Monthly Archives

August 2013

Success Stories Wellness Warriors

Not Pasty

Pasty. With one word, an instant emotional connection occurs. A word some degrade themselves with when spring comes and their skin is pale. According to Jen Adkins, mother and founder of Not Pasty, we’re not pasty. We’re simply the color of our skin. No more, no less. After a life-altering experience, Jen is now working to change people’s perceptions of what it is to be pasty – and feel beautiful with the skin you were given.

As a redhead with fair skin and many sunburns as a child, sun safety has always been important to me, especially now as the mom of two blond hair, fair boys. As a writer who focuses on skin care, I’ve always been a bit obsessive with sun protection. Most of my readers are interested in learning about wrinkle prevention and I love telling them that sunscreen is the #1 anti-aging product on the market. But recently, my need to stay on top of sun safety took on a whole new level.

Last year, my family of four grew by one with the addition of our amazing then 5-year-old daughter. It was love at first sight, literally. The very first night we were together, I noticed that there were quite a few little brown moles on her skin. Later at a checkup, her doctor decided they were probably clogged pores, but referred us to a dermatologist to be sure.

The dermatologist almost instantly told me she thought my daughter had skin cancer. Biopsies confirmed her thoughts. Those “clogged pores” turned out to be basal cell carcinomas and her body was full of them – hundreds, head to toe.

It’s quite life-changing to all of a sudden have a 5-year-old with skin cancer. Skin cancer is an adult cancer, or so I thought, but I was wrong. It took us some time to figure out how to do life with skin cancer and of course we’re still learning.

Imagine knowing that going out in the sun will increase the number of cancers tumors on your child’s body, yet also knowing that your child doesn’t care about that and just wants to be a normal child. It is a tough balance trying to come up with ways to allow her to be that normal child while taking on the adult responsibility of keeping her skin safe. Our sun safety habits as a family have taken top priority, not just for our daughter, but for all five of us.

Jen Adkins’ Family

In June of 2013, after living with skin cancer for over a year and writing about skin for more than five years, I launched a new website called Not Pasty. We chose the name Not Pasty as a jab at those who use the term “pasty” to degrade fair skin. Not Pasty is about sun safety, self-love and even a bit of beauty. It’s a place where women can go to learn about enjoying sun safely, share their stories of self-love and encourage others in their journey of self-acceptance.

Because I write about the skin for millions of readers and live with skin cancer in my household every day, switching the focus of general skin topics to sun safety was an easy step for me and I have a lot of knowledge to share. My goal at Not Pasty is to tell sun truths, not fads or myths. I always fall on the side of caution and am constantly in contact with top doctors and experts around the country when questions arise.

I want Not Pasty to be the place people go to learn and discuss sun safety – where people can learn facts and tips, share what sun protection products they are using and learn about new ones. And we love when women share their personal stories – we call them Real Stories – about how they walked through the hard and came out ahead.

Most importantly, I want to encourage women to see their natural skin color as unique and beautiful and come to realize how ridiculous it is to brown their skin in the sun in order to achieve some silly idea of media-pushed beauty.

I’d love to be a part of changing the way the world thinks about natural skin tones, and I’d love to have you be a part of it with us.

Jen Adkins
Not Pasty

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Parenting SunAWARE

Wiseheart Saves the Dawn – A Sun Protection Book for the Tablet Generation

“Wiseheart Saves the Dawn” is a new e-book geared toward children that teaches sun safe habits. Available on iTunes and Kindle for free, this collaboration between the Environmental Protection Agency’s SunWise Program and the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation is an innovative way to reach the tablet generation.

Wiseheart is the story of a curious and courageous boy from the Cahto Indian tribe in the land now known as northern California, who dared to confront his tribe’s dark secret and in so doing made a remarkable discovery. This story has been adapted from traditional tales to teach another important lesson – sun protection.

Coolibar asked the founder of CMPF, Maryellen Maguire-Eisen RN, MSN, to tell us more about the book, where the idea stemmed from and what these two prestigious organizations hope results from publishing this new e-book.

Tell us about yourself and CMPF.

Every year over half of American children experience sunburn and millions more go tanning indoors.  Sun protection education is needed to teach children about the hazards of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. 

I have been a nurse for over thirty years working in the area of oncology and dermatology.  In 2003, I founded the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation because I was concerned about the rising rates of melanoma and the association with overexposure to UV rays.  Our mission is to teach children and their caretakers safe and proven methods of sun protection and skin cancer prevention.  Our vision is to prevent skin cancer one child at a time.  Our foundation endorsed the SunAWARE acronym in 2007 and developed the SunAWARE school curriculum in 2011. We provide classroom programming in Massachusetts teaching over 25,000 students annually.  We have developed multiple resources for students and teachers to use in conjunction with this curriculum including books and videos. 

Tell us about the EPA SunWise Program.

SunWise is a free environmental and health education program that teaches children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Through the use of classroom, school, and community components, SunWise seeks to develop sustained sun-safe behaviors. This book is one example of how SunWise partners with organizations in the community.

How did this partnership with the EPA SunWise Program come about? Are you working with them in other ways?

The EPA SunWise Program provides a toolkit, free-of-charge, for educators that includes lesson plans and resources for classroom teaching. I really liked the curriculum and used many elements of it in the development of our SunAWARE Program.  I have promoted the SunWise Curriculum to other nurses nationally by inviting the SunWise team to speak at nursing conventions and meetings that I chaired. The Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation and the EPA SunWise Program are members of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.  We convene biannually to strategize with other members on educational, legislative, and research initiatives.  CMPF has always found the SunWise Team to be loyal partners in our mission to educate children about sun protection.  

Why was this book created? Who is the audience and what’s the key message?

I have been writing children’s books that teach children about sun safety, along with Mary Mills Barrow, for the past five years. Two of our publications, Lake Vacation and Pretty Prom, won the 2009 American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award.  I thought that the Wiseheart tale, from the SunWise toolkit, would be a wonderful story to expand into a new book.  I started writing the draft and then handed it over to our Advisory Board member, Jane Shanny, an English teacher and writer, to complete. We then contracted an artist to create lively illustrations that depict the key elements of the story.  Once the draft was close to completion, we contacted the SunWise Director, Linda Rutsch, to see if they might partner with us on the publication and distribution of the book.  As always, they were eager to partner on this educational endeavor.  The audience is children ages 8-12 and the objective is to educate and motivate readers about the importance of sun protection for all people.  We chose to publish it electronically because of ease of distribution and ability to provide it for free.

Is this book different than other sun protection books for kids? How?

I think that the book is different from other sun protection books in that it touches on the imagination of children and provides a frame of reference that sun protection is important for everyone.  The hero can be a role model for all children in that he is resourceful, independent, brave, caring, and imaginative.  He tries to make the world a better place for his people. 

How long has this been in the works?

The book has been in the works for over three years.  A final draft of the story was completed in August 2012 and the illustrations, by Laurie Sigmund of Sigmund Design, were completed later that same year.   We hired Ugly Dog Publishing in 2013 to develop the electronic publication and to arrange for distribution.  They worked with Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Apple, and Kobo to distribute the book. 

What are your feelings now that “Wiseheart Saves the Dawn” is finally available?

I am really pleased that we have yet another resource available to teach children about the importance of sun protection.   It is incredibly gratifying to see the hundreds of books downloaded each month and realize that this project is truly getting into the hands and minds of children. We hope that this posting will further help publicize the availability of our latest sun protection educational resource. 

Is there anything else you wish to share with us?

We hope to continue to develop resources for children and their caretakers that promote sun safety and help prevent skin cancer.   Please visit us at www.melanomaprevention.org to find out more about our organization, download a book, or donate to the cause.

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Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

High Heat Calls for Cool Fashion at the State Fair and Beyond

The Midwest is in the midst of a late summer heat wave. Being Midwesterners, we typically welcome warm weather; however, with the Minnesota State Fair going strong and other outdoor activities planned for the last week of summer, it’s not necessarily ideal timing. If you’re experiencing this uncomfortable heat, be sure to take the extra precautionary measures to prevent heat related illness. We’ll show you how to, in style!

Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, breathable sun protective clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Wearing long-sleeves and pants can actually cool you off when the sun causes overheating. Also, protect your face and scalp from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a 3” brim or greater.

For Her

Coolibar UPF 50+ Sunwear: Marina Sun Hat; Ruche Water Jacket; Swim Skort

 

For Him

Coolibar UPF 50+ Sunwear: Beach Comber Sun Hat; Adventure Jacket; Fitness Shorts

 

For Kids

Coolibar UPF 50+ Sunwear: Camp Hat; ZnO T-Shirt; Board Shorts

Stay SunAWARE, hydrated and enjoy your time outdoors.

Shop Coolibar during the End of Summer Sale. Take an additional 30% off everything. Ends September 2, 2013. See website for details.

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SunAWARE

The Sunny Side of UV, Solar Powered Vehicles

After two years of student collaboration, the University of Michigan Solar Team is off to Australia to compete in the 2013 World Solar Challenge, the largest solar electric vehicle event in the world. Forty-three teams from across the globe will race approximately 1864 miles from Darwin to Adelaide almost solely relying on the power of the sun.

The U of M Solar Car Team is a student-run organization that designs and builds solar electric vehicles, taking about two years to do so. The Solar Team, comprised of 20 students, will now take the next month to rigorously test their car Generation 2013, adjusting to the energy of the Australian sun. Then October 6 – 13, their commitment and technology will be tested as they race their car across the continent.

U of M Student and Project Manager Eric Hausman is traveling with the team across the globe to ensure the team adapts to the environment. “We are constantly in the sun, or at least hopefully or the car won’t be doing so great!” said Hausman. “But we also want to protect our team members from the sun.” Hausman contacted Coolibar sun protective clothing after receiving a UPF shirt for Christmas and testing it out. Coolibar sent the team UPF 50+ sun protective caps for their days of testing in the harsh Australian outback.

Sun protection is important everywhere, but even more essential in Australia where skin cancer is considered an epidemic. “The Solar Team loves [the hats] and they will provide great protection in Australia,” said Hausman.

University of Michigan Solar Team in Coolibar Hats University of Michigan Solar Team in Coolibar Hats

Coolibar wishes the best of luck to the University Michigan Solar Car Team. May Generation 2013 out-shine the competition.

University of Michigan Solar Car Mock Race University of Michigan Solar Car Mock Race

Learn more about the U of M Solar Car Team: umsolar.com
Learn more about Coolibar Sun Protection You Wear: coolibar.com

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Events Inside Coolibar

Gansett Lifeguards Demonstrate Skill and SunAWAREness

Brian Guadagno, Narragansett Surf Rescue Senior Lifeguard Captain and founder of Raw Elements USA sunscreen, lives for days on the ocean. During his 17 years as an Ocean Rescue Lifeguard, he came to realize the damaging effects of environmental sun exposure and chemical sunscreens. Today, Guadagno continues to spend his days on the ocean in Rhode Island, protecting himself from the sun while encouraging his fellow rescue team and beach goers to stay SunAWARE as well.

“Summer 2013 was a huge success for Narragansett Surf Rescue,” said Guadagno. “Most importantly we have managed record numbers on our beach with great efficiency. To date we have logged over 200 rescues and assists of distressed swimmers and surfers.” The rescue team’s latest competition, the Waterman Eco-Challenge three mile ocean paddle, turned out to be a huge success thanks to some dedicated surfers, paddlers and great sun protection advocates. “Although the weather wasn’t the greatest, the event was awesome,” said Guadagno.

“I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled the entire 2013 Narragansett Surf Rescue team was to have their Coolibar hats this summer,” said Guadagno. “The crew wore them every day on the beach and throughout tournament competition. It was a great new look for our team and everyone took notice. Our Coolibar rash guards are an instrumental part of our gear as well, as you can see in the photos.”

Check out photos from the 2013 season and Coolibar testimonials from the team!

Coolibar extends a huge congratulations and two-thumbs up to the Narragansett Surf Rescue for a great season and a job well done on keeping our oceans safer to paddle in.

“I kayak 7 miles a day on the ocean for the past 3 years and I’ve never felt more protected from the sun as I did this year wearing my Coolibar hat. Simply awesome!” – Mike Florio, Narragansett Surf Rescue Lifeguard Captain

“The Coolibar hat this summer has been a lifesaver. Combining the hat with Raw Elements sunscreen has protected me from the sun’s harmful rays, which is a high priority for me and the whole Surf Rescue Team at Narragansett. Thank You Coolibar!” –Nicholas Batista, Narragansett Surf Rescue Lifeguard

“Our Coolibar hat and team rash guard were my everyday choices life-guarding this summer. Lightweight and quick drying, I always felt comfortable and totally protected under all conditions, especially during two immense heat waves. Thanks for your support of our team!” – Drew Schneider, Narragansett Surf Rescue PWC Team

About Raw Elements USA
Sunscreen gentle enough for use in infant care yet meets all the performance demands of the most extreme athletes. This is all delivered in an eco-safe, reef-safe, all natural formula. Raw Elements is the conscious consumer’s answer to safe, serious sun protection.

Shop Raw Elements Sunscreen

Like the UPF shirts and sun hat they’re wearing? Shop Coolibar.

Coolibar provided free swim shirts and hats for the Narragansett Surf Rescue.

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Events Sun Protection Clothing Wellness Warriors

The Sunscreen Squad is Out to Save Tennis Fans

Excitement is building as the Western & Southern Tennis Open in Mason, OH wraps up this weekend, making way for the US Open! This tournament is the perfect venue to call attention to the number of hours both fans and players will be spending under the sun in the next few weeks. Coolibar has teamed up with the Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation Sunscreen Squad and outfitted volunteers with UPF 50+ clothing to distribute sunscreen samples to remind attendees they need sun protection.

The hours spent on the tennis court, under the sun, add up. Some of the best players on the court have dedicated themselves to promoting skin cancer awareness and sun protection, including tennis pro Andy Caress. Andy, also founder of the Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation (formerly Mela-KNOW-More), had one wish before his untimely passing from skin cancer at age 24, to tell people the message of his life – “People should know more about melanoma.” Andy’s family and volunteers continue to spread the message of early detection and sun protection, especially at events Andy was passionate about.

Andy Caress, Founder of Mela-KNOW-More

Last year, ACMF Sunscreen Squad volunteers passed out 45,000 sunscreen packets and distributed 10 gallons of sunscreen to spectators, athletes, ball kids and volunteers throughout the grounds at the 2012 Western & Southern Tennis Open. They, along with Coolibar, hope to knock last year’s record out of the court!

The Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, through awareness, education and support of research to find a cure.

The Sunscreen Squad is a program designed to distribute sunscreen at public events and tennis and swim clubs around the country. Gallon sunscreen dispensers will be installed in as many locations as possible. Donations fund this effort directly.

Young ladies playing it sun safe the the Andy Caress booth by applying sunscreen!
A glimpse of Serena Williams at the Western & Southern Tennis Open

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Inside Coolibar

John Barrow – Entrepreneur of the Year, Upper Midwest

Coolibar President and Founder, John Barrow, was honored to be selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was surprised when his name was called as the winner of the consumer products category.

John thanked the judges for recognizing him among such an esteemed group who are making tremendous changes to improve our world and acknowledged the work and dedication of his team at Coolibar.  John said, “I would like to say thank you to the people at Coolibar.  In truth they are actually a lot more talented than I am. The success of Coolibar, is really your success, and I will forever be in your debt for that.”

Hard work, dedication and collaboration were common themes throughout the evening as Midwest entrepreneurs accepted their awards.  We had a chance to catch up with Mr. Barrow, seeking advice for young entrepreneurs.

1) How hard is it for young entrepreneurs to make their mark in the fashion industry?

I would say it is probably easier than some industries and harder than others.  On the one hand, there are not large barriers to getting into the business in terms of capital or intellectual property.  On the other hand, obtaining access to distribution channels, or building your own, can be a challenge. On the positive side again, it’s a very large, global industry but on the other hand it’s quite price competitive.  So, I don’t think it’s easy but I certainly think it is possible for talented and hard working individuals to make their mark.

2) Normally, what challenges make young entrepreneurs give up?

The biggest issue is probably being able to generate sales of their products.  Another one is obtaining adequate financing for their business.  And finally, I think that the opposite side of the coin of being young is that young entrepreneurs typically don’t have extensive experience or management skills that would help them be more successful in building a business.

3) What is the eligibility criterion or qualification required to make it big in apparel and fashion industry for young entrepreneurs?

I would say the qualifications are parallels to those challenges I mentioned above.  I think young entrepreneurs need a strong vision of their product, they need a lot of energy to work long hours, they need selling/communication skills and enthusiasm to convince people of the attraction/benefit of their product/company, and they need some resilience in their personality to accept some setbacks but still bounce back and follow their vision.

Read the full press release for Mr. Barrow’s award. Watch Mr. Barrow’s acceptance speech below.

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School sun safety

Meet lucky school sun hat contest winner Kerri

Each year, Coolibar provides hats to five lucky classrooms across the U.S. One of our 2013 contest winners shares her story:  Kerri Case is a preschool teacher at Bramlett Elementary in Oxford, Mississippi. Hats will now be worn every day during recess to remind students to practice sun safety.

“I heard about the school hat contest from a parent of one of my students,” said Ms. Case. “She orders from your website and is very proactive in taking care of her skin.”

Ms. Case’s personal concern of sun exposure has also escalated over the years. “I had a friend who’s sister lost her battle with melanoma at the age of 30.  She was the first young person that I had known with this disease.” Since then, her and her husband had another friend deal with the same battle.

“It was an eye opening experience for us,” said Ms. Case. “I take measures to apply sunscreen when I will be in the sun — especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  We both see  a dermatologist yearly to have a complete skin scan and see if there are any spots that would cause him concern. My sister-in-law lives in Australia, and she mentioned that at her son’s school kids are not allowed out to play unless they have a hat or visor to protect them from the sun. Great idea!”

Ms. Case and the principal at Bramlett Elementary were thrilled to learn they had won the contest! The hats will be worn during recess to remind the kids to practice sun safety. Ms. Case said, “I know they will be well used in the hot, sunny Mississippi weather that we have here in Oxford!”

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Coolibar Athletes

Free Diver Ashleigh Baird reviews the Coolibar Quick Zip Rash Guard

Ashleigh Baird’s love for the ocean runs deep, literally.  As a free diver, she diligently trains to reach depths of 60 meters with one breath, sans the use of external breathing devices. She knows the right gear makes a world of difference on, in, and under the water. Read Ashleigh’s review of the Coolibar Quick Zip Rash Guard.

What are you overall thoughts on the shirt? This is a great rash guard with lots of extra features you just don’t see in other brands.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt? Surfing and body surfing.

What are your favorite features? The built in thumb holes, they allow you to keep your hands protected, plus your sleeves always stay in place. I also love the shoulder pocket. You can actually fit an iPod mini with a waterproof housing in it and have your music going while you’re out on the water!

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric? It’s light, breathable and very stretchy. It’s a good combination of strength and softness.

Did the fabric meet your expectations? Yes.

Did the fabric keep you cool? Yes.

Did the fabric stick to your skin? No.

What do you want others to know about this shirt? This is great for in-water use but is equally well suited for running or any other outdoor sports, especially since it has the built in iPod/money pocket.

Please provide any additional comments you would like to share with us! At first I was skeptical of how long it was, but after using it I actually prefer the length to my other standard rash guards.

What advice do you have for other athletes who are debating about using sun protection? Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun? Preventing sunburn is critical to staying comfortable and safe when exercising outdoors. When you’re focused on the task at hand, re-applying sunscreen is often the last thing on your mind. UV protective clothing like the Quick Zip Rash Guard gives you an easy way to maintain a continuous level of sun protection, even after your sunscreen wears off.

Shop Coolibar Quick Zip Rash Guard

Coolibar athlete Ashleigh Baird received free sun protective product for the purpose of this review.

Ashleigh Baird wearing Quick Zip Rash Guard and Packable Wide Brim Hat
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Coolibar Athletes

Surfing Lessons and Protecting Your Skin

Did you know ultraviolet rays from the sun bounce off water? Surf and paddle board instructor Carol Philips lives in Hawaii on the North Shore of Oahu, and is out on the water daily for 6 hours at a time, dressing smart for her time in the sun. She also tells her students do do the same. Read Carol’s sun protection recommendation for days on the water.

Surfing is an amazing sport. The only drawback is sun exposure. The sun does live on the North Shore, when she’s not shining, which is 99 percent of the time, she lives in the foothills of Mt. Kaala. Protecting one’s skin while learning how to surf is very important to many of our surf students. Protecting our skin while teaching our students is also very important to the North Shore Surf Girls. We usually wear long sleeve surf shirts, long leggings and Coolibar UPF 50+ Aqua Gloves. A word on the importance of protecting your hands from the sun while surfing — the skin on the back of your hands is very thin and easily damaged by the sun. Also, when you paddle your surf board the back of your hand facing up and exposed to the sun. Keep your skin covered and safe! See you out on the water.

– Carol Philips

Coolibar athlete Carol Philips received free sun protective product for the purpose of this review.

Carol Philips teaching stand up paddleboarding
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