Tanning is an essential beauty regime for many around the globe. And like everything, tanning has a rich history. The first documented history of tanning can be traced back to Greek civilization. Tanning is not merely a beauty style; instead, it is a staple. Besides making people look attractive and young, tanning helps the body in various ways.
With modernization, tanning techniques have advanced. If you wonder how people got tanned in the past before the age of automated spray tanning booth, read this post through the end.
Tanning in the past
For people in the yore, sunbathing was a therapeutic practice that was often referred to as heliotherapy. Many Greek scholars and physicians considered sunbathing as a viable treatment for various ailments.
Gradually, as civilizations progressed and began to divide into classes, skin color took a new meaning. Darker or tanned skin became a symbol for the working class and servants. On the other hand, fair and light skin got associated with upper class, wealth, and purity.
Since workers and servants would get tanned toiling the fields, having a tanned skin or darker skin shade was frowned upon by the upper class. The craze for white skin was so popular in ancient Rome and even the Victorian era that women would use lead paint and arsenic powder on their skin. It was only after the industrial revolution that tanned skin became a hit amongst people.
Tanning in the present
Today, tanning is associated with youthfulness and grace. However, tanning became a fashion statement only recently. If one is to look into the past of tanning, they will come across the name of Coco Chanel, who made bronzed skin a thing. During a trip on a yacht in 1920, Coco Chanel got tanned, reportedly, by accident. Instead of becoming a cause of embarrassment, her bronzed skin color became a style sensation. Women from the upper class started enjoying outdoor activities to get tanned. Now, people associate tan skin with beauty, youth, and wealth.
People worldwide made tan skin so desirable that modern tanning techniques started appearing in the market almost five decades later.
The tanning machines and equipment you see at the salons offering UV tanning near me started coming into shape in 1970.
The evolution of indoor tanning
The foundation of indoor tanning could be traced back to the study of light (photobiology). To study the light dynamics, scientists created light lamps that replicated sunlight in an enclosed room. In the year 1970, a European scientist named Friedrich Wolff invented the first indoor tanning device. From Europe, the indoor tanning technique came to the US. Historical data and statistics indicate that by the mid-80s, tanning salons were the fastest growing business in the US.
Even today, tanning continues to be one of the most sought-after beauty treatments for men and women. Given how successful indoor tanning has been offering convenient and effective tanning solution, its craze will not fade.