5 Non-Toxic Pregnancy-safe Self-Tanners

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Suntanning may not be a good idea when you are pregnant. So how do you get that perfect bronze skin for your gender reveal or baby shower? 

No worries, here are non-toxic pregnancy-safe self-tanners that are comparatively safe and pose minimum risk to your baby.

Self-tanners give you a gradual, beautiful tan without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. But not all self-tanners are safe to use during pregnancy. 

women holding brown self tanner in hand-Pregnancy-safe self tanners

The active ingredient in most sunless self-tanner is DHA, and it is recognized as safe to use during pregnancy. So as long as other ingredients of your self-tanning cream are non-toxic and you are past your first trimester, there is no harm in using self-tanner during pregnancy. 

Here in this article, we have carefully selected non-toxic, natural, pregnancy-safe self-tanners free from the most harmful chemicals and will bronze your skin without direct sunlight exposure.  

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an affiliate and amazon associate, I earn commission on qualified purchases at no extra cost to you.

What are Self-Tanners (sunless tanners)?

Self-tanners, sunless tanners, or extenders are lotions or creams applied to the skin to tan your skin. The active ingredient in self-tanner is DHA which interacts with proteins on the surface of the skin to produce a darker tone skin. The darker skin tone is temporary, and it wears off in a couple of days. 

Self-tanners are a safer alternative to sun tanning, tanning pills, tanning shots, or bed tanning.

Is it safe to use Self-Tanners (Fake Tan) during pregnancy?

I am a firm believer in putting fewer chemicals on the body during pregnancy because whatever you put on your body- whether it is body lotion, foundation, nail polish, lip balm, or shampoo – can get absorbed through your skin and reach your baby. 

tanned legs at the pool

But I can see your urge to use self-tanner during pregnancy. Pregnancy is the most beautiful time of one’s life, and there are many things to celebrate and create memories for a lifetime. And if you want to tan yourself for that bronze skin during your gender reveal party or baby shower, there is nothing wrong with it. 

Self-Tanners are a much safer choice than sun tanning or tanning bed. The active ingredient in most sunless self-tanning creams or lotions is DHA (dihydroxyacetone) which is generally considered safe to use topically (avoiding contact with mouth, eyes, and nose) during pregnancy. 

According to some research studies, when applied in the form of lotion or cream, DHA does not pass the outer layer of skin. So, Self-tanners containing DHA are safe to use during pregnancy. 

DHA is FDA approved color additive for self-less tanners, but there is still a concern about DHA penetrating your skin. While no studies have confirmed that it can, the risk is still there. 

However, you can take solace in knowing that DHA has been used in cosmetic products since 1960, and there are no reports of side effects or danger to date. 

The primary concern with DHA is that when you use Spray tan. If it gets into the bloodstream via inhalation, DHA has the potential to cause DNA damage, mutation, or cancer.

 So, beware, pregnant or not, stay away from spray-on tan! 

But if you are worried, AAP encourages pregnant women to hold off using pregnancy-safe self-tanners until after the first trimester. 

Also, be wise and

  • Avoid using self-tanner near eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Only use self-tanner after the first trimester
  • Use it only for a special occasion during pregnancy (no everyday use)
  • Apply it highly ventilated area to avoid breathing in a fake tan smell, if any
  • Wear gloves while applying self-tanner on your skin

There are also self-tanners without DHA if you are not feeling safe using self-tanners with DHA. But are they safe to use during pregnancy? Find out below. 

5 Best Non-toxic Pregnancy-Safe Self-Tanners 

These non-toxic pregnancy-safe self-tanners are chosen based on the following criteria.

  • Self-tanner that are available as cream or lotion. Spray-on or aerosol self-tanners are avoided
  • Made of primarily plant-based or organic formula
  • Made of plant-based DHA (this may not always be possible). 
  • Free from fragrance and synthetic dyes
  • Free from toxic chemicals
  • Customer reviews (I have gone through reviews on Amazon, the manufacturer’s website, and other places where they are sold).

You will find many blog posts with ‘pregnancy-safe’ self-tanners but do pay attention to the products they are recommending. Do your own research because I have come across many products listed in the top 10 with ingredients that should not be used during pregnancy. 

1. Beauty By Earth Self-Tanner

Beauty By Earth is known for formulating organic and natural beauty and skincare products. The Beauty by Earth Self-Tanner is one of the safest self-tanners to use during pregnancy. With this self-tanner, you will get that perfect sun-kissed bronze tan without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays when you are pregnant.

The active ingredient in Beauty By Earth Self-tanner is plant-based DHA to give you a perfect sunless bronzed tan. The self-tanner is also formulated with complimentary USDA certified organic, plant-based ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, pomegranate, and cranberry extract to hydrate and moisturize your skin so you won’t dry up even more during pregnancy. 

EWG highly rates this cruelty-free formula for being free from toxic chemicals like paraben, phthalates, toxic dyes, fragrances, and synthetic fillers.

Since this formula is 81% water and certified organic, it is suitable to use during pregnancy. You can also use this self-tanner when breastfeeding, given that you avoid using it on your breast. 

This natural formula gives you bronzed glow when you gradually build on it to avoid orange skin tone. In addition, the formula gives you streak-free, blotches-free, dark spot-free, and even tanning when applied correctly. 

If you do not get desired tanning after the first application, reapply after 6 hours to get the desired result. And to maintain the tan, use this self-tanner every 4-7 days.


  • Made of 81% water and certified organic ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • Free from toxic chemicals
  • Gives bronzed tan (no orange skin)
  • Dries up quickly
  • Easy to build on tan
  • Vegan, Gluten-free
  • USDA certified
  • Leap Bunny certified
  • 100% recyclable
  • Hydrating formula
  • Streak-free
  • Blotches-free


  • Plant-based DHA
  • Does not last long in the area that you frequently exposed to water
  • Rubbing lotion with your hand may give you a streak and stain your hand orange. Need an applicator glove for even application.
  • No initial tan smell but may come back later

2. Botanic Tree Self-Tanner

Botanic Tree Self-Tanner is another non-toxic pregnancy-safe self-tanner on this list. This self-tanner is made of 100% organic ingredients and gives you bronze or golden tan without sunbathing or bed tanning. 

The formula contains sugan cane-derived DHA and other moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and 10 organic fruit extracts, including jojoba, apricot, avocado, rosemary, linseed, grape seed, passionfruit, and more. 

This self-tanner is safe to use during pregnancy as it is free from toxic chemicals like- sulfates, phthalates, BHT, parabens, synthetic dyes, fragrance, and BHT/BHA. Only one thing that you should be aware of it is that the formula contains rosemary, which is a controversial ingredient to use during pregnancy. However, medicinal (taken by mouth) use of rosemary should be avoided during pregnancy as it may cause uterine contraction. 

Botanic Tree self-tanner is hydrating and moisturizing and gives bronze tan when built up gradually. This non-greasy formula is a little thick and needs work to run on the skin, but it dries up quickly without giving you a sticky feeling. 

Because this is a thick formula, you need to gradually build on color to avoid orange color on your skin. To get the best streak-free, blotches-free result and avoid staining your hand orange, you need to use latex gloves. 


  • 100% Organic formula
  • Made in the USA
  • Free from toxic chemicals
  • Contains 10 fruit extracts
  • Streak-free
  • Blotches-free
  • Dries quickly
  • Won’t stain your clothes


  • Thick formula -hard to apply
  • Plant-based DHA
  • Gradually build on color as skin tends to turn orange

3. Eco Tan Winter skin Self Tanner

The Eco Tan Winter skin self-tanner is a great natural product for fair to medium skin. 

This Australian, award-winning formula is 100% certified organic ingredients (certified by an organic food chain!). The active ingredient in this self-tanner is plant-based DHA complemented by certified organic cacao, herbs, flower extract, fruit extract, and chamomile to give you a radiant bronzed tan. 

The formula is free from paraben sulfates, petrochemicals, artificial dyes, fragrances, and silicones, making it safe to use during pregnancy. 

The product gradually builds to give you a perfect tan. The formula is light compared to another self-tanner in this list, non-greasy, streak-free, and dries up quickly. So, you don’t need to worry about staining your clothes or bed once it dries. 

These vegan and cruelty-free self-tanners are great for you if you are looking for a light to medium tan. 


  • Made of Certified organic ingredients
  • Free from toxic chemicals
  • Streak-free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Dries quickly 
  • Won’t stain your clothes
  • Non-greasy
  • Light formula


  • Plant-based DHA
  • The formula is very thin
  • Not good if you are looking to achieve a darker tan

4. Suntegrity Natural Self Tanner

Suntegrity Natural Self-Tanner is a fairly clean self-tanner to use during pregnancy. The formula does contain a few chemicals, but they are EWG rated 1 chemicals, meaning they are not known to affect human health. 

This natural self-tanner is formulated with natural sugar cane-derived DHA. Other botanical ingredients in this formula include goji berry, acai berry, noni, mangosteen, shea butter, green tea, jojoba, passion fruit, pomegranate extract, and more. These ingredients come together to give you hydrating, bronze glow that you can build up for a darker sun-kissed tan. 

The formula is suitable for pregnancy as it is free from toxic ingredients like paraben, phthalates, silicons, propylene glycol, mineral oils, synthetic oil, synthetic fragrances and dyes, petrochemicals, triclosan, and SLS. 

This ultra-hydrating, non-greasy formula is easy to apply, dries out quickly, and won’t give you an orange tint. The self-tanner has a light coconut smell.


  • Made of botanical extracts
  • Free from toxic chemicals
  • Enriched with Vitamin E
  • Hydrating and moisturizing formula
  • Streak-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Easy to build up color


  • Not all plant-based ingredients
  • Plant-based DHA

5. Chocolate Sun Self-Tanner

This natural sunless self-tanner is another great option to get bronzed skin without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays during pregnancy. The formula is 92% organic, non-comedogenic, and cruelty-free. 

Chocolate sun Self-tanner is formulated using plant-based DHA and other complementing ingredients like almond oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera, coconut oil, shea butter, and green tree extract to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. 

Chocolate tree self-tanner is a hydrating formula that gives a fair to medium tan. If you want a darker tan, build up the color gradually to avoid an orange tint. 

The formula goes on real smooth without blotch or streak. This non-greasy self-tanner dries up quickly, and some customers were able to see tan one hour after application. 

The formula is pregnancy-safe, free from mineral oils, dyes, lanolin, parabens, PABA, petrochemicals, sodium lauryl sulfate, and formaldehyde.

The product looks fairly new on amazon, so not very many reviews are available at the moment. I will update the section later. They have great reviews on their website, but those are biased reviews. 


  • Made of 92% organic ingredients 
  • Made in the USA
  • Free from toxic chemicals
  • Streak-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Dries quickly


  • Plant-based DHA

How to use Self-Tanner during Pregnancy?

hand putting spray on legs

Exfoliate your skin

Use exfoliating products or a washcloth to remove dead skin. Pay more attention to thick skin such as elbows, knees, and ankles. Then dry your skin. It is best to exfoliate the day before you plan to apply self-tanner. 


Moisturize thick skin areas like elbows, knees, and ankles before applying self-tanner. 

Use Mittens

Do not apply self-tanner with your bare hands. Instead, use a self-tanner mitt for an even, streak-free application and save your hands from turning orange. 

Apply product in a section

Start applying self-tanner to your body in sections first, starting with the legs, torso, and arms. Then, run the self-tanner in a circular motion on dry skin. 

Wipe thick skin area

Elbows, knees, and ankles tend to absorb more self-tanner, so wipe them off with a damp cloth after application. Or use less self-tanner in these areas. 

Let it dry

Let the self-tanner dry on your skin before you put on clothes. Wear light clothing to avoid sweating. 

Wait it out

Leave the self-tanner on your body for 4-6 hours for maximum tanning. Then rinse your body with warm water. 

Which ingredients to avoid in the best pregnancy-safe Self-Tanners? 

tanned legs with hands on it on white sheet

While DHA is considered safe to use during pregnancy, other ingredients in self-tanning lotions or creams are not recommended for use during pregnancy. 

The primary concern is self-tanners containing fragrance because usually phthalates are hidden behind the term ‘fragrance .’ And phthalates exposure during pregnancy is associated with having a child with impaired motor skillsaltered immune response, and increased risk of asthma, eczema, and rhinitis. So, avoid self-tanners or any other products that have fragrance during pregnancy. 

You also need to be careful of greenwashing while choosing the best self-tanner to use during pregnancy. Unfortunately, many manufacturers label their products as or ‘non-toxic’ or ‘organic’ when they only have one or two plant-based ingredients in their formula. So, read the label carefully before purchasing self-tanners. 

You also want to avoid spray-on or aerosol self-tanners or spray tanning booths. Spray-on or aerosol self-tanners will generate mist you breathe during the tanning process. In addition, FDA has received reports of consumers experiencing rashes, coughing, dizziness, and fainting with the use of spray tanning booths. 

Also, avoid following chemicals in your self-tanner. 


Phenoxyethanol in the cosmetic product has residual phenol from manufacturing. While it is a safer preservative than parabens in a cosmetic product, it still has cytotoxicity and can easily penetrate the skin. Therefore, it should be avoided during pregnancy as the skin is more sensitive. It is also highly toxic when ingested. Research has linked phenoxyethanol to neurotoxicity in babies. 


On their own, PEGs are safe but depending upon manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both classified as human carcinogens. 

Synthetic dyes 

Synthetic dyes like Yellow 5, Red 4, and Blue 1 are derived from petroleum and linked to neurotoxicity and cancer

Also, avoid using self-tanner if you have a pre-existing medical condition. 

Regardless of how safe the self-tanner is, it is best to talk to your OB/GYN before using a self-tanner during pregnancy. 

How to choose the best pregnancy-safe Self-Tanner? 

Now that you know which ingredients to avoid in pregnancy-safe self-tanner, here are a few tips on choosing the best non-toxic pregnancy-safe self-tanner.

Plant-based Formula – Choose a plant-based formula. At the same time, is it impossible to find a product that is 100% plant-based but choose a product that has more plant-based ingredients than chemicals. For example, look for a brand that has plant-based DHA.

Hydration – Choose a hydrating and moisturizing formula as pregnancy skin is sensitive, and the last thing you want to self-tanner is to further dry your skin (more stretch marks!!) 

Do not clog pores – Look for a self-tanner that won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts. 


Can you use DHA-free Self Tanner during Pregnancy?

DHA in fake tan is generally considered safe when used topically (excluding contact with eyes, nose, and mouth) by FDA, AAP, and other medical professionals. However, there is still a risk of DHA getting absorbed past the outmost skin layer and reaching your baby. 

But I understand why you don’t want to use a self-tanner with DHA during pregnancy. 

There are not very many options for a fake tan without DHA. I found one self-tanner without DHA, but unfortunately, it is formulated with other chemicals that are not safe to use during pregnancy. So here is the self-tanner without DHA. 

The Chemistry Brand-Glow oil Self Tanner without DHA

The active ingredient in the Chemistry Brand-Glow oil self-tanner is raspberry-based sugar which is 100% DHA-free. The raspberry-based keto-sugar known as Erythrulose which usually used with DHA to balance out the orange tone of DHA. But in this formula, Erythrulose works on its own to give to the bronzed tone of the skin. 

The formula is oil-based and dries up quickly. While these all sound good, other chemicals of concern in this formula are PEGs and fragrance.

We all know by now that fragrance in any skincare product in phthalate is a major hormone disruptor and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Another red flag in this formula is PEGs (PEG-7, PEG-10, PEG-16, PEG-40). The main concern with PEGs is that ethylene oxide is used in their production (ethoxylation). This process can cause contamination with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are carcinogens. 

Another concern with PEGs is that they are added to skin care products to make it easier for ingredients to penetrate the skin. So when PEGs are present in your self-tanner, it will make other toxic chemicals in a formula absorb through the skin. 

So should you be using The Chemistry Brand-Glow oil Self, Tanner, without DHA during pregnancy?

I would not recommend you use this DHA-free fake tan during pregnancy. Plant-based self-tanners with natural DHA are a much better option. 

Is St. Tropez Self-Tanner Safe to use during pregnancy?

While St. Tropez self-tanner is formulated from naturally derived DHA, it should not be used during pregnancy, mainly because some of the ingredients in this formula are toxic. 

Let’s look at some controversial ingredients that should be easily avoided in self-tanners.

Phenoxyethanol – Phenoxyethanol is used as a preservative in cosmetic products, and it has less cytotoxicity than paraben. However, phenoxyethanol is a skin irritant because of its residual phenol content after the manufacturing process. The use of it has been linked to neurotoxicity in infants and disrupted ovarian function in pregnant women.  

Fragrance – Phthalates are mainly hidden under ‘fragrance’ in many cosmetics. Phthalates are major hormone disrupters and should be avoided during pregnancy. 

Synthetic dyes – Synthetic dyes in this self-tanner are yellow 5, Red 4, and Blue 1. As mentioned earlier, these dyes are mainly derived from petroleum and have been liked to neurotoxicity and cancer

So, these three chemicals are a major red flag for this self-tanner. Other plant-based self-tanners are safer to use during pregnancy than St. Tropez Self-Tanner. 

Is Coco and Eve Self-Tanner Safe to use during pregnancy?

No, Coco and Eve self-tanner are not safe to use during pregnancy. In addition to containing naturally derived DHA (which is good), Coco and Eve self-tanner is formulated using toxic chemicals such as PEG, Limonene, benzyl salicylate, and FD&C dyes (Red 4, yellow 5, blue 1).

PEGs are rated EWG 3 and have a potential concern of contamination with human carcinogen ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane while the manufacturing process. 

Benzyl Salicylate is an ester of benzyl alcohol and salicylic acid, presenting potential oral and dermal toxicity and should be avoided in cosmetic products during pregnancy. And petroleum-based dyes are linked to neurotoxicity and cancer. 

Therefore, Coco and Eve self-tanner are not safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

Is Jergens Self-Tanner Safe for Pregnancy?

Jergens Self-Tanner should not be used during pregnancy or not. The product is loaded with chemicals that can be easily avoided in a self-tanner. The toxic chemicals in this self-tanner are paraben, fragrance, and synthetic dyes. These toxic chemicals are carcinogenic, hormone disrupters, and neurotoxins and should be avoided during pregnancy and beyond. 

Is Tan-Luxe Self-Tanner Safe during Pregnancy?

The Tan Luxe Self-Tanner is not plant-based, and some of the ingredients are not considered safe to use during pregnancy. The controversial ingredients in Tan-Luxe Self-tanner include:

  • Polysorbate (contamination risk with carcinogenic 1,4-Dioxane and ethylene oxide).
  • Benzyl Salicylate (potential oral and dermal toxicity).
  • Phenoxyethanol (affect ovary function and is neurotoxic in babies).

Other plant-based self-tanners will do an equally good job of giving you a bronze tan without exposing you to harmful chemicals. Choose one of the plant-based self-tanners listed above. 

Is Isle of Paradise Self-Tanner Safe during Pregnancy?

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanner contains FD&C color, fragrance, sage, and phenoxyethanol, which are unnecessary to the self-tanner. These chemicals should be avoided during pregnancy. 

Final Thoughts

Safety comes first when you are carrying a little human being inside you. And when it comes to using self-tanner during pregnancy, you do not want to use any that self-tanner readily available. 

Make sure to read the list of ingredients and choose the one that is mainly plant-based and does not contain toxic chemicals. Also, make sure to talk to your OB/GYN before using a self-tanner during pregnancy. 

The plant-based self-tanners – Beauty by Earth, Botanic Tree, Eco Tan, Chocolate sun, and Suntegrity are the cleanest fake tan you can use during pregnancy. 

Keep in mind that self-tanners are still chemicals, and it is best to use them after the first trimester of pregnancy. 

If you happen to know any other non-toxic, pregnancy-safe self-tanner brand, do let me know in the comment section below. 

Good luck, Mom!

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tanned legs near pool Pinterest pin with pregnancy safe self tanners text

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