Can You Wear Fake Tan Whilst Pregnant, Breastfeeding or After BirthEverything we put on our skin goes into our blood stream in some way or another.  So when you are pregnant, breastfeeding or even after you’ve given birth you should be more aware of the impact (however slight) any perfume, scented lotion or fake tan can have.

So the big question is, can you wear fake tan if you are pregnant, whilst breastfeeding or after you have given birth?   The answer is yes, you can, however there are certain important pieces of advice you should take into account!

What’s in fake tan?

The active ingredient in fake tan which makes our skin brown is called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA).  This is derived from plant sources, such as sugar cane. Different varieties of fake tan contain variations to this ingredient, with some having a core element called erythrulose which is naturally found red raspberries.

So far this all sounds quite harmless. Right?

Both are non toxic, both are carbohydrates and both work in a similar way to make the top layer of your skin produce melanoidin.  It is this chemical reaction which turns our skin brown and generally are not absorbed into our system.


Wearing fake tan whilst pregnant

If you do choose to wear fake tan whilst you are pregnant, to be on the safe side, try to stick with products that you can apply with your hands, such as a cream or mousse, and avoid spraying as you could inhale some ingredients.

Even for non-pregnant women, some fake tan products can cause reactions.  When you are pregnant, your skin can become more sensitive so it is really important to test a small patch out first.


Fake tan products to avoid whilst pregnant, when breastfeeding or after giving birth

It is advisable to avoid the following fake tan products:

  • Tanning pills (or capsules) which are typically purchased online may contain color additives (carotenoids) and this can potentially harm your unborn baby.
  • Tanning injections, often referred to as melanotan, don’t come with any well-documented concerns particularly for during pregnancy but during this time it is recommended to avoid them for you and your baby’s safety.


Wearing fake tan whilst breastfeeding

When you are breastfeeding it is important that you are aware of any lotion, cream or fake tan that you apply to your skin – especially around your breasts and where your skin touches your baby.   If you are applying anything, remember to ensure it is completely or rinsed off under a shower before having skin-to-skin contact.  This is primarily due to the fact that babies have rather sensitive skin.  Remember too that because everything we use can potentially penetrate our skin, fake tan, perfume or other scented lotions can also potentially enter our blood stream and therefore has the potential to go enter the breast milk.  I’d suggest this is at an extreme level only however it needs to be a personal choice.



Is it safe to use fake tan whilst you are pregnant, breastfeeding or after you have given birth?  What are the risks?

The main perceived risk from using any kind of fake tanning product when breastfeeding is the fact that your baby can eat some of the product whilst feeding.  There are also some cases of women who have recently applied fake tan and after feeding, notice that their baby has ‘tanned’ also by coming into contact with your fake tan.  There is no known evidence to suggest that this is harmful.

Whilst we understand what the natural ingredient in fake tans is, some products that are manufactured without strict guidelines may include controversial preservatives which are unknown and untested.  If you are looking for a safe and natural fake tanning product, consider Beauty by Earth’s sunless self tanning lotion. It is made with natural and organic ingredients and most importantly you no longer need to worry about the ingredients sinking into your skin and it will not turn you orange.

Check out our tips on the best way to fake tan when breastfeeding too. Enjoy your bronzed skin!

Did you apply fake tan when pregnant, whilst breastfeeding or after you gave birth? Share your experiences and stories with other mothers.


All information on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.


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All information on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.

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