Sunscreens and Skin Care
Elizabeth Arden introduced her "Sun Pruf Cream" in the summer of 1933. This ad, from 1934, claims that "burning and peeling have become unnecessary evils." Dorothy Gray advertised her suntan cream in 1936 as "the original burn control sun cream, famous for many years of repeated use at smart resorts." It promised to "control your tan without homely redness or painful burning." Lentheric sold a "sunplexion" cream to prevent sunburn in 1938. We can't vouch for the effectiveness of these products - merely note that their intent and purpose was to prevent sunburn. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) ratings were still a few decades off, but wearers could adjust the level of blockage they desired by applying either a thick or thin layer of cream. To protect the complexion from sun and wind damage, Frances Denny offered an astringent cream as early as 1932. The well-established complexion soap Palmolive touted its benefits for sun and wind damaged skin as well in this 1930s ad featuring the Dionne "Quins." There were also suntan oils and other products that were supposed to aid tanning. Elizabeth Arden's came in "delectable kidney-shaped bottles in costume colors for the beach" (need we say it - we want one of each). Another group of 1930s California women tried a "milk spray" said to protect the skin from burning and peeling while accelerating the tanning process. We'd like to ask: how'd that work out?