Did you know that sunscreens have been around since the late 1930s? The first one was formulated by a chemist in 1938 and called Gletscher Crème, and a second type was developed by a pharmacist in the mid-40s (it was a thick red gloop that was formulated with petrolatum jelly). However, the general public were not too fond of either or could not easily obtain these products until years later, when Coppertone released their more agreeable version in the 50s.
The SPF scale was only developed in 1962, and it is estimated that Gletscher Crème had a rating of just 2 – can you imagine? These days, the norm is 30, but we remember a few years ago when your corner drugstore was selling ratings of 2, 4 and 8. The highest that could be readily found was probably 15, and all of them were gloopy formulas that left white streaks all over your skin. My, how the times have changed!
These days, you can get a much stronger rating in a lighter, non-whitening formula.