In 1944, pharmacist Benjamin Green decided that he wanted to make a type of skin protection or sunscreen for soldiers in the war. He began mixing various chemicals in his own kitchen and used the bald spot on his head as a means of testing his product.
Originally meant as a sunscreen, Green’s original product, which he called Red Vet Pet, smelled bad and was thick as paste. He began experimenting, adding coconut oil and cocoa butter to his mix. He realized that this product gave some protection but caused the skin to turn a “copper tone” in color. A product was born.
Coppertone became a household name after an extremely popular advertising campaign featuring a little girl and her dog, who pulls down her swimsuit bottom to reveal her tanned skin.
Today, the company is owned by Bayer, an internationally known conglomerate based in Germany. Headquarters for Coppertone/Bayer in the US are located in Whippany, New Jersey.