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Let’s Help Spread the Word About Melanoma!

Coolibar - Melanoma Awareness Prevention Month

May is officially Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and Coolibar kicks it off with another boost for awareness, detection and prevention of melanoma – the deadliest of skin cancers. Together, melanoma, squamous cell skin cancer and basal cell skin cancer make skin cancer the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the U.S.

At the same time, according to the Melanoma International Foundation (MIF), efforts to prevent melanoma/skin cancer are the most underfunded of all cancer types. The foundation says melanoma is the least screened cancer, and melanoma detection is not a training requirement for most medical disciplines.Coolibar - Poolside Sun Hat

What Can We Do?

The MIF says:

  • Seek shade and avoid direct sun during the peak hours of 10-4
  • Cover up with protective clothing and use sunscreen lotion
  • Protect your children and role-model sun safe behavior
  • Examine your skin and that of your loved ones each season for any changes that should be checked by a dermatologist
  • Avoid tanning salons: 15 minutes is equal to a whole day’s exposure at the beach!

What Else Can We Do?

Let’s stay aware! Most people don’t realize how a melanoma diagnosis changes someone’s life. Do you?

Coolibar has some special posts ready for you this month. Each week you can meet a melanoma survivor with a story that will amaze you. If you don’t know much about melanoma, these personal stories will help you learn about it quickly. They should also give you a nice dose of motivation. One thing we’re sure of: by the time you finish hearing from these people, you’ll have a different outlook on life.

Key Dates

Our first featured melanoma survivor will be introduced next week, following Melanoma Monday® on May 5. The American Academy of National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention Dont Fry DayDermatology (AAD) has designated the first Monday of each May to raise awareness of melanoma and other types of skin cancer and to encourage early detection through self-exams.

Also, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention declares the Friday before Memorial Day as Don’t Fry Day to encourage sun safety awareness. This year, Don’t Fry Day is on Friday, May 23.

Stay up to date with Coolibar activities on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Another great way to stay aware during Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness Month is to sign up for our weekly emails at Coolibar.com. You’ll get links to all of our stories, plus some extra savings on Coolibar merchandise!

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Events Parenting SunAWARE

Pretty for Prom? Tanning Isn’t Part of the Routine Anymore

Pretty Prom - Coolibar

It’s prom season again, which means thousands of teens – girls and boys – flock to their local indoor tanning salons in search of a healthy glow for the big night out. But before they do, the Skin Cancer Foundation has some information for you about tanning for the prom.

Teens tend to be concerned about young-looking skin, and the SCF points out that 90% of changes to the skin that most people associate with aging are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Tanning leads to wrinkles, spots and an aged look early in life; they can start to appear even before the indoor tanner turns 30.

This doesn’t even touch on the dangers of developing skin cancer, including melanoma. Here are just a few, from SunAWARE:

  • Exposure to tanning beds before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75%.
  • More than one million people visit tanning salons every day. Of these, approximately 71% are girls and young women aged 16-29.
  • Young women, under the age of 39, have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer.
  • Ninety percent of pediatric melanoma cases occur in girls aged 10-19.

What Can You Do Instead?

Through its Go With Your Own GlowTM campaign, the Skin Cancer Foundation promotes skipping the tan altogether – the best look for the prom, or any other time, is your own natural skin color. In case the allure of tan skin is still too great from prom-goers, the foundation also suggests sunless, or UV-free, tanners.

And, if you or someone you know is planning on bronzing up for prom courtesy of an indoor tanning booth, Coolibar has a book for you. Pretty Prom – Your Skin is Pretty Too by Mary Mills Barrow and Maryellen Maguire-Eisen provides a short, convincing account of what’s at stake in exchange for looking tan on prom night.

Coolibar offers Pretty Prom courtesy of SunAWARE. Stay safe, and Stay SunAware!

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It’s Time for the Masters Tournament. Are You Sun Protected?

The Masters Tournament Coolibar Golf

Masters Tournament weekend is coming up, and for golfers it’s the unofficial start of the US golf season. Which gets us thinking: golf and sun protection go together. Wouldn’t it be great if you could order clothing that protected you from the sun and kept you cool out on the links?

If you had to ask, there’s something you should know. Coolibar has UPF 50+ golf collections for men and women.

Take a look at our ZnO Tropical Weight Polos and V-Neck Tees, for example, as garments that are ideal for golf: they keep you cool as well as sun protected. Here, zinc oxide particles are embedded into every fiber of the fabric before it is woven into a garment. So It’s guaranteed to block 98% of UVA and UVB rays, without being dense or heavy.

Best of all, this works for everyone whether you’re a scratch golfer or (like us) you play your best golf vicariously through someone on TV. Either way, let’s get ready for an exciting Masters Tournament – and a great season of golf!

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9 Essential Items for a Fabulous (But Super Sun Safe) Spring Break

It used to be that when some of us went on spring break, getting lots of sun was the point. Or part of the point, sort of; but we digress.

Now, taking into account all that science says about wrinkles and melanoma and such, this is our best advice: Let’s be sensible. But while we’re at it, let’s also still be fabulous!

Here is our list of essential UPF 50+ sun protective Coolibar items to take with you on your sun safe spring break:

Swimwear

Quarter Zip Swim Shirt. If you hadn’t considered a top like this for actual swimming, go right ahead. Fabric is resistant to chlorine (for the pool) and saltwater (for the ocean) and dries quickly (for any body of water). On land, it just looks awesome.

Skirted Swim Capri. Protects against UVA and UVB. Stays comfortable in and out of water. Catches lots of eyes. Yup…this is new-school spring break gear all right.

Swim Cover Up

Coastline Dress. The beauty of this dress – besides the fact that it’s, you know, beautiful – is that you can keep wearing it long after you’ve used it as a swim cover up. You don’t even need to be near the water.

Pants

ZnO Beach Pants. Another thing we’ve learned while planning for spring break: wearing your swimsuit for an entire week isn’t as easy as you think. Hence these beach pants – as comfy as your sweat pants but much, much prettier.

Jacket

Boardwalk Jacket. Why this jacket? Because you always look cool, casual and composed. Even on spring break – the official home of spontaneous hot-and-cold adventure.

Sun Hat

Fedora Sun Hat. We just love this hat. You do, too. So take it along.

T-Shirt

ZnO Long-Sleeve T-Shirt. It’s like a regular t-shirt, only it’s cut for your figure. And it’s softer. And more breathable. And it coordinates better. It’s like your best friend, if your best friend also protected you from the sun.

Sunglasses

Smith Serpico Slim. Seriously. How do you go on any spring break without at least one item named “Serpico Slim?” Plus these Smith Optics sunglasses block 100% of UV rays.

Dress

Antigua TunicNo, you don’t have to be on break in Antigua to pull this off. In fact, it fits in (and on) pretty much anywhere.

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Expert Rx Sun Protection Clothing

Help Arrives as the Fair-Skinned Brace for Spring

So you have fair skin. You may have skin that we sometimes refer to as “porcelain” or “alabaster.” You might be borderline flammable. You might even be Irish. And the spring sun is coming fast, in its ultraviolet glory. What can you do?

A Brief (But Fair) History

We believe our distant ancestors were trying to give us clues about this.

Some people think that the earliest humans were naturally fair-skinned (but quite hairy). Since they lived where the sun radiates strong UV radiation year round, these people were forced to develop more melanin (the dark pigment in the skin) as protection from skin cancer.

Others think that everybody started out dark-skinned and gradually lightened up as people migrated to places with less sunlight (fair skin tends to collect vitamin D from the sun more effectively).

Either way the message is clear: sun protection is pretty important.

What Can Be Done

Nowadays, sun protection is also much more elegant. Fair-skinned people are some of our favorite customers here at Coolibar. We love providing fashionable choices for the fair-skinned. For us, St. Patrick’s Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. Well, not quite. But you get the idea.

Check out our Coolibar looks for spring. Notice that we’re not just talking sun hats. We’re talking complete outfits in the lightest, most comfortable fabrics in wearable sun protection. We have beach wraps, tops, swimwear, travel apparel, perhaps the coolest boardshorts you’ve ever seen and much more for men, women and kids – all guaranteed UPF 50+. Where the fair-skinned fear to tread – out in the full sun on a warm day – Coolibar wearers can now stride boldly!

 

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Today is World Tennis Day – Get Out and Play

Coolibar - World Tennis Day

Today, March 3rd, 2014, is World Tennis Day. It is an annual celebration of tennis around the world, and invites people of all ages to get involved in the sport of tennis. According to the International Tennis Federation, 74 countries are involved in World Tennis Day, and the vast majority are hosting events. The centerpieces for World Tennis Day are showdown exhibition matches featuring some of the world’s top tennis pros in New York, Hong Kong and London.

Monday night, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is hosting Tennis Night in America featuring the BNP Paribas Showdown, an exhibition match between world-class tennis pros Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The event takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

World Tennis Day is also the kickoff for USTA Tennis Youth Play Events to encourage family and youth tennis participation. Throughout March, tennis clubs get extra support for hosting youth tennis events including up to $150 in marketing money for first-time events. Find activities planned in your area by visiting www.usta.com  or the USTA’s youth tennis event finder.

The Latest Trend: UPF 50+ Clothing

Whether you are a player on the court or a fan at the court, Coolibar can keep you sun safe with our fashion-forward UPF 50+ protective sun hats and clothing.

Here are a few Coolibar “must-haves” for protection on the courts.

Hats

The Super Sport Hat, with its 3 3/4″ brim and removable drape, is indispensible. The fabric is lightweight and breathable, and the longer brim gives you more protection than most sport caps. The extra length provides additional protection for your eyes and face on those high serve tosses and lob shots.

Shirts

You should keep a choice on hand – cotton  blend is great for cooler days and lighter matches, while polyester is more moisture wicking for humidity and more strenuous activity.

For women:

ZnO Tropical Weight Quarter Zip

Quarter Zip Long Sleeve Fitness Pullover

For men:

ZnO Tropical Weight Quarter Zip

– Quarter Zip Short Sleeve Fitness Pullover

 

For Kids

Coolibar also provides ideal sun protective tennis wear for kids. Note: these items are available for boys and girls.

All Sport Hat

ZnO Tropical Weight Long Sleeve Shirt

Off the court: keep a Packable Sunblock Jacket with you to keep covered as you cheer on your favorite player, whether at Madison Square Garden, or at your local youth tournament.

Tennis players and fans – stay fashion forward and sun safe and we’ll see you at the courts!

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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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Educate Others Sun Protection Clothing SunAWARE

New Findings: Indoor Tanning is to Skin Cancer as Smoking is to Lung Cancer

If you believe that indoor tanning isn’t dangerous, this finding from a study recently released by JAMA Dermatology might change that.

In likely the first summary of international indoor tanning exposure, researchers determined that the number of diagnosed skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.

Can It Be True?   

Taken at face value, the study tells us what smoking is to lung cancer, indoor tanning is to skin cancer. And in fact JAMA Dermatology provides documented evidence gathered in the US, Australia and Northern and Western Europe. Researchers reported:

“Overall, we estimate 419,039 cases of basal and squamous cell carcinoma (NMSC) and 10,888 cases of melanoma each year attributable to indoor tanning. To put this in perspective, approximately 362,941 cases of lung cancer are attributable to smoking each year in these regions.”

However, the same study notes that the general risk for lung cancer is much higher (it assumes 90 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses are attributable to smoking) than for skin cancer (up to 22 percent among indoor tanners). And the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on February 4 that lung, breast and colon cancers are still the most diagnosed worldwide.

But the new figures suggest an even more alarming trend. While smoking is declining worldwide, indoor tanning may actually be increasing. And the Skin Cancer Foundation cites a study by the American Cancer Society which says that each year in the US there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.

Work To Be Done

Several US states have banned or restricted indoor tanning, and many others are considering it. But, while the WHO considers indoor tanning a group 1 carcinogen, tanning beds in the US are still regulated by the FDA as Class 1 medical devices (the same as bandages and tongue depressors).

Perhaps the best context for the work that still needs to be done comes from the JAMA Dermatology researchers, who said: “Despite the mounting evidence of harms of indoor tanning, data on the scope of this problem, with which to guide public health efforts are missing.”

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Apply Sunscreen Avoid UV & Seek Shade Educate Others Routinely Check Skin Sun Protection Clothing SunAWARE Sunscreens and Lotions Wear Sun Protection

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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Blue is “In” for Spring 2014, and That’s Not All

There’s a certain magic behind Coolibar products for Spring 2014. And, while UPF 50+ sun protection provides its own technical wonders, this magic has much more to do with color – bright, positive, life-in-the-sun kind of color – and patterns that accentuate both what we do and how you feel.

To start: the color blue is officially “in” for spring. So are ranges of mints and corals, along with striking prints that call to mind soft, light, watery brushstrokes that reflect the unique design personality of Coolibar.

You can see these choices in our spring 2014 catalog. But they originate from the runways of fashion meccas worldwide, and from renowned authorities on color such as the Pantone Color Institute®. Pantone includes some of the same shades in its semi-annual report of the latest in fashion. This report is generated in part through a survey of New York Fashion Week designers.

The Important Role of Water

Womens Water Jacket – Deep Navy

Womens Water Jacket – Cobalt
Of all the new Coolibar spring colors and patterns, blue takes precedence. Blue is “in” at Coolibar because it suggests tranquility, the calm of a pool and the gentle ocean tides. Water is part of the joy of life in the sun, and it’s a big part of Coolibar; it’s also, naturally, most of what we are as human beings. You’ll see blue represented in spring fashion shows worldwide, and you’ll see shades from deep navy and cobalt blues to azure turquoise throughout the Coolibar spring line.

Mint and coral – also prominent spring color worldwide – are variously bold (e.g. Coral Heather) and complementary (e.g. Mint Deco) and extend the overall water-based Coolibar identity. In fact, the new spring prints – bold ikats, striking tribals and more simplified geos – are all reflections on the motion of water.

Appeal That Doesn’t Go Out of Style

Topping off what’s “in” for spring is a nice dash of black and white. By themselves, each color has a timeless quality; along with the blues, corals and mints and other Coolibar colors, they complete ensembles that are truly stunning.

Shop Coolibar online to find out more about our spring 2014 selection. New products are arriving daily!

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