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Promoting Healthy Skin to Young Women

Just in time for summer, we wanted to share an interest article on sunless tanning products. According to Science Blog, young women may be interested in sunless tanning products, but their interest is piqued by the quality of the tan. They are much less concerned with health impact of avoiding the sun…

“The feeling is ‘I tan, I feel good, I’ll look good tomorrow . . . What’s health?’” said Jay Yoo, Ph.D., an assistant professor of family and consumer sciences in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. He conducted a study of 182 Caucasian female college students, with an average age of 19.7 years. In the study, published in the current issue of Household and Personal Care Today, they indicated that their appearance was the primary motivation.

“The study confirms that targeting appearance-conscious consumers, in particular young women, will be successful, as long as the quality of the tan is promising,” he said. U.S. consumers account for 50 percent of global sales of over-the-counter self-tanning products. Young women, who are the most frequent users, are not concerned about skin cancer unless they see it in themselves, a family member or someone else they know, Yoo said. “And women ages 19 to 22 aren’t worried about wrinkles and premature aging.”

It’s interesting to see the results – but even more interesting to think about how we can use these insights to encourage “healthy” tans…

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.

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