Tanning while pregnant – Is it safe?

Pregnancy can bring conflicting emotions. While you are absolutely overjoyed at the prospect of being a mother and nurturing a new life inside you, it might also bring on some not-so-pleasant changes in your body. There is no wonder that pregnancy is a time when women would want to pay more attention to how they look. And what’s more attractive than a sun-kissed skin? It can do wonders to your confidence and the way you look and dress-up. There are many ways to get that super bronze look. You can either sunbathe, apply self-tanning lotions and creams, or use a tanning bed. But is tanning while pregnant really safe?

are spray tans safe while pregnant

© by Bonbon

Tanning while pregnant may not be the best thing for you. Why? Let’s explore.

Soaking up the Sun:

Relaxing in the sun and enjoying the warmth sounds like a wonderful idea, especially for pregnant women. After all, it is just not about that sun-kissed skin that will do wonders for your looks, you are also getting the much essential Vitamin D, which is also called the sunshine hormone. While it is okay to sunbathe for brief periods, getting a tan means exposing your body to sun for a prolonged time. And before you think this natural way of getting a tan is absolutely safe, it is advisable to read through the effects that sunbathing may cause:

  1. Lying in the sun for prolonged hours can raise your body temperature to a level that may be dangerous to your baby, especially during the first 3 months. Studies say that an increased body temperature can lead to defects in spine development (called spinal malformations) in developing babies.
  2. Some studies suggest that prolonged exposure to UV rays may be linked with folic acid deficiency. It is because UV rays can break down folic acid. We all know that folic acid plays an important role in the development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord, which are formed during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  3. While pregnant, your body is going through a lots of hormonal changes. These changes not only cause emotional upheavals, but are also responsible for making your skin more sensitive than usual. As a result, when you expose your skin to the sun, the chances of getting hives, heat rashes or chloasma also increase. It is a condition where dark blotches show up on your face and sometimes on the arms during pregnancy. Sometimes, these patches may not disappear even after delivery.
  4. Sunbathing can also cause dehydration, which may cause pre-term contractions in the pregnant body.

Well, pregnant or not pregnant, prolonged exposure to UV rays puts all of us at risks. It can increase the risk of developing malignant melanoma. Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that can be life-threatening. In addition, the sun’s UV rays can cause excessive dry skin, burning and lead to premature ageing of the skin. So even if you are tempted to soak-up the warmth and achieve that perfect tan while pregnant, try to take these basic precautions to minimize the risks:

  • Apply Sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
  • Stay hydrated, even if it is with plain cool water. It will also help prevent overheating.
  • Wear large brimmed hat and sunglasses. This will help you to reduce the damage to the eyes and also protect your face, shoulder and neck area from getting exposed to the UV rays.
  • It is best to avoid the sun between 10am and 4pm. This is time when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.

Tanning while Pregnant with Tanning Lotions:

So, here are some good news. It is harmless to use self-tanning lotions, tanning towels and creams to achieve that super sun-kissed look. These products don’t penetrate deep into the skin. These fake tans contain an active ingredient, called DHA or dihydroxyacetone. It is non-toxic and it has been found that it reacts with cells that are present in the skin’s outermost layer. Since it doesn’t permeate into the skin, it can’t harm your baby. It surely helps you to avoid harmful UV rays, thereby protecting you from the adverse effects they have on your body such as overheating, skin-burn, skin-cancer, hives and chloasma. What’s more, the good quality lotions and creams have minimal smell and they provide fast and fantastic results.

Sounds like it is the best option for tanning while pregnant? Well, almost! Even if there are no known risks from using self-tanning creams and lotions, health practitioners encourage pregnant women to not use fake tanners in the first trimester, just as a precaution. Also because your skin is already more sensitive than normal, you should first do a patch-test on a small area of the skin to ensure that it will not cause any allergic reaction.

Take a look at the best self tanners 

Using Spray Tans:

Health care providers recommend not to use spray tans while pregnant, because the spray tans contain aerosol fumes that are not safe. When inhaled, they enter the lungs and eventually enter your blood-stream. This can potentially cause damage to the developing baby.

Using a tanning bed:

Tanning beds presents the same dangers as sunbathing. Tanning beds operate by emitting ultraviolet light (UV) , which can cause serious skin-conditions and over-heating. And as we already know, increased body temperature can cause spinal malformations in the developing babies. So, getting a tan using a tanning bed is not actually safer than getting a suntan. For a more in-depth article, look at the safety of tanning beds.

Sunspots on Skin: Causes, Prevention & Removal

We all love to bask in the bright sun. It brings warmth, joy, a golden tan…and sometimes wrinkles, sunburns and sunspots.

Sunspots? What are those?

First of all: no, they are not freckles.

While freckles appear and disappear from time to time, sun spots  (a.k.a. solar lentigines, liver spots, solar keratosis and age spots) tend to stay once they appear. Looking like flat brown patches of skin, they usually pop up on the parts of your skin that are over-exposed to the UV rays.

It happens, due to the reaction of melanin-producing cells, melanocytes.  Their function includes protecting your body from harmful UV rays.  Once your body is over-exposed, melanocytes consider it a threat and increase melanin production to put up defenses against the UV rays effect.  Normally, it results in tan – evenly spread skin darkening.

However, sometimes, extra pigment gathers in just one area.

This is how you get sunspots.

The most common area for sun spots are forehead, nose, cheeks and hands. Sunspots’ color ranges from brown to black. Sometimes, there are exceptions like red or white spots.

Sunspots and Skin Cancer?

While sunspots do not harm your health in any way, many types of skin cancer start from one brown spot found somewhere on your body. It is easy to confuse sunspots with melanoma and vice versa.

The main distinction between sunspots and melanoma is the following:

  • Sunspots are the result of excessive melanin production. While the pigment production is increased, number of melanocytes remains the same;
  • Melanoma is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of the melanocytes, which happens when the UV rays damage the very skin cells’ DNA;

So, while sunspots have no connection with cancer, they are a warning: time to limit sun exposure. If you have many sunspots all over your body, consulting your dermatologist or signing up for skin examination will be the best solution.

Why remove sunspots?

Sunspots are mostly painless, but can sting or itch, especially if they are under direct sunlight. Also, they are not always smooth in texture – they can feel scaly, rough and start looking like warts in time.

Some people are more sensitive to sunlight than others and may get sunspots even after being exposed to harsh sunlight for a short time.

Moreover, discolorations on the face, neck, and chest won’t fade over time.  Most likely they will continue to worsen with age and may negatively affect how one feels about their appearance.  The good news is that most of these discolored spots on the skin are treatable.

So why not get rid of sunspots, when it is possible?

Recommended Reading: Best Indoor Tanning Lotions

How to remove sunspots?

There are treatments directed at removing sunspots from face and body as well as aid in the prevention new sunspots. They include both natural and clinical procedures.

Let’s take a closer look at the treatments, solutions and ways to deal with sunspots – from the most common and over-the-counter methods to highly advanced technologies.

Natural remedies

  • Lemon juice

Citric acid found in lemon is a universal stain remover and lightener. It is mild enough to be safe for your skin and delicate fabric. At the same time it stimulates skin cell regeneration.

Squeeze lemon juice on a cotton ball and softly apply to your sunspot area for 15-20 minutes. Then, wash off. As lemon juice tends to dry skin and make it more sensitive, we recommend you to moisturize it after the procedure and avoid sun exposure for a while.

  • Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a primary component in all skin healing, softening and moisturizing solution. It is also efficient at removing sunspots, boosting cell regeneration and reducing the size and color of sunspots.

Aloe Vera can be found in many herbal creams. Also, you can squeeze the juice from the plant. There are no precautions about using Aloe Vera due to its mild and healing effect.

  • Milk

Lactic acid is yours safe, organic bleaching agent. Milk and butter milk are widely used as components for organic skin lightening masks, so making and applying one will help you to fade the sunspots without damaging your skin.

  • Vitamin E (capsules)

A powerful source of skin-repairing anti-oxidants, Vitamin E can be used as a component of a sunspot-removing solution. Mix the capsule’s contents with honey and apply to the damaged area. Wait for a few minutes, then wash the paste away.

How to minimize the effects of sun damage on the face with professional and over-the-counter products

You do not believe in home remedies? Then you can turn to expert brands that offer sunspot-removing treatments. Look for special creams that contain the following ingredients:

  • Hydroquinone;
  • Retinol;
  • Glycolic acid (AHAs);
  • Kojic acid;

A product containing both Hydroquinone and Kojic acid to help diminish dark spots is Admire My Skin Ultra Potent Brightening Serum.  For overall anti-aging benefits try a cream containing Retinol – such as Baebody Retinol Moisturizer Cream for face and eye area.

If you want to help minimize the appearance of spots and discolorations you can try using tinted moisturizers, creams, and make-up.  Look for some that also contain sunscreen to help in the prevention of more spots. Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup (with SPF 15) and the Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream are both helpful in covering up and reducing the appearance of brown and red spots on the skin.

Remember, that it takes time for the creams to show positive effects. Also, do not forget to moisturize your skin and stay away from UV ray exposure during treatment.

Medical removal of sunspots

When you have to deal with incredibly persistent sunspots and discolorations there is no need for despair.  Consulting a medical expert, such as a dermatologist, will help by offering a range of treatments directed at repairing the damaged skin. They will not only remove sunspots from your face, but can improve your skin’s overall look and condition by creating a more even skin tone and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and unwanted spots. However, keep in mind: each type of procedure has its own pros and cons. Remember to consult your dermatologist before you make a decision in favor of a certain treatment – it will help you minimize risks and consider all benefits.

  • Laser skin resurfacing

Lasers are very popular in dermatology and are usually one of the most common tools for removing sun spots on the face. For example, PicoScure is one of the latest models, approved by FDA and considered to be highly efficient. The concept of the procedure is the following: layers of dead skin cells are vaporized via powerful and precise light beams. It is usually a quick procedure that is very kind to the skin.

  • Microdermabrasion

This technique is based on a local dead skin cell exfoliation and suctioning via aluminum sand, salt crystals and abrasive tools (a diamond want or a wire brush). This procedure is very efficient, but leaves a small wound in a place of a sunspot, which is replaced by a smooth skin after healing.

  • Cryosurgery

Like warts, sunspots are frozen with liquid nitrogen and then easily removed.

  • Chemical peels

A chemical solution is applied to your face, exfoliating and peeling off the upper layer of your skin to reveal the new, healthy skin layer. Although, this is one of the most efficient ways to get rid of sunspots, it is not recommended for people with sensitive skin due to the strength of chemicals. Also, it is common for your skin to remain raw and red for a couple of days.

Also See: Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion

How to prevent sunspots?

Naturally, it is better to try and prevent sunspots and discolorations, rather than have to worry about ways to remove them. There are simple ways to avoid getting sunspots and keep your skin smooth and unblemished:

  • Be careful with the sun. This is the primary cause of sunspots and other dark pigmentations. Limit your sunbathing, do not forget to wear a cap or carry an umbrella around to provide you with a much necessary shadow.  If you can, put on a visor before you head outdoors. A good one to try is the Under Armour Fly-By Visor for women.  And if you want added protection for your neck and chest try the Coolibar Women’s Novara Wide Brim Hat.
  • 10AM – 4PM is the period of the most intense UV rays. If you like to go to the beach, better do it before or after this time.
  • Sunscreen is your friend. Do not rely solely on moisturizers and foundations to shield you from UV rays. Apply your sun protection 30 minutes before going under the sun. Do not forget to reapply it every two hours later.  A good one to try is Elta MD Broad Spectrum SPF46 Facial Sunscreen.  This one even comes in a tinted version to help cover up any unwanted spots.  This brand is also recommended for skin types prone to acne, rosacea, or any other type of hyperpigmentation. However, be careful when swimming.  Not all facial sunscreens are water-resistant so be sure to apply one that is if you plan on getting wet.


Spray Tan Tips – Here are the Best

It is widely accepted that a ‘tan’ look is one of the must-have accessories for everyone who wants to be hot, desirable and in. And for a good reason! Everyone looks better with a bit of color on them! But, we’ve all heard about how dangerous it is to hang out in the sun all day – worst case scenario: you get skin cancer. The same goes for tanning beds. That’s why more and more people are turning to spray tanning as an alternative. Before we give you the spray tan tips, a word of caution: although this sunless tanning method is mostly safe, the FDA warns to neither ingest nor inhale the chemicals that come with. Please also avoid contact with the eyes, nose and lips.

We all know what spray tanning is – the spraying of a fine mist of colour to the skin. But, a lot of people don’t really know all the tricks to achieve that perfect bronze glow. That is why we will be presenting you with all the spray tan tips and tricks, do-s and don’ts-s for getting tanned the right way!

For an alternative way to sunless tanning see the best self tanners.

tips to get tan

© by renaissancechambara

Pre-tanning Spray Tan Tips:

A lot of people simply get a tan, without preparing for it properly. Here are some of the things you should do before getting sprayed. If you follow these spray tan tips, you are sure to get the most out of your tanning appointment!

  • Nail polish

Putting on nail polish before getting a tan is crucial. Even if it’s just a clear polish, it will prevent stains on your fingernails. With polished nails you will be able to simply wipe the spray off and another good thing is that the spray will not damage your nails if you got a gel manicure or acrylic nails.

  • Waxing and shaving

If you wax your lips and eyebrows, make sure you do it before spray tanning. This way you can make sure you won’t have any light patches afterwards. Since shaving is a form of exfoliation, it is advisable that you don’t shave heavily after your tanning appointment.

  • Exfoliating

It is advisable that you exfoliate before you get your spray tan. By doing this, your tan will look better and last longer.

  • Remove your makeup/Shave your beard

Girls – It is very important that you remove your makeup before the appointment. This also goes for lotions, sunscreen or oil based substances. It is ok to have lip balm, deodorant and mascara on.

For guys, it’s important to shave your beard before tanning, but only if you were going to shave it off a short time after getting a tan. If you usually grow a beard, then there is no need to shave.

  • Brush your teeth

This is something a lot of people forget to do. Brushing your teeth before your appointment is important because brushing them later might cause water to drip on your skin and leave streaks, or leave a light spot around your mouth.

Some tips especially for guys:

  • Body hair

It is not necessary to do anything with your body hair before or after spray tanning – in most cases it will not affect the process.

  • Baldness

If you have a bald spot, remember not to wear a cap – you are going to want to get that spot tanned as well. This will result in an even color and make you look natural.

Post-tanning Spray Tan Tips:

After getting your perfect tan, you want to make sure it looks great and lasts for as long as possible. Here are some post-tanning spray tan tips to make that happen.

  • Showering

After tanning, you will feel sticky. This will last until your first shower. It is recommended that you wait at least 10 hours after your appointment before showering. It is important that you don’t get wet before your first shower because it might cause streaking – no sweating, swimming or exercising!

  • Be careful with your palms

Your skin will be sticky on the day of your tanning. If you touch it with your palms, you have to remember to wash the insides of your hands. The palms are not supposed to get tanned, so it would be best to have some wipes or hand sanitizers nearby.

  • Exfoliating

This one is simple – NO exfoliating. That means:

  1. No rubbing down after you shower – pat yourself with the towel instead
  2. No sponges, body scrubs, body washes, etc.
  3. Shave as little as possible – shaving is also a kind of exfoliation
  • Swimming

It is not advisable to go swimming in pools, the chlorinated water can fade your tan or cause streaks. This also goes for salt water, so no swimming in the ocean either.

  • Using body products

There are different rules concerning different products.

It is recommended that you use moisturizers and any other hydrating solutions (just make sure that they are fragrance free). You should use them at least once a day. Sunscreen is also a must – use it every time you are exposed to the sun, because a spray tan is no protection for the UV rays.

On the other hand, it is not advisable to use any kind of scented lotions or other body products. It is also not recommended to use acne treatment products or facial washes containing salicylic acid. The same goes for makeup removal products or depilatory creams.

Are Tanning Beds Safe?

Did you know that self-tanning at home is increasingly becoming trendy these days? Statistics from The Indoor Tanning Association indicate that about 10% of Americans prefer home tanning. So you may ask; are tanning beds safe? This page outlines both the pros and cons of using tanning beds, whether for home use or in a tanning salon.


© by Miran Rijavec

A body that is tanned looks very beautiful, gorgeous and perfectly toned. It is best at concealing skin irregularities. However, you may want to be extra careful on how you receive the tan in order to avoid risks such as skin cancer. It is paramount that you analyze and understand the type of your skin before you use a tanning bed. In this way, you will be able to determine the amount of tanning that’s best for your skin, the duration you need to stay on the bed and the appropriate lotion you need. Most salons will ask you to fill out a questionnaire prior to offering their services and you should be absolutely honest with your answers. The information you provide will guide them to know whether it is safe for you to tan or not. People with type 1 skin or with a family background of skin cancer are strictly not allowed to use tanning beds.

The following tips will not only help you to get a skin tone that is bronzed and warm, but also to stay safe. Prior to your arrival at your favorite salon, be careful not to already have a sunburn. For best results and a long-lasting tan, keep these tips in mind:

  • Wax or shave: It is recommended to shave a day before, waxing should be done two days prior to using a tanning bed. Many people have discovered that doing so will create longer-lasting effects.
  • Build a pre-tan: If it is your first time or you are re-tanning after a longer break, make sure that you tan in short sessions so as to build up tan in a few days’ time. This allows gradual production of melanin in your skin while at the same time minimizing the risks of skin burning.
  • Plan ahead of time: It often takes one day for your skin to show tan. So, if plan to get tanned for an upcoming occasion such as prom or a party, then you will need to get to the tanning bed at least a day before. A quicker way would be a spray tan.

Before Tanning

In order to get an evenly tanned skin, just follow these easy to follow instructions.

  • Exfoliate: Use a nice scrub to massage your skin. Do so carefully in order to remove the layer of dead skin. Pay special attention to your knees and elbows. It is recommended that you follow with a warm shower, to get rid of any perfume or cosmetics. Use bathing gel, clear or mild soap for the shower.
  • Moisturize: After your shower, use a light lotion, especially in sensitive areas such as the buttocks and breasts. Avoid using heavy moisturizers that would block the pores of your skin.
  • Tanning lotions: Lotions used for tanning beds are often different from the ones used for outdoor tanning, so make sure you use the right lotion for the right occasion. Make sure to apply the lotion in circular, light movements. This is to avoid damage to your skin and prevent patchiness. You might still be pondering the question; are tanning beds safe? Well, read on to find out more.

During the session

  • Jewelry: Make sure to remove all jewelry and any other accessories to avoid patches and tan lines.
  • Contact lenses: Remove your contact lenses or regular glasses. They might break due to high temperatures in a tanning bed.
  • Eye protection: It is a must to use protective eyewear gear. This will help to prevent damage to your eyelids. Remember, your eyelids have some of the thinnest membranes in your body. Ask your salon to provide you with the appropriate options they have, if you don’t have your own goggles. Regular goggles or sunglasses are not recommended because they do not offer effective protection.
  • Sunscreen on lips: Note that lips are generally sensitive and they don’t not have melanin. Using a Chap Stick with SPF would prevent your lips from burning or chapping.
  • Exposure: Avoid staying longer than the recommended time in your tanning bed. Overexposure to UV-light can not only accelerate aging and cause skin burning, it also presents the highest risk for getting melanoma. Additionally, try to avoid the sun for that day.
  • Position: Lie flat on your bed with your legs slightly bent. Swivel around slightly in order to expose most parts of your body. For instance, you may lift up your arms to acquire some color in your armpits. Spread your legs to reveal the inner thighs. Do not rest your chin on your chest to avoid white stripes on your neck.

Safety Considerations

Protection against the adverse effects of tanning ought to be your ultimate concern. Many people claim to understand the adverse effects of using tanning beds but rarely do they seem to know the precautions and safety factors that come with it. If you want a safe alternative for getting a nice tan, take a look the best self tanners.

  • Types of tanning beds: With a myriad of tanning beds in the marketplace, it might be hard to distinguish a good one from a bad one. Using a good quality tan bed for your indoor tanning is worthwhile your safety. Make sure to carry out thorough research before making your purchase. If visiting a tanning salon, take note if they maintain they beds well. Check to see if they display posters about tanning safety in clear view of their customers.
  • Tanning lotions: The type of tanning lotions you use determines the level of UVB and UVA rays that reach your skin. You need to use tanning lotions that are specifically meant for tanning beds. This will not only keep your skin safe, but young and luscious. Tanning beds emit Ultra violet rays which may cause your skin to age prematurely.
  • Duration: The maximum allowable time to expose your body on a tanning bed is twenty minutes per day.
  • Safety advice: If you are considering buying a tanning bed, get to know your body’s reaction when it’s exposed to sunrays. It is recommended that you wear goggles that are provided by the company.

After tanning

  • Shower: After tanning, relax for at least half an hour before taking a shower. This would allow the tan to settle in.
  • Moisturizer: Make sure you moisturize at least twice in a day. A dry skin does not look nice after tanning, but avoid soaps that contain heavy moisturizers.
  • Schedule: Make sure you tan regularly, but in small sessions. This is much better compared to going for longer sessions.

So, are tanning beds safe?

Tanning beds have the same risk as tanning in the sun. If you take safety precautions and get a professional recommendation based on your skin type in your local tanning salon you can minimize the risks. Don’t forget to moisturize your skin often and the most important thing: do not overexpose yourself. If you are pregnant, this article is a must read.