Spray Tans During Pregnancy

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

The following article explains the rules, regulations and any concerns you may have regarding getting a spray tan or using sunbeds whilst pregnant.

In this article:

  1. The regulations

  2. NHS advice

  3. Pregnancy safe ingredients

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

This means 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

Regulations for pregnancy spray tanning

The rule is that you can spray tan when pregnant but not in the first trimester.

That means you are not allowed a spray tan in the first three months of your pregnancy. You can, however, spray tan in your 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

Remember to:

  • Do an allergy test at least a week before your appointment.
  • Bring a face mask with you to prevent breathing in the spray aerosol.

NHS advice

The NHS recommends avoiding 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 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 three 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

Pregnancy safe ingredients

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

When spray tan comes into contact with your skin, it is entirely safe. Still, 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.

Best fake tan when pregnancy

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

The best spray tans are strictly organic, with no toxic chemicals or 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.

UV sunbed or solarium pregnancy danger

Sunbeds can overheat pregnant women, which can cause problems for their babies.

Sunbeds also give out ultraviolet (UV) rays, the same 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) 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