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Sun Protection Clothing SunAWARE

Choosing the Perfect Sun Hat

 With so many sun hats to choose from, how do you narrow it down to the perfect one? The three most important factors to consider are: brim size and shape, material, and the activity for use.

Brim size is a fundamental factor in the level of UV protection provided by a sun hat. Most physicians recommend a minimum brim of 3 inches or greater. Coolibar sun protection hats range from 3 inches to 8 inches in brim size. Brim size is most important for blocking direct UV rays.  

The shape of the sun hat and brim also impacts the hat’s UV blocking ability. In some environments, there may be significant dispersed or reflected UV. This dispersed UV can bounce up underneath the brim of the sun hat and will often strike areas lower on your face such as your chin and cheeks. In general, brims that curve down and sit closer to your face will provide better protection against this reflected UV. For complete sun protection, it is best to also use sunscreen on your lower face area while wearing a sun hat.

Another approach to protecting against reflected UV is to wear a flap hat. Sun hats with flaps can almost completely protect your skin from reflected UV where the fabric lies on your skin – such as your ears and neck. Some sunblock hats with flaps have an extended neck flap that can wrap all the way around to the front of your face and provide excellent protection for your chin and cheeks.

The second key factor for UV protection is the material used to make the sun protection hat. Look for a hat constructed from material rated UPF 50+, meaning it will block 98% of the direct UVA and UVB falling on it. Cotton canvas typically provides good to excellent sun protection. Straw hats with a tightweave or fabric lining under the brim will keep your face shaded too.

One other factor that has a modest affect on sun protection is the color of the underbrim. A sun hat with a dark underbrim will absorb more reflected UV that could bounce down on to your face and thus provide more protection for your skin as well as help minimize UV and glare on your eyes.  

Finally, consider what you’ll be doing outdoors while wearing the hat. If you’ll be in a windy environment, opt for a hat with a locking chin strap. For water or other physical activities, look for a wicking or chlorine resistant hat material. And of course, for an outdoor wedding, picnic or other fashionable occasion go for the oversize brim that will provide excellent coverage and a stunning look.

If you consider these factors in selecting a sun protection hat, you can be confident your choice will provide excellent sun protection.  

Shapeable Pooliside Hat
Sun Hats for Women
Shapeable Wide Brim Hat
Sun Hats for Men
Girl's Chlorine Resistant Bucket Hat
Sun Hats for Kids
 

 

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Events

Celebrate Summer Solstice

Summer solstice, the day with the longest amount of sunlight this year is Wednesday, June 20. Summer solstice is significant for scientists and religions alike, it’s a day tied to solar phenomena and community celebrations.

Carolyn Sumners, vice president of astronomy and the physical sciences at the Houston Museum of Natural Science provides a scientific explanation of summer solstice on Chron.com. “The earth is always tilted on its axis at 23½ degrees,” says Sumners. It orbits around the sun in that position – and in the Northern Hemisphere, when that tilt leans most toward the sun it’s the summer solstice.

The historical significance of summer solstice goes far back. Ancient Egyptians would wait for the Nile’s flooding season beginning summer solstice, for the floods provided fertile soil for farming. The Incas began the tradition of Inti Raymi, the multiday Festival of the Sun, which is still celebrated by tourists and natives of South America every year on June 24 (around the time of summer solstice). Even the Olympic Games in Greece were specifically scheduled to commence once summer solstice ended.

Today, summer solstice is still celebrated around the world. In the UK, thousands gather at Stonehenge to witness the solstice sunrise –the moment when the sun completely aligns with the outer Heel Stone.

Stonehenge 2010 Summer Solstice Sunrise

In the United States, a simple Google search of “summer solstice festival (state name)” will show a list of cities and towns celebrating this day with parades, festivals, music, games and athletic events.

Solstice Parade 2011 - Santa Barbara, CA

To all of us at Coolibar, it’s a day to remind others about healthy sunny living. We, like most, love to be outdoors, and summer solstice is a day to celebrate. While the sun is extra strong, for an extra long time, remember to be SunAWARE, and keep your UPF 50 clothing, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen on hand.

Being SunAWARE at the beach in Coolibar

Celebrate summer with a family barbecue, a trip to the beach or a long bike ride.

How do you to take advantage of the longest, most sun filled day of the year?   Let us know what summer means to you on Facebook or by commenting below!

Photo credits:

Stonehenge: Vintagedept

Parade: Damian Gadal

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Expert Rx Routinely Check Skin Videos

Free Skin Checks on Melanoma Monday + Tanning Mom Skit

Is your FREE SKIN CHECK scheduled? Today, the first Monday of May, is Melanoma Monday and dermatology offices across the country are offering free skin checks as a reminder to get your annual exam. A yearly skin check promotes good health and skin cancer prevention, today and all year long.

It is currently estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. When caught early skin cancer is highly treatable, and is often preventable.  Because the signs of skin cancer are visible on the surface, you just need to call your doctor when you see something unusual, growing, or changing on your skin.

You can search the website of the American Academy of Dermatology and their SPOT initiative to find a free screening near you.

Exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.  If you could reduce your risk of skin cancer by just seeking shade, wearing sun protective clothing and sunscreen, and avoiding tanning beds, wouldn’t you?

Ask your loved ones to commit to keeping their skin safe and getting a skin check.

Now, if we could just convince Tanning Mom that her bronzed skin is not good for her.  Watch the Tanning Mom skit from Saturday Night Live.

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Educate Others Events Expert Rx

Coolibar Communicates the Importance of Sun Protection to Oncology Nurses

Limiting ultraviolet radiation exposure along with other changes in a person’s lifestyle such as quitting smoking, being physically active, and eating a better diet may reduce the risk of developing most types of cancer. But what about those who are in mid-battle of fighting off cancer, in any form? Sun protection is not only important for cancer prevention, but those in cancer treatment especially. The need to limit sun exposure is not always at top-of-mind when someone is going through cancer treatment, so both health care providers and patients need to be SunAWARE.

Today, approximately 12 million people alive in the United States have had some type of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Some of these people are cancer-free; others still have the disease. Skin can become extremely sensitive during certain types of cancer treatment. Oftentimes drugs used in cancer treatment may make skin more sensitive to the sun.

While patients should always seek professional advice, using broad-spectrum sunscreen for sensitive skin every day can help ease skin irritation and prevent skin damage from the sun’s ultra violet radiation. UVA has the ability to travel through most home and car windows unless they’ve been specifically treated to block UVA. When spending time outdoors, patients should wear a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Sun protective clothing that provides cooling sun relief is widely available today and can be found through a simple internet search. To stay comfortable outdoors, look for technical fabrics that offer a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating (UPF 50+ is the highest rating available), wick moisture and feel soft to the touch.

In order to help spread the message about the importance of sun protection Coolibar will be visiting the Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress in New Orleans, LA May 3 – May 6, 2012. Coolibar hopes to help oncology nurses recognize the need to communicate the importance of sun protection to patients to help ease skin conditions, provide comfort, and prevent skin cancer occurrences.

Oncology Nurses: Stop by booth number 918 to see Coolibar.

Annual ONS Congress

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.

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Apply Sunscreen SunAWARE Sunscreens and Lotions

New FDA Sunscreen Guidelines Effective June 18th

Last summer (June 17th, 2011) the FDA published a final rule regarding labeling and effectiveness testing for over-the-counter sunscreen products, marketed without an approved application.  The final rule and compliance guidelines (listed below) are fast approaching and go into effect on Monday, June 18, 2012, which is only 8 weeks away.

Consumers need to be aware that there is some lag time between the effective date of the new guidelines and what is available at your local pharmacy or sunscreen retailer.   The FDA does not expect non-compliant products delivered or introduced prior to June 18, 2012, to be removed from the market.  Therefore, product delivered to customers, even if they are in the manufacturers’ warehouse prior to the effective date, can continue to be shipped and sold.  For products with annual sales of less than $25,000, the compliance date is extended to June 17, 2013.

Sunscreen in combination with other measures, including sun protective clothing can help prevent skin cancer and early skin aging.  The new requirements are intended to assist consumers in making informed purchasing decisions and to avoid overvaluing the radiation protection provided by certain sunscreen products.   For the greatest protection from your sunscreen, look for the following:

Broad Spectrum – indicates protection from UVA

Minimum of SPF 15 – indicates protection from UVB the sunburn causing rays (SPF does not give any indication of UVA protection).

The final rule includes the following requirements:

  • Water resistance claims on the principal display panel must specify either 40 or 80 minutes of effectiveness while swimming or sweating, based on testing.  “Waterproof,” “sweatproof,” and “sunblock” claims are not permitted.
  • Claims that the product, in combination with other sun protection measure, reduces the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging are permitted only for broad spectrum products with SPF 15 and higher, and those concepts may also be reflected in the “Use” sections of these products’ Drug Facts boxes.  Non-broad spectrum products and product with SPF values below 15 can only claim to prevent sunburn and must include a skin cancer/skin aging warning.
  • All sunscreen products, including all cosmetic products making an SPF claim, must include the standard Drug Facts information.  The only exception to his requirement under the final rule is the standard “small package” reduced labeling permitted by the Drug Facts rule.

Learn more about labeling requirements from our post FDA Updates Sunscreen Regulations.

Learn more about top rated sunscreens from the Environmeal Working Group.

Learn more about Coolibar Suncreens, which are all Broad Spectrum and SPF 30 or higher.

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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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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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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 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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Avoid UV & Seek Shade SunAWARE

Do Windows Protect Against UV?

A quick Google search on “UV window protection” indicates the answer is NO.  With over 31,000 results, the first page is filled with UV-blocking films for sale that provide protection.  That sun faded sofa at grandma’s house is a great visual reminder that UV does indeed pass through glass.

And what about in the car?  All of a car’s windows will filter out the sun’s short-wave, UVB rays (all glass will filter UVB, but only the windshield in cars comes partially treated against the sun’s UVA rays).  SunAWARE found that researchers at the University College Hospital in Besancon, France concluded that “participants showed significantly more clinical signs of facial aging on one side of their face due to driving or working close to windows over many years.”

Lucky for us, there are some easy solutions to protect from UV, including UVA-protective film for cars, homes and businesses.  And if you’re not sure if your windows are treated, protect yourself with sun protective clothing and sun sleeves, UV sunglasses and the daily use of broad spectrum sunscreen.

Be SunAWARE and be Safe!

UPF 50+ Sun Sleeves Provide Excellent UV Protection
 
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