Inside Coolibar Wellness Warriors

A rising need for skin cancer prevention resources in Tanzania

Cancer care in Tanzania is a great challenge to both the government and the citizens due to limited resources and facilities. Tanzania is increasingly facing a dual problem of communicable and chronic illnesses such as cancer. Those with albinism in Tanzania are especially suffering from skin cancer due to their sun sensitivityThe Tanzania Albino Society believes the total number of those with albinism in their region could be more than 150,000.

The East African Medical Assistance Foundation (EAMAF) has been assisting Tanzania with cancer care through Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) for many years, mainly training Radiologists who are now placed all over the country in public and private health facilities. Secondly they have help equip KCMC with diagnostic equipments and facilities. Despite contributions thus far, helping people with Skin Cancer prevention, especially for those with albinism, is paramount.

Global Health Ministries in Fridley, MN who arranges the safe arrival of the EAMAF supply containers in Africa provided a route to get approximately 800 Coolibar sun protective items into this area to assist with skin cancer prevention efforts. This effort was imperative to many as UVA and UVB rays contribute to skin aging, cataracts and skin cancer.

We at Coolibar wished to share the cheerful photos of when the donated product arrived! Also, a special thanks to our Coolibar colleague Ben Socwell for introducing Coolibar to these life changing organizations!

Photo album of presentation of Coolibar clothing and hat to Albino National Leadership and Member of Parliament in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania:

[nggallery id=30]

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Coolibar Athletes

Windsurfer Marion Reviews Coolibar Stash Pocket Swim Shirt

Marion Lepert, windsurfer and Coolibar athlete, spends almost 10 hours a day in the sun. She recently returned from the US Nationals in Hood River, OR where she became the 2012 US National Women Overall Champion. While there, she used her Coolibar Stash Pocket Swim Shirt on the water. Now she shares her thoughts on its on-course performance.

What are you overall thoughts on the shirt?
This is a terrific shirt to wear for water activities. I have tried many sun protection swim shirts over the years, but this one is my favorite. It is light, comfortable, and practical. I also like that it is not just a swim shirt, but can also be easily worn off the water.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?
I wear this shirt when I go windsurfing in the summer.

What are your favorite features?
My favorite feature is the fabric because of how it handles water. I also like the cut and the shirt’s special features: the thumbhole sleeves and the stash pocket. When I do not have my Coolibar gloves handy, I put on my thumbhole sleeves and know that my hands will stay protected from the sun. I also like the stash pocket because it is a great way to keep keys or sun protection lip balm on me.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?
I think the fabric is what distinguishes this shirt most from other swim shirts I have tried. Unlike other shirts, this shirt does not feel heavy or sticky after I fall in the water. It stays light and dries fast.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?
The fabric exceeded my expectations!

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?
The shirt does keep me cool. This is true even when I am in the hot sun and still dry on my windsurfing board.

Did the fabric stick to your skin?
No, the fabric did not stick to my skin.

What do you want others to know about this shirt?
This is a must have for anybody spending time in the water. With sunscreens not working well in the water, this shirt offers a more reliable way of staying protected from the sun. It is light and comfortable and makes being in the water enjoyable without having to worry about the sun. I definitely recommend it!

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Inside Coolibar

What it means to be a Coolibar customer service representative

We wanted to share with you what it means to be a Coolibar customer service representative. So we asked Melissa, a member of the Coolibar Customer Service Team (CST) since this spring to share what she thinks. Below is what she said.

“Coolibar products are so much more than fashionable sun clothing.  We often we hear touching stories from our customers of how Coolibar products have changed their lives.   Our customers are our best brand advocates and we’ve gotten to know many of them quite well.  Their stories and photos really brighten our day and remind us that Coolibar is an active part of their lives.”

“At the forefront of our customer relationships is us, the CST.  We eagerly listen to stories, recommendations, complaints, feedback, and experiences with our products.  Our friendly, tight-knit team works together to provide each customer with a great Coolibar experience. We are all excited about Coolibar and sharing it with others, which makes it easy to extend those feelings to our customers. The close team atmosphere (both in spirit and proximity!) helps to ensure everyone is working together to provide the best service possible. We are up-to-date on information regarding our apparel, accessories, umbrellas and the sunscreens we carry. We share knowledge between departments and work together to guarantee customer questions and concerns are responded to as thoroughly and completely as possible.”

“With such amazing products, it’s important that the quality of service matches the quality of our products. Being with Coolibar as a customer service representative and part of the CST means going beyond pedestrian services, it means ensuring our customers have the care and attention they deserve. Our CST strives to deliver consistent and in depth attention to each and every question that is brought to our attention. We played a vital role in reaching company milestones this year, such as recommending hot new items like the Long Sleeve Fitness Shirt and the Wide Leg Pant, and setting a new record for the most packages shipped over Memorial Day weekend!”

“We love to hear from you.  If you have any experiences or feedback please contact us!”

Melissa
Coolibar Customer Service                                                                                                           service@coolibar.com                                                                                                                    1.800.926.6509                                                                                                                                                                      (I’m the one below in the scarf, second in on the right.)

A small group of our amazing dedicated customer service team
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Contests

Enter to Win Coolibar Sunwear by Adding a Caption to this Photo!

These bathing beauties forgot their swim shirts. We don’t want that to happen to you, so we’re giving one away! Put your Coolibar thinking cap on and add your most thoughtful, clever caption to the photo below for a chance to win a Coolibar UPF 50+ shirt of your choice!

Enter in 1 of 3 ways:
1. “Leave a reply” on this blog post below with your caption.
2. Like Coolibar on Facebook and comment on the photo.
3. Follow Coolibar on Pinterest and comment on the photo.

Add your caption by September 10, 2012. Our Coolibar customer service team will choose the most awe-inspiring caption on September 12, 2012.

Photo credit: David Peekin, 1947

To enter, you must be 18 years of age or older. Contest open to residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia. The winner will receive up to $80 Coolibar merchandise credit to use on one (1) Coolibar UPF 50+ shirt. Options may be limited based on inventory. Winner will be chosen by Coolibar customer service team based on caption creativity related to sun protection or tanning. Inappropriate comments will be deleted and disqualified. No purchase necessary to win. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. One entry per person. Contest rules subject to changes at the discretion of Coolibar.

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Parenting School sun safety SunAWARE

What You Need to Know About Sun Protection at Your Child’s School

While the teacher doesn’t typically require sun protection, it’s a back-to-school item parents should strongly consider. Not all schools allow hats or sunscreen, and we hope schools change their policies in the near future. All the same, we have suggestions to ensure your child is sun safe.

1. Before leaving the house, help your child apply broad-spectrum sunscreen. Then teach them how to properly reapply sunscreen before recess. A parent or doctor note may be necessary for your child to do this depending on your school’s policy. If required, discuss sunscreen use with your child’s teacher directly. When choosing a sunscreen, look for active ingredients that block both UVA and UVB rays, such and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and a rating of SPF 30+. Sunscreen should be used every day – including cloudy days.

2. Instruct your child to play in shaded areas during recess if possible, especially days the UV index is high. Ultraviolet radiation is most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when recess is in session. Approximately 50 percent of the daily UV exposure is received during the four hours around noon.

3. Dress your child in sun protective clothing when possible. UPF 50+ clothing provides excellent sun protection that doesn’t wash or wear off. Wearing tightly woven loose fitting clothing can also shade skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

4. If your school allows, send your child to school with a wide-brimmed hat or legionnaire hat that covers neck and ears. A hat with at least a 3-inch brim all the way around is best. Baseball caps do not protect the back of the neck or the ears. If you wish all students could wear hats during recess, check out our Coolibar School Sun Hat Program. We provide half off children’s hats for schools!

5. Have your child wear sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV rays or that are rated UV 400. Wearing UV sunglasses protects eyes from cataracts, retinal damage, macular degeneration and eyelid cancer.

“80 percent of the sun’s damage occurs before age 18,” says John Barrow, founder and president of Coolibar. “Children need to be educated about sun safety practices early to avoid the risks of melanoma later.”

Now you know how to teach your child to be SunAWARE at school!

Long Memorial Middle School Saddle Brook NJ
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Apply Sunscreen SunAWARE Sunscreens and Lotions

Pampering Your Skin on Airplanes

Way up high in the sky your skin goes to battle with re-circulated dry air and an extra dose of sunlight. These elements leave skin near lifeless by the time you land. Never fear! We have suggestions to save your skin (all 3.4 oz or less of course).

Airplanes have low-humidity. Drinking water and avoiding alcoholic beverages can help retain moisture, but it only goes so far.  Additionally, daytime flyers are exposed to UVA – aging rays (all glass will filter UVB (burning) rays). An airplane’s proximity to the sun intensifies UVA exposure. The American Optometric Association estimates a 4% increase in UV radiation with every 1000 feet of elevation, and most commercial aircrafts fly between 30,000 to 40,000 feet above ground. Holly extra UVA!

Step off the plane looking and feeling great by keeping these simple tips and products in mind:

SUNSCREEN

Your number one skin saver should be sunscreen. Not only are most sunscreens moisturizing, but they’ll help prevent skin from absorbing aging rays!

Our favorite moisturizing sunscreens:

Cotz Face SPF 40, 1.5 oz. (matte finish) – $20

Blue Lizard SPF 30+ Face, 3 oz. – $10

Badger Unscented SPF 34, 2.9 oz. – $16

 

SUNGLASSES

If UVA reaches your skin, it reaches your eyes too. Look for shades that block 100% of UVA and UVB or are rated UV400. Sunglasses may help keep your eyes moist too!

Coolibar UV Sunglasses – $49 to $119

 

LIP PROTECTION

Your lips have some of the thinnest skin on your body. Because lips do not contain oil glands, they tend to dry out easily and become chapped. Additionally, the sun only causes chapped lips to worsen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher.

Our favorite SPF lip balms:

Vanicream Lip Protectant SPF 30, 0.35 oz. – $5

CoTZ Lips SPF 45, 0.14 oz. – $7

 

LOTION OR HYDRATING MIST

Spritzing will help your skin stay moist temporarily, but it’s not a necessity. Future Derm beauty blogger Nicki Zevola and guest blogger Jana Levin have two varying opinions on when to use hydrating mist. 1) Before take-off lightly spray the mist on your face and apply sunscreen over top; or 2) when arriving at your final destination remove all makeup and sunscreen, give your skin a spritz and then reapply sunscreen.

Our favorite hydrating products:

Blue Lizard Sorbolene Cream, 2 oz. – $14

Galen Labs Hydrosols (travel size 5 pack) – $16.99

Colorescience Pro Achromatherapy Gem Spritzers, 4 oz. (you’ll have to use this one before or after travel) – $10 to $35

Soothing Travels!

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Events SunAWARE

Raw Elements Narragansett Surf Event

Take a moment to Hang Ten with Coolibar and Raw Elements

The Waterman Eco Challenge held on July 21st in Rhode Island, an event created as a weekend dedicated to ocean and sun safety put on by Coolibar sunscreen vendor Raw Elements, was a great success!  An estimated 10,000 people were on the beach that day most cheering on the competitors racing to paddle out past the break.

A recap of the day from Brian Guadagno, Founder of Raw Elements USA, Sr. Lifeguard Captain, Narragansett Surf Rescue:

“What a great summer day with sunny skies, what more could you ask for? How about 3-4 foot NE wind swell! The conditions definitely added to the energy of the day and the event. It was so great to see so many men and women come out and paddle! The event is all about you guys and we were so stoked on the turn out and how well everyone did under the conditions. For some, it was business as usual getting out past the break. For others, it was likely the first time they had attempted that and everyone battled and didn’t give up. Everyone made it out and it was awesome to hear the crowd cheering on and rooting for every last paddler until everyone was on their way. I know there were a number of paddlers who were stoked to get out there and paddle but opted not to because of the conditions. We all totally respect knowing your personal limitations and taking a responsible approach toward ocean safety. There were a number of close finishes and the competition was really tight! We were thrilled to have everyone make the 2nd annual Waterman Eco-Challenge the day it was! We are already excited and looking forward to planning next year’s event!”

All beach goers also had the opportunity to learn the 5 easy steps of SunAWARE at the Raw Elements tent, where sunscreen samples and SunAWARE materials were available.

P.S. The lifesaving team was protected by these Coolibar men’s and women’s rash guards.

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Expert Rx

Can Vitamin A Help Prevent Melanoma?

If you could take a pill to reduce your chances of getting melanoma would you? A new study appearing in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology provides evidence that taking a Vitamin A supplement may do just that.

While it’s still too early to tell whether or not this claim is true, the results are still noteworthy. Researchers analyzed almost 70,000 people, most around age 62, for a five-year period. They found participants taking Vitamin A supplements were approximately 40 percent less likely to develop melanoma than those who did not. The study also concluded that while supplements seemed to lower melanoma risk, eating food hearty in Vitamin A did not seem to affect a person’s likelihood of getting melanoma.

Vitamin A can be toxic in high doses, so it’s important to discuss your medications and vitamin supplements with your physician prior to changing your daily routine.

Steps you can currently take to prevent skin cancers include using sun protection and getting regular skin checks.

More on this study from WebMD

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade What's Hot

Parasols Are In and Great for Your Skin

Look around and you’ll start seeing more parasols (a.k.a. umbrellas) on sunny days. That’s right, no rain, just in pure wonderful sunshine. Why? They’re not only a great addition to your outfit, but they help block the sun’s ultraviolet rays that can cause premature aging and skin cancer. What’s not to love?!

Tip: If beautiful skin is your prerogative, look for the following when choosing your perfect parasol:

Large arch. A parasol with a large arch will block more UV from the side.

Dark interior. The darker the color, the better the umbrella will absorb reflective UV rays.

Reflective or dark exterior. A reflective exterior will deflect more UV and keep you cooler. A dark material will absorb UV.

UPF 30 or higher ratings. Some parasols will provide a UPF rating. An umbrella rated UPF 50+ will block 98% or higher of direct UVA and UVB rays. Remember UV rays bounce off pavement, water, sand and other reflective surfaces. Applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher, sun protective clothing and UV sunglasses will offer even greater sun protection.

Stay beautiful and on trend. Use sun protection and parasols.

View parasols on Pinterest!

Shop Coolibar UPF 50 Umbrellas and Shade.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Titanium Fashion Umbrella

 

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing

The Coolibar Guarantee

Coolibar’s commitment to providing the highest quality sun protection possible is something we take very seriously. In the past few months, various news outlets posted articles questioning the effectiveness of sun protective clothing. In response, we decided to take a moment to clarify a few points about Coolibar sun protective clothing and our UPF 50+ guarantee. We invite and appreciate all feedback in the reply section below.

Does the UPF protection wear out or wash out? How can you be sure?

Because we are so meticulous about testing, we can absolutely guarantee UPF 50+ protection from the first day our product is worn until the last day.

Coolibar UV fabric testing results significantly exceed all published American and Australian standards and are submitted to the following tests:

  • UV transmittance tests performed according to the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Test Method 183 (AATCC 183).
  • Fabrics tested both before and after life cycle exposure to laundering, sunlight, and chlorinated water according to American Society for Testing and Materials D 6544 (ASTM D 6544); (life cycle – 40 washings, exposure to 100 fading units of simulated sunlight).
  • Garments labeled according to the guidelines specified in American Society of Testing and Materials D 6603 (ASTM D 6603).
  • Each color of production fabric tested according to the Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS4399 for UV transmittance developed by the Australian Radiation Protection Agency And Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)

 

Do you need to add additional sun protection to the product such as Sun Guard or wear sunscreen under Coolibar sunwear?

At Coolibar, we carefully develop technical fabrics that are then thoroughly tested at independent labs to ensure each product meets or exceeds our UPF 50+ standard. This UPF 50+ rating is the highest rating available to clothing and blocks more than 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. There is no need to add UV detergent to the clothing. Sunscreen is only required on areas of skin not covered by Coolibar clothing.

 

Do all sun protective clothing brands offer the same sun protection?

Other companies may claim their products offer UV protective qualities, but very few make the investment required to ensure lasting performance. Our experience has shown that a single UV fabric test does not accurately reflect the consistency of UVA & UVB blocking levels across similar fabrics or colors. Each year, we test over 600 samples of our production fabrics, at each stage of manufacturing, so that we can match the UV transmittance level of each Coolibar garment to exact test results. We use independent labs to test every color and every dye lot for each fabric used so that we can confidently guarantee the consistent level of UV protection throughout the life of each garment. We know of no other apparel company that can make the same claim and back it up with independent lab test results.

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