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Today is Don’t Fry Day!

Dont Fry Day - National Council on Skin Care Prevention

Just before the outdoor summer festivities begin in earnest, a reminder: the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated today as Don’t Fry Day.  This annual, national campaign takes place every year on the Friday before Memorial Day to help people keep sun safety in mind.

Here are some of the ways the council recommends to keep yourself and your family healthy for the summer and for a lifetime.

 

  • Do not burn or tan
  • Seek shade
  • Wear sun protective clothing
  • Generously apply sunscreen
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand
  • Get vitamin D safely

The council also takes a page from Australia’s effort to prevent skin cancer and reminds you to Slip on a shirt, Slop on a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen, Slap on a wide-brimmed hat and Wrap on sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors.

It’s also important to visit your dermatologist at least once a year, and watch for new or changing moles and skin growths.

Enjoy your summer – and stay sun safe!

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It’s Melanoma Monday. How Much Do You Know?

Coolibar - Knowledge for Melanoma Monday

As it does each year, the American Academy of Dermatology has designated the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday®. This chance to promote melanoma awareness and prevention is important to us at Coolibar, because we meet people who live with their melanoma diagnoses every day – and because we meet people who are not familiar with melanoma at all.

Knowing about melanoma can save your life – and sharing what you know can save others! Here is a short list of what we’d like people to understand about melanoma.

Melanoma is the Deadliest Form of Skin Cancer.

Some people understand skin cancer treatment as “you find a mole on your skin, you have it removed, that’s it.”

In fact, the majority of melanoma cases involves wide-excision surgery and a lymph node biopsy to determine if the melanoma has spread to other organs. This may be followed by a regimen of immunotherapy, chemotherapy or radiation treatments. In all cases, the possibility of recurrence must be carefully monitored. For melanoma survivors, the letters NED (no evidence of disease) become vitally important for many years.

Melanoma Affects Young People Too.Melanoma affects young people - Coolibar

The AAD says that melanoma is the most common cancer for young adults 25 to 29 years old, and the second most common for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

It’s Easier Than Ever to Prevent Melanoma.

The single best way to prevent melanoma and other skin cancers is to limit exposure to the sun. But some people think that means giving up their favorite activities. Instead, here are a few simple tips to keep you active and healthy:

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30, and reapply after swimming or strenuous activity.
  • Wear sunscreen every day – up to 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can reach your skin even when it’s cloudy.
  • Seek shade when necessary.
  • Wear sun protective clothing!

Meet Some Amazing Melanoma Survivors.Coolibar Melanoma Survivors May 2014

Each week during Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we’d like you to meet several very courageous people who can tell you about melanoma much better than we can. Their stories are powerful, personal and inspiring (and, unfortunately, similar to many others from people all over the world). But each one will change the way you think about your health and your life.

We’ll introduce the first of these people on Thursday, May 8.

In the meantime, help us spread the word about melanoma!

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Concluding African American History Month – Or Not

All this month we’ve been reminding people that African Americans (and others with naturally dark skin) can get skin cancer, too. And, as African American History Month concludes, we at Coolibar would like to ensure that the flow of information about cancer and skin of color does not.

Skin cancer – particularly melanoma – has been shown to be much deadlier to African Americans than for Caucasians. The Skin Cancer Foundation points out that 52 percent of non-Hispanic black patients receive an initial diagnosis of advanced stage melanoma, compared to 16 percent of non-Hispanic white patients.

There are several reasons for this, including that squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the most common skin cancer in African Americans, tends to be more aggressive and can carry up to a 40% chance of spreading.

But many of us also still believe that African American skin, with its higher melanin content, is just highly resistant to developing cancer caused by the sun. African Americans simply tend to seek treatment much later because skin cancer isn’t top of mind.

In fact, typical African American skin protects at the equivalent of a 13.4 SPF sunscreen. (SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it mostly measures UVB radiation that causes darkening or burning on the surface of the skin). UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, measures UVB and UVA radiation. UVA penetrates deeply into the skin and is, by far, the most prevalent of the sun’s radiation.

Effective sun protection starts at UPF 30, and should ideally be UPF 50 or higher.

There is more to be repeated, remembered and learned; for example, the Skin Cancer Foundation has some excellent facts about ethnicity and the dangers of the sun.

African American History Month may come to an end. But the effort to defeat skin cancer continues year round!

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Warm Winter Olympics All the Better for Sun Protection

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics - Coolibar

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, if only to imagine what it’s like to slide down an ice-covered slope at 80-plus miles per hour on purpose. If you’ve been watching too, you likely saw something unexpected: temperatures topped 17 degrees C. in Sochi (that would be more than 60 degrees here at Coolibar headquarters near Minneapolis, MN, which hasn’t happened in a while). This is the Winter Olympics?

Especially as we look at these photos from February 12 in the Mail Online, we’re reminded once again how important it is to protect ourselves from the sun year round. In fact, sun protection is much easier to overlook during winter, when exposure tends to be more intermittent. UVA and UVB rays are always a danger for unprotected skin regardless of the temperature or time of year.

One of our heroes, Julia Mancuso – a US Olympic alpine skier who won a bronze medal February 10 in the Ladies Super Combined, which is an official name for “flying down an icy slope at 80 mph”– is already on top of it. Aware of the dangers, especially at higher altitudes with the sun reflecting off of snow, she shares her story and her tips for staying sun safe with the American Academy of Dermatology.

While sitting in the sun sure looks more fun than, say, missing a gate in the Olympic downhill, let’s remember to take care of ourselves. Here are our SunAWARE tips, good all year round:

SunAWARE tips

 

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What History Tells Us About Skin Cancer and African Americans

February is African American History Month. Among much else, it can serve as a fitting reminder about a myth that has persisted for too long: African Americans (and those with darker skin tones) can’t get skin cancer. In fact, among the African American population, melanoma – the most serious kind of skin cancer – is much more deadly than among Caucasians.

You may have heard that naturally dark-skinned people have less chance of getting skin cancer, and that is true.  Darker skin naturally has more melanin, the dark pigment that protects against the sun’s UV rays. But the simple fact is, no one is immune to skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundation shares these facts:

  • The overall 5-year melanoma survival rate for African Americans is only 77 percent, versus 91 percent  for Caucasians.
  • 52 percent of non-Hispanic black patients receive an initial diagnosis of advanced stage melanoma, versus 16 percent of non-Hispanic white patients.
  • Melanomas in African Americans (and other nationalities, including Asians, Filipinos and Indonesians) most often occur on non-exposed skin with less pigment. Up to 75 percent of tumors arise on the palms, soles, mucous membranes and nail regions.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common skin cancer among African Americans. It tends to be more aggressive and carry a 20-40 percent risk of metastasis (spreading).
  • Skin cancer comprises one to two percent of all cancers in African Americans.  

Why is this? One reason is that the familiar story about how darker skin has a higher SPF than lighter skin (which it does) has for too long translated into “My dark skin prevents me from getting skin cancer” (which it doesn’t). It’s important to keep skin cancer top of mind; early diagnosis is often critical in successfully treating melanoma and other skin cancers.

Another big reason, according to Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield III, is within the medical community. Crutchfield is a board-certified dermatologist in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area with specialized experience treating ethic skin. He says that the relatively higher incidences of skin cancers among Caucasians – and therefore the related training for physicians – makes it more difficult for professionals to diagnose skin cancer among African Americans and other ethnic groups. The lesions, moles and other symptoms that commonly help with a skin cancer diagnosis do not always appear as readily on someone with darker skin.

Skin cancer in African Americans is also more apt to develop in harder-to-find areas such as under fingernails or toenails.

So education is one of our most effective tools to combat skin cancer. As African American History Month continues, keep in mind how you can avoid skin cancer.

Be SunAWARE and be safe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sun Protection in Winter? Ask an Olympian

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia begin in less than a month. While the events are cold weather related – bobsled, hockey, ice skating and skiing to name a few – the athletes remind us of the importance of sun protection year round, no matter where you live. US Olympic skier Julia Mancuso is a US favorite (gold medalist and Minnesota native Lindsay Vonn is staying home due to injuries). Julia is out skiing every day to train. And although the temperatures may be low, UV rays are still damaging – especially at higher altitudes, such as in Sochi where the alpine ski courses start more than 7,000 feet above sea level. Julie gives her tips on sun protection before hitting the slopes.

  • Apply sunscreen at least fifteen minutes before going outside
  • Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect against both UVA (aging rays) and UVB (burning rays)
  • Reapply sunscreen every few hours; keep a small bottle of sunscreen with you
  • Don’t forget to protect your eyes!
  • Wear a hat or helmet

Along with UPF 50+ sun protective hats, 100%  UV protective sunglasses and SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen, we recommend the Coolibar Sun Gaiter for added face and neck coverage.

We wish Julia and the other athletes great success at the Olympics. Whether you’re going outside to cross-country ski, or taking your dog for a walk, or if you happen to be going to the Winter Olympics in Sochi (jealous!), remember: it’s always important to protect your skin from the sun!

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FDA Sunscreen Label Changes – Let’s Clear it Up

All sunscreens are not created equal. To help consumers better understand what they are buying, and to help protect them from unwanted excessive UV ray exposure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new sunscreen labeling requirements. First announced June 14, 2011, it was in 2013 that consumers began seeing sunscreen labels with the changes required for compliance with new FDA regulations. We’ve compiled a list of those changes and what to look for on labels.

What to look for

Sunscreens that block UVA and UVB rays will be labeled Broad Spectrum
Not every sunscreen is Broad Spectrum, so make sure you check the label. Only Broad Spectrum sunscreens can do both, prevent skin cancer, photo-aging and sunburn.

Manufactures cannot label sunscreens as “waterproof” or “sweat proof”
These claims cannot be proven. Instead, labels will state water resistant if it applies. 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.

The maximum SPF value on sunscreen labeling is limited to SPF 50+
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.

At Coolibar, all of the sunscreen we carry is in compliance with the new regulations. “The new rules are designed to help consumers know which products offer the best protection against the damaging rays of the sun.” – Debbie Runck, Coolibar Compliance Manager

Remember, the regulations are to help consumers know which products offer the best protection. To learn more about the current FDA sunscreen regulations visit the FDA website.

What do you look for in a good sunscreen? Do you find the new sunscreen label changes helpful?

Coolibar Sunscreen Apply broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen every 2 hours.
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American Dermatologists Reveal Top 10 Sunscreen Brands

MINNEAPOLIS, July 1, 2013Coolibar, the nation’s leading sun protective clothing manufacturer, conducted a survey to reveal the top 10 dermatologist recommended sunscreen brands. The survey was conducted at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) from March 1-5, 2013 in Miami Beach, FL.  Neutrogena and Aveeno top the list as perennial favorites followed by La Roche-Posay, Elta and Vanicream in the top five.

We had a record number of 1,572 dermatologists weighing in on the most reliable sunscreens recommended to patients as part of their sun safety education.

“Optimal sun protection comes from a combination of sun-protective clothing and sunscreen,” said John Barrow, founder and president of Coolibar.  “Coolibar remains committed to educating the public on sun safety and ways to prevent the risk of skin cancer and avoiding the  damaging affects of the sun. “

A mix of mass-market sunscreens combined with specialty brands are listed in order of the frequency with which they are recommended to patients:

  1. Neutrogena
  2. Aveeno
  3. La Roche-Posay
  4. Elta
  5. Vanicream
  6. Coppertone
  7. Blue Lizard
  8. Eucerin
  9. Solbar
  10. Fallene

 About Coolibar: Coolibar is the most recommended and tested sun protective clothing company in the United States. Based in Minneapolis, the company was founded in 2001 to bring Australia’s world-leading approaches to sun protection to the American market and beyond by producing and selling sun protective apparel for active families through catalog and online. Dedicated to the highest quality sun protective clothing, hats and accessories, Coolibar guarantees UPF 50+ ratings for the life of their garments.  Each garment is developed with sun protection as the number one priority with a full line of proprietary SUNTECT® fabrics. Coolibar has been recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Melanoma International Foundation for effective sun protection. Coolibar Cares, the company’s giving back initiative, supports programs such as SunAWARE, School Sun Hat program, Doctor Connect, the AAD Camp Discovery for sun sensitive children as well as athlete sponsorships and product donations. For information about Coolibar, go to www.coolibar.com or call 1-800-926-6509.

Contact: Carol Schuler, Schuler Publicity – 612-281-7030, carol@cschuler.com

 

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Study confirms regular sunscreen use prevents photo-aging

Fifteen minutes of sun exposure does more than sunburn fair skin, it ages skin too. The good news is with daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen, people can prevent photo-aging.

Even though dermatologists currently recommend daily sunscreen use to patients for wrinkle, age spot and skin cancer prevention, a new Australia based study in “Annals of Internal Medicine” provides the most extensive evidence of sunscreen’s anti-aging effectiveness to-date.

900 Caucasian participants in Australia under age 55 were randomly split into two groups. Group one was instructed to apply sunscreen to their head, neck, arms and hands every morning, after a few hours of outdoor sun exposure or after being in water or sweating. Group two was told to use sunscreen at their leisure.

Two-thirds of all participants had small skin samples taken from the back of their hands at the beginning of the study. Four-and-a-half years later, researchers once again excised a skin sample from the same participants, but the results of the study turned out to be more visible than expected. Those who applied sunscreen daily displayed younger looking skin than those who used sunscreen at their discretion.

Aussies are already known for their diligent sun protection habits but not necessarily motivated by anti-aging efforts. Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer of any country in the world. Almost two out of three Australians will be treated for some form of skin cancer during their lifetime and melanoma is more commonly diagnosed than lung cancer. Factors contributing to Australia’s skin cancer rates include the generally light skinned population, the active outdoor lifestyle, depleted ozone layer and the country’s proximity to the equator. According to the “NY Times”, most participants, regardless of which group they were assigned, were using sunscreen at least some of the time, and two-thirds wore sun hats.

It’s never too late to start using sunscreen. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor reported on the “Today Show”, “Even if you’re 55 you can still roll back the clock two or three years”.

Choosing the right sunscreen is essential for the protection to be effective. In the study, participants used broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks both ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B rays, and sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Reapplication throughout the day was also essential.

For complete sun protection, dermatologists recommend wearing sun protective clothing, a wide-brim hat, UV 400 sunglasses, and applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater.

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Sunscreen Talk: CoTZ and Total Block Explained

Two of our favorite sunscreens at Coolibar, CōTZ and Total Block, provide excellent UVA and UVB protection; however, there are some differences you should know about. We invited Justin Dannecker of Fallene to answer some of the most common questions we get from customers regarding these sunscreens.

Please provide a brief background of the company, your mission, and what you’re working on these days.
Fallene, Ltd. was founded by board certified plastic surgeon and dermatological chemist Dr. Harry Fallick. He had the idea to formulate a product with superior protection for individuals with photosensitive skin. Thus Total Block was created. Continuing along the path of photo-protection innovation came Fallene’s latest sun protective product–CōTZ. CōTZ sunscreen offers maximum protection for individuals that may have sensitive skin and are concerned with chemicals found in many sunscreens. For example, CōTZ Balanced Mineral Complex™ is free of oils, fragrances, preservatives, parabens, PABA, gluten, phthalates, does not irritate or sting and is gentle enough for all skin types.

What is the difference between your CōTZ brand and Total Block brand?
Total Block contains 5 sunscreen filters (2 physical and 3 chemical) for a very protective barrier against UV radiation and even into the visible light spectrum. These products are for someone who needs the ultra high protection.

CōTZ contains only physical sunscreen filters: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These products are for people who have sensitive skin and are concerned with chemical sunscreen filters. Both lines contain the #1 and #2 rated sunscreen ingredients: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Can you explain why your packaging looks different this year? What is new on the label that we should know about?
The packaging changes were mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The two main features on the packaging that changed were that water-resistance of a product must be given a time frame of effectiveness, either 40 or 80 minutes. The second was that all sunscreens must pass a “broad spectrum” test in order to claim broad spectrum protection on their packaging and also be above an SPF 15. These changes were done so that it would be clearer to consumers what they were purchasing and how it would function as a sun protective product.

Do you have any sunscreen that won’t sting or burn sensitive facial skin?
The most popular product that we offer for sensitive facial skin is the CōTZ Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40. This product is 100% free of: oils, fragrances, chemical sunscreen filters and parabens. It is also very gentle and goes on smooth as to not irritate. Additionally it is non-comedogenic, so it is great for acne prone skin as well since it will not clog pores.

For the active ingredients, you have a sunscreen with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and then one with just zinc oxide. Why is this?
Zinc oxide has been used for centuries as a healing ingredient in many products so it is considered to be very gentle. It also happens to be the #1 UV filter. We have utilized only this ingredient in our pediatric and sensitive skin products to offer the ultimate in gentle protection for those with the most sensitive skin.

Is there a way to reduce the white residue some zinc based sunscreens leave behind?
Our sunscreens are formulated with micronized zinc oxide, which does not leave a white residue on your skin.

Are your products safe to use on babies/toddlers?
The best product to use on children is our CōTZ Pediatric product, which contains no chemical filters, oils, fragrances, parabens or PABA. This is a great product for children above the age of 6 months.

Why is there tint in some of your sunscreen such as CōTZ Plus SPF 58?
We add iron oxide to some of our products for several reasons. It allows the product to match most skin tones by adding a slight tint. It also acts as another sunscreen filter since iron oxide is another mineral just like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Which is better, spray sunscreens or cream sunscreens?
Spray sunscreens all contain chemical filters and are not entirely effective since you might be using it in a windy environment and not get the appropriate amount of the product on your skin to protect you. Since they also all contain chemical sunscreen filters, they are not ideal for individuals with sensitive skin.

Is there anything else you want to tell us about your products/brand?
At Fallene we are committed to developing the next generation of sunscreen and skincare products to meet the needs of our customers. Keep your eyes out for new products on the horizon!

If you have any further questions about Total Block and CōTZ sunscreen, send us a message on the Coolibar Facebook Page.

Shop CōTZ and Total Block Sunscreen at www.coolibar.com.

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