Q:

Can using self-tanning lotion hurt an unborn child (i.e., cross the placenta)?

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A:

Answers (7)

EXPERT
Melicia Escobar, MSN, CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) answered
Currently, there is not adequate data to determine the true safety of products like self-tanner. However, the effects of the sun especially in pregnancy, when your defenses are a little suppressed to begin with, are known to be harmful. When it comes to product safety reviews for all things skin, I refer to the Environmental Working Group. For information on sunless tanners specifically:

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/browse/sunless+tanning/
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EXPERT
Daniela Ferri (Licensed Esthetician, Acne Specialist) answered
Sometimes a "chemical" can come from natural sources.  Sometimes a chemical that doesn't come from natural sources can be totally harmless.  Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, which is the chemical involved in sunless tanning, is derived from natural sources such as sugar beet.  It was originally intended to formulated as an artificial sweetener, but when spittle ended up dyeing the formulator's arm as she was eating it, lightbulbs went off above her head.  It basically dyes your dead skin cells.  That's why you get a much more even color after exfoliation.  It had to be perfected over a few decades, though, because it originally turned the skin an ugly orange, but they found a way to purify it in such a way that it now turns the skin a nice shade of brown.  Either way, it's SO safe, you can actually spray it into your mouth and eyes and remain completely unharmed.  So I say, spray tan away!  You and your baby will be totally fine.
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Anonymous answered
My doctor told me that it's safe to use self-tanning lotion while pregnant, as the lotions' ingredients are harmless and just stay on your skin and dye it a tan color. Plus it's much healthier for you to be getting some color from a bottle than from the harmful UV rays of the sun or a tanning bed! :)
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Meg W answered
My girlfriends and I were just talking about this—and consensus was to keep it natural. You can never play it too safe with pregnancy and avoiding unnecessary chemicals. Also it is good for you to get some vitamin D for your baby; 10 minutes outside a day will do you both some good.
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mariaalexander answered


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