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Educate Others Parenting SunAWARE

Tanning Industry Investigation Confirms Need for Education

“Tanning is beneficial to your health,” claims tanning salon owners and employees when the House Committee on Energy and Commerce undercover investigators called 300 tanning salons nationwide.  This false claim may not fool many sun protection advocates, but the rest of the U.S. population could be easily led to believe that tanning is good for you. In actuality, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Tanning, whether outdoors or in a tanning bed, can have harmful effects on your health. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation states on their website that indoor ultraviolet tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.  Most people are not properly informed about the risks of using tanning beds and are putting their lives at risk without even knowing it.

During The Committee’s study, they had investigators pose as fair skinned teenage girls (over the phone) looking for information on tanning bed safety and policies. After contacting 300 salons, at least three in every state, they released these unsettling results:

1) Nearly all salons (90%) denied the known risks of indoor tanning.

2) Four out of five salons falsely claimed that indoor tanning is beneficial to a young person’s health.

3) Salons used many approaches to minimize the health risks of indoor tanning including saying, “it’s got to be safe, or else [the government] wouldn’t let us do it.”

4) Three quarters of tanning salons failed to follow FDA recommendations on tanning frequency.

The Skin Cancer Foundation, in an effort to help educate teenagers and save lives, is urging people to email letters of support urging the FDA to regulate tanning beds and ban those less than 18 year of age from using them. The SCF will then compile all emails and send them to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. You can email your letters to advocacy@skincancer.org.

The Skin Cancer Foundation’s report on Congressional Report Exposes Tanning Industry’s Misleading Messaging to Teens.

http://www.skincancer.org/news/tanning/tanningreport

Watch Chelsea’s Experience with Skin Cancer to see how misleading claims by tanning salons effect the people around us.

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Inside Coolibar Wear Sun Protection What's Hot

Hats – How to get the right fit

Coolibar hats not only express personal style, they protect your precious noggin from the sun’s harmful rays.  Comfort is important too.  You’ll know when you have a hat that fits well because you’ll forget you have it on!

Here’s how you can measure your head to ensure you have the right fit:

1) Hunt down a tape measure – yup over there in the “junk drawer”- this is the case at my house anyway. 

2) Starting at your forehead, measure around your head where your hat would normally sit –about 1/2″–1″ above your eyebrows and about 1/4″ above your ears, then continue around the back of your head and back to your forehead. Pull the tape snug but not tight, as you would like a hat to fit (measuring errors occur from pulling the tape too tightly).  Measure to the nearest 1/8″ a couple of times in front of the mirror –smile, say cheese! 

* If you don’t have a flexible tape measure, a piece of string (non-stretchy) can be held around the head and then measured on a yardstick.

Measuring head for hat size
Measuring head for hat size

Measure your head. Then check out our collection of UPF 50+ hats at http://www.coolibar.com/sunhats.html.  If you have size questions, please call Customer Service at 1-800-926-6509 or email us at service@coolibar.com.

-Allyson, Customer Service

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Inside Coolibar

Hats ON to Dermatology Nurses

When you visit your dermatologist, you may often find yourself spending a lot time with your dermatology nurse. Let us tell you, these nurses know their stuff when it comes to skin and sun protection!

During the 30th Annual Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA) Convention in February, Coolibar had the amazing opportunity to spend a moment with almost 500 dermatology nurses and better acquaint them with Coolibar. Despite the fact that the conference took place in Denver, CO, and not a warm weather destination, we had 40 degree weather, lots of sun, and lots of interest in our big brimmed hats and new spring line of UPF 50+ clothing.  

Of the dermatology nurses who were long time Coolibar patrons, a few shared their thoughts on Coolibar with us:

“I love my Coolibar hat so much, I wear it all over the place – in the garage, while mowing, in the attic. Not only does it protect me from the sun, it protects me from falling creepy crawlies.”

“How did you get the Princess Kate Middleton to be your model?! That’s great for sun protection!” (Side note: she wasn’t really our model, the model on our recent catalog cover just happened to look like her! Great observation!)

We want to thank all dermatology nurses and the DNA for the wonderful things you do to help treat skin conditions and for spreading the message about the importance of sun protection!

Coolibar Booth - DNA 2012 Convention Coolibar Booth – DNA 2012 Convention
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SunAWARE

Coolibar’s Official Sun Education Message – SunAWARE

We often say “Be SunAWARE” at Coolibar, but we’ve never taken the time to explain its place within our company and why we use it. SunAWARE is a non-profit sun education organization that provides the most up-to-date sun protection tips and skin cancer news. It’s also an acronym that helps people prevent and detect skin cancers. At Coolibar, we have adopted SunAWARE as our official sun education message as it’s easy to remember and easy to follow.

About SunAWARE

SunAWARE is based on the acronym created in the book Sun Protection For Life: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy and Beautiful Skin, by Mary Mills Barrow and John F.Barrow (New Harbinger Publications, 2005).  The book won the Gold Triangle Award from the American Academy of Dermatology in 2005 for excellence in public education of dermatologic issues.

The SunAWARE acronym was created after an exhaustive review of educational material produced by the major organizations and foundations specializing in skin cancer prevention.  And, it was edited by Craig Sinclair who originated the very successful “Skip Slop Slap” sun protection campaign in Australia. It should also be noted that SunAWARE is endorsed by several leading not-for-profit organizations in the skin cancer community including the Children’s Melanoma Foundation and the Melanoma International Foundation.

The acronym was created to meet the twin goals of developing a comprehensive framework for organizing key points about the prevention and detection of skin cancer and, creating a useful, proactive and easy-to-remember slogan that can be used by any organization and individual.

For the most up-to-date sun protection tips and skin cancer news, visit www.sunaware.org.

Be SunAWARE and be Safe!

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Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

Models Advocate for Sun Protection? Oh Yes!

When recently browsing the web for a new story idea, I came across this site called ModelKarma, a website for aspiring models, pro models and modeling industry professionals started by the famous Thomas Zeumer, supermodel launcher. While clicking through some of their pages that provide advice for models, I was hoping to find plenty about protecting skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. While somewhat disappointed by the small amount of information on this subject, I was relieved to see one post reminding models to protect their assets, meaning their looks or skin from ultraviolet radiation. 

I think many of us know that over-exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer down the road. However, the cosmetic damage the sun does to skin can also be significant. As you age, your skin will start to show spots and wrinkles even more so if you haven’t been properly protecting yourself from the sun. The writer of the article on ModelKarma dramatizes it even more by saying, “Basically, [the sun] makes you look fried well before your years, thus killing your career before you are done!”  

The article goes into detail about protecting yourself from damaging rays by using sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. It reiterates the Skin Cancer Foundation’s advice on how to properly use sunscreen to get the best result as well. While I agree that sunscreen is essential when choosing sun protection, the article failed to mention sun hats and sun protective clothing. It’s our hope at Coolibar that in the future sun protective clothing and hats will be talked about equal to sunscreen, as they’re an unbeatable match for keeping skin healthy and young looking. 

I wish to add the other ways to “protect your assets” to their list, including wearing a hat with a three inch brim or greater that has a tight weave and a high UPF rating. Not only can you find hats that are glamorous in themselves, but they’ll protect your eyes, ears, nose and sometime even neck depending on the brim size. Also, wear sun protective clothing, especially when outdoors for extended periods of time. Remember, most summer clothing allows UV to penetrate right through the garment, so you’ll have to apply sunscreen underneath if you’re not wearing UPF clothing. 

All of us at Coolibar are glad to see professionals in the modeling industry discussing the need for sun protection. Every time we see a new Marc Jacobs skin cancer prevention shirt or a fashion editor talking about the pale skin trend, we know we’ll start seeing a shift in the way many of us protect ourselves from the sun. 

Amanda Oberg 

Coolibar Blog Editor 

Marc Jacobs Protect The Skin You're In Shirt

Read the ModelKarma article: Protect Your Assets 

Feature photo credit: Jose-Goulao

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Inside Coolibar

Helping those with Albinism and Cancer Patients in Tanzania

A few months ago, Coolibar employee Ben Socwell was sitting down to dinner at Dr. Michael T. Nelson’s home, a long-time family friend, when the conversation turned to Coolibar sun protective clothing and the East Africa Medical Assistance Foundation (EAMAF). Dr. Nelson is a Professor of Radiology and a Board Member of EAMAF, a Minnesota based nonprofit dedicated to supporting and enhancing radiology services (cancer treatment) at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC).  KCMC is a 500-bed teaching hospital at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and is the site of the first radiology residency in the country. In Tanzania, the sun is unrelenting and people have little escape from it. There are also very high rates of skin cancer among Africans, especially for those who suffer with albinism (a deficit of melanin production that results in little or no pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes and makes skin ultra sensitive to the sun).  After their conversation over dinner, Ben returned to work with a mission to help find sun protection relief for patients at the center.

“After my dinner with Dr. Nelson, I invited him to tour the Coolibar building and look at the items we sell,” says Ben. “To my surprise Dr. Diefenthal, the creator and head of the department of radiology at KCMC in Tanzania, was in town and came with us, along with Dr. Shavon Flanagan who teaches at Northwestern and has worked at KCMC in the past. We talked at length about the technology of our fabrics and the goals and intent of Coolibar. They were impressed with our fabric technology and our focus on getting Coolibar products into the hands of medical professionals,” says Ben.

As they say, the rest is history. Approximately 800 sun protective items were shipped to Tanzania in October with the help of Global Health Ministries in Fridley, MN who arranges the safe arrival of the EAMAF supply containers in Africa. Among the variety of garments were also 300 hats. “The EAMAF believes the Tanzanian women suffering from albinism will especially benefit from the large brims,” says Ben. The items should be arriving any day now and will be given to the dermatologists who service local villages to be distributed to those in need.

“As you can read on the EAMAF website or in the brochure, Dr. Diefenthal is an amazing man who has not only devoted his life to radiology and the detection and treatment of cancer, but has done much of this work in Africa, including starting the EAMAF,” says Ben. “In the picture below are Dr. Diefenthal and Dr. Flanagan and myself during their tour of Coolibar’s headquarters.”

From left: Ben, Dr. Diefenthal, Dr. Flanagan

Thanks to Ben for making the world a more SunAWARE place!

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Events

Dermatologists and Nurses: We’ll see you soon!

At Coolibar, we like to keep in close touch with the physicians and nurses who help educate those dealing with a number of skin conditions that cause sun sensitivity. That’s why each year we attend the two principal conferences for dermatologists and dermatology nurses, and this year is no exception.

If you’re attending the DNA Annual Convention in February or the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in March, stop by and chat with Coolibar! All of our sun protection experts will be there in full force answering questions, showing new 2012 apparel and maybe even handing out special items.

 

 

DNA Annual Convention
When: Thursday, February 16, 2012 – Saturday, February 18, 2012
Where: Denver, CO
Event site: http://dna.annualmeeting2012.org/

 

 

 

 

AAD Annual Meeting
When: Saturday, March 17, 2012 – Monday, March 19, 2012 at 5:00pm.
Where: San Diego, CA
Event site: http://www.aad.org/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting

All of us at Coolibar look forward to seeing you there!

http://www.coolibar.com/

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing

Packing for a Warm Weather Get Away

Economization is the keyword when planning for any vacation. Many of us go through exhausting efforts to spend less, carry less and worry less. Accomplishing these three objectives doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you know the pre-travel task to focus on – your packing list.

New York Style Expert Bridgette Raes agrees that packing less and focusing on bringing versatile items is important. In an interview with She Knows Beauty and Style on packing stylish for an international beach getaway, Raes says, “Remember very little of what you pack should only be worn once. Keep pieces simple so that they have more mix and match ability and don’t forget accessories either.  They can easily take a look from day to evening, or change up an outfit when you wear it more than once.  Plus they take up very little space.”

With this in mind, our designers at Coolibar devised some simple warm get-away travel solutions that will save you the packing space, checking that extra luggage and of course, keep you covered from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

 

1. A single Packable Wide Brim Hat is a must whether you’ll be spending time on the beach or sightseeing.  Look for a hat that’s crushable, has a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), and can be paired with beach, casual and even dress wear. Floppy brim hats tend to be the most versatile.

2. Pack one bottle of broad-spectrum sunscreen to apply to exposed skin, including your face.  In order to prevent having to pack multiple bottles for multiple purposes, find a sunscreen such as Cotz that’s oil-free and won’t clog pores so you can wear it on your face as well. Also, make sure the sunscreen you bring is water resistant and blocks both UVB and UVA rays (or contains ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide).

3. UV Swimwear is a necessity in sunny climates. Bring your bikini, but look for a cover-up or a Swim Jacket that can slip right over your suit. Cover-ups also work for bumming around the local town.  If you want more leg coverage, pack a pair of Swim Capris to match your cover-up.

4. A packable dress can be accessorized to look different and be worn more than once during your vacation. It should be made of a wrinkle resistant fabric that can easily hang in the bathroom while showering to release the wrinkles. Something like a Shirt Dress will fit right-in at the resort night and day.

5. Both sun protective and chic accessories including a colorful scarf and a variety of jewelry will help you make outfits look a little different each time you wear them. Having a scarf handy is also an easy way to get instant sun protection for your décolletage, which is often neglected and vulnerable to sun damage . And don’t forget a good pair of sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.

Now get ready for a great vacation!

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Educate Others SunAWARE

A New Year’s Resolution with a Cause

While you may already have a personal goal in mind to accomplish in 2012, have you thought about creating a New Year’s Resolution that can have a profound impact on others as well? Over 58 thousand people in the United States were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin in 2007 (the most recent year statistics are available) and the number continues to rise (Center for Disease Control). You, just one person, can help lower the rate people are being diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and save lives. This year, consider giving back by getting involved in a race for the cure, fundraise for melanoma research, or hold an event to help educate others about skin cancer and prevention. Our friends at Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) have some suggestions to help you get started. Go ahead – set out to accomplish something BIG this year!

People often make cause related resolutions at the new year, particularly after the holidays when they feel the loss of a loved one more deeply. Often the individual will contact MRF directly with a statement along the lines of “I recently lost someone and I want to do something to help.

The MRF is uniquely available to fill that need for those who lost someone to melanoma or for those who are currently battling it. The MRF has several event based programs that allow people to join our community and raise funds for research. What is attractive to the individual is that they become part of a larger group who can make a bigger impact. As one it’s hard to feel like you’re making a difference, but when you join a group that ultimately has nearly 10,000 participants a year, and raises nearly $2 million a year, then you know you’ve made a difference.

Our participants take on challenges from the simple to the extreme. Many join us at our 5k Miles For Melanoma walks. Many of them will do some fundraising of their own, but most will join us to help with awareness and provide a sense of community. The more people we have at these events, the more we can make people aware of the need for sun safety and prevention.

Other participants might take on more daunting challenges – running a marathon, racing in a triathlon, riding their bike across the U.S. and more. These folks all become fundraisers and bring in an average of $1200 or more.

We also have supporters who focus on awareness and education activities – they often take their own time to reach out to school groups and businesses to educate them about the importance of getting a skin cancer screening, using sunscreen and promoting a better understanding of the seriousness of melanoma. It’s not “just” skin cancer. The MRF relies on our advocates and messengers to provide this valuable information to their communities.

Carolyn Edrington
Melanoma Research Foundation

Perseverance is key to reach your goal. You can achieve great things if you are focused and motivated.  Taking on a cause related resolution by yourself can be a daunting task, so create a plan to accomplish your goals and set milestones, track your progress and keep a positive ‘can do’ attitude. Make 2012 your greatest year yet!

Happy New Year!

Coolibar

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SunAWARE

While Melanoma Treatments Advance, Prevention Remains Key

Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, isn’t going away. In fact, The National Cancer Institute previously estimated in 2011 that 70,230 people would be diagnosed with melanoma and 8,790 would die of melanoma of the skin. While two major melanoma treatment advancements have made headlines over the past year, it’s even more important to remember that the best way to fight this disease is prevention.

When caught early, melanoma can usually be cured with surgery alone, but once it metastasizes, treatment options become limited. According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for stage IV melanoma is about 15% to 20%. Yervoy™ (Ipilimumab) and Zelboraf™ (Vemurafenib) are two new late stage melanoma fighting drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011. Yervoy is the first melanoma drug to receive FDA approval in 13 years. It’s also the first proven treatment to extend overall survival for late stage melanoma patients. “Yervoy may offer many patients a 2-year survival advantage, with a smaller percentage of patients being virtually cured,” claims the Skin Cancer Foundation’s (SCF) report the new drug.

B-RAF
Crystallographic structure of B-Raf (rainbow colored, N-terminus = blue, C-terminus = red) complexed with vemurafenib (spheres, carbon = white, oxygen = red, nitrogen = blue, chlorine = green, fluorine = cyan, sulfur = yellow). Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:3OG7.png

According to the SCF, Zelboraf, approved later in the year by the FDA, is the first targeted genetic therapy of its kind to treat advanced metastatic melanoma patients whose tumors have a specific mutation in the BRAF gene that’s present in 40-60 percent of melanomas. While both drugs represent a step towards a cure for melanoma, in most cases, these treatments only extend the life of advanced stage melanoma patients, and a cure for melanoma has yet to be discovered.

Even though melanoma, in particular late stage, is difficult to treat once it occurs, the good news is that skin cancer, including melanoma is preventable in many cases. Over exposure to UVA and UVB rays produced by the sun or artificial ultraviolet light (i.e. tanning beds) can form genetic mutations in the skin, which leaves those who have burned or tanned susceptible to all forms of skin cancer later in life. UV radiation is considered the main cause of nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The SCF says NMSCs strike more than 250,000 Americans each year. Experts also believe UV radiation may also cause melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

By protecting yourself from UV rays (both artificial UV from tanning beds and naturally occurring UV from the sun) and performing routine skin checks, you’ll not only help reduce the incidence of skin cancers, but improve your overall skin appearance and health. Skin sun damage is cumulative, so there is still time to grab a bottle of SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen, a wide brim hat, UV sunglasses and look into adding sun protective clothing to your wardrobe.

Photo credit: anolobb

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