Spray Tans and Sunbeds During Pregnancy

Spray tanning when pregnant; is it allowed, and if it is, is it safe? 

This article explains the rules, regulations and any concerns you may have when it comes to getting a spray tan or using sunbeds whilst pregnant. 

At Tropicoco’s 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 during pregnancy?”, or “Can I fake tan during pregnancy, and will fake 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!

pregnant with a spray tan

So what exactly are the safety 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 in early pregnancy not advised?

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. [1]

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 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.

The best type of spray tanning solution to use during pregnancy

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.

Sunbeds are a no-no when pregnant

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.

No studies have investigated whether use during pregnancy is harmful to a baby in the womb, therefore sunbed use during pregnancy cannot be recommended. According to The UK Teratology information service, There are theoretical concerns (based mainly on animal experiments) that use in the first trimester can increase the mother’s body temperature and therefore the chance of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in the child. Some studies, but not all, have also shown that UV light exposure may decrease the levels of folic acid in our bodies. A lack of folic acid has been linked to the development of the baby’s neural tube, resulting in defects such as spina bifida. [2]

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.


1: 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/

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