Tanning During Pregnancy: Is it Safe?


If you are pregnant and have certain questions regarding tanning, then here we will answer every one of you. You must be excited about the warm weather that will be here soon, but you might be worried at the same time about spending a long time in the sun, as you are pregnant now. If you want a sun-kissed skin, which will help you feel more beautiful and confident, but also you want to protect your skin, health and your growing baby, you should know about everything regarding the safety during pregnancy.

So first, we will discuss whether tanning is safe during pregnancy, or should it be strictly avoided.

In this article:

Can You Go for Tanning when Pregnant?
Risks of Tanning During Pregnancy
Self-Tanners During Pregnancy
Tips to Use Self-Tanners During Pregnancy
Tanning Methods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Precautions to Take while Beach Tanning

A Guide for Tanning During Pregnancy

Can You Go for Tanning when Pregnant?

If studies are believed, then there is no such evidence regarding the fact that outside or inside tanning directly harms the unborn baby. It doesn’t depend on whether you tan outside or in a tanning bed, as the ultraviolet radiation is the same in both processes. But it is more concentrated in a tanning bed.


tanning while pregnant

According to some research, indoor tanning can cause skin cancer. It can cause other serious complications such as premature wrinkles and aging. It is also said that the people who use a tanning bed for their tanning session before the age of 35, they may increase the risk of melanoma by 75 percent. Tanning is not generally best for you, it can damage your DNA. It prompts your body to put out a defense response to the radiation. This is the reason behind the skin getting darker in the first place. So the bottom line is that tanning is dangerous.

So, soaking in some sun is relatively safe in pregnancy. Sun is the main source of vitamin D, which can protect us against diseases, depression, and boost the immune system. But it should be remembered that very little sun exposure is required to provide you with your body’s and your baby’s needs. If you’re concerned about your vitamin intake, then supplementation is always an option.

There is no such proper evidence that the UV ray can directly harm your baby. But you should be concerned about your skin, which might be more sensitive during your pregnancy, because of the hormones flooding your body. Before tanning yourself, you should also consider that you may experience some problems because of excessive sun exposure, such as you’re at a higher risk of dehydration, nausea, and vomiting.

Now, we will know about the risks of tanning during pregnancy.


Risks of Tanning During Pregnancy

You tan either outside or inside, most of the tanning methods involve the use of ultraviolet radiation. So it is important to know the effect of UV ray on the human body. UV rays are considered to be very harmful as it breaks the DNA and degrades the folic acid that is present in the body. This leaves very less folic acid for the unborn baby to synthesize. Folic acid is an extremely important building block in developing a healthy nervous system of the foetus. During the first trimester and initial phase of the second trimester, the development is at its peak and the demand for folic acid is high.

The unborn babies are most susceptible to negative effects from UV ray during the first trimester and first phase of the second. If UV radiation exposure is used beyond a normal level, then it can harm your baby intensely. According to some studies, it is said that the women who were exposed to excessive UV radiation during their first trimester, had babies with higher rates of multiple sclerosis.

Self-Tanners During Pregnancy

If you’re expecting a sun-kissed summer glow, but get to know that excessive sun exposure is not the way to go, you might have considered the self-tanners.

There is no such evidence available regarding the fact whether self-tanners are safe to use during pregnancy or not. it is because of some ingredients of self-tanners such as DHA, which is a sugar that creates pigments on skin, which hasn’t been researched extensively. There is no such data analyzing how the ingredients will affect pregnancy. So self-tanners should be avoided during pregnancy. Although, there’s no proof that self-tanners are harmful or about its possible effects on the fetus. You should always consult with your doctor before applying a self-tanners.

But the main thing is that self-tanners are safer than lying under the sun and becoming overheated potentially. The ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer and increase the risk of a birth defect. Tanning beds are not at all a good idea, especially for pregnant women. Too high body temperature can result in miscarriage also.


The following are the three best pregnancy-safe natural self-tanners. Let’s have a look.

1) Kora Organics Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion: This moisturizing lotion consists of natural ingredients such as rosehip, lavender, noni extract, sea buckthorn oil, etc. It doesn’t have any off-putting smell and is very smooth without any stickiness. The DHA is derived naturally from sugar, which leaves a golden glow on the skin.

2) Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Self Tanner: The DHA ingredient in this self-tanner is naturally derived from sugar beets and consists of skin-friendly ingredients like goji, acai, hydrating organic oils, vitamin E, etc.

3) The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan: The DHA is derived naturally from sugar beets and the lotion delivers a soft, even tan. This lotion smells light and moisturizes the skin. But this particular self-tan is quite costly.

Let’s know the tips to use self-tanners during pregnancy.


Tips to Use Self-Tanners During Pregnancy

1) Don’t overdo it: There is no need to apply layer after layer of self-tanner. Keep a ‘less is more’ mentality always.

2) Use a tanning mitt: If you are worried about the self-tanner stains on your palm, then use a tanning mitt to apply your self-tanner. Use a make-up blender to dab on the color.

3) Apply oil-free moisturizer: After exfoliating, apply an oil-free moisturizer on to the dry areas. It always makes a difference on tanning.

4) Remove jewelry: Of course, you don’t want your precious jewelry to end up tinted which self-tanners. you should remove all the jewelry as they can cause an uneven tan.

5) Opt for gradual tanner: If you use a tanner that works gradually with time, it will be easier to achieve an even and natural-looking tan.

6) Always Exfoliate: Always use a washcloth to exfoliate the skin before applying a self-tanner. You can use an exfoliating product also to remove the dead skin cells.


7) Apply in sections and giver time to dry your skin: Firstly apply your self-tanner in sections. Then massage it into your skin in a circular motion. You should wait for at least 10 minutes before getting dressed. Wear loose clothes and avoid sweating.

8) Apply sunscreen every day: You need to protect your skin by applying sunscreen daily. Your sunscreen should consist of SPF 30 or higher, broad-spectrum protection and should be water-resistant.

Tanning Methods to Avoid During Pregnancy

The following are some of the tanning methods that you should avoid during your pregnancy.

  • Ultraviolet tanning: Skin cancer is one of the most significant risks of UV exposure. Excessive UVA exposure can damage the cellular DNAs of skin and trigger skin cancer. This method may cause lax skin, fine lines, wrinkles, premature aging and brown spots.
  • Tanning beds: This method is offered by tanning salons, where they expose people to man-made UV light. According to some recent studies, the usage of tanning beds can also cause melanoma. The correlation between tanning beds and skin cancer legitimizes the danger of their use.
  • Topical sunless tanners: are the products that are applied to the skin to give the appearance of a tan. Generally, temporary bronzers are used. These bronzers consist of DHA and the side-effects of cough, rashes, dizziness, fainting. Excessive use of such tanners can cause pulmonary diseases such as asthma, cancer, COPD.
  • Tanning pills: These pills are another tanning method that should be avoided during pregnancy. The pills are non-prescription formulations, that are available over the internet. Consumption of tanning pills can cause hepatitis, retinopathy, gastrointestinal disturbance, urticaria, fatal anemia.

Now, we will discuss some of the precautions that should be taken while beach-tanning.


Precautions to Take while Beach Tanning

Here are some of the precautions that you should take while beach-tanning.

  • Apply SPF 30 sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside. Make sure you cover your body in at least a full ounce of sunscreen.
  • Take breaks in the shade when you get hot.
  • Drink enough amount of water if you are spending a prolonged period of time in the sun.
  • Eat tomatoes, as it contains a good amount of lycopene. According to studies, it helps prevent skin redness from UV rays.
  • Eat healthy fiber-rich foods like vegetables and fruits.
  • You need to apply protection cream every 20 minutes.
  • Grab your umbrella and hat whenever you are thinking to go for beach-tanning. Wear goggles to protect your eyes from damage.
  • Start slowly and go tanning in short intervals to build a tan gradually.
  • After a tan develops, don’t go for tanning at least for a week.

You may love your look while tanned,  but if you’re pregnant, then you should always be on a safe boat. Going for tanning without consulting with a doctor can harm you and your baby dangerously. Excessive heat is not suitable for either the mom-to-be or the unborn baby. You should always discuss your concern with your doctor before taking any steps.