May has been declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month by the Centers for Disease Control. They remind us to increase awareness of the importance of the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. Each year, approximately 2 million persons in the United States are diagnosed with non melanoma skin cancers. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and a history of sunburn are preventable risk factors. With a little pre-planning it is easy to be sun safe all season long, and we’ve gathered a few ideas to help get you started.
1. Be SunAWARE and Be Safe! Use the easy to remember SunAWARE acronym to help keep in mind all the steps needed for sun safety. Remember it, use it and share it!
2. Get a Free Skin Cancer Screening atthe Road to Healthy Skin Tour. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour will make its way across the U.S. The mobile Tour kicks off in New York City in May for Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Check the Tour Schedule to see if it’s visiting your community. If you go, say hi to the Tour event managers, Chris and Christie, protected by Coolibar Sunwear.
3. SPOT Orange™ on Melanoma Monday. The American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday and asks you to SPOT Orange™ to raise awareness of skin cancer. Visit the Academy’s website to find free screenings in your neighborhood.
Coolibar proudly supports the AAD’s SPOT Orange™ Skin Cancer Initiative and you can too. We donate $10 for every Coolibar UPF 50+ SPOT™ Tee sold.
5. CelebrateDon’t Fry Day. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention declares the Friday before Memorial Day (May 24, 2013) as “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness. Because no single step can fully protect you and your family from overexposure to UV radiation, follow as many tips as possible.
Do you have other suggestions? Share how you plan to make May and the rest of your summer sun safe. ‘Leave a reply’ below or visit our Facebook page.
The next time you place an order with Coolibar, not only are you saving your skin, you’re also helping to reduce packaging waste. Coolibar has incorporated biodegradable garment bags and mailing envelopes into outgoing packages. Eco-One™ technology, an organic additive that enhances the biodegradability of plastics in biologically active landfills. Eco-One™ only starts to work in this environment, breaking down the plastic into inert humus, methane and carbon dioxide.
Even though many plastics can and should be recycled, many end up in landfills. In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated was recovered for recycling. In 2010, approximately 12 percent of plastics, including bags, sacks, and wraps were recycled.
Most of these plastics will sit in landfills for centuries. At Coolibar, we believe both informed businesses and consumers can make environmentally conscious decisions today, to impact tomorrow’s world, one step at a time. Coolibar wishes to become more environmentally responsible by making this small but significant change to using plastics bags with Eco-One™.
Look for our new bags when you place your next order!
As a Coolibar sun protective clothing fan, you can not only feel good about protecting your skin, but protecting a bit of the earth as well.
Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing Earthly Deeds:
1) For every sun protective clothing garment you wear versus sunscreen alone, you’re reducing the amount of sunscreen you use along with packaging waste. For more information read: Sun Protective Clothing vs. Sunscreen
2) Quality sun protective clothing like Coolibar’s lasts for years — we mean it! The sun protection doesn’t wash or wear out, and lasts for the life of the garment. If you have one child that outgrows the UPF clothing, you can pass it down to the next! For more information read: The Coolibar Guarantee
3) Coolibar has incorporated biodegradable garment bags and mailing envelopes into outgoing packages. (More on this to come later in the week!)
4) Coolibar recognizes the importance of using sunscreen on exposed skin (face, hands, feet, etc.). That’s why we carry sunscreen brands such as Raw Elements, chemical free zinc oxide sunscreen.
From Raw Elements Sunscreen: According to a study released in January 2008, four common chemical sunscreen agents may be at least partly responsible for increased coral bleaching worldwide. Cinnimate, benzophenone, parabens (artificial preservatives) and camphor derivatives were found to activate viruses in the algae. Not only are these chemicals infecting the reef, they are also disrupting the surrounding ecosystem as well. Algae being the primary energy source for coral reefs, once infected and depleted, the coral bleaches and dies. An estimated four to six thousand pounds of chemical sunscreen wash off swimmers each year and ten percent of the world’s coral reefs are destroyed. Environmental groups and environmentally conscious scuba and snorkel resorts around the world suggest using biodegradable zinc oxide-based sunscreens when entering fragile ecosystems such as oceans, lakes and ponds. Using a chemical free sunscreen with an active ingredient of Zinc Oxide is s a conscientious alternative to damaging sunscreens that consist chemical UV absorbers, synthetic preservatives or other harsh chemicals.
In Minnesota it’s common place to complain about the weather. Today is April 19th and we are shoveling out from a foot of snow dumped on us yesterday – thank you Old Man Winter.
It’s difficult to practice Healthy Sunny Living when there is no sun. So, today at Coolibar, we are all thinking very deeply about spring and summer and willing it to emerge. We ask you to do the same. Share a warm thought or photo because spring like weather is right around the corner! We’ve added a few of our customer favorites for inspiration.
This April Fools, we’re not fooling around – at least about sunscreen. Almost two years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their new sunscreen labeling requirements (first announced June 14, 2011), we’re now seeing both small and large sunscreen vendors roll-out new labeling, packaging, and in some cases, improved products. These changes will allow consumers to better understand a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVA and UVB sun damage, skin cancer and skin aging.
That’s thanks to new FDA testing requirements. For a label to claim that a sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it will have to pass two tests.
1. The first test is the broad-spectrum test. This test shows whether a sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Both rays can cause skin cancer.
2. The second test is the sun protection factor (SPF) test. This test shows how well a sunscreen protects you from sunburn. Like today, you’ll see the SPF as a number, such as SPF 30. All sunscreen must offer some SPF. The minimum is SPF 2.
New warning: For a sunscreen to carry the claim that it can prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it must offer both: 1) broad-spectrum coverage and 2) an SPF of 15 or higher. If the sunscreen does not offer both, the label will have to carry this warning:
“This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”
The FDA will ban companies from claiming that a sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweat proof.” This is simply not possible.
You’ll now see the term “water resistant.” To make this claim, the product must pass another test. This test shows how long a sunscreen keeps its SPF when a person goes in the water or sweats. The label also must state how long the water resistance lasts, either 40 or 80 minutes.
New warning: If a sunscreen is not water resistant, the label must carry a warning. This warning will tell you to use a water-resistant sunscreen if you are likely to sweat or be in water.
Makeup and moisturizers
You’ll see the new claims on makeup and moisturizers, too — provided the product undergoes and passes the FDA tests.
No ratings above SPF 50+
A proposed rule, if enforced, will limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to “50 +” because there is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50.
Coolibar customers are very passionate about sun protection and leading healthy, sunny lives. Customer Scott and his wife Kara fit this description perfectly. After winning the 2012 Coolibar Hawaii Sweepstakes, Scott and Kara shared with us that they were already avid promoters of protecting skin, especially during vacations. We asked the couple to share their story of why sun protection is important to them and how it can make vacationing even better!
Growing up with red hair and a fair complexion was not easy in the 70’s. Sunscreen was not a priority and the medical community did not fully understand the dangers of the sun. Unfortunately I had some significant sunburns as a kid and have paid the price as an adult with two melanoma diagnosis in the past few years. Fortunately, both of my incidences were caught early, but I am still amazed at how many people (fair skinned or not) still underestimate the dangers of sun exposure.
My wife started buying Coolibar swim shirts a couple years ago for vacations and time at the pool. With young kids we spend a lot of time in the water. I remember the first time I tried on Coolibar clothing thinking, “yes I will definitely wear this!” The quality of the material, the styling, the cut and fit were perfect, very similar to high quality fitness wear. In the water, the shirts tighten to the body so you barely even notice that you have them on.
This year Kara was ordering some more clothing from Coolibar for the family trip to the Carolina coast and entered to win the trip to Hawaii. We were blown away when we won and we so grateful for Coolibar (and our parents) for letting us take a second honeymoon without the kids! Part of the award was free clothing so we ordered various items and put them to full use. I was wearing Coolibar the entire trip.
A few benefits of the Coolibar clothing we noticed were: 1) I only had to apply minimal amounts of sunscreen (face, hands, etc.), which is a nice for someone used to full sunscreen everywhere, not to mention a money saver; 2) The clothing breathes very well, so even in warmer temps I was very comfortable; 3) I am an avid diver and my wife and I both like to snorkel, which we did a ton of in Hawaii. We used the long sleeve swim shirts and swim tights as lightweight wetsuits. Even with the cooler temps of the Pacific, I was able to stay in the water for over an hour without getting cold.
Our trip to Hawaii was so memorable not only because of all the exciting excursions we went on, but it also gave Kara and I a chance to reconnect as a married couple without our three wonderful children. I know Kara’s favorite part of the trip was snorkeling with dolphins at the Puuhonua O Honaun reef just south of Kona. We swam out into 150 feet deep crystal blue water to catch up with a mother and baby dolphin that was performing acrobatics just for us. My favorite part was diving and snorkeling with the Manta rays off the Big Island. Other unforgettable moments include: paddle-boarding at Waikiki, riding scooters around Oahu to the North Shore to watch surfers tackle 20 foot plus waves, hiking to numerous waterfalls, diving with sharks, playing with a Pacific Octopus in 50 feet of water, and watching humpbacks breach almost the entire time we were there. Of all of our travels this vacation has to be at the top of the list! And we did it all in Coolibar!
Exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Not only is skin cancer preventable, it is highly treatable when caught early. Because the signs of skin cancer are visible on the surface, you just need to call your doctor when you see something unusual, growing, or changing on your skin. The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent. Yet, sadly, one American dies from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, almost every hour.
A world without skin cancer is an achievable goal and the American Academy of Dermatology is committed to reducing the incidence of and mortality from skin cancer. By educating the public about how to reduce their risk of skin cancer and how to spot skin cancer, we can help change behaviors and ultimately save lives.
SPOT Skin Cancer™ is a large-scale public awareness campaign is designed to involve the public, the Academy’s membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, other health organizations, media, and for-profit corporations to advance the public’s understanding of skin cancer and motivate them to change their behavior to prevent and detect skin cancer.
Coolibar is teaming up with the AAD SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative to help raise awareness on how to prevent skin cancers as well as raise funds for their programs. As a fundraiser, Coolibar is selling Men’s, Women’s and Children’s UPF 50+ SPOT Skin Cancer™ T-Shirts. Coolibar will donate $10 from every T-Shirt sale to the initiative. Together, we can all work toward preventing skin cancers.
Coolibar has new prints and colors galore this spring. Choosing a print that complements your facial features can be a daunting task. Our favorite go to stylist, Bridgette Raes, knows all about choosing the right print for your complexion, so we decided to take some advice from her blog.
“When choosing prints, one must consider their own personal coloring to decide just how much bold contrast to wear.
Print Intensity – Combining two colors together in a print creates a contrast between those two colors. For example, if those two colors are extreme opposites (like black and white) you have created a high amount contrast, which gives the print a high level of intensity. If, however, the color combinations found in the print are closer in relationship to each other (a combination of soft pastels, for example) you have created a low amount of contrast between the colors and that combination has a low level of intensity.
Just like color combinations in prints have an intensity level, so does your own personal coloring. Intensity levels vary from person to person, and can be high, low, or somewhere in between, which would be referred to as medium. Your own level is determined by the relationship of contrast between your hair, skin and eyes. The model on the right has a lot of contrast between her hair skin and eyes which creates a lot of contrast or an intensity in her coloring. The model on the left has much softer features, with her hair, skin and eyes being closer in color; therefore her intensity level, would be low.
Why does this matter?
When choosing prints, it is important to consider your own personal intensity level as you’ll always look best when your personal intensity matches the intensity in the prints you choose.
When someone with a low level of intensity in their personal coloring wears too much contrast in the color combinations they choose they look drowned out. When a person with a high level of intensity in their coloring chooses a color combination that is too soft or low in contrast, they look washed out.”
Keep these guidelines in mind if you’re unsure of a print choice, but at the end of the day, if you love a print, go for it!
About Bridgette: Since 2002, Style Expert Bridgette Raes has transformed the wardrobes and styles of hundreds of clients. She is the president of Bridgette Raes Style Group in New York and author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. Her witty, down-to-earth and educational advice has made her a sought-after writer, spokesperson and style expert for many media outlets.
Clothing has protected people from the sun (and other elements) for tens of thousands of years. In addition to keeping skin protected, clothing can also help maintain a modest appearance, which is still important in many cultures.
Effective protection from the sun comes through a combination of clothing that covers up the skin and fabrics that block UV penetration. What’s new today is that it is possible to create sophisticated fabrics that are bright and very light-weight, yet still highly effective in blocking UV. This is made possible by adding UV blockers, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, into the fibers of specially engineered fabrics.
The best of this combination of sophisticated fabrics made into clothing that covers up is the creation of fashionable designs that can appeal to different cultures and countries.
To what extent have these new fabrics been adopted around the globe? The original source of much of the innovation in sun protective clothing was Australia. This country has a relatively fair-skinned population, with high levels of sun exposure due to its location and the active, outdoor lifestyle of its people. In the second half of the 20th century, this combination of factors led to extremely high levels of skin cancer – with malignant melanoma overtaking lung cancer in the 1990s.
Part of the response to this problem in Australia was the re-introduction of the old idea of using clothing as protection against the sun. In particular, when at the beach or in the pool, Australians, particularly children, started to cover up using swim shirts, known as rash guards or rashies.
A federal government agency, now officially the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), developed guidelines for testing and labeling these garments. According to its website, the ARPANSA has issued over 50 million UPF rating tags for sun protective products.
In US, skin cancer rates have been increasing over the past 50 years with over a million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually. The Canadian Dermatology Society estimates 75,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with non-malignant skin cancer annually.
Like Australia, the well-publicized rise in skin cancer rates have prompted people in the United States and Canada to again use clothing as a primary defense against too much sun exposure. Children can often be seen wearing swim shirts while wide-brimmed women’s hats are once again in style. And for 15 years there have been guidelines for testing and labeling sun protective clothing from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and from the American Society for Testing and Materials based on the standards originally developed in Australia.
These same sun protective clothing standards have also been adopted in Europe by the European Committee for Standardization and the related organizations within member countries. However, in many parts of Europe, particularly within the warmer, southern countries, people still believe that tanning is a sign of being healthy and attractive. On the other hand, there is a growing awareness of the dangers of overexposure to the sun and the role of sun protective clothing, particular in northern regions such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Scandinavia.
In Asia, many people have continued the practices of the past centuries and use clothing for modesty and protection against the sun. Sun umbrellas or parasols are very popular in countries such as China and Japan. And a number of countries, such as Indonesia, have started to adopt Australian-style swimwear. So, many people in Asia continue to be cautious about exposure to the sun in the same way they have for many generations.
Cultural beliefs about health and the sun have been an important factor in shaping the fashions we see and wear. Today, although attitudes differ around the world, in many countries we are seeing a generally increasing recognition of the importance of protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays.
Did you know Coolibar was the first sun protective clothing company to receive the Skin Cancer Foundation’s (SCF) seal of recommendation? That’s right, the first! Founded by dermatologist, Perry Robins, the SCF is an independent non-profit organization, focused on promoting the dangers of sun exposure, as well as the importance of prevention.
The SCF states, “To earn the Seal of Recommendation, a manufacturer must provide scientific data showing that its product sufficiently and safely aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.” The scientific data is reviewed by a committee of notable Photo Biologists- experts on the damaging effects of UV exposure.
Coolibar carries the traditional seal of recommendation, which is used for all sun protection products. To receive the seal, products have to pass a number of tests including, having a UPF rating of 30 or higher, meeting acceptable test results according to the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists method and our hats must have a brim width of at least three inches.
So, why is the seal of recommendation imperative to Coolibar? Currently, the FDA does not regulate sun protective clothing. In addition to testing performed at independent laboratories, the seal of recommendation is Coolibar’s way of providing customers with peace of mind, knowing that products are guaranteed to block 98% of the harmful UVA and UVB rays. We provide quality sun protection, it’s all we do. While wearing our sun protective products, you can go ahead and enjoy your vacation with your family, or play tennis all day.
Is the SCF seal of recommendation something you look for, before you purchase your sun protective products?