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Spray tan in the first trimester of pregnancy?

(22 Posts)
ghosteditor Tue 31-May-11 14:55:06

I'm looking for a little advice about spray tanning in the first trimester of pregnancy. I'm going on holiday with some close female friends in two weeks, and this is my first pregnancy - I'm currently at just over seven weeks. DH and I haven't told anyone else yet, though I was planning on telling the girls while we're away as it will be difficult to avoid questions about food, drinking, and late night dancing if I don't mention it.

Frankly, I feel bloated, puffy, and very pale at this stage, and I had planned on booking a spray tan to cheer myself up and to limit my need to bake all day in the sun while I'm away. I think the others will be spray tanning too and aside from my super skinny friend, the others have all lost weight recently and are deservedly feeling good about themselves. I'm feeling very self-conscious at the moment.

I've just booked the spray tan and the very last line of the brochure says that women in their first trimester shouldn't have the treatment. Does anyone know why this is the case? I'd like to find out whether it is unnecessary nanny-state type behaviour or a genuine risk. If it's the latter, of course I'm not going to risk the health of my baby for a bit of self-indulgent vanity, but if it's the former then I'd like to make my own decision about whether to go ahead, thank you very much.

BTW, I appreciate that this is a very superficial sort of concern, but I have body image issues at the best of times and I'm hoping a little pick me up like this will help put me in the right frame of mind for the holiday. Does anyone know any science behind the advice given in the brochure?

dolceebanana Tue 31-May-11 15:07:30

Sorry no. I never used fake tan with any of my three preganancies. My MW discouraged it but didn't say exactly why, and that was enough for me. Alternatively can you invest in some gorgeous beach wear and kaftans ? Heid Kelin have fab Kaftans to use as cover ups if you are feeling self conscious.

dolceebanana Tue 31-May-11 15:07:49

Helid Klein, sorry!

ghosteditor Tue 31-May-11 15:08:11

Ok, I've done a little bit more reading about this and it looks like I'm going to have to cancel; the concern seems to be that there's no research about whether inhaling the spray tan chemicals is harmful to the developing foetus or not.


In that case, can anyone recommend a safe alternative?

ghosteditor Tue 31-May-11 15:13:46

thanks dolce it's good to hear your opinion. I've had a look at some of the Heidi Klein beachwear but unfortunately I don't have that kind of budget to spend!

Interestingly, some of the stuff I've read is concerned about the effects of absorbing the chemicals through the skin. Of course, I merrily slather away with moisturizer every day and I've just bought some reasonably strong sun cream to protect my skin and no one every makes comments about those kinds of chemicals. I guess it's just about limiting potential exposure which includes being grown up about this kind of decision.

monstersX2 Tue 31-May-11 15:13:59

Could you not use a gradual tanning lotion? When i was pregnant (4 years ago) i used to use johnsons gradual tan and never read anything to say i shouldn't. Prehaps look into something like that that you won't be breathing in?

ghosteditor Tue 31-May-11 15:16:37

hi monster - thanks for the suggestion. I really didn't get on with the Johnsons summer skin last time I used it, but perhaps something similar would be the best option here.

KristinaM Tue 31-May-11 15:25:02

NHS choices says the risk is allergy so you should be ok if you do a patch test first.

Remember you need a high factor cream and to cover up in the sun

ghosteditor Tue 31-May-11 15:32:32

kristina thanks for the v useful link and good old NHS for having advice on this. I can easily get a patch test done in advance to check.

I've already bought two bottles of sunscreen (SPF 20 and 30) plus a hat and a couple of kaftan type thingies to throw on and am determined not to cook myself. I thought maybe I'd be more disciplined with staying out of the sun if I already had a bit of tanning going on, hence the spray tan plans. I'll have to think about this and perhaps can ask my MW at my eight week appointment, but it's interesting to see the NHS line on this.

KristinaM Tue 31-May-11 15:34:18

The food and drink restrictions are the same as they are at home. And there is no risk from late night dancing unless your doctor has told you otherwise!!!

I use st moritz mousse which is great and v cheap. The is no risk of inhaling it

Have a great time and try to to worry too much

KristinaM Tue 31-May-11 15:42:49

I always use high factor 50 plus on my face and especially when I was pg. You can get weird patches of pigmentation which look like big freckles, not v attractive. Go with bbig sunnies and the hat too. Very on trend

ghosteditor Tue 31-May-11 15:43:34

Thanks Kristina. I'm not worried about actually dancing I'm just acutely aware that I'm very tired at the moment and am unlikely to want to go out dancing like we usually do (the girls were out until 5am last weekend and I just can't hack the pace anymore).

And as for food I'm still unclear on a few things and have had contradictory advice - I'm veggie so tend to eat a lot of cheese but am unsure whether feta and goat's cheese are ok because they're bordeline 'soft cheeses'. Pasteurised vs unpasteurised is apparently not the answer, but some kinds of goat's cheese are ok - but how am I supposed to know in a restaurant?

wolfhound Tue 31-May-11 15:45:01

Although food restrictions do vary from country to country. A friend of mine went to Spain last year and was a bit surprised to hear that pg women are advised not to eat salad there. This week's cucumber alert makes that more explicable!

TattyDevine Tue 31-May-11 16:11:26

I had a Fake Bake fake tan in my first trimester (and 2nd) and that was fine. Its not a spray tan, they rub it on. You leave it on overnight and wash it off.

You don't inhale the chemicals then like you might with a spray tan.

As for absorbing them through the skin, if that were a real problem it would be emblazoned all over the packaging of Holiday Skin and St Tropez and all of that not to use it when pregnant, but it is not.

There might be people who say "don't risk anything" but in actual fact you could go crazy during pregnancy with all the ziliions of things you "can't" do so I tend to stick with the evidence based stuff.

KristinaM Tue 31-May-11 16:14:16

I know what you mean about being tired. I felt worse at 7 weeks than at 7 months! And once you are hugely pg you gets lots of understanding and sympathy, which obviously you don't at 7 weeks. At least your friends will make a big fuss of you

I have no idea what you can do about the cheese thing. I just avoided, which was easier for me as an omnivore, I had plenty other choices. I wonder what Greek women are advised to do re feta etc?

When you hear about things in other countries in makes you hmm. in my antenatal class there was an australian woman who had just come to live in the UK. She told that her due date was x when she lived in aurstralia but was now y, as it's calculated differently here hmm. I hope someone remembered to tell the baby

ghosteditor Tue 31-May-11 16:26:32

grin at the Australian due date!

and tatty I think you're absolutely correct; while I would never ever want to do something to put the baby at risk you could go mad listening to all the recommendations, even within one country, much less internationally. I mean, unless you live in the middle of nowhere you are pretty much continually breathing in/absorbing/ingesting a whole world of chemicals that are by-products of modern life.

thanks ladies, much to think about!

wendihouse22 Tue 31-May-11 18:58:38

Personally, I'd leave it alone.

I'm not sure if any of those products are para en free but, your skin will absorb sone of the product and they are chemical based.

Be pale and interesting for your pregnancy.

tangerinajolie Tue 31-May-11 20:20:15

To try and throw a little light on this from a beauty therapist's view - we have to work by our insurers instructions and most will tell us to not spray in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The reasons:

- fluctuating hormones can make the tan patchy or inhibit the development and this can be more common in pregnant ladies especially the first 12 wks.

- there is no known harm to foetus but there has also not been any specific research either and therefore it is felt best to err on the side of caution during the rapid development period in the first trimester.

- it is also felt that since miscarriage is more common during that period and this is often for unknown reasons that is it best to have a policy of not spraying then.


ghosteditor Tue 31-May-11 21:07:56

Thanks much tangerina , I was hoping to get some advice from an expert.

KristinaM Wed 01-Jun-11 11:31:41

LOL at expert on spray tans being called tangerina

thomasbodley Wed 01-Jun-11 11:41:14

You can use a paint-on tan. They're wash-off so the chemical composition is much simpler and not on the skin for long.Google it, Sali Hughes of the Guardian did a feature on them recently. Know for a fact that Guerlain do a very good one - my mother's been using it for 30 years.

BassyBootique Thu 11-Oct-12 11:15:39

Hi I'm new on this page and wanted to add that I am a spray tan therapist, spray tan solution is a chemical reaction made with sugar, it is harmless, patch tests are brilliant and must be done incase of a skin reaction but in this modern age you have extractor fans so hardly any solution is breathed in, spray tans are ok for pregnant women but is totally the choice of the individual.

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