Coppertone is the brand name for an American sunscreen, owned by Bayer, formerly Merck & Co., Inc., formerly Schering-Plough. Coppertone is the sister brand to Bain de Soleil, which is targeted to adult women. The name originated from its marketing of suntan lotion.
Coppertone believes that to help protect our skin from invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, namely UVA and UVB rays. UVC rays are short wavelength and do not reach the earth’s surface is the reason why we need to use sunscreen. Also, a 2013 study concluded that the diligent, everyday application of sunscreen can slow or temporarily prevent the development of wrinkles and sagging skin.
The study involved 900 white people in Australia and required some of them to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day for four and a half years. It found that people who did so had noticeably more resilient and smoother skin than those assigned to continue their usual practices.
Coppertone started in 1944, when pharmacist Benjamin Green invented a lotion to darken tans. The company became famous in 1959 when it introduced the Coppertone girl, an advertisement showing a young blond topless girl in pigtails staring in surprise as a Boykin Spaniel sneaks up behind her and pulls down her blue swimsuit bottom, revealing her bottom to have a lighter tone than the rest of her body. Accompanying the ads was the impish slogan, “Don’t be a paleface!”
At the turn of the 21st century, Coppertone revised drawings of the Coppertone Girl so that they would be less revealing and show no tan lines. Some recent versions show only the girl’s lower back, as opposed to her bottom, or wearing a T-shirt, a hat, and holding a bottle of Coppertone while the puppy is shown pulling on her shorts.