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Sunless tanning product adoption The influence of Appearance Schema

Apparel Merchandising Program
Baylor University, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, One Bear Place #97346, Waco, TX 76798, USA


The aim of the study is to understand sunless tanning product use in relation to individuals’ level of appearance schema* (1). One hundred eighty-two Caucasian female college students with an average age of 19.7 years participated in this study. The use of bronzer, tanning lotion and tanning cream were significant, based on the individuals’ appearance schema. Maintaining and improving physical appearance is an important factor in making the decision to adopt these products. Given that the ultimate motive of product users may parallel with that of sunbathers, tanning product use involving more than appearance concerns was addressed.


Non-UV tanning products are often referred to as sunless tanning products and are available over-the-counter. (2) The first sunless tanning lotion was introduced to consumers during the 1960s. (3) Previous research has supported the notion that sunless tanning products became popularized as a result of increased public awareness of skin cancer. (4,5) U.S. consumers account for 50% of global self-tanning product sales, ranging from tanning creams, lotion, and bronzer to tanning pills. Recent studies have identified the motivations of using tanning products, such as protection from UVA, avoidance of wrinkles, ease of use, history of a family member with melanoma, dislike of sun spots, and discomfort from sunlight. (6) Sunless tanning products emerged as a practical and healthy alternative to reduce intentional UVA exposure.
A study conducted on Australian revealed that approximately 10% of participants used artificial tanning products during the summer.(7,8) Although our survey shows that the use of tanning products is not as prevalent, an investigation of consumers’ use of tanning products is warranted because sunless tanning has t ...

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