Let's ask a pro - Jess Orford-Garde

As lockdown restrictions ease, more of our self-care salons are re-opening and we can indulge in a bit of beauty therapy again. 

I am pretty low-fi when it comes to beauty routines but I do LOVE a tan and a lash tint.  I got married when I was eight months pregnant during a deep Melbourne winter and most certainly needed some glow.  

I had questions about the safety of tanning and wasn't sure who to ask. I love Glow Bar for a tan and lashes treat and came across Jess on a visit in January. I adored her immediately and started peppering her with questions about tanning.

Jess will reopen her salon next week and has sent all her clients the most amazing, detailed email about her procedures and her safety process. Again, another measure of such an impressive, engaging professional!

So who better to ask my questions on tanning to?

Q. Jess, first and foremost - is it safe to tan when you’re pregnant?

A. YES!! A spray tan works by reacting with the dead skin cells on the top layer of your body. Because there is no penetration, a spray tan is safe. 

Q. Is there any way the tanning solution can get to my unborn baby?

A. Unless a tanning solution is heavily (like, really heavily) inhaled or ingested, there are no other forms of penetration meaning the solution doesn’t reach your baby.

Ensure you choose to go to a salon that has adequate ventilation in the room and an extraction booth to remove overspray from the air and you’re good to go! If they don’t have these options, ask your technician for a mask to wear while they complete your tan and then take it off at the end before they spray tan your face. 

Q.What’s the difference between normal tan and organic tan? 

A. The Organic nature of a tan generally refers to the active ingredient which is Dihydroxyacetone or DHA for short and can also relate to the other ingredients added into the solution. These can be things like oils to nourish your skin, alcohol to help the tan stick to your skin, bronzer so you can see a colour straight away and preservatives to keep the spray tan solution fresh and free from things like mould or fungus growing. Many of these ingredients can be naturally derived but can also be synthetic. Remember that something doesn’t have to be naturally derived or organic to be safe BUT I would avoid things like sulphates & Parabens. If you’re concerned about the safety of the tanning solution being used, seek out tan brands like Moroccan tan, techno tan, Mediterranean tan and Solaire who pride themselves on creating clean and safe formulas and then find salons who stock and use those brands. Ahem.. Glow Bar 

Q.Have you got any tips for breastfeeding women when getting a spray tan? 

A. Absolutely!! While tanning is totally safe when it’s used as intended, it is of course not designed to be ingested by you or Bub; so wear a little boob tube top or use sticky breast pads with the sticky side on your skin to keep your nipples covered during the application of your spray tan. If possible use an express solution that can be rinsed off after a couple of hours so you can rinse before your next feed. If you need to feed or hold Bub while you’re tan is developing before your first rinse, just keep something (that is easy to wash like a towel or baby wrap) between you and Bub to stop any tan getting on bubs skin In the worst case if your baby gets a little transferred on to their skin, just wash the area with soap and water and that will stop the tan developing up.  (this happened to Magnus once...from a family member, he was eight weeks old and i freaked out....)

Q.What’s your top tanning tips for mamas (eg short developing so you don’t spread tan on baby or they don’t splash it off your legs at bath time )

A. Definitely go an express option so you can get it on and off again as soon as possible or book a later appointment with a salon in the evening so you can enjoy some mum time after Bub has settled for the night. Also get dad to help during dinner prep or bath time to avoid any unnecessary accidents with water splashes. If you get a splash of something on you, grab a makeup brush or dry towel to blend the watermark back together so it looks as smooth and even as possible and it generally should develop back up ok without showing the watermark off! 

Q.You also do amazing lash work - is it safe to tint when pregnant too?

A. THANK YOU! It’s safe to tint and lift your lashes during your pregnancy however sometimes hormones can affect the outcome of the treatment just like they can do for your tan.. while most mamas have no effect at all, sometimes your tint or your tan may not turn out as dark or last as long as it ordinarily would.


Well, wasn't that good from Jess? I'm looking forward to a bit of glow in the near future!

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