We’ve all been sunburned at some point, which means we all know how essential it is to make sure you use sunscreen to keep safe. These days, there’s dozens and dozens of different types of sunscreen, in different strengths and styles, from a huge range of brands. The choice really can be overpowering. Keeping our skin protected has become big business – but how did branded sunscreen start?

Promo Sunscreen in Use

The First Sunscreens

The very first sunscreens were probably used thousands of years ago. There’s evidence to suggest that the ancient Greek and Egyptian societies used a combination of plants to protect them from the sun’s rays. The first modern sunscreens – those similar to what we would recognise as sunscreen today – emerged in the 1920s and 1930s.

The original creator is a hotly contested topic, with French chemist Eugène Schueller – founder of L'Oréal – and Australian chemist Milton Blake among those with a claim to the title.

Changing Attitudes

These early sunscreens were more sun lotions, and were marketed as a tanning aid. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the language and attitudes towards the sun’s effect on our skin began to change as skin cancer became better understood.

It was the Austrian chemist Franz Greiter who introduced the term SPF – Sun Protection Factor – in 1974. Greiter was the founder of Piz Buin, another of the big sun and skincare brands of today.

Brand Exposure & Promotions

Some of the big sunscreen brands, then, have been around for decades. And branded promotional sunscreen has become more common as the years have gone by too, and remains an excellent way to spread your brand’s message.