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Seeing Beyond my Vitiligo

Karl Dunbar can still recall the first day white spots began to appear on his skin.

“I was in seventh grade and my vitiligo started to appear on my right hand (on my thumb) and over my right eye,” says Dunbar. “At first, I tried to hide it by wearing gloves.” During high school and his early college years, his vitiligo became more apparent. “If you said anything about my skin we had to fight,” says Dunbar.

Vitiligo is a chronic disease that causes a loss of pigment in areas of the skin. People of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds can develop the disease. Vitiligo does not cause physical symptoms and is not contagious, but it can have a significant impact both psychologically and socially.

“When I was younger I used to wonder how I would look if I didn’t have it,” he says.

Now the defensive line coach for the New York Jets (former defensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings) Dunbar sees he is defined by what he does, not by his appearance. “There’s not a whole bunch of us [people living with vitiligo] doing this,’’ he says. “I just hope that everything that I do, I get judged by what I do — not by how I look.”

Dunbar’s coaching record proves that he has not let his appearance hold him back. Dunbar is credited with having built one of the most stout run defenses in the league over the past several years. The Vikings lead the league in rush defense from 2006–2008 and ranked second in 2009. He also coached perennial Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen. The Vikings ranked in the Top 10 in total defense from 2008–2010.

On top of being a coach in the National Football League, Dunbar also thinks of himself as a wellness coach and hopes to raise awareness for vitiligo and help the general public understand more about the disease.

“If vitiligo starts at a young age, it can be damaging to a young person’s self-esteem,” says Dunbar. “Over time, I’ve grown to deal with the people’s view on vitiligo and things they don’t understand. By getting this out [the message about what vitiligo is] I hope to help kids dealing with this skin condition not go into a shell, but thrive in their social growth.”

“It’s the old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,” says Dunbar.

Coolibar sun protective clothing has the great fortune to be working with Karl Dunbar to help him spread the word about vitiligo and the importance of sun protection. “Those with vitiligo need to take caution in the sun because skin burns quicker and easier,” says Dunbar. Sun protection products such as UPF 50+ clothing, which Karl wears during training season and games, can prevent over-exposure to the sun’s UV rays that can lead to health problems down the road. Everyone of every ethnic background should use sun protection, including clothing, a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, as a part of healthy living.

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Expert Rx SunAWARE

Twins Opener Reminds Us to Use Sun Protection at Outdoor Sporting Events

The Minnesota Twins home opener is finally here. In a few hours, fans will gather for another year of outdoor baseball and cheer on their team in the presence of sunshine and fresh air. Before heading off to the game, keep in mind these sun safety tips for outdoor sporting from Dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis.

“I wanted to talk to you today about sun protection for sporting events.  We have this beautiful new open air stadium in Minneapolis and we are hearing all manner of sunburn stories coming out of that.  So, I wanted to talk to you about a couple of basic things you can do to keep yourslef safe from the sun.

1.)    SUNSCREEN.  Don’t forget the sunscreen.  I think you can actually get it at guest services there, so ask for it if you do forget it.  But a nice high SPF, go for a 60 or higher because you are going to be sitting outdoors for hours and the SPF number tells you how long that product is going to work for.  So a 15 will work half as long as a 30 which will work half as long as a 60 which means get the 60.  And don’t forget lip protection too, a nice physical sunscreen for the lips. 

2.)    HAT.  Hats are great; however, you can do a little better job depending on the type of hat you choose.  Baseball caps in general offer great sun protection for the face but we see baseball cap wearers who have a lot of sun damage from the nose down, and the tops of their ears are very sun damaged, and the backs of their necks.  You don’t get enough sun protection from a baseball cap alone.  If you get one with a nice flap that extends down back over the neck, covers the ears, you’re still going to have some exposure on the sides but that’s where your sunscreen’s going to come in handy.  Also, the weave of the fabric, you want a nice tight weave like this.  You don’t necessarily want a mesh top because that does not provide sunscreen and we see often times lots of sun damage on the tops of heads of people who are baseball cap wearers – but they don’t wear the right weave of a fabric.  You need a nice long bill, you sometimes see little short ones, and you need a nice long bill on that cap.

3.)    SUNGLASSES.  The other thing is sunglasses.  Because of the bright light you’re going to need a little protection for your eyes because your eyes can be sun damaged over time too.  You’ll need a lens that is UVB and UVA screening, not just a tinted lens, because that can actually do more harm than good.

Always remember to be SunAWARE!”

Dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis
Uptown Dermatology
Minneapolis, MN

 
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.
Outdoor Stadium at Target Field - Don't forget a Hat, Sunglasses and Sunscreen!
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SunAWARE

Snowboarders and Skiers Take Cover

TRUE or FALSE – you’re more likely to sunburn in a snowy landscape than a grassy plain. Think about it. Ultraviolet rays from the sun reflect off of shiny surfaces such as sand, water and SNOW! When walking into any ski resort chalet you’ll notice bright red faces of snowboarders and skiers fresh off the hill. Now the only question is, are the rosy cheeks and nose from windburn or sunburn?

Snowboarders and skiers have to protect themselves from more than frostbite. UV radiation exposure increases 8 to 10 percent every 1,000 feet above sea level, so if you’re snowboarding down the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado, you could be starting your descent at almost 13,000 feet above sea level. By 13,000 feet, UV radiation exposure increases 104 to 130 percent! Then add the fact that snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, and you’ve got UV coming from all directions. The combination of increased elevation and UV rays reflected by the snow puts skiers and snowboarders at an increased risk of sun damage, which can lead to premature aging and skin cancer later in life.

While wearing sunscreen on the snowy slopes can offer sun protection, snow and wind can reduce its effectiveness. Avoid sunburn (and perhaps even windburn) this winter and take some advice from the Skin Cancer Foundation.

  • Cover your head – it will protect your scalp and help keep you warm.
  • Wear items like ski masks, which will leave very little skin exposed to the wind and sun.
  • Sunglasses or goggles that offer 99 percent or greater UV protection and have wraparound or large frames will protect your eyes, eyelids and the sensitive skin around your eyes, which are common sites for skin cancers and sun-induced aging.
  • If possible, ski early in the morning and later on in the day, before 10 AM and after 4 PM. This decreases the amount of time spent outdoors in the most intense sunlight and it may also help you avoid long lines.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Apply 30 minutes before hitting the slopes. Using a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients like lanolin or glycerin can soothe skin while protecting. Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly to all exposed skin – at least a teaspoon to the face. Reapply every two hours, and immediately after heavy sweating.
  • Always wear a lip balm with an SPF 15 or higher – lips are very sensitive.

Wishing you a sucessful and SunAWARE season on the slopes!

Coolibar employee Amanda and her boyfriend Josh snowboarding in the Black Hills
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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

2011 Coolibar Gift Guide for Life Outdoors

QUESTION: Do you need to find a gift for …

a. A family member who spends a lot of time outside?

b. A girlfriend who obsesses over her skin and owns oodles of cosmetics?

c. A parent with small children?

d. A friend who lives to garden, bike, hike, climb, fish, run, walk, camp, swim, surf, golf, farm, surf, sail, travel and participate in a never ending list of outdoor activities?

If you answered YES to any of the above then we strongly suggest you proceed reading!

While the holiday season may not have you thinking about sunny beaches and or long afternoons on the golf course, we’ll bet everyone on your list would love a gift that’s associated with that carefree feeling. Sun protection is a gift everyone needs (and we’re convinced would want if they knew about it). Wide brim hats and sun protective clothes are not only practical for easy sun coverage, but over the years, these items have been recognized by both fashion editors and outdoor athletic communities for their style and performance. So, maybe not everyone on your list knows about sun protective clothing. Well, here’s your chance to show the one’s you love how smart and thoughtful you are.  Sun protective clothing is not only easy, comfortable and a health conscious move, but there are a range of styles and features so fashionistas and fitness enthusiasts alike can take on the outdoors in their own style.

If you don’t know where to start for a someone who’s new to UPF clothing, here’s our ideas:

Our Customer’s Favorite Coolibar Basics
Click on the first image to browse our gift ideas.

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Find the perfect Coolibar piece for that special person on your list.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

www.coolibar.com

Santa Letter Photo Credit: katerha

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Parenting SunAWARE

Doctor Prescribed Outdoor Activity for Kids

Worried your kids aren’t getting enough fresh air and exercise? You’re not alone. Inactivity in children is an issue many parents and health care providers are concerned with.  According to the Center for Disease Control, in the U.S, approximately 17 percent of all kids (ages 2-19) are obese. Environmental factors are mostly to blame, such as poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity. With an increasing number of electronic devices for kids to glue their eyes to, it’s easier than ever for children to find entertainment that requires little movement. An article in the New York Times recently stated “children ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices”. Today, children are eating more and moving less, which puts them at risk of becoming over-weight or obese.  Now is the time to form healthy habits and start moving!

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) recognizes the need to get children outdoors and is taking action through their Children and Nature Initiative.  The ultimate goal of the program is to encourage parents, doctors, teachers, and organizations to get kids outside for their own health.  According to NEEF, “Research indicates that unstructured outdoor activities may improve children’s health by increasing physical activity, reducing stress and serving as a support mechanism for attention disorders.”  This program encourages pediatric health care providers to prescribe outdoor activities to children. It also connects medical professionals with local nature sites, so when doctors prescribe outdoor exercise, they can recommend safe and easily accessible outdoor areas. From there, it’s up to the parents to take the lead and help encourage kids to exchange screen time for outdoor play.

Forming healthy habits includes using sun protection on a regular basis, especially when being active outdoors. Kids get between 50 to 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, and unprotected sun exposure can lead to health problems such as skin cancer later in life. To keep outdoor playtime safe, use the SunAWARE acronym:

SunAWARE Logo
SunAWARE Logo

Help your kids start good habits at an early age. Be SunAWARE and get outdoors!

Additional Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/childhood-obesity_b_1029606.html

Photo courtesy of Micheal Newton and VA State Park Staff.

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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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Events Inside Coolibar

Share Your SunAWARE Side to Win!

Snap a picture of your SunAWARE 4th of July weekend and post it on the Coolibar Facebook wall for a chance to win a free UPF 50+ Coolibar Swim Shirt of your choice! 

Entries will be accepted now through Monday, July 11, 2011. Please write or indicate that you wish to enter your photo into Coolibar’s SunAWARE 4th of July Contest when posting the photo. Then, we’ll enter you in our random drawing to win a Coolibar Swim Shirt.

The winner will be announced on the Coolibar Facebook Wall on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.

Collage of Sun Safe Fun

No purchase necessary to enter. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. One winner will be chosen through a random drawing of all entries posted on www.facebook.com/coolibar before midnight C.S.T. on 7/11/11. The winner may choose one Coolibar® swim shirt up to a $76 retail value from www.coolibar.com. Prize given is subject to availability. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Must reside in the U.S. and be 18 or older to enter. Limit one photo entry per person. Coolibar® may at anytime, remove and disqualify entries.  Contest rules subject to changes at the discretion of Coolibar®. Facebook® is not affiliated with Coolibar® or this contest.

Please ‘Leave a Reply’ below if you have any questions.

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New Products Sun Protection Clothing What our customers say

3D dri SUNTECT – Coolibar’s “Coolest” New Fabric

Scott Boating

3D dri SUNTECT®, one of Coolibar’s latest innovative fabrics, does more than offer UPF 50+ sun protection. It’s a performance fabric that uses tiny grid patterns to prevent this lightweight polyester fabric from sticking to the skin, enhancing breathability and moisture-wicking effectiveness.

Coolibar customer, Scott Eisen (pictured to the left) has always enjoyed boating and fishing and loves to hit open waters where the sun’s rays reflect off the water’s surface, intensifying UV exposure. After spending some time out in the boat on a hot sunny day in his new Coolibar Sunblock Hoodie, Scott decided to share a few thoughts on the garment’s design and Coolibar’s new 3D dri SUNTECT® material.

 “Great material, very lightweight … and good to use even when it’s hot outside,” says Scott referring to the Sunblock Hoodie. “The hood is a great feature as well. I also like the white color and the vents that are in the sides that let air in to cool me.”

We asked Scott to tell us the overall comfort level of the fabric (ranging from 10 great to 0 horrible). His response – a 10! “The 3D dri SUNTECT® fabric is very soft and very light. You don’t notice that you’re wearing anything.” Scott repeats, “The fabric keeps you cool because you don’t feel that you’re wearing it, yet it blocks the sun. And it does not stick to your skin at all!”

“My favorite feature of the fabric is how light it is. The fabric has no downsides. The garment itself is a bit tight around my torso when putting it on, but once it is positioned properly it’s not tight at all,” says Scott. We also asked Scott if he would recommend this garment to a friend and he said, “Yes, absolutely.”

The Coolibar Sunblock Jacket, another one of Coolibar’s new 3D dri SUNTECT® garments, was recently featured in Antenna Magazine, the first mainstream magazine to target individuals who are on a constant quest for the newest and coolest products on the horizon.

Antenna Mag - Summer 2011SUNTECT® Sun Protective Clothing for Men

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SUNTECT® Sun Protective Clothing for Women

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Shop Coolibar

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Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

What is Your Coolibar Beach Style?

Answer 10 simple questions to determine your ideal Coolibar beach look, because there is no need to give up your style to get reliable sun protection!

Is your style Sporty? Timeless? Glamorous? Smart?

The answer is below!

  

  

Scroll down to see your Coolibar beach style.

Swim & Surf Chic (Sporty Style)

If your first mission is to hit the water once the waves are in sight, then you’ll need an ensemble that works as hard as you work the water (and is stylish of course!) Coolibar suggests: Swim Jacket, Swim Tights, Chlorine Resistant Hat, UV Swim Goggles and All Terrain Aqua Sport SPF 30 Sunscreen

 

Shoreline Meanderer (Classic Timeless Style)

If your plan includes meandering through shops or dining seaside, you’ll probably want something with a little more coverage and style. Coolibar suggests: Sun Sarong, ZnO Sun Wrap, Tropicana Sun Hat, Mixed Pearl Necklace, Mykonos Sunglasses and Colorscience SPF 30 Powder Makeup

Lounging Lady (Glamorous Style)

If your ideal day at the beach or poolside is sitting under a parasol, reading a book and only moving to grab and sip of your pink lemonade every so often, then you’ll want sun wear to make your day as comfortable and relaxed as possible while still keeping your sense of style in mind!  Coolibar suggests: ZnO Sarasota Beach Cover Up, Ruche Swim Shirt, Shapeable Poolside Sun Hat, Cookie Sunglasses and Body Cotz SPF 35 Sunscreen

Active Chic (Smart Style)

You never know what a day at the beach will bring for you and your spontaneous nature. You go for simple, versatile and carefree looks you can throw on in an instant at the beach for some sand volleyball or reading your favorite magazine. You may even wade in the water from time to time. Coolibar suggests: Beach Shirt, ZnO Beach Pants, Marina Sun Hat, Patrol Sunglasses, Stone and Leather Cuff and Soleo Organics SPF 30 Sunscreen

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Success Stories Videos Wellness Warriors

The Villages Leathernecks Dragon Boat Team

The Leathernecks Dragon Boat Team

Ah, Retirement – time to sit back, relax, and reflect on life. Not anymore and certainly not for the Leathernecks Dragon Boat Racing Team of The Villages, a retirement community in Florida! This racing team is a National Champion – taking home the “Gold Medal” in the 200 meter race and a “Silver Medal” in the 500 and 2,000 meter races in the 2010 USDBF Club Crew National Championships.

The 24 member Leathernecks Dragon Boat Team is comprised of former and retired U.S. Marines and their wives or significant others, whose average age is 66. The slang term “Leatherneck” is used to describe United States Marine Corps members and originated from the leather collar formerly part of the uniform, worn for protection of the neck during sword combat. A fitting name for our retirees!

Watch Team Leatherneck footage from the 2010 USDBF National Championships.

Though these Leathernecks are no longer protecting their necks from swords, they are protecting themselves from UV. Many of the team’s members are battling skin cancer in one form or another and spend countless hours training and racing in the sun. The Coolibar Short Sleeve Swim Shirt provides UPF 50+ protection for Team Leatherneck, to which their dermatologists are celebrating. You can’t keep these guys off the water!

The Villages Leathernecks practice two days a week on Lake Dora and spend another two days lifting weights and physically training. Their fierce competitive spirit has earned them the respect and admiration of the many much younger teams in the Florida Dragon Boat Circuit. The Leathernecks serve as a reminder that life doesn’t end at retirement, in fact for many, it’s just begun.

The 2011 World Championships will be held in Tampa, Florida this August. Here’s to another Gold Medal for The Villages Leathernecks Dragon Boat Team!

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