For some women, spray tanning is a big part of their beauty routine. Even during pregnancy they want to look their best. But as always it’s important to take all necessary safety considerations into account.

Home Tan vs Salon Tan

Spray tans at a salon, and spray tanning using home products you can buy from a shop work in a similar way. They contain the same key ingredient which is DHA. The DHA works on your top layer of skin and doesn’t penetrate much deeper. So it doesn’t get absorbed into your system. So any spray tan should be perfectly safe if applied directly to the skin. The potential problems occur when the DHA is inhaled. There has been no congruent study yet on the effects of spray tanning on pregnant women. However, it has been found that inhaling DHA can potentially cause cancer. There are no overwhelmingly conclusive results, but there is a possibility it can cause genetic mutations in human DNA.

So what does this mean for your baby? Quite simply we don’t know. As stated above there hasn’t been any studies done. For this reason it’s better not to get a tan in a spray tanning booth or other situations where there’s a risk of inhalation. Why take the risk?

What Else Can You Do?

So the DHA is safe when it gets put directly onto your skin. The problem is when it’s airborne and there’s a risk of inhalation. The problem with sprays is that the get airborne straight away. But there are other methods of applying fake tan that don’t get airborne easily. Therefore there’s a minimal risk of inhalation and it should be safe. [source]

So if you must use tan, try and get some that you can rub on. This could be in a cream or mousse form. However ensure that you buy a reputable product and make sure you fully read the label for any warnings against use while pregnant.

If You Go To A Salon

If you simply must get the treatment done in a salon, go somewhere which can minimize or completely reduce the amount of DHA inhaled. Some salons may have extractors which remove extra DHA from the air. Others my provide safety equipment like masks. Be very wary of salons who just tell you to hold your breath!

Spray tans in a booth are perhaps the most dangerous option. The machine won’t stop until it has finished and it’s quite an enclosed environment. At least if there’s someone giving you an airbrush tan, they’ll try to do all they can to stop you inhaling the DHA.

In conclusion rub on or mousse based tans should be perfectly safe. This is as long as the specific product says there are no dangers associated with its use during pregnancy. As for spray tans, they aren’t as safe. You should consult a doctor before getting any sort of spray tan treatment. Although there isn’t any 100% conclusive evidence that they’re dangerous to you or your baby, it’s just not worth the risk.

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