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Fake tans have come a long way. Gone are the corn chip hues and difficult to apply products from the early days, and in are easy application, non-sticky natural glows that are becoming more and more a part of daily life.
One of our community members, who confesses to being a spray tan addict, is expecting her first child and reached out to ask if it’s a habit she’ll need to kick.
Taking to our Bounty Parents Facebook page, the mum-to-be shared: “I have a fake tan addiction. I don’t mind admitting it. But I’m about to become a first time mum and it’s just occurred to me that it might not be so great to use fake tan as a new mum. Is it OK to use? What about breastfeeding and snuggles etc? Is there a good brand to use or should I go cold turkey?”
As usual, our clever community was full of advice … some useful and some shedding light on a strange side effect that sometimes happens when mums try to tan.
“I got a spray tan for a special occasion. I went home and breast fed my bub and when I was done the whole side of his face was orange brown,” shared one such mum, while another shared links to similar stories showing babies with a half tanned face.
Others were quick to suggest that as a new mum with a newborn baby she may not even have time to consider tanning.
“I don’t know about other Mums but when mine were born I barely had time to wash my face!” declared one commenter.
While the experiences of other mums is certainly valid, is tanning actually safe during pregnancy and around newborns?
Spray-on tan is a liquid, UV-free tanning solution that’s sprayed onto the skin in an automated booth or applied by a beautician in a pop-up tent. The active ingredient in the solution is a non-toxic chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA).
DHA causes a chemical reaction with the amino acids in the top layer or your skin resulting in a fake glow. The concern with spray tans is to do with the fumes that can be inhaled by mum and their unknown effect on bub.
Sydney-based dermatologist, Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs advises against spray tanning while you’re pregnant.
“DHA is considered to be safe during pregnancy when it’s applied in the form of a fake-tan lotion or gel. However, there’s concern about the spray-on application which can be ingested into the lungs. We don’t know what’s happening internally when people are inhaling DHA in the confines of a tanning booth.”
Is tanning safe around babies?
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Gino Pecoraro agrees it’s best to avoid spray tanning.
“We often don’t know what all the ingredients are in spray-tanning solutions in the salon as some manufacturers keep this information guarded. Because we don’t know what’s in it we don’t know if it’s safe.”
What’s the verdict? The best solution is to stop spray tanning during this period. Inhaling the fumes from the tanning solution, especially in a confined environment could be harmful to your baby. To enhance your pregnancy glow, opt for instant powder and liquid bronzers that sit on the surface of the skin.