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UV Rays in the Fall Can Be as Damaging as in the Summer

Leaves turn colors, temperatures start to cool, the sun’s heat wanes, and instinctively we drop our guard and “forget” sunscreen, leave our hats at home and waltz out into the day’s rays utterly unprotected. Is it really necessary to stay vigilant with UV protection? Are we truly risking the sun’s wrath if we sit beachside with our book or enjoy our morning cup of coffee on the terrace? Or is this UV stuff all hype?

The answer is simple and surprising. Yes, it’s necessary to stay vigilant even though it feels cooler outside. Science is very clear that the harshest of rays, UVB (“B” helps you remember for Burning) change in intensity based on the season and the position of the sun. But, UVA rays (emphasis on “A” for “Aging”) remain strong in full force with fearless intensity year-round, regardless of season or the sun’s position. These rays will undermine mind all your protective measures unless you stay on it. In short, UVA rays are incredibly powerful rays that never go away, constantly and cumulatively wreaking havoc with skin health, contributing to skin cancer, vision loss and reducing our immunities. While it may seem excessive to wear UPF 50+ clothing covering arms, faces, and heads in these cool fall days, a simple neighborhood walk, a casual bike ride, a lunch al fresco or a play day at the park adds up to long-term irreversible cellular damage. So, yes, keeping your guard up and staying protected is a year-round gig.

Omnipresent and relentless in their reach, the relatively long-wavelength UVA accounts for approximately 95% of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface and thus our skin. Although UVA is generally far less carcinogenic than UVB radiation, it’s present more abundantly in sunlight than UVB radiation and contributes appreciably to the carcinogenicity of sunlight. UVA penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin where connective tissue and blood vessels are affected. As a result, the skin gradually loses its elasticity and starts to wrinkle. Furthermore, recent studies strongly suggest that it may enhance the development of skin cancers. The mechanisms of this UVA damage are not fully understood, but a popular hypothesis assumes that UVA increases oxidative stress in the cell.

Think of UVA as a sneaky, ill-intentioned ninja, stalking their prey (your skin) and never letting up. They penetrate your car windows, but you don’t see them; they’re invisible. They damage skin, but don’t feel them because they don’t burn. But, within a number of years, you start to see the effects of UVA’s work. Freckles pop up on your chest, wrinkles and brown spots appear, jowls and neck skin droops, collagen and elasticity diminishes. Even more serious concerns occur, like vision issues, eye cataracts, and macular degeneration. Or, most serious of all, cancer happens. While UVA isn’t the primary source of cancer, it is a known contributor. And, the simple and unprotected daily commutes and errands in the car, shuttles of kids to soccer or long walks on a warm fall day accumulate and become irreversible UVA damage.

For nearly 20 years, our focus on protection with UPF 50+ clothing was laser-pointed at people who’ve encountered a real medical concern, like cancer, sun allergies, Lupus, chemo treatment, prescription medications that create sun sensitivity. So our broad-spectrum UV fabrics have been specially developed to authentically protect those in need and attack UVB because of its evil results while also pushing back on UVA rays. With stylish, intelligent clothes that block UVA/UVB, a Coolibar tee-shirt looks and feels like any tee-shirt, and with incredible intent. You’d have no idea our tee was a hard-working UV blocking shirt; it’s as soft as a cotton tee and feels wonderful. This strategy has been essential to many customers, because nearly 70% buy Coolibar because of a medical issue, and they want to avoid visibly publicizing their health situation. So our design philosophy has been to develop highly technical fabrics in elegant, comfortable clothes and swimwear that look great. Candidly, we’ve never talked much about UVA. We’ve always blocked UVA, but we’ve never really emphasized these rays, until now. Today, with a company mission that emphasizes keeping people safe from UV damage, we need to be more assertive about prevention as much as we’ve designed for protection. We want to start younger, get people paying attention to skin health. This commitment is our version of “an apple a day.” What’s our answer to powerful UVA rays this fall? How can you start your prevention regime?

We’ve developed a proprietary year-round fabric derived from the Merino sheep in New Zealand. It’s a fantastic blend, machine washable and super comfortable, and we’re not just saying that because we developed it. The Coolibar Merino Wool is an ultra lightweight, comfy, super breathable UPF 50+ fabric that insulates on chillier days and warms on cooler days, and, equally important, it tells UVA rays to bounce off (putting it politely). It’s light enough for men who fear sweater weather; it travels; it’s a light weight fabric that’s a heavyweight UV fighter. Tested and endorsed by dermatologists and holds The Skin Cancer Foundation seal of recommendation, our Coolibar Merino Wool blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays and does it in a collection of fall wraps, pullovers, sporty polos, long cardigan-style sweaters, scarves, designed to cover arms, necks, hands and look perfect for the season. Being based in Minnesota, we revel in all outdoor seasons. Our entire company actively participates in outdoors year-round activities. We wear test our products for technical performance, styling, wear-ability, fit, comfort and durability. If we were pushy and not Minnesota nice, we’d highly suggest you wear a quality, high-end sunscreen, always protect your eyes with the best sunglasses you can buy (please avoid the glasses from the dime store; their lens effectiveness degrades) and wear UPF 50+ clothing that makes hiding from UV rays look and feel good. Look for the Merino Collection September 18, 2017 on coolibar.com and Amazon.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.who.int/uv/faq/whatisuv/en/index2.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10907526

 

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Parenting

Fun Fall Family Activities

Coolibar is all for spending days in the sun, protected of course, and fall is the perfect time to get outdoors with your family and spend quality time together. We’ve compiled a list of “10 must do activities” this fall that will create lasting family memories and get your kids some fresh air.

10 Must Do Family Activities This Fall

1. Collect colorful leaves.  Search your yard or neighborhood for the most colorful leaves and gather them in a bag. Here are a couple of crafty ideas from Disney Family Fun to use the leaves. 1) Make a sun catcher. Using a low setting, iron a leaf between two pieces of waxed paper with a sheet of plain paper on top. Hang in a sunny window. 2) Preserve a leaf. Bring a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part glycerin (available in most pharmacies) to a boil in a saucepan (adults only). Pour the solution into a heat-proof container. Drop in a few brightly-colored leaves and gently submerge with a wooden spoon. Keep the container in a cool, dark place until there is a slight change in the leaves’ tints. Then remove them and blot dry with a paper towel. Instead of turning brown and crumbly, the leaves will retain their brilliant hues.

2. Pine cone walk.  Take a walk around your neighborhood and collect pine cones.  Tell the kids to find the biggest pine cones or the ones that aren’t broken.  Place the pine cones in a bowl or basket for a home fall decoration that will last through the holiday season. You can also buy non-toxic metallic paints from your local craft store to color the pine cones.

3. Play name that leaf. Have the kids collect unusual leaves. Grab a tree guidebook from your local library to bring along and identify the types of trees the leaves were taken from.

4. Have fun raking. Gather leaves into a huge pile and jump in! Remove twigs from the pile and make sure there are enough leaves before the kids dive in.

5. Stuff a scarecrow. Dig out an old shirt and overalls and stuff with hay or leaves until firm. Complete the scarecrow with a pumpkin head.

6. Venture to your local orchard or farm. Head off for a day of apple picking, pumpkin carving, hayrides, corn mazes and other fun activities. Many farms have a picnic area you can all gather for lunch as well. If you pick apples, come home and have the kids help you make some homemade apple crisp (adults cut apples, kids mix ingredients).

7. Search for state parks and plan for a hike or bike ride. Look out for wildlife and occasionally stop for family photos.

8. Picnic on the beach. The beach is breezy at this time, but isn’t crowded like in the summer.  The ocean or lake becomes the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon. Pack books and sand toys for the kids.

9. Tour the town. Grab a tourist brochure and take in the local sites. Snap pictures, buy treats and meander through the neighborhood shops.

10. Create a new fall tradition. Get outdoors, enjoy the fall weather and make new memories – you belong in the sun! 

Even though it’s fall, you still need to protect your family from nature’s elements such as the sun and insects. Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and wear sun protective clothing! Have fun.

Little Coolibar customer Lucia in leaves with bear hat
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Inside Coolibar What's Hot

Coolibar’s Favorite Looks for Fall

Take your favorite Coolibar pieces from summer to fall. Scroll through our album of hot looks for fall days that are so fabulous, they’ll blend flawlessly into your wardrobe.  You may even see something new in our UPF 50+ line that you’re missing.

Coolibar designers have taken the time to pair customer favorites with hot trends for fall that you likely already have in your closet or jewelry box. Every collage below shows in detail how to create each unique look.

Style Idea 1: Coolibar Shirt Dress – Pair with a trendy fedora style hat, like the Coolibar Fairway Golf Hat. Add color with a multi-toned bracelet and a bright green necklace. Complete this ensemble with a pair of knee-high brown leather boots. Add some fun tights for a breezy fall stroll in the park.

 

Style Idea 2: Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap – Layer over a tank, such as the Coolibar Basic Sun Shell, and wrap a belt around the undershirt to really flatter your mid-section. Intensify contrast with turquoise, gold jewelry or metallic sunglasses. Finally, lace-up some ankle wedges for look that commands attention from bystanders.

 

Style Idea 3: Coolibar ZnO Long Sleeve T-shirt – Add bold prints like a leopard scarf to give black a fierce look. Ruby red accessories and heels give your sharp assembly even more of an edge. At last, tuck your shirt into a skirt that falls just above your knees and sits at the waist, like the Coolibar Wrap Skirt. Just wait for the whistles of admiration to start once you walk out the door.

 

Style Idea 4: Coolibar Pin Tuck Blouse – Keep it simple and elegant with lustrous accents and pearls. Add even more shape to the waistline with a metallic skinny belt. Slip on your favorite pair of skinny pants, preferably a neutral tone; and to top it off, opt for a brimming hat, such as the Coolibar Montauk Sun Hat. Now you’re ready to hit the town in ultra feminine fashion.

 

Style Idea 5: Coolibar Essential Blouse – Light lilac and pink tops really shine when up against charcoal and grey compliments, such as grey business slacks. Take a piece of silver jewelry you’ve had put away forever and make it like new again while adding more polish to your look. This outfit is perfect for the office, but please feel free to take it out to lunch with a floppy hat, for instance, the Coolibar Packable Wide Brim Hat.

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