Spray Tanning when Pregnant - Is it Safe?
A while ago a friend and spray tanning client tagged me on a Facebook post that was titled 'Pregnancy Beauty Routine - What's Safe and What's Not?'. The author of this article talks about various beauty procedures including spray tanning and, in a nutshell, states that:
"Salon spray tans and home tanning application kits are considered to be safe in pregnancy."
*UPDATE (23rd June 17): I wrote to the author back in February 2016 and gave my thoughts and, although I didn't get a response, the post has since been updated to reflect the safety procedures such as wearing a mask, eyewear etc.
I would ask here, "Who has considered spray tanning to be a safe procedure during pregnancy?"
The author goes on to say that this is because the active ingredient, DHA, is non-toxic and does not penetrate the outer layer of the skin so can not be absorbed in to the body. This is true but, when you visit a spray tan salon, you're inhaling/ingesting spray tan solution and therefore the DHA is entering your system.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved DHA for external use only and it is restricted to external application only. They advise not inhaling or ingesting DHA or letting it get in to your eyes.
For 18 months of the five years I've been spray tanning for my business, That Spray Tan Place, I've been pregnant so whether I feel spray tanning is safe for pregnant ladies has been a big topic for me. I did a lot of research when I first fell pregnant and I contacted various tanning manufacturers to get their opinions on whether they felt it was safe for a pregnant woman to be spray tanned or to be a spray tan technician; essentially performing several spray tans per day and breathing in a lot more than the odd application here and there. And, to be honest, all came back to me saying they felt it was safe and no-one had had any problems. This really surprised me as, knowing inhalation of DHA is not approved by the FDA due to lack of testing, how can anyone be sure of this? So, this didn't sit well with me as I was pregnant with my first, very precious, little person who was growing inside my body so anything I breathed in, so did she.
I came to the conclusion that, as DHA had only been approved for external application and not inhalation, I was going to wear a mask (including filters), eyewear and ensure I had top of the range, tanning specific extractor fans within my salon. And, to not be totally selfish towards my clients, as I truly care for their wellbeing too, I offer eyewear, facemasks, nasal filters, protective under garments and lip balm to each and evey one of them. Surprisingly, none of my clients have said they have been given this option by any other spray tanner prior to visiting me.
So, will I spray tan a pregnant lady? The answer is that no, until they have passed the three-month mark, I will not spray tan a pregnant lady. There is no evidence to suggest that inhaling DHA is safe so I personally won't make the assumption it is ok. Once they are passed this crucial, early stage, I ask that they sign a disclaimer to say they are happy that I apply a spray tan, that they have been made aware of all the facts about DHA and that they have been offered protective goggles, masks, lip balms, under garments etc. to ensure measures are taken to eliminate any solution mist getting in contact with their eyes, mucus membranes or nasal passages.
Also, even though I am no longer pregnant, I religiously wear my mask and eyewear during every spray tan application. I explain to all my new clients why I do this and offer them the same protection. It is then up to my client to decide whether they choose to use this protection or not. They all sign a disclaimer to confirm their decision.
Owner / Operator - That Spray Tan Place, Gold Coast, Queensland