Participants' attitudes toward bronzers (powders/moisturers) was most positive, followed by tanning lotions, creams, sprays, "fake tanners" (such as towelettes), gels and pills. Shortcomings that might hinder use of sunless products included streakiness or an unnatural look or color.
Understanding consumer attitudes toward use of sunless tanning products is important for promotion of public health as well, Yoo said.
Previous research supported the notion that sunless tanning products became popular as public awareness about skin cancer increased and people decreased their amount of exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun or tanning beds. But recent studies also have shown that other reasons are to avoid wrinkles, sun spots, sunburn or discomfort from being in the sun.
"In order to increase the use of the products as a safer alternative, it's important for manufacturers to find what will actually trigger use," Yoo said. "For some, it's 'Appearance, appearance, appearance.' But for others, the enjoyment of getting a tan can come from playing sports or engaging in outdoor social activities.
"For those people, tanning products should be idealized as a lifestyle choice by framing them as a fashion phenomenon or as something that plays an important part in those social and leisure activities, rather than using them indoors."
While sunless tanning products provide a safe alternative to UV tanning, people should be mindful that sunscreen also should be used.
Yoo, who teaches fashion theory and the history of dress, said that throughout much of history, light skin has been seen as desirable because it indicated a person was wealthy or refined rather than a me
|Contact: Terry Goodrich|