History of Tanning

Tanning is a procedure by which the skin becomes dark or gets a tanned or bronzy look due to excess exposure to the sun. This effect is basically due to the ultraviolet radiations that tend to increase the secretion of a pigment called melanin that aids in a darker skin.

If we go back to history, we can see that people were fonder of whitening their skin for which in ancient times white paints or chalk powders were used. People used to cover themselves thoroughly with full sleeved dresses and long scarves so as to retain their natural whiteness and avoid darkening due to exposure to sunlight.

Anyone darker or with a slightly darker complexion was considered to be of a lower class just because of the dark look. This was the main reason why people used to try and maintain their complexion lighter or would try and use artificial lighteners to make their complexion look lighter.

The tanning which is today a very popular procedure and a style icon used by numerous people was discovered accidentally.

In the early 1920’s there was French designer who had been for a long tour to different countries for her work. On return from her tour that involved her travel from Paris to Cannes, people realized that she had altogether come with a different look and soon people started liking the new look of hers.

Later it was discovered that the tan which her skin had got due to excessive exposure to the sun during her travel had brought about the difference in her skin. This tanned look was liked by one and all and soon tanning became a trend and people started trying out sunbathing and beach bathing as a procedure to get them tanned.

After the accidental discovery of tanned skin, it then became a popular sport kind of thing to bake their bodies in sun and have a wonderful holiday just baking their skins at the beach to get the desired tanned look.

At a later stage when fashion began growing more popular so did tanning become more popular. With the bikinis and swimsuits gaining more place in fashion, tanning also started receiving a special place in the field of fashion. The concept of all- tanned body came into existence where people started tanning their entire body to get a sensuous tanned look.

With the increasing demand for tanning, slowly the market came out with artificial tanning ingredients like lotions, gels, sprays and even pills. In spite of all these products in the market, tanning was a popular event that was restricted to summer since people believed that the natural way to tan was much healthier and safer alternative rather than using artificial tanning lotions.

Later in the eighties, when tanning had gained enough popularity, lot of tanning spas and salons came into existence. The salons guaranteed a natural tanned look in just few sittings ion a tan bed, which slowly started gaining acceptance among the core consumers. This way from the early 1920’s tanning slowly started growing as a huge market and by the eighties there were many salons that were into the business of tanning.

As the eighties ended and the nineties came closer, tanning had taken a big chunk of place in the market and there were enormous number of tanning salons offering artificial tanning using different procedures that would be suitable to different types of skin. Also in the nineties awareness about the health hazards caused due to excessive exposure of skin to sun came into limelight and hence people started preferring artificial or indoor tanning as it is called to be a better alternative to the traditional method of sun tanning.

Soon other benefits in indoor tanning were discovered like the balance of moisture in the skin that is lost when the skin is exposed to the sun for a longer duration and the natural glow that is lost when exposed to sun. Thus indoor tanning became and is still today more popular in countries where the climate is always colder.
Not only this with the advent of new technologies developing continuously, the duration for tanning has considerably reduced from few sessions to few seconds in today’s busy and fast moving world.

With the craze of fashion that is there in today’s generation, it is sure that the concepts of fashion like tanning and other new fashion icons will be well accepted in the market and will continue to grow without slowing down.
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