Sun Tanning: Pregnancy-Safe Tips and Products for a Glowing Summer

Written by: Kristine Dayaras

As the summer sun shines bright and temperatures in the high two and three digits, many expectant mothers may wonder how they can enjoy some fun in the sun while keeping their baby safe. With a wide array of suntan sprays, lotions, and sunscreens, knowing which brands are safe to use during pregnancy and which ones to avoid is essential. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the dos and don’ts of sun tanning during pregnancy, including recommended brands to stay away from and pregnancy-safe alternatives that will help you achieve that radiant glow without any worries.

Why sun protection is crucial during pregnancy: Before we dive into specific product recommendations, let’s quickly review why sun protection is vital during pregnancy. The hormonal changes that occur can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, leading to an increased risk of sunburn and other harmful effects. Moreover, excessive sun exposure can exacerbate pregnancy-related skin conditions like melasma. By taking precautions and using the right products, you can enjoy the outdoors while keeping your skin healthy and safeguarding your baby.

Sun tanning products to avoid: 

During pregnancy, it’s best to steer clear of tanning products that contain potentially harmful ingredients. Avoid products that contain retinoids, hydroquinone, and chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and avobenzone. These ingredients may pose risks to your baby’s development. Additionally, it’s advisable to skip tanning beds and sunless tanning products that utilize dihydroxyacetone (DHA) until further research on their safety is available.

Pregnancy-safe sunscreens and alternatives: 

a) Mineral-based sunscreens: Look for sunscreens that contain physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals sit on top of the skin, forming a protective barrier that reflects and scatters UV rays. Some pregnancy-safe brands to consider are:

  • Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen: Available online on their official website ( and major retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
  • Badger Baby Sunscreen: Available online on their official website ( and major retailers like Amazon, Target, and Whole Foods.
  • Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen: Available online on their official website ( and major retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walgreens.

b) Sun-protective clothing: Look for sun-protective clothing at sporting goods stores, outdoor retailers, and online marketplaces. Brands like Coolibar (, Columbia (, and UPF Sun Shop ( offer a variety of sun-protective clothing options.

c) Seek shade and schedule wisely: Whenever possible, plan your outdoor activities early in the morning or late in the afternoon, avoiding the peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shaded areas such as under umbrellas or trees to minimize direct exposure.

Enhancing your pregnancy glow without sun tanning: 

If you’re concerned about sun exposure during pregnancy but still want to achieve a healthy glow, there are alternative methods to consider: a) Self-tanning lotions: Opt for pregnancy-safe self-tanning lotions or wipes that do not contain DHA. Brands such as St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Gel and Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Tinted Lotion offer natural-looking results without harmful chemicals. These products can be found online on their official websites and major retailers like Sephora and Ulta Beauty.

b) Bronzing powders and creams: Use mineral-based bronzing powders or creams to add a touch of warmth and radiance to your skin. Make sure to choose products free from potentially harmful ingredients and labeled pregnancy-safe. Brands like bareMinerals (, Physicians Formula (, and Tarte ( offer pregnancy-safe options that are available online and in stores.

As an expectant mother, enjoying the sun and maintaining healthy skin should go hand in hand. Using pregnancy-safe sunscreens, sun-protective clothing, and alternatives like self-tanning lotions and bronzing products, you can bask in the summer sun while keeping you and your baby safe. Remember to consult your healthcare provider for any specific concerns or questions. 

Wishing you a radiant and sun-safe pregnancy!

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