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Chemical SPFs and Rising Public Awareness


Swimwear with “tan-through” fabric was invented: Its fabric was perforated with tiny holes that allowed UV rays to penetrate, thereby avoiding tan lines.


Franz Greiter—the Austrian chemistry student, now a professor—introduced the concept of SPF, as well as formulas for broad-spectrum sunscreens that absorb both UVA and UVB rays.


Malibu Barbie hit stores with a tan and sunglasses. In a recent reproduction of the original Malibu Barbie, she has a little bottle of SPF30.

In-home tanning beds came on the market, and tanning salons grew in popularity. They have now been outlawed for commercial use in countries including Brazil and Australia.


The first water-resistant sunscreens were introduced.


The F.D.A. introduced regulations regarding the safety and effectiveness of sun protection products. Their guidance recognized that “sun-tanning is not good for the skin.”


The Skin Cancer Foundation was founded, and it started marketing the importance of SPF, with SPF15 as a minimum. It soon convened a World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, which continues to be held around the world.