Endless Summer: 16 Smoking-Hot Pictures of Sunbathing

Slather on some sunscreen, pull up a deck chair, and catch some rays while you enjoy these classics from our archives.

By Becky Little
Published 9 Nov 2017, 03:38 GMT

Summer is for sun seekers in search of a tan, whether stretched out on a beach or a patch of green field.

Credit (or blame) fashion designer Coco Chanel for the trend. Chanel reportedly popularised the bronzed look in 1923, when she lingered too long in the sun on a Mediterranean cruise. Whether or not a famous French sunburn inspired the switch from pallor to bronze, tanning booths—called “solariums”—began to pop up across beaches in the 1920s.

Though sunlight does promote the production of Vitamin D, a caution is in order. Getting too much sun can cause skin damage that leads to cancer. Which doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t head for the beach; just don’t forget your sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends putting on broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher fifteen minutes before you go outside. And don’t forget to reapply the screen every two hours or after swimming.

Read More

You might also like

See the wall that President Trump wants to extend
Inside the World of Manta Rays
17 Restful Photos of Sleep Around the World
Exclusive: Stunning New Photos of Isolated Tribe Yield Surprises
See What Life Is Like for Refugees Above the Arctic Circle

Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Newsletter
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved