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?
After a lifetime of holidays abroad, Suzanne Morphet combined her passion for travel with her profession as a news reporter and became a travel writer. Suzanne shares her latest venture to Marquesas Islands – which she calls a tropical paradise – as well as the Coolibar gear she took along.
“Before my recent cruise through the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific I looked for clothing that would protect me from the harsh equatorial sun. But I also wanted clothes that would be comfortable in the heat and stylish. I was pleased to discover Coolibar, which uses innovative new fabrics and technology to make clothes that are breathable and a pleasure to wear.
For ease of travel, I pack lightly. I took just one small suitcase for my two-week cruise, with only clothes that I could wash and hang-dry overnight. Coolibar clothes fit the bill perfectly. These are some of my favorites:
Sport Shirt: I wore this shirt many of the days we went ashore. It’s light as a feather, with a hidden front pocket for a passport or money. I loved the vibrant color (Lagoon) and got lots of compliments on it.
ZnO Sun Wrap: This is what I mean by innovative technology. The ZnO line is made with bamboo cotton embedded with micro-particles of zinc oxide. Sounds like sunscreen for your skin, but there’s no messy application. It’s safe to say I wore my ZnO Sun Wrap every day. It kept me comfortable in air-conditioned restaurants or out on deck late at night while stargazing.
ZnO Beach Pants: They might be considered beach pants, but I got away wearing them into town, to market, sightseeing, you-name-it. Indispensable, they are the perfect accompaniment to the Sport Shirt or other sun-protective shirt. Mine are white and I worried if they would stand up to frequent hand-washing but they did and still look like new.
Sun Shawl: Sometimes I just wanted to wear my skimpiest bathing suit and lie in the sun. That’s when my sun shawl came in handy. It’s long enough to cover me from head to toe. And it’s so lightweight I wouldn’t heat up underneath it. Perfect for lying poolside and reading.
ZnO Maxi Dress: You can dress it up or down. Nicely fitted, but not clingy. Does double duty as a sundress and a dinner dress. I never thought a little black dress could be so versatile!”
Last week, Journalist and TV Personality Anderson Cooper shared that he went blind for 36 hours after suffering eye sunburn. Cooper was in Portugal where he spent ample time out on the water reporting for CBS’s “60 Minutes.” Cooper was not wearing sunglasses.
“I wake up in the middle of the night and it feels like my eyes are on fire, my eyeballs and I think, ‘Oh, maybe I have sand in my eyes or something,” Anderson said. “I douse my eyes with water. Anyway, it turns out I have sunburned my eyeballs and I go blind. I went blind for 36 hours.” Other symptoms of eye sunburn include blurred vision, irritation, pain, redness, tearing and (like Cooper) temporary vision loss called photokeratitis.
Just like our skin, our eyes are susceptible to damage from the sun. Exposure to intense sunlight for even a short period of time can essentially cause your eyes to develop sunburn. Both short and long term exposure to UV rays could create vision problems and eye damage, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation.
It’s extremely important to not only protect your skin from sunburn but your eyes as well. We’ve compiled some simple tips to keep your eyes protected.
1. Always wear protective eyewear outdoors
The sun’s ultra violet rays reach the earth’s surface even on cloudy days. Also, bright reflected sunlight from sidewalks, sand, snow, water and other surfaces can cause UV damage just as easily as direct sunlight.
2. Look for UV 400 sunglasses
Look for lenses that blocks 100% of UVA and UVB rays (label could also say blocks 100% of harmful UV rays or UV 400 protection).
3. Size matters
Bigger frames mean bigger coverage. Look for wide temples so sunlight doesn’t seep in the sides of the sunglasses too.
Your eyes can sunburn too, so take care to be SunAWARE. We hope your eyes are feeling better Cooper! – Coolibar, Sun Protection You Wear
It’s time to start planning for your tropical vacation to escape the chill and daily-grind. We at Coolibar take pride in our ability to not only provide stylish sun protective options for days by the water and more, but to help you pack more efficiently by offering versatile pieces. Take a look at our 2012 resort sunwear. This year’s “in” pieces are pinks, purples and prints that all mix-and-match.
Special Promotion: For Free Standard Shipping Online: Select “standard shipping” when prompted, then enter AUTUMN in the promotion code box when you check out. By Phone: Provide the promo code AUTUMN when completing your order with a representative at 1.800.926.6509. Note: Free standard shipping is available only in the U.S. and its territories. This offer cannot be applied to previous purchases, nor combined with additional promotions and/or codes. Offer expires November 15, 2012.
Meet Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey. An Explorer for National Geographic, Dr. Lindsey is a native Hawaiian and the first Polynesian Explorer and female Fellow in the history of the National Geographic Society. She is an internationally recognized expert in the emergent field of cultural intelligence — and she chooses Coolibar for her sun protection needs.
“In late June I boarded a deep-sea voyaging canoe in Vanuatu to set sail for the Solomon Islands. The 16-member crew and I hoped to make the journey in under a week. But like Life, things don’t always go as planned. In this case, we lost our wind for almost three days and slowly slipped into Honiara Harbor after 10 days at sea.
It would be easy to romanticize a languid voyage across the South Pacific on a 74-foot double-hulled canoe. But the truth was that we bobbed like a cork on the ocean for days with few places to escape the sweltering heat and unrelenting blaze of the sun.
As an Explorer for the National Geographic, I’m often in remote regions of the world. Preparation for my travels can at times feel overwhelming. From malaria to sea sickness, food poisoning to snake bites… I do my best to cover my bases but it’s not easy. When it comes to UV protection, however, I no longer worry about how to prepare. Coolibar has made this part of my life a breeze…no pun intended.
Before I discovered Coolibar I spent an inordinate amount of time searching the internet for products that would provide the best possible sun protection. The fact that Coolibar also creates beautiful clothing is an added bonus.
My travel is extreme, I know. Yet, it affords me the opportunity to test-drive what’s on the market. And, believe me, I put a lot of products to the test! I need to know what works then I count on them completely. And because my travel is precise, I don’t have a spare ounce to pack anything but the best.
Coolibar’s long sleeve shirts, jackets, hat, and long pants proved indispensible.
My skin and I thank you for creating such amazing products!”
Michael Hubsmith is executive vice president with Coolibar, and had been actively developing sun protection products for over a decade. He recently sat down with SunAWARE for a feature in their new magazine Perfect Skin Protection to give his take on what he calls “the second generation” of sun protection products. Here is a snippet of our favorite pieces from the article below.
So, Michael, what do you mean when you say “second generation” sun protection products?
New products are being created around the world. Some are wonderfully simple and highly effective. A flap attached to a beach umbrella to provide full shade from the side or a glove with a sleeve to protect the left arm while driving, are two clear examples of innovative problem solving.
The most exciting new product I’ve seen recently was a low lawn chair with a kind of canopy over the top. This is exciting as it meets the need of so many parents and fans at their kids’ soccer games or swim meets. It’s also exciting as it shows just how far the thinking has come about sun protection products. I’ve heard friends complain about roasting in the sun during these kinds of events, and this chair helps solve the problem. Some of them even have flaps in front that help when facing west.
What are most important trends in sun protection clothes?
Most importantly, sun protection clothes have gone mainstream.
When made well, the protection offered is completely safe, consistent in its level of protection, not messy, and ultimately less expensive than relying on sunscreen for full body protection. Consumers are beginning to understand that.
It’s exciting that the general population understands that there is a specific clothing category for sun protective garments where ten years ago they did not. It is much more main stream now. This is a significant shift.
And you see the change everywhere. More people are wearing wide brimmed hats as opposed to baseball caps at sporting events, for example, I saw caddies at the PGA Championship wearing wide-brimmed hats (3”brims all around).
Kids are wearing rash guards (swim shirts) as fashion statements – like a pop cultural garment – just being cool – not really caring about sun protection, although someone else may be doing the caring for them. This is a great step forward.
And, again, most of the manufacturers in the sun protective clothing category are conscientious. They test their materials and you can rely upon their labels.
With all the new sun protection products on the market and all the new product claims being made, are there any that you would suggest consumers avoid?
Well, I’d say a small bikini style bathing suit made with protective fabric is not really what consumers should look for when thinking about sun protection. I also hesitate to recommend the products that claim you can add chemicals to your wash to make your clothes protective.
The biggest issue or mistake that people make is that they believe UV protection comes only by blocking UV rays. So the test they recommend is to hold a fabric up to light to see if any light passes through. This is absolutely the wrong test because UVR is invisible and does not pass through fabric the same way.
Fabrics that claim to be sun protective have been tested using laboratory equipment. Most combine blockers and diffusers to protect you from UV rays. So the chemicals added into laundry may block some, but the individual will never know what the UPF rating is because they can’t test it.
Blocking UVR is not like adding a water repellent. Without testing, you have no idea if it will work. So if a person is really looking for UPF clothing, or sun protective clothing, they should get it from a company that has guaranteed testing of the material and rated it accordingly, and not try to do it themselves.
Finding stylish protection can prove challenging. Additionally, many sun hats on the market today do not protect your neck, cheeks, nose, and mouth areas from the sun’s UV rays. Devra Wathen (pictured left) is the founder and CEO of Escaping the Sun In Style™, an innovative hat company based out of Hawaii. ETSIS hats offer a smart and sophisticated option for those looking for ultimate sun protection, while staying in style. We decided to find out more about Devra and her company that’s changing the way people view sun protection.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a born and bred Midwest girl who moved to Colorado to “find my fortune”. I enjoyed a great active, outdoorsy lifestyle there and eventually started a successful leasing company, which is how I met my husband Chuck, a real estate developer. After we got married, Chuck landed some projects in Honolulu, Hawaii and we jumped at the chance to move here (who wouldn’t!). The glorious sun and paradise were perfect. Needless to say, I spent my days drinking in the golden sunlight, driving back and forth in my convertible to work, being super outdoorsy, enjoying the fabulous beaches. We’ve been here since then. I am semi-retired but came out of it when I began my work in Sun Protection with ETSIS.
How long has ESTIS been in business? What inspired you to start this company?
ETSIS started three years ago, but has only started to really gain its legs this year. Being a sun protection company, it was born from my own personal need for better sun protection.
About 7 years ago, I started noticing bad spots on the left side of my face and arms. I went to my derm and he told me it was basal cell carcinoma, and after removing it, he told me that I needed to be more wary of the sun if I didn’t want to end up with more aging, spots, or worst of all, melanoma! My derm told me all my days of being in the car and lying out in the sun had caught up with me and I needed to be super diligent with protecting myself—especially the left side of my face and arms, with all the time spent in the car. A long quest to find the perfect sun hat that protected my face and neck, looked good and worked whether I was driving, walking the dog or just out at the beach turned up fruitless. So I just started pinning towels and napkins into the brim of my favorite Coolibar sun hat to protect against the sun.
Um, this did not sit well with my husband, who said I looked like a bag lady trolling around the neighborhood, and would I please utilize my fashion sense and figure something else out? A girl CANNOT just let that slide! So, I got to work and ETSIS was born after some trial and error. My girl friends loved it, one of them introduced me to a representative of the world’s largest hat manufacturer and the rest is history (so to speak)!
What’s different about ESTIS hats versus other sun hats?
Where do I start?
ETSIS hats are like your traditional and fashion forward UPF sun hats, with the twist that they can be worn five different ways. Our SunEscape Protection Panels are like luxuriously soft scarves that snap into the inner crown of each ETSIS Hat, allowing you to tie the hat four ways. If you want to protect yourself, wrap the panels around your face, back around your neck and tie in front…add a pair of fabulous sunglasses and you look like a 50s screen goddess! That’s called our Signature Wrap. You can also do an off the shoulder tie to keep your hands free for when you don’t need to wear your hat but don’t want to carry it. You can tie the panels behind your head in a cute knot to keep it from flying off your head in wind, too. Lastly, for our customers with medical conditions, you can pull the panels up and over your cheeks to cover your mouth and nose in a clinical wrap to protect you from airborne pollutants. If you don’t need the panels at all, snap them out of the hat, put them in your handbag and wear the hat as a basic sun hat.
The protection panels keep you warm in winter, but also wick away heat and moisture when it’s warm, so they can be worn year-round! And they’re rated UPF50+ so you get maximum UVA/UVB protection 365 days a year.
Basically, our hat takes a regular hat and transforms it into the ultimate accessory with sun protection built in! ETSIS hats are versatile, functional and fashion-forward options for all occasions and all types of activities. What sun hat can actually say that?
We’ve heard rumors that you’ve started working with SunAWARE. Is this true and if so how are you working together?
Yes, that’s true. SunAWARE approached me and asked me to write a feature article on the growing trend of sun protection, how it developed and where it’s going. I’m not sure if I can say more yet, but you’ll be the first to know when the project launches!
On a personal level, how do you style your ETSIS hat? Where do you wear it?
I personally wear the hat in our Signature Wrap style (shown in video below) the most. I love feeling glamorous like a 50s movie star. I usually wear it with a fantastic Coolibar UPF sun shirt or jacket, cute leggings and a cute little skirt, my signature bangles, and of course, a pair of fabulous sunglasses (gotta protect the eyes, too!).
I wear my hats EVERYWHERE. From running errands, going to the beach, walking the dog, going shopping. Anytime I go outside, I put on sun protection—I wear UPF clothing 365 days a year. Since our hats can be worn 5 different ways, I’m not trapped into only being able to wear my hat to some places, but I can wear it wherever I go. Except for black tie parties or fancy dinners – I like showing off my hairstyles for those.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Since the sun’s UV rays are responsible for 80% of our skin’s aging, ETSIS hats are truly an essential component of an anti-aging beauty routine. By protecting our skin, we can help prevent premature aging as well as skin cancer. Our hats are a stylish option for women who can’t always wear sunscreens, or for those who don’t want to have to reapply ever couple of hours.
And they’re soon available worldwide through Coolibar. Look for ETSIS next week at coolibar.com.
Helen Vong, skin care guru at theskiny.com, came to us with a brilliant SunAWARE idea. “Let’s do a Coolibar UPF 50+ outfit makeover to show how easy it is to be protected from the sun.” Who are we to argue?
“After writing a magazine story about the aging effects of the sun, back in the early spring, I decided that this (now past) summer is going to be year I start changing my ways. Why? Well frankly, I’m getting older and my skin isn’t bouncing back like it did from weekend trips to the cottage.
Like most people I only really wore sunscreen on vacation, and in my twenties, I went on my fair share of sun escapes – and I have the sunspots to prove it. In fact, I’ve got a newly formed speckle on my lower lip that wasn’t there last year (thank you, Ibiza). After age 30 you can’t get away with calling these spots ‘cute freckles’ anymore.
Consider this photo taken last summer at the hotel lobby at the Thompson in Beverly Hills (before picture). At first glance, you’d think I was being sun smart with a wide brimmed hat and long sleeved button up shirt. Truth is, that flimsy hat was a cheapie from Walmart with absolutely no sun filter. The shirt was also a bargain that was useless against the scorching UVA rays (think of the “A” as for aging) I surely soaked in that weekend.
I guess I could’ve wore clothing with sun protection, but I’ve long equated anti-sun clothing as frumpy athletic gear. And who wants to look blah on Rodeo Drive? In retrospect, I wish I knew about Coolibar, back then. This company makes sun-protective apparel look sexy! I particularly fell in love with their sun hats. My dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett, says that size matters when it comes to the brim of an effective sun hat: six inches is the way to go.”
Helen took her look and gave it a UPF 50+ makeover (after picture).