Monday, July 2, 2012

Life Before Sunscreen

Duke University Ad Access
The very first sunscreen was called Gletscher Creme (Glacier Creme), was developed by Franz Greiter who got sunburned while mountain climbing in the 1930s in Switzerland. It was first marketed in 1938.

So what did people do before Gletscher Creme? In 1911, they were advised to use Pond's cold cream. The ad on the left tells us that we need to slather Pond's on ourselves, then wipe it all off with a towel, and finish by powdering ourselves vigorously.

If you hadn't had access to Pond's and powder at the beach, and you did get burned, you were supposed to douse yourself in Pond's when you got home, leave it on for as long as you could stand it, then wash it off. That would magically give you a lovely tan, they say.

"This method is used among rowing men and is their favorite remedy for sunburn." I am trying to imagine them all using Pond's and sitting around after a practice with cold cream on their faces.

So next time you're faced with the choice of all the zillions of fancy sunblock sprays, lotions and creams at the drugstore, just thank your lucky stars you have so many ways to protect yourself without dragging pots of cream and powder everywhere you go in the summer!

4 comments:

Frogs in my formula said...

That does make me feel very grateful. I'd last about 20 seconds on the beach without sunscreen. Cold cream!

Dieter Moitzi said...

What I love most is the ad title "Vanishing Cream". Why don't they sell that cream anymore? There've been loads of occasions where I'd have gladly vanished…

Marcheline said...

The girl in the ad has obviously not used the vanishing cream. We can still see her.

Lidian said...

Frogs - Yay, great to see you! I need to catch up with you for sure :) Yeah, I need a lot more than cold cream - like, a portable screened-in porch.

Dieter - Oh, me too! Just think of all the boring social obligations we could get out of ;)

Marcheline - Yeah, they really need to rethink this ad!