Tanning Accelerators/lotions and Pregnancy

Updated on August 03, 2010
V.B. asks from Janesville, WI
5 answers

I am nearing my 20 week mark, and am wanting to tan for 2 reasons. 1. because I'm pasty and don't get out enough to tan naturally, and 2. because I think my lack of sunlight is causing me to sleep all day. I'm pretty determined to tan, but I'm concerned that even though the beds aren't shown to be a risk that the lotions/accelerators could be as they're absorbed through the skin. I can't find anything online. Can anyone help. (Please no preaching on use of self-tanners. Did it for my wedding and it was a nightmare! Plus it'd only solve 1 of my problems.)

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answers from Indianapolis on

Sunlight is good to help your body produce vitamin D naturally.

However, during pregnancy there are some risks it's best just to avoid. Your goal should be keeping your child as safe as possible while you're pregnant, and I don't think that's possible with the use of a tanning bed or a self-tanning product.

I'd highly recommend asking your OB. None of us are physicians, and we can't tell you, for sure, that it's OK to do anything to help you tan during the second half of your pregnancy. Tanning beds create UV light that can be dangerous, and self tanners may contain chemicals that are dangerous to the baby.

Here's one article I found on BabyCenter. I'd recommend reading and discussing with your OB.
I know, too well, that life can take an unexpected turn. My daughter was 10.5 weeks old when I was diagnosed with cancer. We don't know what caused it, but I had a 2 year-old and an infant, a full-time job, and 5 months of chemo ahead of me. Luckily, my children were born healthy.

Based upon my experiences (and my decade long career in the pharmaceutical industry), I'd say it's just not worth the risk until you've had a chance to speak with your OB about it.

Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

Tanning is fine while pregnant, usually. The ideal time to tan is in the morning while the beds are still cold. It's the heat that is the potential problem for the baby, not the tanning lamps.

I don't think there is a problem with any of the lotions, but if you really want to be safe, just use baby oil on your skin. You can put it on in the shower and your skin will be soft all day. Do not put it on right before you hop into the tanning bed, the mineral oils will ruin the acrylic on the beds.

A little known secret: Tanning salons receive most of their revenue from their lotion sales. There is a LOT of hype about lotions and the markup is HUGE, so salons really push their lotions. The main thing the lotions do to get you tan is moisten your skin. Moist skin tans better than dry skin, and that's what all the sales reps will tell you. Yes there are ingredients that make you look like you are tanning better, aka: bronzers, but you are not tanning any better. You do get a better tan if you use a hot or tingle lotion, but taking niacin will have the same effect with out your skin feeling on fire or itchy.

so, just use baby oil and if you can't tan early in the day, get out of the beds as soon as you feel like it is getting too hot. Most beds now are only 10-15 mins long and usually average about 92-95 degrees, so you should be fine doing the full time.

Congrats on your baby!

P.S. tanning is a great way to get vitamin D to, not only yourself but your baby too! And yes, lack of sunshine can make you feel really tired, as does pregnancy. So I'm sure, you are feeling double tired.



answers from Fort Wayne on

I don't think I'd lay in the tanning bed while pregnant. It seems like it's too much concentrated heat. I don't think tanning beds provide Vitamin D either, since it's not natural sunlight.So, that would really only solve one of your problems. My suggestion is to get outside as much as you can. If you want to tan, put on your bathing suit and sit in a nice comfy lawn chair. That will give you the Vitamin D, plus a little sun. I spent a lot of time outside with both my pregnancies. I used the tanning oil spray, but it didn't have any accelorators in it.



answers from Peoria on

I think the best thing to do is ask your Dr. next time you are in. Everyone is different during pregnancy. Like myself, if I would have tanned, then I would have been in the hospital a lot more than what I was with elevated blood pressure and severe dehydration (had a huge problem with it while pregnant) but you, are different than me. If your body can handle it, then there shouldn't be a problem with it. and I will agree fully with Kelly S. tanning with moist skin is what really makes you tan easier. I tan normally and don't ever buy the tanners at the salon, I use lotion in the morning and at night (I tan in the morning), or if you have a Sally's Beauty anywhere near you, or something similar, they have tanning accelerators for under $10 that do the exact same as the salon bottles of stuff do, the tingle, bronzer, etc. Good luck, and I hope you feel better!



answers from Provo on

I tried to stay away from tanning when I was pregnant because it makes your stretch marks more noticeable. Usually sleeping all the time during pregnancy means that the baby is growing but you can try exercising and see if that helps.

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