Jennifer Annett is the Integrated Marketing Manager for Coolibar. She talks about her experience in the surprising advantage of long sleeves.
Summer is usually a time for barely there clothing; it’s hot outside and most people tend to wear shorter clothing to keep cool. I on the other hand, have actually worn long sleeves and long pants during the summer to protect my skin from UV rays. Does it get hot, yes, but I was confident that I was protecting myself.
I have fair skin, strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. In my lifetime I have had more sun burns than I can count. So, it would make sense that a person like me would work for a sun protective clothing company. And now, after almost 6 years of learning about the dangers of UV, I not only want to stop sunburn, I want to prevent wrinkles, aging and skin cancer and sun protective clothing is the easiest most guaranteed way to get UV protection.
Needless to say, I am a Coolibar fan! I purchase many of our garments, I have a Coolibar hat for every occasion and I give Sun Protection You Wear as gifts to my friends and family. I believe in our products, however, until recently, I struggled with the perception that long sleeves will make me hot. Old habits die hard and when the temperature soars, my first inclination is to put on a tank top and shorts, even though my fair skin requires protection.
Prior to the holiday weekend, I had read a blog post called Why I Don’t Wear Sunscreen and was reminded how other cultures adapt to hot sunny conditions. Most people are covered and you don’t see many tank tops in the desert. According to the author’s Egyptian guide, “Exposing skin will get you burnt, and you’ll be hotter.”
This article was on my mind last weekend when temperatures reached 90 degrees with high humidity. I was meeting my friend for a walk at 11am, which is during peek UV exposure. I decided I was going to do an experiment and pulled out my trusty Coolibar jacket (zipped to the top) and paired it with my favorite walking pants. I added my Coolibar visor and sunglasses and applied sunscreen only to my face and hands. I envisioned that I was wearing special anti-aging armor, and after an hour, I still felt really comfortable. My girlfriend, on the other hand, was melting. She wore a tank top.
Let’s face it, when the weather is that hot, you are going to sweat. You might as well protect your skin and feel cooler since the sun won’t be in direct contact with your skin. I have a renewed faith in the ability of Coolibar products to help keep me cool and protected.