If you are wondering about the safety of self-tanners during pregnancy, this HerHaleness article provides you an important piece of information, on this topic and helps you decide on its usage.
It may come to you as a surprise but, it’s true that even expectant moms can get a tan. However, it definitely involves a little bit of care that needs to be taken, to prevent any harm to the growing fetus. During pregnancy, there are numerous physiological and psychological things happening in the body and mind. Basically, it is a sort of serious upheaval of your system. Hence, you obviously cannot get an awesome tan, sitting in the sun for long hours. But, you can surely use a tanning lotion or a self-tanner in any other form, which will give you a great tan, without risking too much exposure to the sun. That, of course can be done even if you are not pregnant! But for now let’s take a look at the use of self-tanners.
The Safety Concern
When we talk about the safety of a self-tanning lotion, there have been a lot of mixed responses from the users as well as medical experts. Moreover, till date, there has not been any research on this topic and also, the risks associated with the fetus, have not been scientifically tested and proven. However, to be on the safer side, you can either avoid exposure to self-tanners completely, during pregnancy or, you can consult your gynecologist for the same. Doing a patch test will be better before using any type of tanner, to check for allergic reactions.
Types of Self-tanning Lotions
In the market right now, the most effective and commonly used self-tanners have Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the active ingredient. The tan is a result of the reaction between the amino acids in the dead layers of the skin and the DHA. It does not require skin pigmentation and the tan fades in a span of 3 to 10 days. These products are not exactly harmful, especially during pregnancy, but have to be used with care in that condition. They mostly come in the form of lotions, further categorized as bronzers, accelerators, and tingling lotions.
Canthaxanthin-based products are based on the food additives, which are used to give the food, specific colors in specific dishes. These products are available in the form of pills, but are not usually advised for a tan because of their way of working on the skin. When you take a Canthaxanthin-based pill, canthaxanthin gets deposited all over your body. That includes the layer of fat underneath the skin, which then gets an orange, brown color.
Self-tanning lotions and pills contain a substance called tyrosine, which comes next to DHA. Tyrosine is basically an amino acid, which according to claims, encourages and increases melanin formation, fastening the tanning process. This tanner is used in tandem with sun tanning.
Some other self-tanning options are temporary bronzers and use of melanotan hormone, which is still in the process of experimentation.
Other tanning options in pregnancy are, tanning beds and tanning sprays. Tanning beds use UV light for getting the tanning effect, while sprays offer easy usage. The rise in temperature is the main concern while using a tanning bed for pregnant women. A considerable rise in the body temperature, may have harmful effects on the fetus, especially in the first trimester. Hence, it is better to avoid using these self-tanners during your pregnancy term.