Spray Tanning During Pregnancy

This article explains the rules, regulations and concerns of spray tanning and using sunbeds during pregnancy.

At Tropicoco’s Glasgow spray tan studio, some of our most regular clients are pregnant or are planning to be.

This means that we always get asked, “Can I spray tan or wear fake tan during pregnancy, and will spray tan affect my baby?”.

Waking up to gorgeously bronzed skin is one of the best feelings for a tan lover, and when you are pregnant it’s a great pick me up for a tired mum to be!

So what are the rules of spray tanning for pregnant ladies?

The rules are, you can spray tan when you are pregnant, but not in the first trimester.

That basically means that in the first 3 months of your pregnancy, you are not allowed to have a spray tan.

Why is spray tanning before my first trimester not prohibited?

The NHS recommends that it’s best to avoid spray tans in the first trimester of pregnancy because the effect of beauty, hair and massage treatments on pregnant mums has never been tested.

Generally, it is for insurance and safety purposes that you stay away from any kind of treatment during the first trimester.

This is because you could have an accidental fall in the salon or an allergic reaction from a product that may give you at least a scare.

It makes sense not to put added stress and worry on yourself about what COULD happen, so wait till you are out of your first trimester.

The Rules:

  • No spray tanning in your 1st trimester (1st 3 months of pregnancy)
  • You can use fake tan products (self applied creams)
  • The NHS does not recommend spray tanning during pregnancy due to the unknown effects of inhaling the mist.
  • Wearing a mask in a well-ventilated spray tanning room is an option

What is fake tan made of?

The ingredient inside all fake tans and spray tan solutions is DHA, which means Dihydroxyacetone. This substance is a non-toxic ingredient also known as Glycerone which derives from plant sources such as sugar beets, sugar cane and by the fermentation of glycerin.

When spray tan comes into contact with your skin it is completely safe, but although it is considered safe to spray tan after your first trimester of pregnancy has passed, you should always let your spray tan therapist or beauty salon know if you have any allergies or if you have diabetes.

What type of spray tanning solution is best if I’m pregnant?

The best type of spray tan to use whilst pregnant is an organic brand that’s fragrance, chemical and alcohol-free for example Vita Liberata.

The spray tan brands we use at Tropicoco salon are strictly organic with no toxic chemicals and alcohol.

If you’ve ever had a badly fading spray tan, the most likely cause is the alcohol inside the solution. Alcohol dries the skin, therefore skin that isn’t moisturised will cause the tan to look cracked.

Can I use sunbeds at a tanning salon when I’m pregnant?

Absolutely not! Here’s why:

Sunbeds give out ultraviolet (UV) rays, which is the same type of harmful radiation found in sunlight. The NHS states that using a sunbed is not safer than tanning in the sun.

The UK Teratology information service suggests there are theoretical concerns that sunbed use might increase the mother’s body temperature, and therefore increase the chance of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in the baby. Some studies have suggested that there may be a link between increased UV rays and folic acid deficiency.

This is because UV rays can break down folic acid. Folic acid is detrimental to the development of a child’s neural system (brain and spinal cord) which is formed during the first trimester of pregnancy.


NHS – Is it safe to use fake tan during pregnancy? – Page reviewed: 10th June 2021 – https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/is-it-safe-to-use-fake-tan-during-pregnancy/

UKTIS – Sunbeds/Tanning Booths – https://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/Templates/Pages/BumpsPIL.aspx?id=102609&epslanguage=en&print=y