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Overwhelmed by too many sun protection options?

The Huffington Post recently published a great article titled “Sun Protection: Products to Keep Your Skin Safe This Summer”. The slideshow goes through all of the essential sun protection accessories anyone would need when spending time outdoors this summer. We’re excited that the media realizes the importance of educating people about the need for sun protection. However, not all sun protection is created equal, and with so many options to choose from, the search to find quality sun protection can be overwhelming. Don’t get confused by an overwhelming amount of sun protection information. We’ll take your through what to look for in sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, shade, and sun protective clothing.

SUNSCREEN

Broad-spectrum and SPF 30+

No sunscreen blocks 100% of UV. It only screens out a certain percentage of UVB (burning rays), and if it’s labeled broad-spectrum, it will help screen out UVA (aging rays) as well. Research provides evidence that both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.

Choose sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher with broad-spectrum protection. The FDA proposed that the maximum SPF value on labeling should be SPF 50 as there in no significant evidence that higher sun protection factors provide more protection. So anything rated between 30 to 50 SPF will provide sufficient UV coverage.

Water and Sweat Resistant

The FDA’s new sunscreen guidelines, which go into affect December 2012, state the term “sweat-proof” can no longer be used on sunscreen labels, as sunscreens are only “water or sweat resistant”.  So look for water and sweat-resistant labels if you’re going to be active outdoors. Additionally, the FDA will require water resistance claims on the principal display panel to specify either 40 or 80 minutes of effectiveness while swimming or sweating, based on testing, in the future. Never-the-less, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends reapplying all sunscreens approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.  

Lotions vs. Spray Sunscreen

According to the AAD, while spray sunscreen is convenient, it must be rubbed into the skin after spraying on generously. According to Environmental Working Group, the potential for inhaling sunscreens may also impose future health risks. DO NOT INHALE. It may be better to opt for creams and lotions on young children.

Read our post: FDA Sunscreen Guidelines

 

SUN HATS

Baseball Caps vs. Wide Brim Hats

Traditional baseball caps do not cover the back of the neck, sides of face or ears. Look for a wide brim hat with a 3” brim or larger that circles the crown. If you’re looking for a baseball style hat, look for one with a flap that covers your ears and back of neck such as a legionnaire style.

Straw Hats vs. Canvas Hats

Straw, unless tightly woven, is not an effective UV blocker. In fact, UV will pass through most straw hats. Check the UPF rating before buying or look for straw hats with material sewn underneath the brim for sun protection.

Read our post: Choosing the Perfect Sun Hat

 

SUNGLASSES

When choosing sunglasses, look for the label UV400 or Blocks 99-100% of UV Rays. Wrap style sunglasses block UV that seeps in the sides of sunglasses.

Read our post: Shield Your Eyes: 4 Simple Sun Protection Tips

 

UMBRELLAS AND SHADE STRUCTURES

While beach umbrellas do provide some shade, don’t solely rely on them. UV rays reflect off sand and water. Or look for attachable beach umbrella accessories, such as the EzShade, that block reflected UV.

Read our post: Is Your Shade Structure Shading Your Kids Enough?

 

SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

Sun protective clothing is rated by ultraviolet protection factor (UPF not SPF). The ratings are similar to SPF except UPF rates both UVA and UVB protection whereas SPF only rates UVB. AAD Dermatologists recommend sun protective clothing as the number one go-to for excellent sun protection.

Read our post: Sun Protective Clothing – Your Best Defense Against the Sun

Visit coolibar.com for sun protection you can rely on.

To see the Huffington Post’s original article, click here.

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Chad Grigsby Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Chad Grigsby Reviews Coolibar Swim Shirt

Coolibar Athlete Chad Grigsby is a pro angler, currently in his 10th full season on the FLW Tour. He spends hours on the water waiting for the perfect catch. Due to the lack of shade on the water, Chad sought out Coolibar for long lasting sun protection. He put Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear to the test and now shares his thoughts on its versatile performance. Read Chad’s review of the Coolibar Long Sleeve Swim Shirt.

Overall, I think it is a great shirt, hands down my favorite. I like the way it fits and it really keeps me cool out on the water when I am standing in the sun from daylight to dark. It keeps me cooler than wearing a T-shirt.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

Fishing

What are your favorite features?

I like how it keeps me cool all day in the sun. I also like the color surf blue.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

Great, soft feel and it does what it is meant to do – protect my skin.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

Yes, no snags and I have worn it a ton on the water.

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

No

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

I would want people to know that it keeps you cool and is UPF 50.

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

Sun protection is not an option but a requirement for anyone who spends a significant amount of time outdoors. If you don’t like to use sunscreen, UPF clothing is an excellent alternative. Also wear a hat!

Get the Coolibar Long Sleeve Swim Shirt.

Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Elena King Reviews Coolibar Water Jacket

Elena King is a Class A Member of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional Division, instructor of gifted golfers and Coolibar Athlete. Elena spends most days out on the green and under the sun teaching golf or playing a round of 18 holes. She put Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear to the test and now provides her two-cents on its on-course performance. Read Elena’s review of the Coolibar Water Jacket.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

Golfing, teaching and hanging out.

What are your favorite features?

The petite fit is great. The material is lightweight – perfect on cool mornings and not too hot mid-day.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

It’s super comfortable for swinging a golf club.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

Exceeded, great for other activities other than the swim environment.

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?

Yes! 

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

NO!

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

It is a great piece to have with you all the time put on early morning or wear indoors after activities. I wear it anytime anywhere.  I love the lighter blue color as I get lots of compliments on it.

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

When playing golf, carry an umbrella with you to use for protection on the extremely sunny days as well.

 

Get the Coolibar Water Jacket.

Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade Inside Coolibar New Products Parenting

Is your shade structure shading your kids enough?

As a mom of two active boys I have attended hundreds of sporting events.  For shade and sun protection I bring our portable beach umbrella or canopy.  Over the years, I have noticed that portable umbrellas and canopies only provide minimal sun protection.  Most portable umbrellas and canopies do not block UVA or UVB rays, they provide only a limited shade area (the largest of which is when the sun is directly overhead) and they do not block the UV rays that are reflected off of the ground.

When I researched reflected UV rays, I was shocked to learn that up to 1/3 of cancer causing UV rays can reach your skin while you are sitting in the shade.  One such study in New Zealand concluded that shade structures with side on walls provided the best protection from UV rays.  My frustration with portable shade structures and their inability to provide adequate shade and sun protection lead me to start my company, Solar Eclipz, and to develop the ezShade.

The patented ezShade is the only portable sun-shield that blocks over 99% UVA/UVB rays and instantly attaches to any nylon/poly umbrella or canopy.  Our company’s focus is to educate the public on the harm caused by reflected UV rays and the need for staying sun-safe and I hope that this post too will help you enjoy a sun-safe summer.

With the temperature soaring and the sun shining brighter, chances are you want to keep your little one safe from the sun. While you’d love to keep them indoors all day, you know you really can’t do that. However, what you CAN do is keep them sun safe by choosing products that provide and boost UV protection, easily and effectively.

Here are 5 must-have sun safety products for parents of preschoolers:

1. Sun Hat

Yes, every toddler needs a good sun hat. Luckily for you, Coolibar offers you some great options. Choose a sun hat that shades most of the face and keeps the sun’s rays away from sensitive skin. Also, don’t just get one sun hat. Get a couple. Preschoolers are always losing stuff or getting them dirty.

2. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not only for adults. You need to keep your preschooler’s eyes safe from the sun’s rays as well. However, don’t just go out and buy any pair of sunglasses. Look around for a brand that’s trusted and certified. Also, take the little one when you go shopping so that you can try on the pair for fit and comfort.

3. UV Protective Clothes

Sun protective clothes can be a life-saver, especially when you’re at the park or the beach. While you can get special sun protective clothes, you should also make sure that regular clothes offer adequate sun protection. Long sleeves, light colors, cotton fiber are some things to look for when choosing outdoor summer wear for the kids.

4. Sunscreen

Never, ever send your toddler out to play without slathering on the sunscreen. Choose a brand that is kid-friendly and child-appropriate. Blue Lizard and UV Natural both have SPF 30+ sunscreens available for kids. Make sure you apply the sunscreen at least 15 to 20 minutes before they go out to play and reapply it, if they go swimming or wash their faces. Also, don’t forget the BEENS or Back of knees, Ears, Eye area, Neck, and Scalp to ensure full coverage.

5. Shade

And finally, make sure that when they play outside or spend time on the beach, they have adequate shade and sun protection. Using a portable shade such as the ezShade will not only increase the protection that an umbrella offers, it will also keep kids sun-safe without blocking out their fun.

Keeping preschoolers safe in the sun does not need a LOT of effort. Just a few must-have products can help summer be fun and safe for your on-the-go, active toddler. So, go ahead and get equipped for the most enjoyable, sun-safe season ever!

About the Author: Linda Varga is the founder of Solar Eclipz and inventor of the ezShade,  www.myezshade.com, an award-winning sun shield that instantly attaches to any umbrella/canopy, blocks over 99% UVA/UVB rays, doubles your shade, and keeps you cooler all day long.

Get your Solar Eclipz ezShade now at Coolibar.  See our full line of UPF 50+ Sun Umbrellas & Shelters.

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Success Stories Wellness Warriors

75 time skin cancer patient urges sunscreen use

You’ve heard the advice about wearing sunscreen over and over. But would it mean a little more coming from someone who’s survived skin cancer at least 75 times?

Dennis Hassel enrolled in the U.S. Navy when he was in his 20s. Between work and play, he spent about half of every day outside, often without a shirt and always without sunscreen.

Hassel, now 81, estimates he’s had basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, 75 to 100 times. The cancerous growths appear on his face, side, neck, arms, back and chest and often look like small red spots that bleed and don’t heal.

Hassel has an appointment every three months with a dermatologist at the University of Virginia Health System, where any new spots are evaluated. Treatment usually requires cutting out the suspicious spot and sending it to a lab to ensure the doctor removed all the cancer. Sometimes his dermatologist freezes off the spot or gives him a cream to use.

Hassel thinks the x-ray acne treatments he used to get contributed to his recurring cancer, but, “it was mostly the sun,” he says. “I can’t say enough about getting the word out to people who think they’re immune to the sun. They’re not.”

Beyond just remembering to wear sunscreen (Hassel now wears 100 SPF), what can you do to avoid skin cancer? UVA dermatologist Mark Russell recommends you:

– Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before going outside.
– Reapply every 1-2 hours. Sunscreen can break down, wear off, wash off or sweat off.
– Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and make sure it hasn’t expired.
– Use about an ounce of sunscreen ­— the amount it takes to fill a shot glass — to cover your whole body.
– Stay in the shade when possible and avoid sun exposure during the hottest part of the day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
– Wear a wide-brimmed hat — not a baseball cap — that protects your neck and ears.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has images and warning signs of each kind of skin cancer. If you find a suspicious spot, get it checked by a dermatologist immediately.

UVA dermatologists offer a free skin cancer screening every year. Currently, they’re also providing Coolibar hats to people who attend the screening and bring a less protective hat, like a baseball cap, to trade. Coolibar hats have the wide brims Dr. Russell recommends.

Photo: UVA Employee Kat modeling Coolibar hat used in hat swap program.

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Inside Coolibar New Products What's Hot

Wide Leg Pant Review

Did you know Coolibar employees are some of our best customers?  After receiving our shipment of new Wide Leg Pants for women, a number of the Coolibar ladies immediately snatched them up. Now, Coolibar employees Heather, Jennifer and Julie share their thoughts on these comfy UPF 50+ pants. They also share some pictures showing how they style the pant.

 Coolibar Wide Leg Pant

– Smooth fold knit waistband
– No-squeeze top keeps pant comfortably in place
– Wide leg (12″ opening on bottom)
– Lightweight and breathable
– Drapes effortlessly
– Silky soft aire SUNTECT® polyester/spandex blend
– Rated UPF 50+

Jennifer wearing Wide Leg Pant - Beach Style

“I love my Coolibar Wide Leg Pants! I was in New York last April and searched the city over for a pair of brightly colored wide leg pants just like this, with no luck. I found a few but they didn’t fit right, the color was wrong or they were way too expensive. Lucky for me, I found them right here at Coolibar. I love these pants because the fold top waistband is flattering, they are amazingly comfortable, they’re silky-smooth and are extremely light weight. They have easily become my go to pants that I put on after work or for a Saturday afternoon in the city.” – Jennifer

Heather wearing Wide Leg Pant - Beach Style

“I love the new Coolibar wide leg pant, because it can be dressed up or down. Yesterday I wore them lounging in the humid MN weather and the pants kept me cool. The fabric is amazing and very soft! Pictured is my beach look. When I go to the beach I like to be covered up with layers that can be taken off when I go swimming. Thanks to these pants, I don’t have to apply sunscreen every time I get out of the water.” – Heather

Julie wearing Wide Leg Pant - City Style

“The wide leg pants are so comfortable! I love the lightweight silky material and the yoga inspired fold waist. I pair my pants with a lightweight tank top for a day time look, and throw over a jacket for going out at night. This is my go-to pant for the summer!” – Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try this pant on yourself: Wide Leg Pant on Coolibar.com

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Chad Grigsby Coolibar Athletes

Fishing Season Update from Coolibar Athlete Chad Grigsby

For those of you that don’t know me, and am I sure there are a few, I am Chad Grigsby and I am a professional angler on the FLW Tour – the PGA circuit of bass fishing. I have had the fortune of competing professionally full time for 10 years. That’s right, I fish for a living. I live in Maple Grove, MN, am married to Bridget and have two daughters – Isabelle, who is 4 and Avrey who is 2.

This year the season kicked off in January on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, FL. Okeechobee is one of my favorite lakes, as I tend to do well competitively there; however, this year wasn’t my best performance- I finished 58 out of 164- but I am excited to go back and won’t complain about being in the Florida sun in January. (Photo: Me in a Coolibar long sleeve protecting me from the Florida sun during practice).

Next I was off to Lake Hartwell in Columbia, SC where I struggled again and finished 120…on to Table Rock in Branson, MO where I finally cracked the top 50! (Photo: Me with my largest bass from Table Rock before weigh in with Isabelle, Coolibar shirt underneath the jersey – amazing that the long sleeves keep you cool and dry when fishing all day in 85 degree weather).

 

After Table Rock, I was able to head to Scottsdale, AZ with my family, where we celebrated Easter and had fun in the sun! (Photo: My daughter Isabelle after her Easter Egg Hunt wearing a kids Coolibar zip up to protect her Irish skin from the sun rays!)

Next up Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR, which is also a favorite of mine for a couple of reasons. I tend to do well there and that is where I met my wife (I am originally from Michigan- Go Big Blue!).

Well, I will check in again after Beaver, hopefully with a great story of my fantastic performance.

Stay cool. Chad

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing Wear Sun Protection

The Secret Advantage of Long Sleeves

On a hot, sunny day, long sleeves get a bad wrap. In fact, when it’s hot out, a wearer in long sleeves will endure laughter and ridicule on the golf course and the endless question, “Aren’t you hot in that?” Here’s the good news, if you wear UPF 50+ long sleeves when the rays are pummeling you, you no longer have to contend with those who simply don’t know the secret advantage of long sleeves.

The fact is that when the sun is shining and temperatures rise, UV protected long sleeves keep you safe from sunburn and keep you cooler. Doctors have long recommended wear UV sun protective clothing as a way to prevent sun damage and protect against skin cancer; however what science is now proving that blocking UVA/UVB rays in combination with long sleeves actually keeps us cooler too.

A number of years ago, an inquisitive research team led by C Richard Taylor and Virginia Finch of Harvard University and Amiram Shkolnik and Arieh Borut of Tel Aviv University were puzzled by the ability of the Bedouins of the Sinai to minimize solar heat loads in a hot desert. The study, aptly called Why Do Bedouins Wear Black Robes in Hot Deserts?, measured the people’s overall heat gain and loss in the robes, considering their amount of coverage, long sleeves and the color of their robes.

A volunteer wearing different levels of coverage and different colored clothing was faced into the midday sun in the desert for 30 minutes. Withstanding 95F, the volunteer placed in the Negev desert at the bottom of the rift valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Eitat wore either: 1) a black Bedouin robe; 2) a similar robe that was white; 3) a tan army uniform; or 4) shorts (that is, he was semi‑nude).

The results were surprising, but not surprising. Long sleeves and more clothing kept the wearer cooler. As the report puts it: “The amount of heat gained by a Bedouin exposed to the hot desert is the same whether he wears a black or a white robe. The additional heat absorbed by the black robe was lost before it reached the skin.”

As far as desert temperatures in our everyday world, when it’s hot, our bodies sweat as a natural cooling mechanism. Let’s face it, sweat sitting on skin feels sticky and damp. Then often, the temptation is to “release” heat by removing clothes or wearing short sleeves, leading to damaging sunburn. Comfortable loose fitting UPF 50+ long sleeves in a wicking fabric transfers sweat away from skin so it can dry, and it creates a small air flow between skin and fabric to keep it cool while protecting against sunburn and UV damage.

While long sleeves can actually keep skin dry and cool, when it’s exceedingly hot, long sleeves are not a replacement for drinking liquids. Medical professionals will always recommend wearing a sun hat, UV clothing, taking frequent shade breaks, using a UV umbrella for portable shade and drinking plenty of hydrating fluids.

So, the next time friends question if you’re too hot in your long sleeves, you have your answer. Recommendations are for sleeves that are loose enough for some air flow. Long sleeve styles like UPF 50+ wraps layered over a tank top or accessories like UPF 50+ scarves channel air in, around and flow heat out, like a bellows. As for the color debate, it appears dark is not an issue as far as staying cool in the deserts. Nor, would we suppose, it be an issue around the pool or on the boat either.

 

Source: Strange, but true: science’s most improbable research, The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/aug/19/most-improbable-scientific-research-abrahams

The heat and the hazard: 9 facts about summer health, The Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/summer-time-and-the-living-isbuggy-itchy-a-bit-germy-heres-what-to-do/2015/06/29/b8c0a7f8-0487-11e5-8bda-c7b4e9a8f7ac_story.html?utm_term=.a6326c7f6a65

 

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Coolibar Athletes Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Kristie Cranford

I love running. I have overcome so many obstacles in my life, one being cancer, and running is one of the few things I have semi “control” over. I feel alive and at peace when I run. I am alone with my thoughts and it gives me time to think deeply about many things.

My first half marathon was a huge accomplishment—the Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon (RNRLV) 2009. Many said I would never run a race that distance. During the race a friend surprised me on the course. I cannot tell you how big my heart swelled knowing someone supported me. When I crossed the finish, I put my hands over my face and cried. A volunteer had to move my hands to put the medal around my neck. I had conquered another obstacle. My husband and son met me at the finish. It was FREEZING, but I didn’t care. I did it!

That race was the bug that bit me. I started devouring books and magazines on running, hired a trainer and changed my eating habits. I lost weight and started sleeping better.

Along the way I also found a passion for fitness and became a Certified Personal Trainer. I am now studying to be a Certified Coach. As an athlete, I am attempting to transform from a runner who “runs” races to a runner who “races” races. It’s a huge step for me fine tuning my diet and nutrition and training a whole different way. I may never be an elite athlete, but it sure is fun training like one!

I was born and raised in North Carolina (brief moments of childhood in Ohio, and adulthood in Atlanta, GA) now living in the land of Sin City, Las Vegas. People who know me describe me as a friend to everyone I meet.

My life is busy. I find myself training at midnight sometimes just to fit it in. My goals include becoming a USA Track & Field Masters All American in 2012, finishing an Ultra Marathon, bringing an Outrun the Sun Race to Las Vegas and reaching as many people as possible with the message of sun protection.

As a multiple melanoma survivor since age 27, I am passionate about sun safety, especially since becoming a Mom. I have fought and beat cancer multiple times. I fear the day when I will get it again, not if, but when. I want to be as strong and healthy as I can be, in the event I need to fight again. My son’s bright eyes and smile are the reason I train so hard, eat right and protect my skin every day. I want to be the best Mom I can be for him, for as long as I possibly can.

Kristie’s favorite quote: “It’s about you. It’s personal. You’re not racing against anyone else. You only get one first time, so just enjoy the experience.”

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Coolibar Athletes Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Jeremy Van Ek

Finance professional by day, proud father by night and weekend, and adventurer in any spare time I can manage to fit in. I spend as much time outdoors as possible mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, trail running, orienteering, mountaineering, rock climbing, camping and coaching youth sports. I am also a Cub Scout den leader and president of the Chicago Area Adventure Racing Association.

My true passion is adventure racing, an outdoors multisport team competition. Disciplines usually include trail running, mountain biking, paddling (canoes or kayaks), and special challenges. What makes it really interesting is that team members must stick together at all times (it’s not a relay) and there is never any marked course for the race. We navigate our way using maps and a compass (GPS not allowed).  Adventure races range in length anywhere from four hours to 10 days.

I have several podium finishes in adventure races including 1st place in the 2007 Sweaty Otter Ultramarathon. I’ve also completed 25 plus adventure races from six hours to three days in length. My goal for any outdoor adventure is get dirty, have fun, eat strange foods, tell jokes, scream “wheee!” with childlike abandon and push myself (and team) to the best possible finish.

I am an everyday guy who likes to spend as much time outdoors as possible, getting up at 4:30 am just to get in 10 miles of mountain biking before heading to work. Friends constantly ask what kind of racing I am up to because they like to hear the stories. My plan for this year so far includes: Desplaines canoe and kayak marathon (solo kayak division); Chicago Adventure Racing Association All-Nighter workout (I plan and run this event every year); trip to hike Long’s Peak in Colorado; and a three day canoe trip in Northern Michigan.

I truly believe that you don’t have to be a super-athlete or maniac to be an adventurer. There is a lot waiting right in your backyard; you just have to occasionally go looking for it when you can manage to spare the time. I live in the west suburbs of Chicago, not exactly an adventurer’s paradise, but I’ve found many amazing sights just by wandering off the beaten trail, getting up a little earlier than normal to catch the sunrise and following the road less traveled.

On a final note, I feel strongly that sun protection is important in all outdoor activities. My kids are slathered with sunblock every time we go hiking and kayaking!

Jeremy Van Ek on Mt. Lincoln
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