Monthly Archives

January 2012

SunAWARE

Coolibar’s Official Sun Education Message – SunAWARE

We often say “Be SunAWARE” at Coolibar, but we’ve never taken the time to explain its place within our company and why we use it. SunAWARE is a non-profit sun education organization that provides the most up-to-date sun protection tips and skin cancer news. It’s also an acronym that helps people prevent and detect skin cancers. At Coolibar, we have adopted SunAWARE as our official sun education message as it’s easy to remember and easy to follow.

About SunAWARE

SunAWARE is based on the acronym created in the book Sun Protection For Life: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy and Beautiful Skin, by Mary Mills Barrow and John F.Barrow (New Harbinger Publications, 2005).  The book won the Gold Triangle Award from the American Academy of Dermatology in 2005 for excellence in public education of dermatologic issues.

The SunAWARE acronym was created after an exhaustive review of educational material produced by the major organizations and foundations specializing in skin cancer prevention.  And, it was edited by Craig Sinclair who originated the very successful “Skip Slop Slap” sun protection campaign in Australia. It should also be noted that SunAWARE is endorsed by several leading not-for-profit organizations in the skin cancer community including the Children’s Melanoma Foundation and the Melanoma International Foundation.

The acronym was created to meet the twin goals of developing a comprehensive framework for organizing key points about the prevention and detection of skin cancer and, creating a useful, proactive and easy-to-remember slogan that can be used by any organization and individual.

For the most up-to-date sun protection tips and skin cancer news, visit www.sunaware.org.

Be SunAWARE and be Safe!

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Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

Models Advocate for Sun Protection? Oh Yes!

When recently browsing the web for a new story idea, I came across this site called ModelKarma, a website for aspiring models, pro models and modeling industry professionals started by the famous Thomas Zeumer, supermodel launcher. While clicking through some of their pages that provide advice for models, I was hoping to find plenty about protecting skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. While somewhat disappointed by the small amount of information on this subject, I was relieved to see one post reminding models to protect their assets, meaning their looks or skin from ultraviolet radiation. 

I think many of us know that over-exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer down the road. However, the cosmetic damage the sun does to skin can also be significant. As you age, your skin will start to show spots and wrinkles even more so if you haven’t been properly protecting yourself from the sun. The writer of the article on ModelKarma dramatizes it even more by saying, “Basically, [the sun] makes you look fried well before your years, thus killing your career before you are done!”  

The article goes into detail about protecting yourself from damaging rays by using sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. It reiterates the Skin Cancer Foundation’s advice on how to properly use sunscreen to get the best result as well. While I agree that sunscreen is essential when choosing sun protection, the article failed to mention sun hats and sun protective clothing. It’s our hope at Coolibar that in the future sun protective clothing and hats will be talked about equal to sunscreen, as they’re an unbeatable match for keeping skin healthy and young looking. 

I wish to add the other ways to “protect your assets” to their list, including wearing a hat with a three inch brim or greater that has a tight weave and a high UPF rating. Not only can you find hats that are glamorous in themselves, but they’ll protect your eyes, ears, nose and sometime even neck depending on the brim size. Also, wear sun protective clothing, especially when outdoors for extended periods of time. Remember, most summer clothing allows UV to penetrate right through the garment, so you’ll have to apply sunscreen underneath if you’re not wearing UPF clothing. 

All of us at Coolibar are glad to see professionals in the modeling industry discussing the need for sun protection. Every time we see a new Marc Jacobs skin cancer prevention shirt or a fashion editor talking about the pale skin trend, we know we’ll start seeing a shift in the way many of us protect ourselves from the sun. 

Amanda Oberg 

Coolibar Blog Editor 

Marc Jacobs Protect The Skin You're In Shirt

Read the ModelKarma article: Protect Your Assets 

Feature photo credit: Jose-Goulao

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Inside Coolibar

Helping those with Albinism and Cancer Patients in Tanzania

A few months ago, Coolibar employee Ben Socwell was sitting down to dinner at Dr. Michael T. Nelson’s home, a long-time family friend, when the conversation turned to Coolibar sun protective clothing and the East Africa Medical Assistance Foundation (EAMAF). Dr. Nelson is a Professor of Radiology and a Board Member of EAMAF, a Minnesota based nonprofit dedicated to supporting and enhancing radiology services (cancer treatment) at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC).  KCMC is a 500-bed teaching hospital at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and is the site of the first radiology residency in the country. In Tanzania, the sun is unrelenting and people have little escape from it. There are also very high rates of skin cancer among Africans, especially for those who suffer with albinism (a deficit of melanin production that results in little or no pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes and makes skin ultra sensitive to the sun).  After their conversation over dinner, Ben returned to work with a mission to help find sun protection relief for patients at the center.

“After my dinner with Dr. Nelson, I invited him to tour the Coolibar building and look at the items we sell,” says Ben. “To my surprise Dr. Diefenthal, the creator and head of the department of radiology at KCMC in Tanzania, was in town and came with us, along with Dr. Shavon Flanagan who teaches at Northwestern and has worked at KCMC in the past. We talked at length about the technology of our fabrics and the goals and intent of Coolibar. They were impressed with our fabric technology and our focus on getting Coolibar products into the hands of medical professionals,” says Ben.

As they say, the rest is history. Approximately 800 sun protective items were shipped to Tanzania in October with the help of Global Health Ministries in Fridley, MN who arranges the safe arrival of the EAMAF supply containers in Africa. Among the variety of garments were also 300 hats. “The EAMAF believes the Tanzanian women suffering from albinism will especially benefit from the large brims,” says Ben. The items should be arriving any day now and will be given to the dermatologists who service local villages to be distributed to those in need.

“As you can read on the EAMAF website or in the brochure, Dr. Diefenthal is an amazing man who has not only devoted his life to radiology and the detection and treatment of cancer, but has done much of this work in Africa, including starting the EAMAF,” says Ben. “In the picture below are Dr. Diefenthal and Dr. Flanagan and myself during their tour of Coolibar’s headquarters.”

From left: Ben, Dr. Diefenthal, Dr. Flanagan

Thanks to Ben for making the world a more SunAWARE place!

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Events

Dermatologists and Nurses: We’ll see you soon!

At Coolibar, we like to keep in close touch with the physicians and nurses who help educate those dealing with a number of skin conditions that cause sun sensitivity. That’s why each year we attend the two principal conferences for dermatologists and dermatology nurses, and this year is no exception.

If you’re attending the DNA Annual Convention in February or the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in March, stop by and chat with Coolibar! All of our sun protection experts will be there in full force answering questions, showing new 2012 apparel and maybe even handing out special items.

 

 

DNA Annual Convention
When: Thursday, February 16, 2012 – Saturday, February 18, 2012
Where: Denver, CO
Event site: http://dna.annualmeeting2012.org/

 

 

 

 

AAD Annual Meeting
When: Saturday, March 17, 2012 – Monday, March 19, 2012 at 5:00pm.
Where: San Diego, CA
Event site: http://www.aad.org/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting

All of us at Coolibar look forward to seeing you there!

http://www.coolibar.com/

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing

Packing for a Warm Weather Get Away

Economization is the keyword when planning for any vacation. Many of us go through exhausting efforts to spend less, carry less and worry less. Accomplishing these three objectives doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you know the pre-travel task to focus on – your packing list.

New York Style Expert Bridgette Raes agrees that packing less and focusing on bringing versatile items is important. In an interview with She Knows Beauty and Style on packing stylish for an international beach getaway, Raes says, “Remember very little of what you pack should only be worn once. Keep pieces simple so that they have more mix and match ability and don’t forget accessories either.  They can easily take a look from day to evening, or change up an outfit when you wear it more than once.  Plus they take up very little space.”

With this in mind, our designers at Coolibar devised some simple warm get-away travel solutions that will save you the packing space, checking that extra luggage and of course, keep you covered from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

 

1. A single Packable Wide Brim Hat is a must whether you’ll be spending time on the beach or sightseeing.  Look for a hat that’s crushable, has a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), and can be paired with beach, casual and even dress wear. Floppy brim hats tend to be the most versatile.

2. Pack one bottle of broad-spectrum sunscreen to apply to exposed skin, including your face.  In order to prevent having to pack multiple bottles for multiple purposes, find a sunscreen such as Cotz that’s oil-free and won’t clog pores so you can wear it on your face as well. Also, make sure the sunscreen you bring is water resistant and blocks both UVB and UVA rays (or contains ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide).

3. UV Swimwear is a necessity in sunny climates. Bring your bikini, but look for a cover-up or a Swim Jacket that can slip right over your suit. Cover-ups also work for bumming around the local town.  If you want more leg coverage, pack a pair of Swim Capris to match your cover-up.

4. A packable dress can be accessorized to look different and be worn more than once during your vacation. It should be made of a wrinkle resistant fabric that can easily hang in the bathroom while showering to release the wrinkles. Something like a Shirt Dress will fit right-in at the resort night and day.

5. Both sun protective and chic accessories including a colorful scarf and a variety of jewelry will help you make outfits look a little different each time you wear them. Having a scarf handy is also an easy way to get instant sun protection for your décolletage, which is often neglected and vulnerable to sun damage . And don’t forget a good pair of sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.

Now get ready for a great vacation!

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade SunAWARE

Do Windows Protect Against UV?

A quick Google search on “UV window protection” indicates the answer is NO.  With over 31,000 results, the first page is filled with UV-blocking films for sale that provide protection.  That sun faded sofa at grandma’s house is a great visual reminder that UV does indeed pass through glass.

And what about in the car?  All of a car’s windows will filter out the sun’s short-wave, UVB rays (all glass will filter UVB, but only the windshield in cars comes partially treated against the sun’s UVA rays).  SunAWARE found that researchers at the University College Hospital in Besancon, France concluded that “participants showed significantly more clinical signs of facial aging on one side of their face due to driving or working close to windows over many years.”

Lucky for us, there are some easy solutions to protect from UV, including UVA-protective film for cars, homes and businesses.  And if you’re not sure if your windows are treated, protect yourself with sun protective clothing and sun sleeves, UV sunglasses and the daily use of broad spectrum sunscreen.

Be SunAWARE and be Safe!

UPF 50+ Sun Sleeves Provide Excellent UV Protection
 
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Educate Others SunAWARE

A New Year’s Resolution with a Cause

While you may already have a personal goal in mind to accomplish in 2012, have you thought about creating a New Year’s Resolution that can have a profound impact on others as well? Over 58 thousand people in the United States were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin in 2007 (the most recent year statistics are available) and the number continues to rise (Center for Disease Control). You, just one person, can help lower the rate people are being diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and save lives. This year, consider giving back by getting involved in a race for the cure, fundraise for melanoma research, or hold an event to help educate others about skin cancer and prevention. Our friends at Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) have some suggestions to help you get started. Go ahead – set out to accomplish something BIG this year!

People often make cause related resolutions at the new year, particularly after the holidays when they feel the loss of a loved one more deeply. Often the individual will contact MRF directly with a statement along the lines of “I recently lost someone and I want to do something to help.

The MRF is uniquely available to fill that need for those who lost someone to melanoma or for those who are currently battling it. The MRF has several event based programs that allow people to join our community and raise funds for research. What is attractive to the individual is that they become part of a larger group who can make a bigger impact. As one it’s hard to feel like you’re making a difference, but when you join a group that ultimately has nearly 10,000 participants a year, and raises nearly $2 million a year, then you know you’ve made a difference.

Our participants take on challenges from the simple to the extreme. Many join us at our 5k Miles For Melanoma walks. Many of them will do some fundraising of their own, but most will join us to help with awareness and provide a sense of community. The more people we have at these events, the more we can make people aware of the need for sun safety and prevention.

Other participants might take on more daunting challenges – running a marathon, racing in a triathlon, riding their bike across the U.S. and more. These folks all become fundraisers and bring in an average of $1200 or more.

We also have supporters who focus on awareness and education activities – they often take their own time to reach out to school groups and businesses to educate them about the importance of getting a skin cancer screening, using sunscreen and promoting a better understanding of the seriousness of melanoma. It’s not “just” skin cancer. The MRF relies on our advocates and messengers to provide this valuable information to their communities.

Carolyn Edrington
Melanoma Research Foundation

Perseverance is key to reach your goal. You can achieve great things if you are focused and motivated.  Taking on a cause related resolution by yourself can be a daunting task, so create a plan to accomplish your goals and set milestones, track your progress and keep a positive ‘can do’ attitude. Make 2012 your greatest year yet!

Happy New Year!

Coolibar

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