Think about the great lengths we go to, to achieve tanned skin. We fry our skin in the sun, paint ourselves with tan and apply layers of bronzer.

As we become more aware of the negative effects of the sun on our skin, the spray tanning industry has capitalised, and the research that goes into creating the perfect tan in a can has come a long way. But did you ever stop to think who it was that decided covering ourselves in tan solution was a good idea?

The evolution of the sun tan

Up until the 1920’s, people didn’t have the pale dilemmas we have today. In fact, up until this era tanned skin was actually a sign of poverty. In those days, a soft, creamy complexion was the epitome of beauty and tanned skin was seen as working class (a belief that still exists today in some cultures).

Cue Coco Chanel. The story goes that she had been holidaying on a luxury yacht in the French Rivera and had accidentally seen a little too much sunshine (gasp!). Days later she was walking the red carpet at Cannes in 1923 and the cameras loved her! The spotlight was solely on her beautiful, bronzed skin. Her skin-kissed skin quickly launched a fad, and eventually an entire industry was born revolving around creating the perfect tan.

Shortly after Cannes in 1923, celebrities were flocking to tropical destinations during the winter to darken their porcelain skin.

Coco Chanel’s tan ‘fad’ soon grew into a long term trend with women all across the world opting to go to great lengths just to look more bronzed.

The UV discovery

It didn’t take long before doctors and health officials began to notice a surge in skin cancer cases, with women all around the world spending hours on end in the sun hoping for a gorgeous tan. This fuelled significant research into the effects of UV rays on our skin. Tanning beds quickly stepped in to offer new ways to achieve a bronzed glow without having to use the sun, and by the early 1980’s tanning beds were becoming increasingly popular as were sun lamps. But it didn’t take long for the negative effects of tanning beds and sun lamps to become apparent and the industry eventually collapsed.

Fake it till you make it

The idea of ‘fake tanning’ has been around since World War II, where women used tea bags to achieve a natural-looking tan. Less than a decade later, the first fake tan product hit the market and the industry didn’t look back. This product was called the ‘Man Tan’ and instead of simply staining the skin brown, it used a chemical derived from sugar ‘dihydroxyacetone’ (DHA) which caused a browning effect among the amino acids on the skins surface. This ingredient is still used in today’s tanning products.

Although these products offered a fabulous value proposition (no skin cancer. Winning!), they caught a bad rap due to the orange colour they would leave on the skin, the terrible smell and the streaks that could be seen.

Products nowadays are much more sophisticated and often cannot be distinguished between a real tan and a fake one.

With so many different spray tan solutions on the market it is hard to know which is best. At Brazilian Butterfly we have carried out a lot of research into the many different spray tan solutions on the market and proudly stock Moroccan Tan, a luxurious tanning formula enriched with nourishing vitamins and organic oils, including Argan Oil. Moroccan Tan is free from alcohol, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and parabens which means they are suitable for all skin types. Book online today to experience the Moroccan Tan difference with Brazilian Butterfly.

This blog post was contributed by the experts at our Robina Salon. If you would like to book you can online or by phoning (08) 5575 9932.