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A Brief History of…

Sunscreen

It’s everyone’s summer essential, right? But it wasn’t always this way…

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    1918

    Aussie scientist Charles Norman Paul makes the link between the sun and skin cancer in The Influence Of Sunlight In The Production Of Cancer Of The Skin. Snappy title, huh?

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1920s
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    1920s and 30s

    Despite the risks, a suntan becomes très fashionable, thanks in part to beach-loving style icon Coco Chanel (above). Tsk.

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1935
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    1935

    Eugène Schueller, founder of L’Oréal, develops Ambre Solaire, which promises to prevent burning while still allowing you to tan. Not quite the message promoted today…

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    1939

    Boots launches its Soltan range, billing it as suncream without the greasy feeling – making sun protection more comfortable to wear.

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pizbun
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    1946

    After getting sunburnt climbing the Alpine peak Piz Buin, Swiss chemistry student Franz Greiter invents Gletscher Crème (glacier cream). The brand? Piz Buin.

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ladies
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    1956

    German scientist Rudolf Schulze devises a way to calculate a product’s effectiveness – eventually known as the sun protection factor (hello, SPF!).

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soltan-prods
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    1988

    Soltan pioneers the use of titanium dioxide to protect from UVA rays (which penetrate more deeply than UVB). Great news for people sensitive to chemical formulas.

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    1992

    Boots develops the star system to measure a sunscreen’s UVA protection. (And in 2004, Soltan becomes the world’s first five-star-rated range.)

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st-tropex
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    2000s

    It’s the age of the sun-free glow! With self-tan products that look realistic, are easy to use and can even care for your skin, why wouldn’t you fake it?

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Words Charlotte Grant-West Photography Alamy, Bridgeman Images, Getty Images, Pixeleyes, The Advertising Archives

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