A Brief History of Tanning


From pallor and harmful whiteners, through Coco Chanel’s revolution, to recent advancements and a huge variety of tanning cosmetics… Tan has come a long way over the ages. Do you know who invented the first fake tan product? Or have you heard about homemade substitutes from the previous century? Get to know the history of tanning!

Before the industrial revolution in the 1920s pallor was popular among the upper classes. For them dark skin was associated with poverty, hard physical work and serfdom. Some of the elegant ladies went as far as using poisonous whiteners in order to obtain paler complexion.

Coco Chanel was the first one to blaze the trail for the sun-kissed look as a new standard of beauty when she returned from a Mediterranean cruise in 1923 with a golden tan.

During the Second World War women used bags with tea to get a sunless tan. A couple of years later the “Tan Man”, the first fake tan product, was launched. Its major ingredient, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), is still used in most self-tanning products these days.

The early 1980s brought an increase in the popularity of spray tans and tanning beds.

Nowadays, you can choose from a variety of products and services available on the market. Specialists have developed cosmetics that help you to tan faster and are appropriate for your skin type and match your personal preferences.