Trends in photoprotection in American fashion magazines, 1983-1993: Will fashion make you look old and ugly?

Pierre M. George, Michael Kuskowski, Christopher Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: During the past 50 years recreational sun exposure has greatly increased in the United States. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the photoprotection message of American fashion magazines and to identify recent trends. Methods: We evaluated models for tan, skin exposure, and other sun-related criteria in six leading fashion magazines between 1983 and 1993. We also recorded the number of sunscreen advertisements and sun awareness articles. Results: We evaluated 3031 models. Adult models had darker tans and greater skin exposure than adolescents and children. Men had darker tans than women. We noted trends toward lighter tans, more women wearing hats, more sunscreen advertisements, and sun awareness articles. Many sunscreen advertisements glorified tanning. Their models had darker tans and more skin exposure, and fewer wore a hat than did nonadvertisement models. Conclusion: The fashion industry and especially sunscreen manufacturers promote excessive sun exposure. Although we found encouraging trends, gains were modest, especially in men's magazines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-428
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes

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