Your Complete Pregnancy Safe Self-Tan Guide
Your Complete Pregnancy Safe Self-Tan Guide

Your Complete Pregnancy Safe Self-Tan Guide

5 minutes read

A whopping 90% of women perceive tan as more attractive than pale skin, a study reveals. Pregnant women are not spared from these bronzing desires. With an ever-expanding circumference and the evolving role of your body – self-tan could be just what you need when adapting to these changes.

The sun is not even an option because there’s no such thing as a healthy suntan. And let’s not dare think of sunbeds, which lead us to the last option: fake tan. We know that when in comes to cosmetics and skincare, there are various ingredients to avoid when you’re pregnant. But is your self-tanner safe to reach for?

Here’s a look at self-tanning during pregnancy, the safest ways to get a golden glow and harmful ingredients you must avoid.

Smiling Pregnant Woman

Can you fake tan while pregnant?

Yes, but with exceptions. The NHS guidelines say it’s generally considered safe to use fake tan creams and lotions during pregnancy with correct and careful application.

Can self-tanning cause congenital disabilities?

Chemicals found in fake tan

Expecting and nursing mothers are advised to avoid spray tans and tanning booths. There is no proof that self-tanners cause direct harm to babies, although authorities caution its usage.

Experts say that the biggest concern with spray tans is that you can easily inhale or ingest the solution, which means DHA (dihydroxyacetone – a chemical derived from sugar that gives tanners their colour when it comes into contact with your skin) is getting into your lungs and then into your bloodstream.

The only way that DHA could affect the baby is if it enters through the placenta or is applied to one of your mucous membranes. The FDA states that DHA shouldn’t be used in areas covered by mucous membranes, including the lips, nose, or eyes.

When it comes to breastfeeding, there is no need to avoid self-tanners as they cannot contaminate the breast milk. However, do ensure your tanner dry fully before allowing contact with your baby to avoid staining their skin or causing an allergic reaction.

Do an allergy patch test before self-tanning

Experts recommend doing a patch-test first as pregnancy hormones can change your potential to react – and it may be more sensitive than usual.

Also, many self-tanners are scented or coloured, so it’s better to check you don’t react to its ingredients.


What fake tan is best when pregnant?

Our safest bet is self-tanning through external application in the form of gels, lotions and creams as DHA is made of large molecules, making it difficult to penetrate the skin. In addition, it doesn’t absorb beyond the first layer of skin.

Clarins’ self-tanning products are pregnancy-approved and suitable for all skin types. The sunless tan range comes in three textures – liquid drops, milky lotion and gel – to suit you. Say hello to an easy, streak-free tan in just four hours.

Products are all formulated with 99% natural origin and are powered with Clarins self-tan complex, a combination of naturally-sourced DHA and erythrulose. Plus aloe vera and figs extract for a boost of hydration.

Liquid drops:

The Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, £23, is a product you could incorporate into your daily skincare routine whenever you feel having a natural bronzing glow.

For the body – Mix four to six drops with your body care product – it works best with Moisture-Rich Body Lotion, £38. Wash hands after applying. You can tailor it to your desired level of tan by increasing or lessening the number of drops.


For the face – Mix two or three tanning drops with any face care products, ideally day or night creams.


Self Tanning Lotion

Self Tanning Milky Lotion, £24, can be used on face and body. It has got a creamy, milky texture that melts when applied. The organic fig extract leaves skin ultra-hydrated for up to 24 hours.

Over exfoliated and lightly moisturised skin; apply in a circular motion – buffing it into the skin, so there is no residue product. Avoid eyebrows and the hairline and always wash hands after using.


Self Tanning Instant Gel, £24, can be used both on face and body. This intense, instant self-tanner has a fresh, light gel texture and doesn’t leave an iky feel. Use the same method as self-tan lotion. Make sure to use SPF -pregnant or not- for inevitable days under the sun.


Just like you want to be on your A-game with food and health when you’re pregnant, you have to be that way with beauty and skincare. So if you have more questions about the self-tanning process and products, hop onto the Clarins website, pop your query onto the live chat – they are happy to help.

Watch the Clarins beauty coach, Rebecca Jones, on how to apply fake tan correctly for the fresh-off-the-beach mama glow.

SPECIAL OFFER: Whether you’re expecting or have already welcomed your baby into the world, Clarins will help you feel beautiful with this gorgeous 4 piece kit and pouch when you spend £40. Offer available from 20th June – 31st December 2023. Click here for more information.

maternity special offer


Self Tan 101 – How to Self-tan at Home

The Complete Guide On How To Fake Tan Your Back 

How To Apply Fake Tan On Your Face 

The Expert Guide On How To Get Fake Tan Off 


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