Why do we want a tan?

A hundred years ago the idea that a tan could be desirable would have seemed absurd. In countries where most people were fair-skinned, tans were associated with people who worked outdoors and were a badge of low social status. Times have certainly changed as we struggle to beat our sun tan addiction. But what changed? Here is a concise history of the sun tan.


Affluent Tanning

1950s affluent holiday tanning

After the Second World War foreign travel became more desirable and affordable, and a tan was seen as a sign of affluence.