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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 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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Expert Rx SunAWARE

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Coolibar Beach Umbrella

 

Did you know that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month?

May has been declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month by the Centers for Disease Control.  With more than 3.5 million skin cancers diagnosed annually in over two million people in the United States, we need to become SunAWARE. 

Here are a few ideas for you to be AWARE of Skin Cancer this month and all summer long.

1.) Start out May with a Free Skin Cancer Screening.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday- 5/2/2011.  The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of melanoma, a potentially fatal skin cancer, and to encourage early detection.  With early detection, melanoma has a high cure rate.  Participating clinics offer free screenings on that day and throughout the month.  Click the links below for more information.

Click to learn more about Skin Cancer Screenings.

Click to locate a FREE Screening in your area.

Click for Daily Tips from the AAD.

Click for Free Screenings from The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour

2.) Walk or Run to support Skin Cancer Research.

There are many walks/runs across the United States that raise money in support of skin cancer research, such as the Stay Out of the Sun Run in Rochester, MN.  Search locally for an event in your area, or create your own Miles for Melanoma event.

3.) Register to win Free School Sun Hats from Coolibar in May.

In May Coolibar is giving away free school sun hats to 5 winning classrooms across the United States.  Download the contest form to enter.  Contest deadline is May 13th.

4.) Kick off your summer with Don’t Fry Day.

The Friday before Memorial Day (5/27/2011) is deemed “Don’t Fry Day” by The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.   The purpose is to remind everyone to protect your skin while enjoying the outdoors.

 Pledge to follow these simple steps to prevent and detect skin cancers all summer.

SunAWARE
SunAWARE - Simple steps to prevent and detect skin cancers.
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Apply Sunscreen Parenting Sunscreens and Lotions

Recap of Sunscreen Facebook Forum with Sweetsation Therapy

Once again, we can thank our Coolibar Facebook fans for another successful sunscreen forum. If you missed out on the action, here is a short recap of our session with sunscreen/skin care expert Natalja Millsap from Sweetsation Therapy. 

Q. Does your baby lip balm have SPF protection? Is it safe for babies to eat this stuff?

A. There is no SPF protection because we believe that the balm gets eaten faster than it would last for sun protection. But it does contain natural sun protection in a form of Shea butter. It’s about 4%…Other natural oils also add sun protection, like raspberry SPF4, hemp SPF6, grape seed SPF4 and avocado SPF4.

Q. What if I sweat a lot in the summer? How do your products hold up against water/perspiration?

A. They hold up pretty well, however some of it comes off with the sweat. So re-application is essential.

Q. Can your sunscreen be used on extremely sensitive skin? We are always looking for sunscreens that work and won’t cause a rash.

A. Yes it can! … Titanium Dioxide is the best UV blocker if you have very sensitive skin.

Q. What area of the body do people usually forget to cover with sunscreen? What area is the most sensitive to sun?

A. I would say areas with the thinnest skin. Top of your feet, hands, neck. So you have to pay attention to those too.

Q. What about my baby…putting sunscreen on his hands when he is always putting his hands in his mouth?

A. That’s something that comes with the territory. They always do that. At least make sure sunscreen is applied on the back of his/her hands because that’s the area that is exposed to the sun the most.

Q. What ingredients are safe in sunscreens?

A. ZnO and TiO2 are definitely safe.

Q. Are there any particular ingredients I should avoid in sunscreens?

A. With mineral sunscreens, you are safe. But I would avoid parabens, artificial fragrances that may appear among “other” ingredients in a product. As for chemical sunscreens – oxybenzone is the one I definitely would stay away [from]. It’s very common in commercial sunscreens.

Q. What is the difference between “organic” and “natural” sunscreens, if there is one?

A. Organic products contain at least 70% of organic ingredients by volume. Natural [products] don’t have to.

Q. So is the organic distinction just for marketing purposes, or are organic products generally safer or less abrasive for some skins?

A. Feel-wise, there wouldn’t be any difference, but they’re considered to be the “cleaner” choice without contamination of pesticides.

Q. What is the best way to store sunscreen so it will last the longest?

A. The best place is at room temperature out of direct sunlight. It is not necessary to refrigerate it. Standard shelf life is 2 years; however our sunscreens can last longer because they are packaged in air tight containers that not only prevent bacterial contamination but also curious children hands.

Q. Is it really necessary/is there any benefit to wearing sunscreen under clothing? How about under UPF 50+ rated clothing?

A. No, there is no real need to wear sunscreen under clothing that offers sun protection.

A. From Coolibar – It’s not necessary to wear sunscreen under UPF 50+ clothing; however, you may want to wear sunscreen under regular summer clothing as some summer T-shirts have very little sun protection. If you’re wearing Coolibar UPF 50+ clothing, you only need to cover exposed areas.

Q. How much sun protection do tinted car windows provide?

A. From Coolibar – According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, since UVA penetrates glass, consider adding flat, tinted UV-protective film to your car’s side and rear windows as well as to house and business windows. This film blocks up to 99.9% of UV radiation and lets in up to 80% of visible light. http://www.skincancer.org/understanding-uva-and-uvb.html

Q. Does sunscreen start to lose its protection immediately? How often do you suggest reapplying your product? Is more frequently always better or are there drawbacks to putting it on too often? How important is it to wait the 15-30 minutes before going in the sun? What is one to do if they are spending a length of a day outdoors and can’t get inside to reapply? (Is it better/safer to reapply in the sun or not reapply?)

A. Yes, indeed, it’s better to reapply as directed (every 2 hours) than not reapply at all. Even if you are already out. There are no drawbacks to reapplying too often. Sunscreen is there to protect your skin.

Q. Why is it recommended to wait the 15-30 minutes after application before exposure?

A. That’s what the American Academy of Dermatology recommends to give it ample time to absorb.

Q. I spend a few hours every day in the sun, always wearing (cheap OTC / drugstore) sunscreen SPF 100+ and sometimes (whenever it’ll be a longer exposure (wearing SPF/UPF shirts/jackets. My skin is still coloring, the slightest bit. Ought I to be concerned? What a high-rated SPF Sweetsation sunscreen can I expect no evidence of sun exposure even when I’m out in it every day? Or is ultimate sun protection impossible or unnecessary?

A. Our highest SPF is SPF 50. Percentage wise, it is not a big difference between SPF30 or 50 or even 100. But I am not aware of any sunscreen that would provide 100% of protection.  SPF 30 covers 97% of UV while SPF 50 covers 98%. I think it’s all about the application … making sure that you apply a sufficient amount and making sure that all areas exposed to the sun are properly covered.

Q. Is it really important to use a different sunscreen on your face than your body? Why?

A. Our sunscreens can be used for the face and body at the same time. I can’t comment on other brands…

If you have more questions regarding Sweetsation Therapy or sunscreen in general, let us know by posting a question on Facebook or writing a comment below. To purchase Sweetsation Therapy Sunscreen from Coolibar, visit www.coolibar.com/sunscreen.html.

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Apply Sunscreen Expert Rx Sunscreens and Lotions Videos

Sunscreens (Video)

Hi, this is Dr. Davis for Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing.

I wanted to talk to you about How to Choose a Sunscreen.  It can be overwhelming.  You walk into a store and you see hundreds of items on the shelves, but how do you even begin to choose. 

SPF Number

Number one, the number you look for tells you how long that sunscreen is going to work.  So if you’ve got a 30 it will work twice as long as a 15.  Use SPF 30 or higher.

Ingredients

You also need to be mindful of what the ingredients are.  There are two main groups.

(1) Physical Blockers (reflectors)

Sits on the surface of your skin and creates a physical barrier to UV rays that blocks/reflects them away from the skin.

– Works right away on both UVA & UVB rays, no need to apply 20 minutes prior to sun exposure.

– Ingredients: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide

– Good for sensitive skin

(2) Chemical Absorbers

Creates a chemical reaction within the skin that allows the sunscreen to absorb UV before it penetrates the skin.

– Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure.

– Ingredients: octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), homosalate, and octocrylene absorb UVB, while oxybenzone, avobenzone and ecamsule absorb UVA.  

These two categories are for two different types of skin.

Sensitive skin likes the physical sunscreen – great choices – Vanicream 60, super compatible with sensitive skin.  Physical Sun Blocker – Not going to be as likely to sting as the sunscreens that have some chemical sunscreen ingredients.  But, the chemical sunscreen ingredients last longer, they soak in, they’re better for sports and water resistance.  So, look for a good high SPF number, 30 or higher and then maybe a combination of chemical and physical if you’re not really sure which one is right for you.  If you’re sensitive, stick to physical.  If you’re really going to be working out, get the chemical ones.  That at lease gives you a starting point.

Sunscreen Brands

Brand wise, if you like organic, Soleo is an Australian brand – all physical so that should be compatible with most people’s skin.  We talked about Vanicream.  Don’t forget your lips – Fallene LipCotz.  Physical sunscreen for the lips, especially men, is super important. That lower lip we often see skin cancer.  Women wear lip products more, lip balms and lipsticks so we tend to have more natural sun protection, men do not.  Blue Lizard, the fun thing is that the color changes when Ultraviolet light hits it so you know you need it when the bottle is blue.  It’s a mixture of chemical and physical. 

That gives you a starting point.

Application Amount

Don’t forget 1 ounce is what you need, 2 tablespoons or basically a shot glass full.  Way more than you think you need.  You’ve got to get a nice even coating and re-apply every couple of hours, especially in the heat of the day, especially if you’re sweating.

So Don’t Forget to Be SunAWARE!

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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More Sunscreens and Lotions

Soleo Organics Sunscreen Q&A Session Highlights

Soleo Organics Sunscreen

The burning sunscreen questions of many Coolibar Facebook fans were answered today by Soleo Organics Sunscreen experts Dr. Tony Kovacs and Rick Sample during our live forum. Here are a few highlights in case you weren’t able to make it.  

Q. What is the consistency of your sunscreen product like? I have tried other brands that don’t spread or absorb well.

A. Soleo is designed to absorb into the skin within a few minutes of applying, if it hasn’t done so within 2-3 minutes, you may be applying too much.

Q. Is there really such a thing as applying too much sunscreen? I thought you could never have enough.

A. You can apply too much, but with Soleo there is no toxicity issue. (But also make sure you apply enough sunscreen. Approximately one ounce, or enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body properly.)

Q. I have a 5 month old baby, is it OK to use sunscreen on him?

A. Absolutely, Soleo is safe for babies of all ages.

Q. Since I’m a wearer of Coolibar and use it for scuba diving in also, I am wondering if it is necessary to wear a sun block under clothing with an SPF rating?

A. If you’re in your Coolibar gear you’re covered. Apply sunscreen on all exposed areas such as hands.

Q.  I have extremely sensitive skin (post skin-condition) and my doctor recommended I wear SPF 100+ every hour while in the sun, but everyone seems to think there’s no point in anything over 50. Is there really an difference? Or was my doctor just being over-cautious?

A. SPF 100 etc. is just a myth and it will not give you any more protection than a true SPF 30+

Q. What are the main UVA/UVB blocking ingredients and what are their differences?

A. Zinc is the only sunscreen ingredient that offers complete block for UV A, B and UV C

Q. Why are there any additives added to sunscreen/sunblock?

A. Additives are used to preserve aqueous sunscreens. Soleo does not have additives or preservatives.

Q. Are Soleo products not aqueous? What does that mean with regard to sunscreens anyhow? How would Soleo products be described, comparatively?

A. Soleo is an oil base, but non comedogenic, it is water resistant and absorbs into the skin. Water based sunscreens generally don’t offer a great deal of water resistance and need to be applied more frequently, and they contain preservatives, often parabens, benzoates, tec. More chemical cocktails for your body to deal with.

Q. Does the product expire or break down if not used within a certain time frame? I know main stream sunscreens say to replace them after a year.

A. Our product has a two year shelf life. Chemical sunscreens are unstable and break down very rapidly, as opposed to zinc oxide. If our product comes out clear, just knead and shake it up like you would a salad dressing, you want to make sure the product comes out white.

Q. Does that mean it’s not effective after the expiration date or just less effective?

A. Soleo will actually remain stable for a least a year after the expiry date, but we cannot legally sell it once the date has lapsed.

Q. Can zinc be absorbed by the skin/body? If so, is this a concern?

A. Yes, zinc can be absorbed, but Soleo’s formula only absorbs into the skin and not into the bloodstream. Zinc is safe for the body as opposed to the chemicals found in traditional sunscreens.

Q. There has been a lot of controversy about sunscreen ingredients over the past year. What is the benefit of an all natural sunscreen such as Soleo?

A. The benefits are: non chemical, safe for all ages, zinc only, environmentally friendly, biodegradable, organic. Google “sunscreen side effects” and sit back and be shocked. You will see what the chemicals in sunscreen can do.

Q. What is Soleo tested for? Water/Sweat resistance, etc?

A. Up to 4 hours in the water and up to 4 hours in the sun, depending upon skin type. Non allergenic, non comedogenic, no eye sting, safe for babies

Q. How often do you need to reapply sunscreen? And how long do you need to wait for it to take effect?

A. Sunscreen should be applied one half hour before going outdoors. Even water-resistant sunscreens should be reapplied often, about every two hours or after swimming, drying off or perspiring.

If you have more questions regarding Soleo Organics Sunscreen or sunscreen in general, let us know on Facebook or our Blog’s comments section. To purchase Soleo Organics Sunscreen from Coolibar, click here.

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Events Sunscreens and Lotions

The Sunscreen Expert Live Forum on Facebook

Announcing Coolibar’s first Live Facebook Forum:

Ask the Sunscreen Experts

Time: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 · 1:30pm – 2:00pm CST

Location: http://www.facebook.com/coolibar  

Details: Ever wonder what SPF stands for or how to choose a safe sunscreen for yourself or your children? What does it take for a sunscreen to be considered organic? Starting at 1:30pm CST (11:30am PST, 2:30pm EST) on our Facebook page wall (http://www.facebook.com/coolibar) we’ll have the experts from Soleo Organics with us and available to you: Dr. Tony Kovacs and CEO Rick Sample.

Soleo OrganicsSoléo Organics Sunscreen is an all-natural, organically produced skin care solution that is safe for humans and the environment. Soléo has been innovatively formulated according to Naturopathic principles without the use of any chemical UV-absorbers, titanium dioxide, or synthetic preservatives.

RSVP Yes and we’ll enter you in our drawing to win Soleo Organics Sunscreen.

Join in the conversation with your own questions and you could win one of two prizes – including Soleo Organics sunscreen, and a Coolibar hat – plus there will be an exclusive discount on Soleo Organics sunscreen sold on Coolibar.com.

We hope to see you there (if even for a few minutes)!

Go here to join the event: http://www.facebook.com/coolibar

Tentative Forum Schedule

Next month’s featured expert is Sweetsation Therapy on April 12, 2011 – Topic: Sunscreen for babies and expecting mothers

Sweetsation Therapy supports women and moms-to be of all ages and wants them to grow and glow, feel their best and enjoy their life, pregnancy and motherhood by providing Organic and Natural skin care treatments to support natural beauty, defy aging, prevent stretch marks, protect and brighten the skin while preventing aging safely.  Sweetsation therapy can be used on everyone – including baby.

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Success Stories Wellness Warriors

A 6-Year-Old Melanoma Hero

It’s not fair that anyone should have to deal with something as life altering as melanoma, especially a 6-year-old. Rachael was only 5 when she was diagnosed with stage III melanoma on September 10, 2009. After a year of battling and conquering melanoma, Rachael and her family know all too well why sun protection is important.

It all started with a little mole on her left arm that Rachael complained hurt. Rachael’s mom, Danielle, took her to the doctor thinking the mole was nothing, but better be on the safe-side. Once at the Doctor’s office, the physician removed the mole and everything was assumed to be okay. While this spot was not initially diagnosed as stage III melanoma, after the first biopsy, doctors knew it was something. It was confirmed after Rachael had a wide local excision on her arm three inches long and a biopsy of the sentinel lymph node, where they removed a few lymph nodes to look for cancer cells. 

While the typical survival rate for stage III melanoma is 60 percent, Rachael was in a rare, but good situation for the circumstances. Doctors told Danielle that children under the age of 10 diagnosed with malignant melanoma have a high survival rate, but further action was necessary. The treatment Doctors recommended for Rachael has been used on less than 100 children in Rachael’s situation and all survived. Her treatment never incorporated chemo, but rather surgery (to remove all lymph nodes under her left arm), four weeks of interferon given daily through an IV using a picc line (which can make the patient ill), weekly injections through the picc line for 48 weeks, and what will be years of follow-up tests. Rachael received a bead through the Beads of Courage program for every treatment she went through. By the end of the year, her necklace of beads was worth more than a thousand words.

Rachael's Beads of Courage

Fortunately, Rachael’s cancer was caught early. She is living healthfully and cancer-free now among her parents and brother; however, her journey to wellbeing was not an easy one, and the experience has forever changed her life as well as her family. Danielle says, “A year into this, how has life changed for us? I think about the sun every single day… I no longer think 15 minutes without sunscreen is okay. Rachael wears a hat every day.  She wears it in the pool.  She wears it to the beach.  She wears it in the shade.” Danielle does this with great reason too. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 65 percent of melanoma cases can be attributed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Rachael and those surrounding her are now all practicing sun-safe habits every day under the sun.

Danielle’s Blog chronicles their family’s journey through pediatric melanoma: http://iloveyoumorethanmost.blogspot.com

Organizations such as the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation aggressively focus attention on the need to teach “prevention” and “sun protection” to children, and their caregivers. Learn more about this program and tools you can use to teach future generations how to be SunAWARE.

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade SunAWARE Videos

Natural Skin Tones are Totally on Trend

Editorial

Each year we observe President’s Day on the third Monday in February. For some reason, this particular President’s Day got me thinking about the days of old (or the days when George Washington was President) when pale skin was in. In fact, women before the 1920s used to use skin whitening methods to keep as much of a milky white tone as possible. This symbolized a high social status as outdoor workers, who were considered lower class, carried a tan appearance.  So why did this change over the years, and where are we now?

It’s argued that Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (pictured above), a revolutionary French fashion designer of the 20th century, started the tanning trend by mistake. While visiting the French Riviera in the 1920s, she accidentally got sunburn. In doing so, bronzed skin became a symbol of glamour rather than peasantry as her large following instantly adopted this look. By the end of the decade, the poor had left the fields for factories, and, helped along by Chanel, the trend for tan skin began.

Between Chanel, the industrial revolution, women’s magazine advertisements encouraging tanning in the 1940’s, the premiere of the bikini in 1946, the introduction of tanning beds in the late 70’s early 80’s, tan skin became, what seemed, acceptable, fashionable and easily obtainable. Years later, we know better.

This trend of the past century has left us with skyrocketing skin cancer rates and many with prematurely aging skin.  Currently, more people seem to be wising-up, protecting their skin, and “going with their own glow”.

For the past few years now, we’ve been seeing more natural toned celebrities on the red carpet, and pale, yet glowing, models on the runway. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, teen idols from the popular Twilight movies, have set a new trend for the younger crowd. Both sport a pale complexion yet glow with natural beauty.  Jane Larkworthy, recent Beauty Director of W magazine even claims tanning is just not in fashion anymore. “I can’t remember the last time I saw a tanned model in my magazine or on the runway.”

If you were once a part of the tan fad that is now out, you may not be able to reverse the damage that has been done. But the good news is that you can take action now. Start protecting your skin from the sun and get back your natural glow.

So how do you keep that natural skin tone glowing? 

First, avoid unprotected UV exposure as much as possible. Second, wear sun protective clothing, including a hat with a three-inch brim or greater, along with UV sunglasses. Then apply a generous amount of sunscreen, with SPF 30 or higher, 20 minutes before heading outdoors. Try a broad-spectrum sunscreen such as Soleo Organics, SolBar, or Vanicream. Do this, and your skin will be naturally glowing in no time!

“Tanning is Out of Style” Video by the Skin Cancer Foundation

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Inside Coolibar

Employee Escapades – Rose in Puerto Rico

Proud employee Rose began working for Coolibar this past July. She recently ventured to Puerto Rico in order to escape Minnesota’s below zero temperatures and once there, finally got an opportunity to test out our gear for real.

This January, my boyfriend Aaron and I took a trip to Puerto Rico to celebrate my birthday and our 5 year anniversary. We rented a car in San Juan and drove to a surfing town called Rincon on the west side of the island where we spent 2 days. We spent a lot of time in the water because the waves in Rincon were amazing! We also drove around to neighboring cities and did a little exploring. We then drove to the opposite side of the island and spent a few days in a gated community called Palmas Del Mar. Our favorite activities were to just lie on the beach and relax or go for long walks. We even went hiking a little in El Yunque rainforest. Our Coolibar clothes made it so easy to stay safe in the sun and fully enjoy our trip.

I used the Fitness Jacket and Aaron used the Short Sleeve Swim Shirt and the All Terrain Winter Travel Kit. We really liked the swim shirt and the Winter Sport sunscreen…even though we weren’t doing any winter sports.  I got the kit because it had sunscreen, aloe and lip balm.

It got up to about 85 degrees usually. The swim shirt definitely helped to keep Aaron cool. The days I wore my fitness jacket, it helped to keep me cool, and then when the sun went down, it helped to keep me warm.

We wore our Coolibar clothes while swimming, walking on the beach, hiking, and riding in the car. The swim shirt was great for both of us! One day we went for a long walk down the beach, and Aaron was wearing his swim shirt. On the way back down the beach to the hotel, I was getting really hot and could tell that my sunscreen was wearing off, but it was far away so I couldn’t reapply. Aaron let me where his shirt for 10 minutes, and I almost immediately cooled down and my skin was protected from sunburn.

I was really impressed with both garments. Aaron used his shirt every day of the trip for all different kinds of activities and he admitted that the shirt did a great job of protecting his skin and keeping him cool.

The clothing definitely enhanced our trip. When applying sunscreen to Aaron’s arms and legs the first day of the trip, we missed a spot on his hand and on his lower left ankle. That night, Aaron complained about a burn on his hand and ankle and we were both shocked at the severity of the burn. If we hadn’t been diligent about him wearing his swim shirt and using the sunscreen on areas that were left exposed he would have probably had severe burns on his whole body, and we would have spent the second, and maybe even the third day of our short trip holed up in our tiny hotel room, waiting for Aaron’s burn to heal enough to go back out into the sun.

When I returned, people commented that I barely had a tan. I had a nice, healthy glow, but I definitely didn’t look like I got too much sun!

Rose

Coolibar employee

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