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Sun Smarts

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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