Monthly Archives

August 2011

SunAWARE

SunAWARE Family Fun Day Fundraising Event

Last Saturday (8/27/11) my family and I attended the first ever SunAWARE fundraising event at Panino’s Sports Bar in North Oaks, MN. I wasn’t sure what to expect, it was after all, the first SunAWARE event.

We were met with welcoming smiles, pizza and cake. Who could ask for more? Our first stop was the silent auction table so I could get my “shop on.” It’s easy to justify this type of shopping when the funds are going to support a good cause, plus there was an amazing assortment of items to bid on, thanks to the generosity of many local businesses.

I anxiously awaited my turn to speak with Dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis of Uptown Dermatology as she was graciously providing free skin checks. I had flashbacks of me tanning on rooftops with olive skin girlfriends who applied only Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil – Ouch! I perspired as I watched her examine the moles of a young gentleman ahead of me. Finally, it was my turn and I had to admit that I had never had a skin check before. Dr. Davis was shocked seeing as I have such fair skin. I’ll spare the details, but let’s just say I will never leave the house without sunscreen on my face, neck and decollage and vow to diligently protect the skin of my son, my husband and myself with clothing, hats and sunscreen.

When my visit with Dr. Davis was over, I could relax and enjoy the party. A great time was had by all and I learned it’s never too late to be SunAWARE! I even managed to win a couple of my auction bids.

Jennifer Annett
Coolibar Employee

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Inside Coolibar

Taking on Colorado Rapids

Spend a moment with Rose, Coolibar’s do it all extraordinaire, as she shares her exhilarating story of taking on the rapids of the Arkansas River in Colorado.

Colorado – what a fun state to visit! In the winter, skiing can be exhilarating and overwhelming compared to riding the relative mounds that we have here in Minnesota. I thought no experience that Colorado offered could beat snowboarding from the crest of a towering mountain, but that was before I tried white water rafting!

This summer, I took a weekend trip to Colorado that was jam packed with a small sampling of exciting activities. Rafting a mighty river, hiking up a mountain, keeping one eye peeled for the nature that surrounded us and perusing a street fair filled our time. Even though we spent the majority of the weekend out in the pounding sun, our friends were shocked that neither my boyfriend Aaron, who is very fair skinned, nor I got a sunburn!

We started the weekend with the most exciting, and most terrifying activity – White Water Rafting! I was pretty anxious about rafting, because I’m not the strongest swimmer, and I was secretly, very secretly, hoping that something would prevent us from plunging into that rapid filled water – a flat tire, bad directions, stomach flu – I would even settle for our rental car getting trampled by a herd of feral elk! But, we made it to the rafting company offices in one piece, ready to risk our lives for a thrill.

After numerous safety and training talks, which somehow only made me more nervous, rather than putting me at ease, we plunged into the cold water of the Arkansas River. I was shocked by the temperature of the water, and by the sudden feeling of calm that came over me. I figured that there was no turning back at that point, so I may as well embrace the adventure. We had an easy morning, getting used to the river and to paddling as a team. Then, after a delicious steak lunch, we took on the big rapids. The counter intuitiveness of paddling into a large wall of water mixed with the disorienting feeling of plunging your paddle into water that suddenly is no longer there, took a while to get used to, but eventually was addictively thrilling. After we tackled the final rapid of the day, I was surprised by the disappointment I felt – I wanted to continue battling that river.

It turns out all the trepidation I had felt was for nothing, and in truth, the most dangerous element that I battled all day was probably the sun. Halfway through the day, our guide remembered that he hadn’t applied sunscreen. Luckily for him, I had some sunscreen with me which I gladly offered to share. After all, he was keeping me safe on the river, so I found it only natural to help keep him sun safe! And besides, though I had generously applied sunscreen to my face and hands, I had plenty of sunscreen to share because I was shielded from the sun by my Coolibar Fitness Jacket (great for this kind of activity because it’s quick drying).

My Fitness Jacket and Aaron’s Short-sleeve Swim Shirt got a lot of use the rest of the weekend, as did our brand new Coolibar hats (he had the Reversible Bucket Hat and I had the Packable Wide Brim). I was really impressed with how well my hat stayed on my head, even when I was exploring the windy area near the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of a mountain! I’m really glad I packed along my Coolibar gear, because it made all the difference between filling our time with fun activities, and spending our weekend inside, nursing a bad sunburn.

We had such a great time, and I can’t wait to go back next summer!

Rose

Coolibar Employee

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Parenting

Abbey’s Hope On Pool Safety

Abbeys Hope Logo

Here at Coolibar we work hard to educate adults and kids about the importance of staying SunAWARE. Our friends at Abbey’s Hope, a local Minnesota non-profit, are just as serious about pool safety. Abbey’s Hope was created in honor of Abbey Taylor, a young girl whose tragic story inspired thousands of families and companies to give pool safety the attention it deserves.

As the summer winds down, you may be hitting the pool or beach for a few last days of fun in the sun. You’re most likely going to pack along your broad-spectrum sunscreen and Coolibar gear to help keep you safe from the damaging effects of UV. Besides avoiding nasty sunburn, Abbey’s Hope wants to make sure you don’t forget the other important ways you can remain safe at the pool. 

Abbey's Hope Pool Safety Event
Abbey's Hope Pool Safety Event (Photo courtesty of Abbey's Hope Facebook Page)

One way the organization educates our local community is by producing and sponsoring a number of fun events that help families learn to enjoy the pool in a safe way. Often partnering with other great non-profits, such as the YMCA, Abbey’s Hope has reached thousands of children, including the 2,400 kids they helped provide with water safety lessons and the 150 children who received a new swimsuit as a result of their “Bowling for Swimsuits” event.

Abbey’s Hope is a great source for information about how to stay safe at the pool. Some of the helpful pool safety tips they suggest are:

  • If you’re in a group, appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults.
  • While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions like reading or the telephone.
  • Teach children how to tread water, float, and get out of the pool.
  • Tell children to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.
  • Never dive in to water less than nine feet deep.
  • If you find a drain cover that is loose, broken or missing, notify the owner or operator and do not enter the pool or hot tub.
  • Learn infant and child CPR.

The biggest fundraising event of the year for Abbey’s Hope is their Annual Golf Tournament, taking place September 12, 2011. The event helps raise money so the organization can continue its mission to make pools safe and to educate kids and adults about all the ways to have a fun, safe day at the pool. Because sun safety is an important and vital part of pool safety, this year Coolibar will be participating in the Golf Tournament by providing an information table with materials about how to stay SunAWARE.

If you’d like to learn more about Abbey’s Hope or how to participate in the Golf Tournament, please visit their website at http://abbeyshope.org/.

Safely Swimming for Abbey's Hope
Safely Swimming for Abbey's Hope (Photo courtesy of Abbey's Hope Facebook Page)
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Wellness Warriors

Providing Sun Protection to Sailors

Brenda Scannell

Sun protection is important for everyone, but especially for sailors who spend most of their days in or by water. The FDA advises using extra caution near water and sand because these surfaces reflect damaging UV rays and increase your chance of sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.

Brenda Scannell is a huge fan of sailing and recently took over the Q-Mart sailing apparel and gear store at the Quissett Yacht Club (QYC) located in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod. She has also made it a priority to provide all of the 2011 QYC summer sailing instructors, the role models within the club, with Coolibar sun protective swim shirts and sun hats.

So why provide these instructors with sun protective clothing? Turns out Brenda knows a thing or two about sailing and why it’s a brilliant idea to forgo a bikini for a UPF 50+ swim shirt.

Brenda lived the first ten summers of her life on a wooden boat and then came to Quissett in 1978. For ten years, she raced Herreshoffs, a historically significant type of sailboat. Then, Brenda was forced to take a break from sailing when she was diagnosed with skin cancer. “I’ve had 18 Squamous Cell Cancer surgeries below my knees. My regular dermatologist at Mass General Hospital said, ‘Be sure to tell your group that any one of them could have killed you!'”

After this life altering experience, Brenda, her sons, and her husband decided to ‘pay it forward’ as they know sun protection is key in preventing skin cancer. “In my name, and as a gesture to me, my sons and husband decided to fund Sun Protective Clothing for the 2011 sailing instructors,” says Brenda. Both of her sons Matt, the lead singer, writer and guitarist of the band Vertical Horizon, and Ryan, a Reconstructive Surgeon in Otolaryngology, Ear, Nose, and Throat, went through the QYC sailing program. Brenda says, “Ryan deals with so much skin cancer. He has seen terrible things! Regarding the sailing instructors and sun protection he said, ‘Mom, whatever it takes, make it happen!'”

QYC Sailing Instructors
QYC sailing instructors sporting their Coolibar hats and rash guards

Brenda asked each QYC sailing instructor go to the Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing website, which was recommended to Brenda by her Mohs Surgeon, to choose a UPF 50+ Swim Shirt and Hat to have red QYC Logos embroidered on so they could wear protective swim shirts during their sailing classes. Brenda also told the instructors that she is now bringing Sun Protective Clothing to the Q-Mart for the sailing class students to purchase. “You [the instructors] are the role models. If the students see you wearing these clothes, they will follow suit as YOU ARE THEIR HEROES!”

Sun protective clothing has been worn at the club over the past few years, but now, sailors are taking sun protection more seriously. “Our lives at Quissett are spent outdoors all of the time on the boats and the beach,” says Brenda. “All are truly positive about the sun protective clothing that is being provided. I feel that the sailing instructors might have some resistance  to  the protective clothing in very hot weather, but the answer to that is to wet the shirt and the sailor is immediately cooled down. I know we’ll continue to promote sun safety at the QYC in the future.”

women's swim shirt in navy
Coolibar Women's Swim Shirt
men's swim shirt in navy
Coolibar Men's Swim Shirt
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School sun safety SunAWARE

Building a School Sun Protection Program

STOP THE BURN logo

The Center of Disease Control ranks Washington and Idaho among the highest in mortality and morbidity rates related to skin cancer, including melanoma. It is hard to pinpoint the reason for these statistics, but the need for sun safety education remains.

Advanced Dermatology & Skin Surgery, located in Spokane, WA, and Coeur d’Alene, ID, is taking steps to educate youth and ultimately the greater community. Kathy LejaMeyer, ARNP at Advanced Dermatology, shares how she and her colleagues are working to make sun protection a priority in local schools.

Advanced Dermatology wants to “Stop the Burn” by introducing hats into early elementary grades (K-2) of schools in the Spokane / Coeur d’Alene area to be worn during recess. Scientifically, it is widely regarded that peak exposure to UVA/UVB rays is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Accumulation of these rays during recess, starting at young ages, can set children up for skin cancer down the road.

We piloted a Coolibar School Sun Hat Program in the kindergarten center in Spokane, WA this past Spring (2011) coordinating with skin cancer awareness month in May. Teachers, administrators and the school nurses embraced this outreach and wove in the SunWise curriculum, an EPA sponsored program, to increase awareness among the students. Our physicians and staff read “Skin Sense”, chanted our “Stop the BURN” song with the kids and smiled as the students repeated “3 things they can do to keep sun safe” prior to running out to the playground.

Raising money for a Coolibar School Sun Hat Program:

The hardest part of a good cause—even a great cause—is keeping it sustainable. Advanced Dermatology considers this a work in progress. This year, we teamed with the renown Coeur d’Alene Resort for a “gives back” golf tournament in which all sponsorship monies and $25 / participant goes back to our fundraising effort. The concept is great, but budget a lot of time and ensure you have a strong committee to reach out to the community, connect with your patient base and engage supporting physicians and providers. Again and again you will hear the first year is the hardest, but connections you make are significant. We are also considering other fundraising options, such as selling parents passes for a day in the park with a bouncy house, to include this target group (ages 5-8) and provide increased community education and involvement. Advanced Dermatology would also like to institute a “Hat Club,” providing an office fund and opportunity for patients to purchase a hat for a student.

From proceeds earned, we want to get hats into various elementary schools each year in both Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Our hope is to gain parental and community support that eventually, purchasing a Coolibar hat to be worn during recess is just as normal as purchasing pencils and erasers. Just as it is widely regarded to wear a helmet while riding a bike or clicking your seatbelt in the car, it is our goal to incite the value of sun protection and skin cancer awareness with a hat in place while running out for recess.

We have partnered with a respected company in sun protection, Coolibar, for the purchase of the hats and adopted the SunAWARE slogan highly regarded by the Skin Cancer Foundation, American Academy of Dermatology and World Health Organization. We count ourselves most fortunate to communicate this message to our community.

– Kathy LejaMeyer, ARNP, Advanced Dermatology and Skin Surgery

Sun Safe Song: Chant of sorts…kids repeat each line

Sunny or a cloudy day,
I will go outside and play.
With a hat upon my head,
Sunscreen on, I won’t turn red.

Sunscreen, yes indeed,
Helps me, keep wrinkle free.
Hat  on, I have learned,
Helps me, Stop the BURN!

If you are interested in learning more about Coolibar’s School Sun Hat Program or more on how Advanced Dermatology worked to get a school sun protection program launched, please contact us. 

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade SunAWARE Videos

Brain Studies Show Tanning Could Be Addictive

Human Brain

Have you ever wondered why your loved one can’t get enough of the tanning bed?  They are, after all, very health conscious, they don’t smoke, they exercise and eat an organic diet.  Why then would they continue to use tanning beds knowing the potential risks?  Science can shed some new light on the subject.

According to a recent study, tanning beds may have people “hooked” for more than cosmetic reasons.  With risks such as premature aging, skin cancer or even death associated with tanning beds, the scientific community has long thought that tanning could possibly be addictive. Now, new research provides evidence to back-up this theory.

Dr. Bryon Adinoff, professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas South Medical Center and leader of the tanning addiction study featured in journal Addiction Biology, says the brain is responding to UV light. It’s triggering the areas that are linked with reward. The same areas that activate when someone takes a drag off a cigarette or eats a sweet treat.

To reach this conclusion, Dr. Adinoff and his team assembled a group of frequent tanning bed users and monitored their brain activity during tanning bed use. The users were split into two groups: group one used beds with real UV rays; and group two, without being told, used tanning beds with fake UV light. The results were clear. The subjects in the real UV tanning beds showed brain activity in the reward and addiction areas.

So now, just like in the 80’s, we can repeat the slogan “Just Say No.”

Just Say No – To Tanning!

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Inside Coolibar

Spend a Day with Seth and Max in the Warehouse

Seth and Max

Come 9 a.m. we hit the ground running in the Coolibar warehouse. As soon as the lights are on, so are we, to ensure all of the day’s orders are out on schedule. Once the first batch of orders are printed for the day, the “pickers” begin to scour the warehouse to find all the Coolibar products that make up our customer orders. The pickers are more efficient than ever this summer due to our newly expanded warehouse, which now houses our entire inventory in one place and provides more room to move around.

Once the orders are filled, the pickers scan each order and item for quality assurance to create maximum accuracy for our customers. Mistakes get made, but with the current system in place the only repercussion is an extra trip down an aisle to grab the correct item as opposed to a shipping error, ensuring customer satisfaction.

After being thoroughly checked, the orders move over to the packing station to be checked over once more by a different set of eyes and are prepared for shipping. The packers take great care to use the right bags and boxes as well as shipping bubbles to ensure that orders arrive to our customers in the same condition they left us.

This process continues throughout the day because any order placed by 1:00 p.m. is guaranteed to ship on the same day. This keeps us on our toes, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for a game or two of ping pong in the back during break or grilling out with lawn games during lunch.

At this point in the season we have hit our groove, with everyone finding their own expertise and method to get their orders filled and shipped as efficiently as possible. Everyone pitches in to get the job done so that by 5 p.m. the orders are all on the UPS truck on their way to our customers, the warehouse is cleaned and organized and ready for the next day, and we can all go enjoy the summer in the Twin Cities.

Seth and Max

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Expert Rx Videos

Packing for a Day at the Beach (Video)

Hi, this is Dr. Davis for Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing.

I wanted to give you some pointes on getting ready for a day at the beach or pool.  You know you are going to be outside, you’ve got the kids in tow, and you’re wondering – What do I put in my beach bag?

Sunscreen

The basics to keep you Sun Safe the whole day include sunscreen, what you choose depends on your preference, but a nice high SPF sunscreen, such as Vanicream 60, or the kid’s love the Blue Lizard sunscreen which is a combination of chemical and physical, plus the bottle will also tell you when to put it on, it turns blue in ultraviolet light. 

Sunglasses and Sun Hat

The other thing – sunglasses.  Even for the kids, eye protection is important.  For the kids, Coolibar makes an excellent UV protective lens, but also this nice strap so that it stays on in the water.  And I do recommend leaving the sunglasses on in the water as well as the hat, which might be a surprise.  But Coolibar makes some chlorine and salt water resistant fabrics that the kids put on and just leave on all day.  They can be simply washed, but they are resistant to those chemicals that otherwise might harm fabrics.

Sun Protective Clothing

Last but not least, the sun protective clothing.  There are some absolutely adorable outfits for kids you put on and you don’t have to worry about re-applying the sunscreen except for those little parts that are showing, like the tops of their feet, tops of their hands. 

Hat
Sunscreen
Sun Protective Clothing
Sunglasses

…keep your family sun safe for the whole day. 

So teach your family to be SunAWARE and you’ll keep them safe!

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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Inside Coolibar

Meet Coolibar’s New Apparel Designer

We’re extremely excited to have Alicia Pizzo Eakright join Coolibar’s merchandising team. Alicia will be taking on the role of Design Director for women’s and children’s clothing. The blog team decided to get to know Alicia a little better and see what we can expect for next season’s Coolibar designs.

What inspired you to get into clothing/fashion design?

I grew up sewing and designing clothes with my mom, it just seemed like a natural career move. 

What helped prepare you for working in this industry?

Starting out as an assistant 8 years ago and learning from the ground up…lots of experience!

Where do you get your design inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration from traveling, people watching and doing trend research online.

What are you most excited about now that you’ve started working at Coolibar?

I am excited to get to know everyone here-it is really fun to work at a small company again. As for the product, I am looking forward to introducing many exciting new styles to the line-up for women’s and kids.

What trends do you see being big for 2012?

For women’s-I think we will see another wave of American inspired sportswear with classic themes (like nautical styling).  For kids, bright bold graphics will be everywhere!

What are your hobbies outside of the office?

Hanging out with my dogs (Beagle and Steve), playing with my new baby (Bee), making jewelry, yoga, going to comedy shows (my husband is an actor at the Brave New Workshop http://bravenewworkshop.com/) concerts, dinner with friends, reading, travel…

What’s your favorite Coolibar product and why?

I am still getting to know all of the Coolibar product, but so far my favorite product is anything in the ZnO fabric, it is AMAZING!

We look forward to seeing Alicia’s new apparel designs this upcoming season!

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Expert Rx

Discuss Sun Protection with Your Dermatologist

Edmund Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Attention Dermatology Patients!

You may have seen your local dermatologist to discuss any number of skin conditions.  Or perhaps, you’re planning your first visit to a dermatologist soon.  Either way, our medical expert Dr. Lee, encourages you to address UV protection at your next appointment.

Board certified Dermatologist Edmund Lee, M.D., Ph.D. of Mount Sinai North Shore Medical Group has been practicing dermatology for 11 years outside of New York City and works with a large number of patients that have skin conditions caused or affected by the sun. According to Dr. Lee everyone should protect their skin from UV, and he eagerly shares his experience with us.

The patients I see on a daily basis live a very active outdoor lifestyle. Golfing, boating, tennis, soccer, among many other activities, are part of daily life here.  As a result, sun damage and its consequences are a large part of my Dermatology practice.  My advice to my patients includes a discussion about the use of sunscreens and also UPF clothing to help protect them when they are outdoors.

Sunscreens are very useful, but lately have come under some scrutiny for safety.  While I have no problem recommending a variety of SPF products, I do have some patients who are wary of any SPF products.

On the other hand, I always recommend UPF clothing. I tell my patients that UV rays can penetrate clothing which they find hard to believe.  So, I have a photo of a patient who indeed got burnt right through his tee shirt last summer!  A picture is worth a thousand words.

To get the UPF word out in my community, I’ve held a Sun Protection Fair in my office for the past 4 years on a weekend in May or June.  No patients are scheduled that day.  Instead, I have the halls filled with UPF clothing and hats from large and small companies.  Since the first Fair, several of my patients have become advocates for UPF clothes.  The sailors and golfers are the best friends I have in persuading others to try these clothes.

I keep UPF clothes after the fairs to continue to demonstrate UPF clothing all summer long—including apparel from Coolibar!

Take it from our expert and discuss UV protection with your dermatologist.  They will have insight into appropriate recommendations for your individual sun protection needs.   Your skin is your largest and most visible organ, protect it for a long and healthy life.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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