The almighty sun is roughly 4.5 billion years old, so it should come as no surprise that methods to protect against its power go way back. In fact, many of the primitive sunscreen solutions of ancient civilizations are still in use today. But the evolution of sunscreen is not without its pitfalls. If not for major strides in scientific research and the tireless work of some very clever chemists, we might still be cloaked in hooded robes to keep rays and bay. Here’s a look back at our most significant breakthroughs (and a few missteps) in the evolution of sunscreen.