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Melanoma Survivor Tim

Tim Ward and Family

In 2007, Tim went to a Mayo Clinic dermatologist to have a mole on his left arm looked at. The doctor removed it right away so it could be tested. A few years prior, Tim had this same mole tested, and it was fine. But this time, the biopsy showed that the mole had turned into Melanoma.

Tim’s Story

My name is Tim Ward.  I am 39 years old and had malignant melanoma.  I was diagnosed in the summer of 2007.

I am Australian born and lived in Melbourne Australia for 25 years.  In 1996 I came to America to study at the University of Minnesota in horticulture.  I have worked in the horticulture industry my whole life, outdoors most of the time. 

Five years prior to my diagnosis I had a mole biopsied on my left arm.  The doctors took only a part of the mole and left the rest.  The biopsy came back fine and nothing more was mentioned to me at the time.  Five years later my wife Amy noticed a change of color to that particular mole.  I went to Mayo Clinic to see dermatology.  The physician who examined my body wanted a biopsy of that mole immediately.  Three to four days later I received a call back from Mayo with the diagnosis of malignant melanoma.  They scheduled me that week to remove the rest of the mole and its margins.  They took the margins around the mole and 35 stitches later sewed me up.  Five to ten days later the clinic called again to tell me that they had removed all of the cancer.  I have since had a few other moles removed which have all been cancer free. 

Since the diagnosis I have paid close attention to my entire body. My family has been very sensitive during this experience.  I have 8-year-old twin boys, one with very fair skin like myself.  My wife and I are very conscientious of sun protection for our family.  I have always worn sunscreen year round prior to cancer and since.  Unfortunately, my profession leaves me exposed all of the time.  I try to wear a hat and long sleeves when possible.  I am very careful to apply sunscreen to my children and to make sure they wear UV protection clothing especially when swimming. 

My advice to you would be to use sun protection year round and to try and limit your sun exposure if possible.  Regularly see your doctor and watch for any changes to your skin.

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Apply Sunscreen Events Sunscreens and Lotions

Fallene Brings Their Sun Protection Expertise to Facebook

Don’t Fry Day, the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend,  is the perfect day to pack up your sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and sun protection clothes so you’ll be prepared for a sunny holiday weekend. So how do you choose the best sunscreens and sun protection options for you and your family? Join Coolibar for a special Facebook event on Thursday, May 19, 2011 that will help kick-off your summer sun protection plan.

Starting at 1:30pm CST (11:30am PST, 2:30pm EST) on the Coolibar Facebook Wall, we’ll have Sunscreen Expert Kirk Minster from Fallene, the producer of Cotz and Total Block Sunscreen, available to help you make conscious decisions about the sun protection you use. All sunscreen and sun protection questions are welcome!

If you’re on Facebook, go to the event page and click the “Attending” Button at the top to RSVP today! We’ll give a Coolibar UPF 50+ Hat to one person from our Attending List the day of the event. Ask your own questions during the live Q & A session and you could also win sunscreen! We hope to see you there (if even for a few minutes)! 

 

Fallene Products

About Fallene

Fallene, Ltd. produces the most complete full spectrum sun protection available. These products are used not only by medically photo-sensitive individuals, but by those who are concerned about maintaining their skin’s healthy appearance and promoting the integrity of their immune system.

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Sun Protection Clothing Wellness Warriors

I’m Only 21, I Can’t Get Cancer

In 2009, Jessi went to a dermatologist to have a freckle removed. A week later, she received a call from her doctor and was told she had Melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer). She was only 21-years-old at the time. Before her diagnoses, Jessi was unaware of the dangers of UV exposure. In high school, she tanned during the short Minnesota summers and visited tanning salons before formal dances. Since then, she has been proactive about sun protection and tracking changes on her skin throughout the year.

Jessi’s Story

I never thought I would be diagnosed with skin cancer. I had a freckle on my forearm with all the characteristics of a questionable spot. After a couple friends said I should get that spot checked out, I finally decided to go to the clinic and have the freckle removed. The next week, I received a call from the clinic and was told I had Melanoma and needed to have more skin removed. Before I had a larger excision, I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist for an entire body check. During that appointment, two more spots were removed. The spot on my back came back positive with Melanoma. Especially after the second spot came back positive, my mentality about sun protection has completely changed. I am now always prepared with sunscreen or sun protective clothing when I know I will be spending time in the sun. 

Jessi Staying Covered Hiking Grand Canyon
Jessi Staying Covered Hiking Grand Canyon, 2010

Since I was diagnosed, a few things have changed. First of all, I will never use tanning beds again. Although I never used them regularly or frequently, I did use tanning beds in order to be tan for formal dances. Secondly, I am now always aware of when I am in the sun and plan ahead for protection.

Sun protection played a minor role in my life before my diagnosis. After diagnosis, I now make sure I have a stock of sun screen, sun protective clothing and a nice hat. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with skin cancer, sun protection is important. Not only does it reduce your chance for skin cancer, it keeps your skin looking younger longer. It is never too early to start using skin protection. 

Melanoma Removal Scar on Back
Melanoma Removal Scar on Back
A-Typical Mole Removed on Leg
A-Typical Mole Removed on Leg

 

Jessi also has a scar on her arm where Melanoma was removed. She visits the dermatologist twice a year to have a full-skin exam. After her melanoma was excised two years ago, her doctor has not found any more traces of Melanoma, although Jessi continues to have a-typical (suspicious) moles removed almost every visit.

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Apply Sunscreen Sunscreens and Lotions

Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin

Vanicream Sensitive Skin Set

If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably particularly careful about the products you put on your skin, including sunscreen. Since sunscreen is a necessity whenever under the sun, it’s important to find a reliable one that works well with your skin type. Vanicream skin care, formulated by Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. (PSI) in Minnesota, is a special skin care line created for those with extremely sensitive skin.  When Conrad Thompson and Ed Mansfield, the founders of the company, were working as pharmacists at the Mayo Clinic in the early 70s, several dermatologists suggested they start a company that could provide over-the-counter skin care for people with sensitive skin. Thus in 1975, PSI (and Vanicream) were created! Since the beginning, their company has formed a line of products that avoid chemicals that dermatologists considered undesirable and sensitizing to the skin, such as fragrance, masking fragrance, dyes, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing preservatives. Now you know why Vanicream is one (of several) of Coolibar’s favorite sunscreen providers!

Commonly asked questions about Vanicream and Sunscreen answered by sunscreen expert, Brian Leary, Director of Marketing at PSI (Vanicream).

Founders Ed and Conrad Then and NowWhat skin types does Vanicream work best on? 

Vanicream Sunscreens are suitable for any skin type, but they are specially formulated for sensitive skin. 

What’s a good sunscreen for sensitive skin or acne prone skin?

All of the Vanicream Sunscreens are good for sensitive skin.  They are developed with an emphasis on physical sunscreen ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  The Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 35 Sport is oil free making it ideal for acne prone skin.

How does Vanicream sunscreen hold up in water or against sweat? 

We recommend the Vanicream Sunscreen Sport SPF 35 for outdoor activities such as swimming and running. 

What should you look for in a safe sunscreen? 

You want to look for sunscreens that emphasize the physical blockers, but you also want to pay attention to the inactive ingredients.  If you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid fragrances, or certain preservatives such as parabens or formaldehyde releasers. 

What is the difference between a physical sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen? Is Vanicream Sunscreen physical or chemical?

Physical sunscreens such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sit on the skin and reflect UV rays.  Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays.   Both offer protection.  

Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30, SPF 60 and SPF 30 Lip Protectant contain only zinc and/or titanium making them physical sunscreens.  Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 35 Sport contains zinc oxide and octinoxate, so it is a combination physical/chemical sunscreen.

What is a safe age to start using sunscreen on children? Is Vanicream safe for babies and young children? 

FDA does not recommend sunscreen use on infants under 6 months of age.  Vanicream Sunscreens are very safe for children older than 6 months. 

How do SPF ratings work?  

An SPF rating is the ratio of the time of ultraviolet radiation exposure necessary to produce minimally detectable erythema (sunburn) in sunscreen protected skin to that time required to produce erythema in unprotected skin.  So if your skin would burn in 5 minutes without sunscreen, an SPF 15 sunscreen should give you 15 times that protection or 75 minutes.  

What is the best SPF to give you proper sun protection?

An SPF 30 will block about 96% of the suns UVB rays.  But this is only if you apply enough to the skin.  For this reason, some dermatologists will recommend higher SPF sunscreens, knowing that their patients may not apply enough.  It is important to remember that SPF only applies to protection for UVB rays.  For proper sun protection you need to choose sunscreens that protect from both UVB and UVA rays.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays? Does Vanicream block both?

UVB rays are the shorter rays that can cause sunburn.  UVA rays are longer rays and are thought to penetrate deeper into the skin and cause premature aging and possible skin cancer.  All Vanicream Sunscreens protect from both UVB and UVA rays.

Does Vanicream leave behind a white residue like some sunscreens do?

You may notice a little white residue upon application, but this disappears quickly on most skin tones.

What about the issue of nano particles in physical sunscreens. Should we be concerned? Does Vanicream contain nano particles? 

While Vanicream Sunscreens contain micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the particles are not considered nano.  That being said, the most recent studies on this issue have found that nano sized zinc and titanium do not penetrate the skin’s layers and therefore do not get into the bloodstream.

With so many products on the market it’s hard to choose.  What is the differentiating factor for Vanicream products, both sunscreens and moisturizers?

Vanicream Sunscreens are going to provide UVB/UVA protection and not expose the user to unnecessary irritants that could be problematic for people with sensitive skin.  They are non-comedogenic and safe to use every day.

Shop Vanicream Skin Care
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Events SunAWARE

First International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention

The incidence and prevention of skin cancers has become a global concern.  The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that prolonged human exposure to solar UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects of the skin, eyes  and immune system, including skin cancer.   This global epidemic has prompted the first International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention, jointly sponsored by the WHO, the Danish Cancer Society, TrygFonden and the Cancer Council Victoria.

The meeting of the best and brightest in skin cancer prevention took place in Copenhagen, Denmark May 3-5, 2011.  The main objective of the conference was to create an active international community working in the field of skin cancer prevention.  After three days of sessions and workshops, characterized by engaging presentations and relevant discussion, a list of outcomes was established.  A summary of those conference outcomes are listed below.

A comprehensive approach to skin cancer prevention needed.

Communicating sun safety using a multifaceted approach incorporating media channels and initiatives targeting schools and workplaces has been seen to successfully influence behaviour and attitudes. Funding is vital for results.

Vitamin D and sun protection can be combined.

The conclusion was that sun protection and vitamin D are not contradictory and protecting against the sun does not lead to vitamin D deficiency. People should not overexpose themselves to the sun or use sunbeds to increase vitamin D levels.

Sun protection is relevant for everyone.

It is never too late to protect yourself against sunburn and over exposure to the sun. Sunburn and UV exposure both in adulthood and childhood increase the risk of skin cancer. This makes sun protection, such as seeking shade, covering up or wearing sun screen on exposed skin, necessary for everyone, regardless of age.

Tanning beds are harmful.

The message on use of sunbeds was clear: They are harmful and are not recommended as a source of vitamin D. The intense UV exposure from sunbeds has already made the WHO advise against their use for people under 35 years old. Many countries have banned sunbeds for young people under 18 years old while Brazil has even banned their use for everyone regardless of age.

Governments need to prioritize skin cancer prevention.

Governments should give skin cancer prevention the same priority as other health issues such as fighting obesity and increasing exercise levels in the population. Prevention initiatives have been shown to achieve results and cost significantly less than the cost of skin cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Enjoy the sun but take care during recreational activities.

People living in Northern countries can continue to enjoy the sun as part of their daily lives but should take care to avoid overexposure during their leisure and recreational activities.

This collaboration is a monumental step in the fight against skin cancer.   By working together globally, we can share our collective knowledge and resources for the most effective methods of skin cancer prevention.  All of us at Coolibar are  looking forward to the next conference in 2013 taking place in Berlin Germany.

Patron of the conference HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark gave her support to the conference by taking on the official role as patron and by speaking at the closing event.  She is involved in a campaign to raise awareness and sun safe practices among Danes about skin cancer through The Danish Cancer Society.

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
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SunAWARE Wellness Warriors

Skin Cancer Survivor Carol

Carol Schuler was in her early 30s when she found a freckle on the left side of her face that appeared abnormal, it turned out to be Lentigo Maligna (a form of melanoma).

Carol’s Story

I had [the freckle that turned out to be Lentigo Maligna] looked at about 8 years before I did something about it, but then had Mohs procedure on it about 15 years ago followed by extensive plastic surgery.

I remember this freckle showing up and not noticing that it was growing and changing since it was so slow. When I mentioned it to my family doctor, I was told to just keep an eye on it. If I had gone to a dermatologist right way, I might have avoided having a chunk of my face the size of a 50-cent piece cut out of my face years later. Since I was living in Australia at the time, when I would go home in the summer my best friend Julie started bugging me about it.  Being a busy mother of 3 children my tendency was to put my own health at the end of the list of to do’s. This is a cautionary tale about taking the time for your own health in order to ensure that you are here for your kids in the future.

I feel very lucky to be able to have had it taken care of even though it had grown rather large. I also wear very high quality sunscreen on my face every day of the year. Winter sun can be just as damaging with prolonged exposure.  Now that there are great, breathable fabrics like SUNTECT® from Coolibar – I am able to spend as much time as I like outside without worrying about skin damage.

When I was living in Australia I used to only put on sunscreen when I was going to the beach or pool but the sun was there every minute of the day so I should have applied sunscreen every day regardless of my activity.

Don’t put off going to the doctor to have something checked, the sooner the better.  The time you take to deal with it today just might save your life.

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Inside Coolibar New Products

New Summer Styles

Get a glimpse of new photography (and stylish new UPF 50+ apparel) from our latest photo shoot before our new summer catalog arrives in your mailbox near the end of May! Check www.coolibar.com soon for new item availability.

Don’t currently receive our catalogs?  Request a catalog today! 

[nggallery id=9]

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing SunAWARE Wear Sun Protection

Your Questions on Sun Protective Clothing Answered

Today, Coolibar President John Barrow and Executive VP of Merchandising Michael Hubsmith answered Facebook fans’ questions about sun protective clothing.

Q. What makes your garments UV Protective?

A. Our collection of SUNTECT fabrics include the best active ingredients found in sunscreens including Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

Q. Since you add Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide into the clothes, can it wash out?

A. We actually test all of our materials to make sure the UV protection is permanent. Part of our testing procedure is to wash and dry a fabric 40 times and then follow up with a UV Transmittance test.

Q. What is the difference between UPF and SPF?

A. UPF is for fabrics and means Ultraviolet Protection Factor. SPF is for sunscreens and stands for Sun Protection Factor. One important difference is that UPF tests both UVA and UVB protection levels while SPF only tests UVB.

Q. How much UV protection does normal clothing provide?

A. There is quite a range. Studies in Australia and Germany, that we have replicated here in the US, show that a summer t-shirt may be made of fabric that only provides a UPF of 5 to 10. Another issue is that regular summer clothing is typically designed to show skin rather than cover it, so a lot of the exposure from normal clothing relates to how much skin it covers.

Q. Before a UPF rating is assigned to a garment, how is it tested?

A. It is normally tested on a machine called a spectrophotometer. It has a UV source inside it and sends the UV through the fabric sample. It measures how much UV is transmitted through the fabric. In addition to this test, at Coolibar we test fabrics when new, but more importantly, we also age fabrics by washing them 40 times and exposing them to 100 hours of sunlight, then we do the UPF test again. We want to see fabrics provide UPF 50+ at the end of their life cycle. At Coolibar we guarantee that every garment we sell is as UV Protective on the first day it is worn to the very last day.

Q. How many times can the garments be washed before losing the protective ingredients?

A. Most clothes gradually lose their UV protection over time as they are worn, washed, stretched, and so on. When we are testing fabrics, we want to make sure they are providing UPF 50+ after 40 washings (which we consider to be a typical life cycle). So they will start even more protective than UPF 50+ and still be UPF 50+ a few years later.

Q. Is sun protective clothing superior to sunscreen? How would the use of each by itself compare?

A. We think you need to use a combination of clothing and sunscreen. Clothing provides more reliable protection and is easier to use, but sunscreen is necessary for areas like your face, hands, feet, and so on that aren’t covered by clothes.

Q. In your opinion, what are the top 3 items of sun protective clothing that EVERYONE should own?

A. In my traveling wardrobe, I have a packable bucket hat, a long-sleeve polo, and some sunglasses. So those are the 3 that I take literally everywhere with me.

Q. Do you need to wear sunscreen underneath the Coolibar clothing?

A. No, you will be well protected by the clothes themselves. You still need sunscreen for other areas, like your face, that are not covered by our clothes.

Q. Also, is it only good for a certain time? Like how you have to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours?

A. You can wear our clothes all day in the sun and the protection does not diminish. With sunscreen you do need to reapply every 2 hours.

Q. As I student, I like to dress with the trends, stay fashionable, etc. Is your company looking at broadening the styles available of UPF clothing to reach the demographic that is both concerned about protecting their skin while staying current?

A. Yes we are looking to expand our fashion portfolio as we grow.

Q. What color keeps you the coolest in the sun?

A. In general, most people feel that lighter colors make them feel cooler. However, there is probably a lot more difference between fabrics (weight, weave, wicking, etc) than between colors. We generally try to use very light-weight fabrics that also have special properties to help you feel comfortable in hot weather, e.g. wicking moisture off your skin.

Q. I have lupus but live in the deep south where it is full on sun for 10 months out of the year. I also have 2 young children that are complete water babies. I need something that allows me to be out by the pool or at the beach that will protect me and keep me cool. It is very hot and humid here, and of course even hotter by the pool. I can’t just be an invert with my boys.

A. We design our garments with the idea that you will be in the hot sun when you wear them, so breathability is very important for comfort. We offer several items like our ZnO Beach Pants and Largo ZnO Cover-up that can give you a head to toe coordinated look with full sun protective coverage.

Q. Can I wear non-swimwear products (like the featherweight cover up) in the water and still have 50 UPF protection? Will wearing non swimwear items in the water damage the item?

A. In general, you could wear them in the water without damaging them. However, UV does transmit through water better than through air so when garments get wet they let more UV through than when they are dry. We are considering this when we make items designed to go in the water. Finally, in pools, the chlorine can damage clothes if you were to wear them consistently over time. So I would not recommend wearing non-swimwear in heavily chlorinated water over an extended time.

Q. What is the best way to care for the clothing?

A. Follow the care instructions sewn inside each garment.

Q. Can they go in the dryer?

A. Yes. I put all my Coolibar clothes in the dryer.

Q. I’m thinking about buying a long sleeve swim shirt, but wouldn’t long sleeves make me hot and uncomfortable in the summer?

A. Many of our customers are surprised how cool they are wearing our long-sleeved garments. It’s because they are very light-weight fabrics and are designed to keep you cool.

If you have additional questions regarding Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing, let us know by posting a question on Facebook or writing a comment below. To purchase Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing, visit www.coolibar.com.

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Sun Protection Clothing Wear Sun Protection What our customers say

Fun Sun Wear for Family Beach Day

“I was looking forward to wearing my [Coolibar Beach] shirt as it felt so light and weightless when I pulled it out of the package.  Our Florida climate presented a perfect day to wear it to the beach.  The first thing I noted was how incredibly light this shirt really was, as I couldn’t even feel it on my body.  The cooler air from the ocean could easily flow through it, keeping me cool; which is very important in Florida where we have 90oF+ days during the summer.  It was a very comfortable shirt and quite trendy, sporting a nice size hoodie, that made me feel like a celebrity. (see picture)  My husband was having a lot of fun too running around taking pictures of the two of us working the “beach runway” and enjoying our new Coolibar gear.  And why not, we looked awesome, and felt very comfortable while being well protected from the sun.  A couple of people actually approached us to ask where we got our cool clothes.  Bingo, Coolibar!

“March in Florida offers the perfect weather to get out, but the water was still cool for swimming yet.  So we played a lot in the sand, making sand castles and just being silly running around chasing each other.  As no family “photo-shoot” ever goes without bloopers, the battery in our camera died just before we decided to test out the water, and wet our toes properly.  Of course we’ve got soaked.  That was something worth seeing.  I am happy to report that my shirt stayed looking good wet, as well as dry and actually dried up in no time without clinging to my body.  I loved the fact that our clothes, being wet, haven’t attracted too much sand either, which usually is a nuisance to clean up.  Our son had particularly lots of fun throwing the sand on me as you can see, but we had no problems there.   Just lots of fun and memorable moments.  He looked so cute in his outfit [Toddler Water Polo Swim Set].  He is not much of a hat wearer and put up a bit of a fight in the beginning, but 5 minutes later he got used to it, and enjoyed the whole outfit just as much as I’ve enjoyed watching him wearing it.  Or perhaps he also wanted to show off what a good model he is, just in case Coolibar is hiring new models. 🙂

“Overall, we are very happy with our outfits and will wear them often, especially living in Sunny Florida.”

-Natalja

Natalja and her son modeling their Coolibar
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Events Sun Protection Clothing

Special UV Clothing Live Facebook Forum

ASK THE FOUNDER/PRESIDENT & EXECTUTIVE VP OF COOLIBAR ABOUT SUN PROTECTION CLOTHING

Tue. April 26
1:30pm CST
at
FACEBOOK.COM/COOLIBAR

What’s the difference between UPF and SPF in sun protective clothing ratings? What does UPF stand for? What makes Coolibar clothing sun protective? Are clothes with a UPF 50+ rating really any different from normal clothing?

Join us for a special live Facebook forum where President and Founder of Coolibar John Barrow along with sun protective clothing expert and Executive Vice President Michael Hubsmith will be answering your questions about sun protection clothing and Coolibar! Anyone is welcome to join the conversation.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity on Tuesday April 26 starting at 1:30pm CST (11:30am PST, 2:30pm EST). Our UV clothing experts will take any questions you may have for at least 30 minutes. If the questions keep coming, the conversation will keep going, so join us!

RSVP yes before next Tuesday to be entered into a drawing for a Coolibar UPF 50+ Light Featherweight Bucket Hat!

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