Expert Rx

Dermatologist Plea: Use Sun Protection Year Round

Now that fall has arrived, your skin care regimen may change, but please leave sun protection in the mix. UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays are present year-round, whether cloudy or sunny.  By forgoing sun protection in the fall and winter, you may be exposing your skin to sun damage, which accumulates slowly over-time causing age spots, wrinkles or worse. Take it from Dr. Cynthia Bailey who has been practicing dermatology in California for over 24 years. Never tuck your sun protection away, even for a day.

Expert advice from Dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, M.D.

You know that you should protect your skin from the summer sun, but what about the rest of the year? And what about the morning and late afternoon, do you know if that sun will cause wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer? You’ve noticed that the sun feels weaker in the non-summer months and in the morning and afternoon, can it still damage your skin if you don’t sun protect?

I see a lot of patients in my dermatology practice with tanned and wrinkled skin who tell me that because they walk or swim in the morning or during the non-summer months that they don’t need sunscreen or sun protective clothing.  They think that because the sun feels weaker they’re safe. Yes, the sunburn ray called UVB is less intense then, but the sun still damages your skin and the tan and wrinkles are the evidence.

The reason the sun is harmful is that UVA rays are out in full intensity; they’re out all day, all year, and at the same intensity as mid-day in the summer!  This means that from sunup to sundown, January or July you’re getting the same hit of UVA. Plus, UVA penetrates your skin more deeply than UVB causing significant and irreversible damage to the deeper parts, and this causes wrinkles.  As if that’s not enough, your sunscreen SPF value tells you nothing about how well your product blocks UVA.  In fact many products don’t do a good job blocking the UVA rays, which is one of the big criticisms of sunscreens.

I’m writing this post in September and I hope that it will help you plan great sun protection for your skin as we move into fall and winter.  Don’t slack off on your sun protection just because the sunburn ray is less intense and the sun feels less damaging. You need to take UVA seriously, which means you need really good protection from UVA.

UVA is bad news! It penetrates skin more deeply than the sunburn ray UVB and the havoc it wreaks on your skin is caused by free radicals.  These free radicals cause a damage that leads to skin thinning (atrophy), which is what causes most of the wrinkles and skin fragility that we erroneously associate with aging (extrinsic aging of the skin as opposed in intrinsic aging).  Thin, fragile skin tears and bruises easily as you get older and we can’t reverse it.  UVA is also linked to the development of skin cancers, including melanoma.  To reiterate, UVA damage is not reversible which means prevention is really important.

Even on brisk fall days, the sun's UV rays are present.

What’s my advice for the best year round UVA sun protection for your skin?

1.  Keep the sun off your skin with sun protective clothing and a full brim hat

Try to cover as much of your skin as possible and when it’s not really hot outside this is easy to do.  Remember, when you depend on sunscreen alone you need a ‘thick and sticky coat’ every 2 hours, and that’s hard to keep up with.  Plus, a sunscreen’s protection isn’t perfect and neither is your application of it.  My preference is that you wear sun protective clothing for the best sun protection.  Ideally you want to wear clothes that protects your full arms and chest too.  These are areas where people get a lot of unfortunate skin thinning from sun damage because they wear short sleeved v-neck shirts.  During hot weather or outdoor athletic activities wear functional garments like swim shirts and tights, ventilated sun protective shirts etc.  Don’t skimp on yourself, create a wardrobe that really protects your skin. 

2.  Wear broad spectrum sunscreen everyday on all the skin that’s left uncovered

This includes your face, neck, ears and the back of your hands.  Make sure your sunscreen product blocks UVA well.  In my opinion, this means using a product with 5% or more micronized zinc oxide. Sunscreen formulation is still tricky though which is why I stick with a small group of products that I’ve seen work over and over for my patients and my family.  Sunscreen product failure is all too common with other sunscreens, you need a product that you can trust especially with UVA because the UV ray doesn’t cause a quick sunburn and it may take weeks to figure out that your product is letting UVA through.  I also don’t recommend that you rely on a facial moisturizer for UVA protection because most don’t do a good job at that.  Remember the SPF tells you only about UVB protection, not about UVA protection.  Be deliberate about your daily application of sunscreen, use only a broad spectrum product so that you have the UVA protection you need to keep your skin healthy and strong.

3.  Add high concentration antioxidant skin care products to your facial skin care routine and apply them everyday

Scientific studies have shown that applying highly concentrated antioxidants to your skin really does reduce UV damage.  The best are the green tea polyphenols, vitamin C and E.  There is no regulation on these products though meaning any skin cream or serum can make grand claims about containing antioxidants yet include only a minute ‘fairy dusting’ concentration that doesn’t do anything.  A recent study of sunscreen products with added antioxidants showed that the incidental amounts added to those products did not provide free radical protection and had no antioxidant power when tested in the laboratory.  With the right products though I’ve seen my patients get real results (fewer precancerous lesions for me to treat during their checkups).  These products are the two Replenix Creams and the C/R/S vitamin C serum that I sell from my web store. 

4.  Don’t forget to seek the shade to sun protect your skin

As the weather gets colder it’s so tempting to want to sit in the direct sun, but only do that with sun protective clothing and sunscreen on.  Keep your skin out of the sun as much as possible.  Remember that UV rays bounce off pavement, sand, rocks, buildings etc.  If you’re getting a tan you’re exposed.

5.  Don’t listen to people who tell you to get non-summer, morning or afternoon sun to prevent vitamin D deficiency

Remember, UVA doesn’t make vitamin D in your skin so resist that false advice to get year round sun exposure for your vitamin D production.  Most places in the world only have enough UVB rays during the summer to make meaningful vitamin D in your skin.  Even then, I don’t recommend using your skin as a vitamin D factory because it gives doctors like me job security.  Vitamin D is pretty complex and I always recommending talking to your personal doctor for advice.  To read more about my opinion on vitamin D and the sun click here to read my article Are You Really Getting Vitamin D From The Sun Or Just Nuking Your DNA?

Reference: Ex vivo evaluation of radical sun protection factor in popular sunscreens with antioxidants, Steven Q. Wang, MD et. al., Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2011;65:525-30

More from Dr. Bailey at http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog/.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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Sun Protection Clothing

Sun Protective Clothing – Your Best Defense Against the Sun

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention (NCSCP) has updated their advice on skin cancer prevention, and “Wear Protective Clothing” has been listed before “Generously Apply Sunscreen.”  The National Coucil is comprised of members from all leading skin cancer prevention organizations.  The Skin Cancer Foundation, a member of the NCSCP, says, “Clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection. It is our first line of defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.” However, not all clothing provides adequate sun protection.  Look for a UPF 50+ rating, which is the highest rating available for clothing and blocks 98% UVA and UVB rays.

Check out the Skin Cancer Foundation’s rundown on sun protective clothing and learn how to choose apparel that will ensure your skin is safe in the sun.

The Skin Cancer Foundation on Sun Protective Clothing

What a UPF Rating Really Means

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation is absorbed. A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. This means the fabric will reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure significantly, because only 2 percent of the UV rays will get through.

What’s the Difference between UPF and SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the rating you’re familiar with for sunscreens and other sun-protective products. It measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden, while UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin.

Which Fabrics are Best?

As a rule, light-colored, lightweight and loosely-woven fabrics do not offer much protection from the sun. That white T-shirt you slip on at the beach when you feel your skin burning provides only moderate protection from sunburn, with an average ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 7. At the other end of the spectrum, a long-sleeved dark denim shirt offers an estimated UPF of 1,700 – which amounts to a complete sun block. In general, clothing made of tightly-woven fabric best protects skin from the sun. The easiest way to test if a fabric can protect your skin is to hold it up to the light. If you can see through it, then UV radiation can penetrate it – and your skin.

The color of the fabric also plays a role. Darker-colored fabrics are more effective than lighter at blocking out the sun. For instance, the UPF of a green cotton T-shirt is 10 versus 7 for white cotton, and a thicker fabric such as velvet in black, blue or dark green has an approximate UPF of 50.

Fabric Content and the Wearer’s Activity Make a Difference

What the clothing is made of matters. Fabrics such as unbleached cotton contain special pigments called lignins that act as UV absorbers. High-luster polyesters and even thin, satiny silk can be highly protective because they reflect radiation.

Even if the piece of clothing has a good UPF, what you do while wearing it can make a difference. If the fabric gets stretched, it will lose some of its protective ability, because the fabric becomes thinner and more transparent to light. And once it gets wet, it can lose up to 50 percent of its UPF. In Florida, it is a common practice for parents to put a white T-shirt on their children to protect them from the sun while swimming. But when that T-shirt gets wet, it provides a UPF of only 3.

Consider High-Tech Clothing

When selecting clothes for sun protection, consider fabrics that have been specially treated with chemical UV absorbers, known as colorless dyes. These prevent some penetration of both UVB and UVA rays. A number of manufacturers are now making special sun-protective clothing that has been treated with a chemical sunblock during the manufacturing process. In addition, they use fabrics of the weave and colors that provide protection best. The garments are designed to cover as much of the skin as possible.

New standards for sun-protective fabrics in the US were unveiled in January, 2001. UPF is similar to SPF, in that they both measure protection.

Only clothes with a UPF of 15-50+ may be labeled as sun-protective. Clothes that are marketed with a sun-protective claim are usually UPF 50+. Also, like regular clothing, sun-protective clothing may lose its effectiveness if pulled too tight or stretched out, if it becomes damp or wet, or if it is washed and worn repeatedly.

Reference: Skin Cancer Foundation website. http://www.skincancer.org/sun-protective-clothing.html 

Coolibar is the authority in sun protection. With years of advanced testing and innovative sun-blocking technologies, we make the highest quality sun protective fabrics available. Shop Coolibar or visit the Coolibar Facebook Page to have a sun protection expert answer your questions about sun protective clothing.

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Events

Jacksonville Jaguars Support Melanoma Prevention

October 9, 2011 marks the first NFL game dedicated to Melanoma Prevention. The Jacksonville Jaguars have teamed up with the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) to spread the word on skin cancer prevention and detection.

The MRF is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma whose mission is to Research, Educate and Advocate. They are helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure.

You can support the MRF by attending the game on October 9th where the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Cincinnati Bengals at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. A portion from each ticket sale will go directly to the Melanoma Research Foundation. Discount tickets can be purchased through the MRF website for $40, $45 or $50 and include a free souvenir t-shirt. 

If you go, bring your enthusiasm, sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, sun protective clothing and sunglasses. EverBank Field is an outdoor stadium and UV rays are present, even on a cloudy day.

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Inside Coolibar

Coolibar Community Outreach

As we swing into fall we would like to take a moment to reflect on the previous year and acknowledge those who are educating our communities on skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. During 2011 Coolibar was able to support both individuals and organizations through the donation of UPF 50+ Coolibar clothing, hats and swimwear. Read on for a list of those inspirational groups and what they do.

Organizations Coolibar Supports (listed alphabetically)

AIM at Melanoma
AIM is committed to melanoma research, education, awareness, and legislation.  They offer a melanoma community for patients, caregivers, and advocates; and collaborate with top melanoma researchers to find the CURE!

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American Academy of Dermatology
The AAD is the most representative of all dermatologic associations. The Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails.

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Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation
The mission of The Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation is to alert the world of the seriousness of melanoma skin cancer and the dangers of the sun’s harmful rays, and to educate all human beings that melanoma does not just affect the fair skinned, rather all colors and races.

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Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation
The CMPF delivers a comprehensive sun safety and melanoma awareness program, free of charge, to school children in Massachusetts with the goal of expanding nationally. The CMPF was created to aggressively focus attention on the need to teach “prevention” or “sun protection” to children, and their caregivers.

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Dermatology Nurses’ Association
The DNA is a professional nursing organization comprised of a diverse group of individuals committed to quality care through sharing knowledge and expertise. The DNA promotes excellence in dermatologic care.

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Melanoma Research Foundation
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. ________________________________________________________________________________

Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer.  The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research.

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Stay Out of the Sun Foundation
The Stay Out of the Sun Foundation was established in 2006 by melanoma survivor Tim Burriss to promote awareness of the dangers of sun exposure and to support melanoma research and education. Based out of Rochester, MN the annual race (which is held in the evening) benefits Melanoma Research at the Mayo Clinic where researches are committed to finding a cure.

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SunAWARE
SunAWARE is an educational organization dedicated to the prevention and detection of skin cancer. Its website provides advice and free educational materials and resources for use by educators, advocates and the general public.

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Expert Rx

Sun Protection Following Cosmetic Procedures

Dr. Shauna Kranendonk is a board-certified dermatologist in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, who specializes in cosmetic and surgical dermatology and has been in private practice since 2000. Dr. Kranendonk’s knowledge in cosmetic dermatology is recognized nationally. In the past year, she has co-authored two textbook chapters, including “Skin Rejuvenation” in the surgical textbook Cosmesis of the Face and Jaw, and “Proprietary Peels” in the dermatology textbook Chemical Peels. Dr. Kranendonk shares her expertise with Coolibar on how to avoid scarring, age spots, new lines and wrinkles by using sun protection after chemical peels and laser treatments.

Everyday patients come into my office looking for ways to look younger.  For skin that is weathered from years of sun exposure, I recommend chemical peels and laser treatments.  These procedures can be performed on virtually any area of the body but most commonly are performed on the face, neck, chest, arms and legs. 

When educating patients about these treatments, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of sun protection, in the form of sunscreen and sun protective clothing. The healing process for peels, varies from 3-7 days.  Laser resurfacing is typically 7-10 days for face, longer for chest and lower extremities. Sunburn during the healing stage can result in scarring.  In addition, patients who don’t properly protect their skin from the sun following chemical peels or laser procedures are at risk for developing dark patches of skin in the treated areas. This complication is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  With treatment, it can take up to several months to resolve.  It is much easier to prevent this complication by avoiding sun exposure during the healing phase. 

The benefits of peels and procedures don’t wear off after a given length of time.  What I tell patients after their procedure is, we’ve turned the clock back, and now it starts ticking again.  Good sun protection will keep the clock ticking at a slower rate and sun exposure will speed it up.

Sun protective clothing helps keep the skin safe from sun exposure following skin rejuvenation procedures.  Sun protective clothing has the unique advantage of being a broad spectrum physical block, which won’t sweat off like sunscreens will.  In addition, many sunscreens sting and burn when applied to the skin, especially following chemical peels or laser treatments, and they don’t provide sufficient sun protection.  Sun protective lightweight breathable fabrics, such as Coolibar SUNTECT® fabrics, help keep the skin from overheating, providing comfortable, safe sun protection.  With sun protective clothing, sun-related complications can be avoided.  And, you can keep your skin healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Shauna Kranendonk, MD
Coastal Dermatology Cosmetic, Laser & Surgery Center

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

Radiant Sun Protection
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Educate Others School sun safety SunAWARE

SunAWARE School Curriculum

The Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation (CMPF) began delivering skin cancer prevention education to school children from kindergarten through grade 12 in 2003.  Its founder Maryellen Maguire-Eisen believed that children needed to have a better understanding of UV intensity and sun protection.  In her career as an oncology/dermatology nurse practitioner, she witnessed an alarming change in the profile of the typical skin cancer patient.  Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, was striking younger people and the numbers for all incidences of skin cancer were rising steadily.  The real tragedy is that a vast number of skin cancers are preventable and easily treated when detected early. 

Digital photography is utilized to create specialized individual student photographs that highlight sun damage.

In the eight years since its inception, the CMPF has enrolled over 100 participating schools in Massachusetts.  Its team of health educators has directly taught the SunAWARE Curriculum to over 250,000 school children.  Using a skin analyzer, SunAWARE educators show upper level students what their skin looks like beneath the visible surface.  “Seeing their accumulated skin damage is a powerful motivator for using sun protection measures while they are still young,” says Ms. Maguire-Eisen.

The SunAWARE curriculum has four major strands: Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation, Understanding Skin Sensitivity, Proven Methods of Sun Protection, and Skin Cancer Recognition and the SunAWARE Action Steps (seen below).  There are four instructional levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.  The curriculum at each level is aligned with the Massachusetts Frameworks in Health and Science.

The SunAWARE curriculum for all four levels is available for download and use free of charge from CMPF’s website, http://www.melanomaprevention.org/.  It is located on the Resource Center page under the SunAWARE program button.  Ms. Maguire-Eisen encourages parents, teachers, health educators, school administrators, community health and wellness personnel to visit the website and use the SunAWARE Program. “Our goal is to make the SunAWARE Program available to everyone as an international resource for sun safety education,” says Ms. Maguire-Eisen.  “Our ultimate goal is to protect all children from the senseless devastation of skin cancer.”  Be Safe.  Be SunAWARE.

5 Action Steps of SunAWARE
A
void unprotected exposure to sunlight, seek shade, and never indoor tan.
Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses year-round.
Apply recommended amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sunburn protection factor (SPF) greater than or equal to 30 to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours, or as needed.
Routinely examine your whole body for changes in your skin and report concerns to a parent or healthcare provider.
Educate your family and community about the need to be SunAWARE.

Maryellen Teaching SunAWARE Curriculum

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Apply Sunscreen Sunscreens and Lotions What's Hot

One-on-One with Colorescience Founder Diane Ranger

Colorescience founder, Diane Ranger, also founder of Bare Escentuals in 1976, invented mineral makeup in 1977. Later she proceeded to create powder sunscreen in 2004. Colorescience Pro is the 21st Century version of mineral cosmetics stressing that each ingredient in each formula has skin care benefits.  Every product is formulated to offer sun care and sun protection. Only the highest quality ingredients are used and products are formulated in high percentages with research to support efficacy.

The creator of the mineral makeup concept and the Founder of Colorescience Pro Diane Ranger talks with Coolibar about her innovative high SPF mineral makeup collection and how to keep your skin looking better than ever.

People often question if makeup can really offer sun protection. What provides the sun protection in Colorescience makeup?  Micronized Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. These are physical sunscreens that work on the surface of the skin to refract and reflect the light away from the skin. Traditional sunscreens work by turning light energy into heat energy, which is why most sunscreens make the skin feel hot and sticky. Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen, Foundations and Primers all offer sun protection that is easy, elegant and effective. Colorescience Pro has the Skin Cancer Seal of approval. Stringent testing is required to receive this seal.

What makes Colorescience different than other makeup brands on the market with SPF? Colorescience Pro uses only physical sunscreens and never uses chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens absorb into the body and generate heat. This exacerbates skin conditions like rosacea, pigmentation or acne. Colorescience Pro uses Zinc Oxide, which is a category one diaper rash treatment, to calm the skin conditions. Titanium dioxide is excited by light and creates an anti-microbial on the surface of the skin. Both of these ingredients will calm the skin and give great sun protection on the surface of the skin!

What skin types does Colorescience makeup work well on? All skin types, ages and genders.

How do you apply the powder for best results?  We are very proud of our self dispensing brush because it makes reapplication so easy. You don’t even need a mirror to reapply throughout the day. We like to say that we have taken the mess out of minerals. It is important to cover the skin surface thoroughly (it still looks and feels weightless), and then continue to reapply and add to the protection as the day unfolds. The minerals are stable and will not break down on the skin the way chemical sunscreens do.

How do you apply the “setting mist” before or after the powder? Is the “setting mist” necessary?  Just spitz the setting mist after each application or any time you want to “give your skin a drink”. As we should drink eight glasses of water for our body each day, our skin loves to be hydrated as well.  The mist adds a boost to the mineral product, making the minerals even more transfer resistant. The mineral sunscreen work very well independent of the setting mist. The setting mist is a bonus to add an even more beautiful glow to the skin.

Is Colorescience makeup water resistant?  Colorescience Pro Sunscreen products are rated “Very Water Resistant”. This is the highest rating awarded to sunscreens. To see just how effective the minerals are, you can go to Colorescience.com and see the “Water Test”. It is a truly amazing demonstration.

How often does it need to be applied to provide sun protection? The FDA requires reapplication of all sunscreen products every 90 minutes.  There are many different factors each person should take into consideration when spending time in the sun. What is your skin type on the Fitzpatrick scale? Are you in high or low altitudes? Are you in the water or on the snow? Are you on medication? What time of day will you be in the sun?  Understanding and respecting the sun are important to optimum health as the sun can be a wonderful thing if we are responsible.

Want to learn more about Colorescience Pro products or shop for their SPF mineral makeup? Visit coolibar.com/colorescience.

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Inside Coolibar

Coolibar Sun Protection – 10 Years of Innovation!

Believe it or not, it’s Coolibar’s 10th birthday! In September 2001, native Australian and company founder John Barrow signed the documents to start Coolibar and bring Australia’s advances in sun protection to America. We’ve taken huge strides over the years: introduced numerous innovative fabric technologies, raised our standards in sun protective ratings, designed a variety of UPF 50+ apparel, now more stylish than ever, and helped to establish a new movement where people are incorporating sun protection into their daily lives.

Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing Company Timeline

We have more people working at Coolibar than ever before with exciting new ideas for the upcoming year…but we won’t give all of our plans away just yet. We want to thank all of our loyal customers for 10 wonderful years and we hope to stay in touch!

– The Coolibar Team

See How Our Catalog Covers Have Evoloved!

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SunAWARE

SunAWARE Family Fun Day Fundraising Event

Last Saturday (8/27/11) my family and I attended the first ever SunAWARE fundraising event at Panino’s Sports Bar in North Oaks, MN. I wasn’t sure what to expect, it was after all, the first SunAWARE event.

We were met with welcoming smiles, pizza and cake. Who could ask for more? Our first stop was the silent auction table so I could get my “shop on.” It’s easy to justify this type of shopping when the funds are going to support a good cause, plus there was an amazing assortment of items to bid on, thanks to the generosity of many local businesses.

I anxiously awaited my turn to speak with Dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis of Uptown Dermatology as she was graciously providing free skin checks. I had flashbacks of me tanning on rooftops with olive skin girlfriends who applied only Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil – Ouch! I perspired as I watched her examine the moles of a young gentleman ahead of me. Finally, it was my turn and I had to admit that I had never had a skin check before. Dr. Davis was shocked seeing as I have such fair skin. I’ll spare the details, but let’s just say I will never leave the house without sunscreen on my face, neck and decollage and vow to diligently protect the skin of my son, my husband and myself with clothing, hats and sunscreen.

When my visit with Dr. Davis was over, I could relax and enjoy the party. A great time was had by all and I learned it’s never too late to be SunAWARE! I even managed to win a couple of my auction bids.

Jennifer Annett
Coolibar Employee

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Inside Coolibar

Taking on Colorado Rapids

Spend a moment with Rose, Coolibar’s do it all extraordinaire, as she shares her exhilarating story of taking on the rapids of the Arkansas River in Colorado.

Colorado – what a fun state to visit! In the winter, skiing can be exhilarating and overwhelming compared to riding the relative mounds that we have here in Minnesota. I thought no experience that Colorado offered could beat snowboarding from the crest of a towering mountain, but that was before I tried white water rafting!

This summer, I took a weekend trip to Colorado that was jam packed with a small sampling of exciting activities. Rafting a mighty river, hiking up a mountain, keeping one eye peeled for the nature that surrounded us and perusing a street fair filled our time. Even though we spent the majority of the weekend out in the pounding sun, our friends were shocked that neither my boyfriend Aaron, who is very fair skinned, nor I got a sunburn!

We started the weekend with the most exciting, and most terrifying activity – White Water Rafting! I was pretty anxious about rafting, because I’m not the strongest swimmer, and I was secretly, very secretly, hoping that something would prevent us from plunging into that rapid filled water – a flat tire, bad directions, stomach flu – I would even settle for our rental car getting trampled by a herd of feral elk! But, we made it to the rafting company offices in one piece, ready to risk our lives for a thrill.

After numerous safety and training talks, which somehow only made me more nervous, rather than putting me at ease, we plunged into the cold water of the Arkansas River. I was shocked by the temperature of the water, and by the sudden feeling of calm that came over me. I figured that there was no turning back at that point, so I may as well embrace the adventure. We had an easy morning, getting used to the river and to paddling as a team. Then, after a delicious steak lunch, we took on the big rapids. The counter intuitiveness of paddling into a large wall of water mixed with the disorienting feeling of plunging your paddle into water that suddenly is no longer there, took a while to get used to, but eventually was addictively thrilling. After we tackled the final rapid of the day, I was surprised by the disappointment I felt – I wanted to continue battling that river.

It turns out all the trepidation I had felt was for nothing, and in truth, the most dangerous element that I battled all day was probably the sun. Halfway through the day, our guide remembered that he hadn’t applied sunscreen. Luckily for him, I had some sunscreen with me which I gladly offered to share. After all, he was keeping me safe on the river, so I found it only natural to help keep him sun safe! And besides, though I had generously applied sunscreen to my face and hands, I had plenty of sunscreen to share because I was shielded from the sun by my Coolibar Fitness Jacket (great for this kind of activity because it’s quick drying).

My Fitness Jacket and Aaron’s Short-sleeve Swim Shirt got a lot of use the rest of the weekend, as did our brand new Coolibar hats (he had the Reversible Bucket Hat and I had the Packable Wide Brim). I was really impressed with how well my hat stayed on my head, even when I was exploring the windy area near the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of a mountain! I’m really glad I packed along my Coolibar gear, because it made all the difference between filling our time with fun activities, and spending our weekend inside, nursing a bad sunburn.

We had such a great time, and I can’t wait to go back next summer!

Rose

Coolibar Employee

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