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Sun Smarts

Sun Smarts

What are ultraviolet rays?

Scientifically speaking, UV radiation is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. It has wavelengths shorter than visible light, making it invisible to the naked eye. These wavelengths are classified as UVA, UVB, or UVC, with UVA the longest of the three at 320-400 nanometers (nm, or billionths of a meter. UVA has two wave ranges, measuring between 320-400 nanometers (nm, or billionths of a meter. UVB ranges from 290 to 320 nm. With even shorter rays, most UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the earth.

UV Radiation and Skin Cancer
By damaging the skin’s cellular DNA, excessive UV radiation produces genetic mutations that can lead to skin cancer. Both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization have identified UV as a proven human carcinogen. UV radiation is considered the main cause of nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC), including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). These cancers strike more than a million Americans each year. Many experts believe that, especially for fair-skinned people, UV radiation also frequently plays a key role in melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. One person each hour dies from melanoma.

UVA Rays
Most of us are exposed to large amounts of UVA throughout our lifetime. UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent. They are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass.
UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB and is responsible for skin aging, wrinkling (photoaging) and breaking down collagen. Recent studies over the past two decades show that UVA damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. (Basal and squamous cells are types of keratinocytes.) UVA contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers.
UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and we now know that tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, causes cumulative damage over time. A tan results from injury to the skin’s DNA; the skin darkens in an imperfect attempt to prevent further DNA damage. These imperfections, or mutations, can lead to skin cancer. Tanning booths primarily emit UVA. The high-pressure sunlamps used in tanning salons emit doses of UVA as much as 12 times that of the sun. Not surprisingly, people who use tanning salons are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. According to recent research, first exposure to tanning beds in youth increases melanoma risk by 75 percent.

UVB Rays
UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photoaging. Its intensity varies by season, location, and time of day. The most significant amount of UVB hits the U.S. between 10 AM and 4 PM from April to October. However, UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice, which bounce back up to 80 percent of the rays so that they hit the skin twice. UVB rays do not significantly penetrate glass.

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Sun Smarts

How much sun does a regular shirt block?

There’s a reason why UPF 50+ clothing is becoming more popular with all ages. Clothing is a physical barrier between your skin and the sun and you might as well use it to your advantage. Not all clothing is created equally. There are many factors that can make certain clothing able to block UV rays better than others. The tightness of the weave, weight, type of fiber, color, and amount of skin covered all affect the amount of protection that a garment can provide.

UPF is different than the SPF rating. They are not used in the same way and make sure you know the difference to keep yourself protected from the sun. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor and is the rating system used for clothing and fabrics. The UPF indicates how much of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are absorbed. A fabric with the rating of 50 will only allow 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. All Coolibar clothes are rated at UPF 50+ meaning that 98% of both UVA and UVB rays will be blocked. This reduces your exposure significantly.

SPF stands for sun protection factor and it is the rating that they give to sunscreens. It measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden. UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin. Time allotted does not matter for UPF rated fabrics, the rating has to to do with how much UV radiation can penetrate the fabric only. Make sure to check to see if your sunscreen is broad spectrum because SPF ratings do not tell you if the sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays some only block the UVB rays.

As a rule, light-colored, lightweight and loosely-woven fabrics do not offer much protection from the sun. That white shirt you slip on at the beach when you feel your skin burning provides only moderate protection from sunburn, with an average ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 7. The sun protection lowers to an approximate UPF of 3 when that shirt gets wet.

At Coolibar, we take protection seriously. Our proprietary fabrics block 98% of UVA and UVB rays, look good, wear well, and are guaranteed for a lifetime. No detail is too small for Coolibar, starting with those teeny tiny sun-bouncing minerals embedded in every single teeny tiny fiber and crafted into sun-stopping prints and styles. Trust our UPF 50+ fabrics to protect your right to play in the sun. Our fabrics are made in a way that they remain lightweight and comfortable but still provide the sun protection you need.

Tested more than any other fabric, endorsed by experts worldwide and recommended by dermatologists. Coolibar guarantees the UPF 50+ protection from the first day our product is worn until the very last day. Our fabrics are thoroughly tested at independent labs to ensure each product exceeds our UPF 50+ standard.

Coolibar was the first clothing to be recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. To receive The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, sun-protective fabrics must have a minimum UPF of 30. We consider a UPF rating of 30-49 to offer very good protection, and 50+ excellent protection. Remember not all UPF clothing is created equally, pay attention to wash out, testing practices, and what UPF rating they have.

Sources:

Skin Cancer Foundation

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Sun Smarts

Make Sunglasses Part of Your Sun Protective Wardrobe

Did you know that sunglass lens protection can diminish over time? According to the latest research on glasses, lenses can expire, like food in the refrigerator, and protection can go bad. That’s why the right lenses matter for long -term eye health. UV rays bounce from sidewalks, water surfaces and penetrate car windows, causing long-term damage, like cataracts.

Don’t forget that UVA rays dominate year-round. These are the burning rays that penetrate clouds, glass and our deep tissue layers. They are also the culprits that cause macular degeneration and cataracts. It may sound surprising, but even eyes, like skin, can easily sunburn. If you eyes have ever felt itchy and scratchy after being in the sun, you’be most likely had sunburn on your eyes.

Having a sunburn on your eye is one thing but, there are other things that can effect your eyes too. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, eyelid skin cancer accounts for 5-10% of all skin cancers. It’s important to wear eyewear with maximum UV protection, blocking 100% of UV rays and wear a wide brim hat when spending time outdoors.

We recommend quality lenses in stylish designs that provide proper coverage and suggest the following 4 brands on coolibar.com:

Costa: Created by a group of hardcore fisherman who spent their days exploring the globe. Costa’s mission is to create the clearest sunglasses on the planet for the life’s great adventures.

Serengeti: Known for developing state of the art technology, all Serengeti sunglasses are photochromatic and constantly adjust throughout the day to changing light conditions.

Eyebobs: A line of distinctive, high-quality reading glasses for the irreverent and slightly jaded, Eyebobs was created on the notion that you should not be doomed to wander the racks of drugstore readers in search of the least offensive pair.

Kaenon: Kaenon was founded by two brothers who were unsatisfied with the sunglasses available on the market. Determined to create something better, they developed the proprietary polarized SR-91® lens — the world’s first non-compromising polarized lens. The sunglasses Kaenon created were quickly adopted by world-class athletes ranging from sailing to golf, from baseball to fishing.

Be mindful of year-round UBA and protect your eyes–and skin–from burns.

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Sun Smarts

What’s the difference between SPF and UPF?

Coolibar Rash Guards for Women

Did you know that there’s a difference between SPF and UPF? Both have something to do with keeping your skin protected from the sun but mean very different things. Sunlight includes rays of invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation; overexposure to UV rays can lead to sunburn, accelerated skin aging and skin cancer. Sunscreen and clothing offer your main forms of UV protection but are rated two different ways with SPF and UPF.

UPF is the standard used to measure effectiveness of sun protective fabrics. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation is absorbed. UPF is associated with fabric and you will see a UPF rating from 15-50 associated with products that claim that they are sun protective. A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. This means the fabric will reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure significantly, because only 2 percent of the UV rays will get through. This also means that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays while SPF only takes the UVB rays into account. Currently, in the United States the standards for UPF are voluntary. Check with your sun protective clothing company to see if they do independent testing on their fabrics to test their UPF claims.

SPF is a standard used to measure effectiveness of sunscreen. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden, while UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin. Remember that SPF only accounts for UVB rays unless specifically stated as a broad spectrum sunscreen.

As you can see when you are trying to keep your skin protected it is important to know the different rating systems. Many skin-care experts believe clothing shields skin more effectively from UV light than sunscreen. Many of us often apply sunscreen lotions too thinly, giving our skin less protection than the sunscreen’s available SPF rating, and we neglect to reapply it as directed by the specific sunscreen that we use.

To receive The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, sun-protective fabrics must have a minimum UPF of 30. They consider a UPF rating of 30-49 to offer very good protection, and 50+ excellent protection. Coolibar was the first clothing to receive the Skin Caner Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. All of our clothing is rated UPF 50+, with protection that will never wash out.

Sources:
http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/clothing/get-in-on-the-trend

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Sun Smarts

3 Reasons Why You Should Give Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing a Try if You Have Lupus

Living with Lupus can mean different things to different people. Many people with Lupus experience flares due to being photosensitive from a medication or just because of having Lupus.  Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.

#1 You may need UV protection inside.

Many of us think about UV protection just for the sun. On very sunny summer days, we remember to put on that sunscreen or wear our sun protective shirt but forget that UV rays can hit you inside too. Windows don’t always block 100% of UV rays and florescent lighting can trigger photosensitive symptoms. UVA rays are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass. Don’t forget to keep yourself protected on cloudy days and indoors.

Although this may not happen to everyone, if you do have problems with indoor light give UPF 50+ clothing a try!

#2 There are many symptoms that come with exposure to UV light for someone who is photosensitive. It looks and feels different for everybody!

If you have lupus, exposure to sunlight may trigger symptoms such as:
– lupus rash or lesions.
– fatigue or weakness.
–  joint pain.
–  internal organ swelling.

While some of these symptoms are visual like a sunburn others are not. Avoid these by trying Coolibar UPF 50+ clothing, with our unique fabric blend.

#3 Sunscreen washes off but Coolibar sun protection doesn’t

Sunscreen is wonderful and we recommend using it with our products if you have exposed skin. It can be hard to remember to reapply sunscreen as directed by the product to keep you protected to the highest level provided by the sunscreen. Coolibar sun protective clothing is rated UPF 50+ which is a little different than the SPF rating that sunscreens get. Our UPF 50+ garments block 98% of both UVA and UVB rays and unlike other brands, we guarantee the protection for the life of the garment. It doesn’t wash out! We have a unique proprietary fabric blend that has teeny tiny sun-bouncing minerals embedded at the fiber level. Our fabrics are tested more than any other fabric, endorsed by experts worldwide and recommended by dermatologists. Plus, no one will be able to tell you are wearing sun protective clothing!

We hope these 3 reasons convince you to try Coolibar if you haven’t already. Our goal is to help you live the life you love without the problems that photo-sensitivity can bring. If you are a Lupus Warrior give sun protective clothing a try!

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Sun Smarts

What sort of sun protection do you need for a road trip?

Are you headed out on the wide open road? Don’t forget to protect your skin while you travel across the country. Clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection. It is our first line of defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers’ side of the body. If you’re one of the approximately 208 million licensed drivers in the US, take heed: “The increase in left-sided skin cancers may be from the UV (ultraviolet) exposure we get when driving a car,” said Susan T. Butler, MD, coauthor of the study.

Although car windshields are partially treated to filter out UVA, the side windows let in about 63 percent of the sun’s UVA radiation; rear windows are also unprotected, leaving back seat passengers exposed.

Here are our tips for having a great road trip while staying safe in the sun:

1. Protect your arms and hands

Bring the protective clothing with you on your next trip. The more skin you cover, the better. A long-sleeved shirt covers more skin than a t-shirt, especially if it has a high neckline or collar that shields the back of the neck. Likewise, long pants protect more skin than shorts. Many people forget about their arms and hands while driving in the car because they assume that the glass will keep them protected. That is not always the case. If you want to keep your arms and hands protected think about investing in sun sleeves and gloves.  Coolibar UPF 50+ gloves and sleeves will keep your arms and hands safe from the sun so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery.

2. Block UV rays to your eyes

Bring along the sunglasses to keep your eyes protected. You might be surprised to find out that you can get sunburns on your eyes. Plus, the eyelid region is one of the most common sites for nonmelanoma skin cancers. In fact, skin cancers of the eyelid, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma, account for five to 10 percent of all skin cancers. Sunglasses should block 99-100 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Check the tag on the packaging to ensure this. Sunglasses should fit comfortably over your ears and not slip down the bridge of your nose. Different types of lenses are appropriate for different activities. Polarized lenses are good for driving and water sports since they reduce glare from reflective surfaces like water, increasing visibility. Experts at Coolibar has put together a selection of sunglasses that want to go with you!

3. Lots of snacks

Stock up on healthy snacks before you head out for your trip. Find a great little cooler that can carry your perishable snacks for the long haul. Pack the protein with peanut butter or turkey pita sandwiches and add in the fruit and veggies that you enjoy like grapes, berries, carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers. For an added surprise, wrap all the snacks and number them for each hour of the trip. That way there is something to look forward to while you are on the road.

4. Keep the kids from window sunburns

Babies and children are extra sensitive to the sun, and protecting their skin is extremely important. Luckily, with good sun habits, including proper clothing and sunscreen, children can enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities and going on road trips without risking their health. All Coolibar clothing is rated UPF 50+ and the sun protection will never wash out. There are also sun blankets available that are great for draping over legs.

5. ISpy photo game

It’s not a road trip until you play games in the car. One of our favorites is the ISpy game!

Road Trip Games: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/travel/destinations/road-trip-games-kids

It doesn’t matter if you’re headed to Grandma’s house or just to work keeping yourself protected while you are in your car is important.

You’ve arrived at yum!

Sources:
http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/shade/sun-safety-cars

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/for-your-eyes/the-eyelids-highly-susceptible-to-skin-cancer

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Sun Smarts

Should you wear UPF 50+ clothing in the winter?

You would think that it would be hard to know when to wear UPF 50+ clothing. But, it’s actually pretty easy! Now that summer is officially over, it must be time to put away the SFP and your favorite UPF 50+ clothing, right? Not so much. Your skin needs protection during the entire year (yes, even during the very cold winter) in order to prevent damage to your skin from UBA and UVB rays that can lead to skin cancer.

You might think that skin cancer will never happen to you because it only happens to people who use tanning beds or get sunburns frequently and badly. Skin cancer happens much more often than you would think. All sun exposure poses a risk to your skin even during the winter months. In fact, about 86 percent of melanomas and 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. In addition, the sun’s UV rays are also responsible for 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging including wrinkles, leathery skin and brown spots.

People can forget that snow plays a part in how effective UVA and UVB rays are when they hit your skin. Snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. It’s a lot! As a result, the same rays can reach the skin twice. Additionally, up to 80 percent of UV rays burn right through the clouds. Be aware that the sun can still be strong on those cloudy days when the sun reflects off the snow.

Skiers and snowboarders are at an even greater risk, as these sports take place at a higher altitude, where the thinner atmosphere absorbs less UV radiation. Sun exposure increases four to five percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level. Both snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness, so you have to take extra precautions.

Treat your skin like you would if you were going to the beach on a bright sunny day. Wear your UPF 50+ clothing, wear sunscreen and remember to re-apply often, and protect your eyes.

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