Beauty

1964 – Suntan or Sun Ban?

The bronze age of the sixties

Model wearing high-fashion swimsuit  - Vogue May 1954
Model wearing high-fashion swimsuit and organza cover-up – Vogue May 1954

In the 1960’s, a golden tan represented health, wealth, and beauty. It was part of the look of the decade. But like much of the sixties, status quo was questioned. Was the yearly quest to get a sun tan healthy?

This article from the May 1964 edition of Vogue magazine discussed health and the sun. It referenced a study that suggested that sun tanning was not a good practice.

Dermatologists are becoming increasingly aware of the adverse effects of sunlight and are cautioning people not to overexpose themselves. . . Sunlight is the major cause of premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.

Today’s Health – 1964

Like with smoking, popular culture won out over science or common sense. The editors at Vogue dismissed the science and justified the quest for a sun tan.

Doesn’t it become a matter of trading a few small wrinkles that you might get twenty years later against a pleasant and healthy look that you could be enjoying for the intervening twenty years?

It does, however give some sun tanning best practices in an era before sunscreen was mainstream.

A summer tan kit should include a sun limiter for the first days, a sun-admissive emollient for serious browning, and a complete sun block for noses and necks that have at the moment just about all of the sun that they can attractively use.

Vogue – May 1964
Vogue May 1964 - Suntan or Sun Ban Article - Model in Swimsuit and organza coverup.
Vogue May 1964 – Suntan or Sun Ban Article – Model in Swimsuit and organza coverup.
Vogue May 1964 - Article discussing how to get a healthy suntan
Vogue May 1964 – Article discussing how to get a healthy suntan

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