Did you know?
In the millennia preceding the industrial revolution, pallor was popular within the upper classes, hinting at a noble life of leisure spent indoors. Dark skin was associated with poverty, hard physical work, serfdom and toiling in fields all day. Using poisonous whiteners to create pale skin has been popular throughout history – particularly during the ancient Greek, Roman and Elizabethan eras.
Tanning was only made chic, when Coco Chanel caught too much sun on a Mediterranean cruise. The photographs of her disembarking in Cannes set a new precedent of beauty; her friend Prince Jean-Louis de Faucigny-Lucigne later said: “I think she may have invented sunbathing. At that time, she invented everything.”
Fears surrounding the risks of tanning were confirmed in 2009, when it was found that rates of malignant melanoma have more than quadrupled in the past 30 years and that it is the most common form of cancer among those aged 15-34. The World Health Organization has found that people who have been using tanning devices before age 30 are 75% more likely to develop melanoma.
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