic use in the UK and you should not use them.
I also do not advocate the use of tanning beds when pregnant. Some studies show a link between increased UV rays and the break down of folic acid, vital in the development of your baby’s brain and spine.
Now tell us what worked for you…
Did you use fake tan or sunbeds during your pregnancy?