Spray Tan Artist Beginner E-course | Part 1 - The History of Tanning and Skin Basics

History of Tanning

The Human race has always had a special relationship with the sun. Primitive civilizations in every region have worshipped the sun because it brought warmth and encouraged growth of crops. In the 1920s daily sunlight exposure was hyped as a cure for everything from acne to tuberculosis.

In 1923, the story goes that Chanel, the French fashion designer, accidentally got a lot of sun while sailing aboard a yacht to Cannes. When she returned from the Riviera golden brown, a fad was born. Before long because everyone longed for Coco's lifestyle, tan included, so was an industry.


Shortly after the first sunscreens, tanning oils and powdered bronzers (to brown the spots the sun missed) were manufactured and sold to the masses. Fashion trends developed so women could show off their tanned limbs; shoes were worn without stockings and sleeveless dresses became stylish.

By the 1930s a suntan became a symbol of health, luxury and fashion. The 1940s introduced advertisements in women's magazine encouraging sunbathing. In 1946 the Bikini arrived and since swimsuits have only gotten skimpier. In the 1950s advertisements began targeting women at a younger age.

In 1960 the first fake tan came onto the market manufactured by Coppertone and it was called QT (Quick Tanning Lotion) and many improvements have since been made to the ingredients used today.

Melanoma is a cancer that starts in the DNA of the cells responsible for your hair and skin's colour. When their DNA is damaged, it causes the cells to grow uncontrollably leading to a malignant tumour; Skin Cancer. Melanoma is often accumulated over time as a result of environmental factors like exposure to the sun. Excessive exposure to UV from the sun is the most preventable cause of this disease. Experts estimate about 90% of melanomas are associated with severe UV exposure and sunburns over a lifetime.

Even though there are obvious threats to your health, the tan fad isn't going away anytime soon. Its meaning of wealth and style is ingrained in the social makeup of our population.  By 2000, a survey showed that 50% of Britons said that returning with a tan was the single most important reason for actually going on holiday.  We feel that it’s critical that as manufacturers we supply you with a safe alternative to achieving a natural glow – enter Custom Tan!


Need to know about skin


The skin is made up of 3 main layers – the epidermis on the outside and the dermis underneath, with the hypodermis below that.  Tanning both sun and spray takes part on the epidermis, however in different places.


The epidermis is made up of several layers of skin.  The bottom layer (closes to the dermis) is called the stratum basal.  This area is affected when sun tanning or UV tanning.


The stratum corneum is the top layer of the epidermis.  This is the area affected when spray tanning. 


Diagnosing Different Skin Types

The Fitzpatrick Scale is a numerical classification scheme for the color of skin. It was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, as a way to classify the response of different types of skin to UV light. It remains a recognised tool for dermatologic research into the color of skin and is useful when determining the appropriate spray tan solution for your client.

It measures several components: Genetic Disposition, Reaction to Sun Exposure and Tanning Habits and I thought it would be a really useful guide for you to help determine what type of spray tan solution you should use on a client. 

The Fitzpatrick Scale: