Can You Fake Tan While Breastfeeding? We Ask The Experts

Our experts give their take on the fake tanning vs breastfeeding conundrum

Can you fake tan while breastfeeding?

by Chloé Burcham |
Updated on

Can you fake tan when breastfeeding? If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, it's a point you might well have mentally debated yourself. When it comes to pregnancy the rules and guidelines seem to be ever-changing and it's no surprise that things often get confusing. You might have just about mastered the ins-and-outs of pregnancy-safe skincare, maybe you've researched whether you're allowed to have botox when pregnant too, but what about fake tan?

To answer that question and finally clear up the confusion, we reached out to three experts - celebrity tanner Amanda Harrington, St.Tropez Tanning Expert Michaella Bolder, and GP Dr Jane Leonard for some much-needed professional advice.

Can you fake tan while breastfeeding?

‘When you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s always best to treat each product on its own merit,’ says Dr Jane Leonard. ‘Always look at the ingredients list and avoid products that contain retinol or strong acid-based ingredients.’ With so many fake-tan-skincare-hybrid products out there at the moment that is advice well worth taking.

‘Most of the time fake tan formulas are completely fine, but it’s really important to look at what the chemical formulation is before assuming that they’re all the same. My advice would simply be to make sure you check each individual product you use.’

'All of my self-tanning products have been approved for usage during pregnancy by The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association,' says Amanda. 'However if you are unsure about anything I always recommend consulting your General Health Practitioner or nurse.'

What are the concerns around fake tanning when breastfeeding?

So you've checked your fake tan formula, the ingredients have met that pregnancy-safe criteria, and you're good to go. But what else should you be aware of?

While fake tanning shouldn't cause you or your baby any harm if you're breastfeeding, there are still some concerns surrounding the practice. Obviously you don't want your baby's skin to come into contact with your chosen fake tan solution, that's a given. Your baby's skin is far more sensitive than you might think and it any product that isn't made specifically for babies risks causing irritation. Read Lucy Mecklenbergh's take on this very topic right here.

'The best thing to do would be to avoid applying any fake tan to the breast area so that you can feed without transferring the tan onto your baby's face,' says Michaella. 'I would advise that if you do tan the breast area, you avoid the nipples and use breast pads or barrier cream. This will ensure that your baby doesn’t ingest any tanning product when feeding. If you are having a professional spray tan then you can wear a strapless bikini top with a tie back so that you can un-do it when tanning the back area.'

Amanda advises thinking as well about how your baby likes to be held and how many positions involve skin-on-skin contact. It's best to avoid tanning areas like your chest, for example, if your baby frequently rests your head there. 'You know the position your baby likes to be in and how much skin-to-skin you will have. I'd recommend leaving your breast and underarms free from colour and I would suggest avoiding your nipples too.'

What to do if your baby has accidentally ingested fake tan?

If your baby has ingested fake tan from breastfeeding, call 111 or your doctor for advice. 'My advice would always be to avoid putting fake tan around your immediate nipple area,' says Dr Jane Leonard. 'The change of smell could also discourage your baby from latching on, so it's best to avoid the area.'

Shop: The Best Fake Tans (Remember To Check The Product Ingredient List!)


Best Fake Tan For Pale Skin

best fake tan for pale skin1 of 14

Seamless golden glow

If Dove's gradual tan lotion was your first foray into fake tan then turn your attention to their newly formulated Body Mousse, pronto. It smells exactly the same but it's a weightless, whipped up, white mousse (no sheet stains) that can be built up to create a warm, even glow.

best fake tan for pale skin2 of 14

Radiant golden skin

New in from Sisley, this luxurious self tan cream is expensive but lends limbs a gorgeous golden glow while deeply moisturising skin. Plus, it comes with a velvet mitt that makes application completely seamless.

best fake tan for pale skin3 of 14

Perfect for all year round

This stuff is amazing, if you're not wearing white. It's more make-up for your skin than an actual fake tan – but if you want a quick touch up on your legs, this is the stuff for you. It's super easy to apply, makes your legs look amazing and lasts all night.

best fake tan for pale skin4 of 14

Natural healthy-looking glow

Dry, lacklustre skin? Massage this luxurious serum into skin for your most dewy, hydrated glow yet. Packed with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants it locks in moisture and softens skin.

best fake tan for pale skin5 of 14

Illuminating bronze

If you're after a really believable subtle tan and have fair skin, try this brilliant mousse in shade 'Natural Rose'. Blended with moisturising ingredients, you can forgo body lotion and apply this instead.

best fake tan for pale skin6 of 14

Zero transfer to clothes

These luxe drops of golden joy are SO good - expect lots of 'where have you been?' comments after application. They contain raspberry seed oil and Vitamin E to keep skin soft and hydrated whilst delivering that natural, sun-kissed tint.

best fake tan for pale skin7 of 14

Improve skins elasticity

If you're after a natural-looking, believable body tan then this is the self tan foam for you. Choose the medium option and buff in with the soft mitt in circular motions all over the body.

best fake tan for pale skin8 of 14

Sun kissed

Never have I ever had a more even tan than with this dreamy, soft-scented dry oil mist. Granted, I spritzed on A LOT, all over, from top-to-toe but once you massage it in and leave it for a couple of hours the golden-olive tan is just flawless.

best fake tan for pale skin9 of 14

Smells like watermelons

Packed with Hyaluronic Acid, this gradual self-tan lotion hydrates like a hero as well building a soft, believable glow. Keep applying daily until you reach your desired bronze.

best fake tan for pale skin10 of 14

Smells delicious and sweet

Hello golden glow. This tan glides on like a dream and, as there's no intimidating orange colour, you just feel like you're applying normal moisturiser. I felt really 'sun-kissed' with this one, and got a lot of compliments. Plus, the colour is buildable, which makes it more manageable, too. At the cheapest price, this is a firm favourite.

best fake tan for pale skin11 of 14

best fake tan for pale skin

If you've never used fake tan before, you could still just about manage to put this on with your eyes closed and emerge with a lovely, even tan. It's that easy to use. Plus, it's a colour corrector, so makes skin look a lot more even.

Bondi Sands, Self Tanning Foam Light/Medium, £14.9912 of 14

Bondi Sands, Self Tanning Foam Light/Medium, £14.99

Suitable for those with a light-medium complexion and first time tanners, this self-Ttanning foam enriched with aloe vera and coconut will leave your skin looking like you've spent the day at Bondi Beach.

best fake tan for pale skin13 of 14

best fake tan for pale skin

This formula is intended to develop overnight and, when you wash it off the next morning, you're left with a lovely, even tan. It's ideal if you want to look like you've just got back from holiday, but it's quite intense for every day.

best fake tan for pale skin14 of 14

best fake tan for pale skin

A special shout out to this face serum - it gives you a natural bronzed flush that doesn't look fake. Apply it morning and night before moisturiser, so you can add as little or as much as you want - depending on how dark you want to go. It is the holy grail of face tanning products, and even though it's quite pricey, it's definitely worth it.

READ NEXT: The Best Gradual Tanners For An Ultra-Natural Golden Glow

LISTEN TO: Grazia's Beauty Life Lessons With Jules Von Hep

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us