Skin Diaries This is Brave

This is Brave: Coolibar’s Chad Novak Learns to Prioritize Doctor Check-ins

By: Chad Novak, Director of Studio Photography at Coolibar

On January 1st, I moved from a high-deductible pay-full-price-out-of-pocket-for-everything insurance plan to a low-copay and no-referral-needed plan. It was exciting for me. I felt like Andy in that episode of Parks and Recreation where Andy and April realize they have medical insurance and go to the doctor for literally everything. I felt that free.

My first doctor visit with my new insurance was to a dermatologist. This was my first visit to a dermatologist in more than a decade. I had no prior visits to this doctor and I was unfamiliar with this doctors process. I remember feeling a little surprised at how many medical professionals were in the room with me (5 to be exact). They stepped out for a minute to allow me to change into a gown, and then they all returned a moment later (all 5 of them). I was overcome by modesty in the presence of all these strangers, but the doctor put me at ease and began her full-body check.

From head-to-toe, armpit to fingertip, she examined all of my moles. “Nothing strange”, about any of them she said, except one. She asked me about a mole on my back, and I said, “What mole?” I had no idea there was an odd-shaped multi-color mole on my back. And how would I, I don’t have a way to look at my back regularly and certainly not something smaller than a pencil eraser. She asked if she could biopsy the mole and send it to a lab for testing. Of course, I agreed. And I was on my way.

A few days later I received a call from my dermatologist. I learned that I results from the lab test revealed the mole was melanoma. I was shocked. She explained that it was Stage 1A and asked for me to schedule an appointment to have it removed right away. I asked if I could just “let it go”, to which she replied, “That is not an option”. I couldn’t help but feel scared in that moment. That went from zero to serious fast. My mind raced with fears about the cancerous cells spreading, and I felt unsettled about the fact that if I had not chosen to go to the dermatologist when I did, I could be facing a life-threatening situation.

Here is an alarming fact: It’s possible for melanoma cancer to spread to your entire body in as little as 4-6 weeks. 45 Days – and you might be terminal. I had no idea things could go so bad so quickly and I would not feel a thing in my body. It’s hard to wrap my head around that. But it’s real. And it opened my eyes to the dangers of letting things go. Or just acting like I’m fine.

My diagnosis opened a pandoras box. I have full body exams scheduled every 90 days for the next 5 years, I have had multiple treatments on my incision area to reduce scarring, and I just learned that my life insurance was dropped. It feels like a lot. It became a bigger deal than I wanted. But had it gone differently, I may not be writing this story.

Here’s what I know. The decision I made saved my life. I think about that once and while to remind myself that I’m not invincible like I think I am. This experience taught me an important life lesson: It is not a sign of weakness (as a man) to go to a doctor.

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What's Hot

Coastal Grandmother: Sun-Safe Style Tips for the Grandmother Aesthetic

As more women embrace the joys of aging, the coastal grandma aesthetic trends on social media platforms. Its elegant grandmother style meets coastal casual attire with a carefree lifestyle to match.

Being a coastal grandma means savoring everything life has to offer, including sunshine. However, many SPF sunscreens only protect against some harmful UV rays. Unlike SPF sunscreens, UPF 50+ clothing blocks 98% of UVA/UVB rays.

Coolibar is the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology. Our technically elegant clothing can help you achieve the perfect coastal grandma aesthetic.

Learn more about sun-safe grandma fashion trends from a popular Instagram influencer on our blog.

What is the Coastal Grandmother Trend?

The coastal grandmother trend is about wearing comfortable clothes that make you feel good and protects you from the sun. The term coastal grandma became popular when a TikTok user named Lex Nicoleta started talking about it in her videos. Surprisingly, she is in her 20s, reminding us that the coastal grandmother aesthetic is for women of all ages! It’s also sometimes referred to as grandmacore aesthetic or granny core. 

Key Elements of a Glamorous Gran’s Wardrobe: 

Coastal Grandma Inspiration

The coastal grandma aesthetic was inspired by several movies created by filmmaker Nancy Myers. The aesthetic includes lots of beige and other neutral tones. A coastal grandma may spend her Sunday morning at the farmers’ market and her afternoon carefully cooking fresh food. She enjoys the simple pleasures of life like gardening and hand-written notes. 

Notable films, TV shows, and celebrities that influenced the coastal grandma aesthetic include:

  • Father of the Bride
  • Something’s Gotta Give
  • It’s Complicated
  • Golden Girls
  • Lex Nicoleta
  • Diane Keaton
  • Anne Hathaway

Sun-Safe Style Tips for the Grandma Aesthetic

Grandmothers know the importance of sun protection which is why Coolibar’s Sun Protection You Wear pairs perfectly with the grandma aesthetic. Here are some beach aesthetic clothing trends inspired by grandma’s style.

Breathable Long Sleeves

Being a grandma at the beach means lots of sun exposure. Rather than having to lather on sunscreen every 2 hours, grandmas know the best outfit for all-day lounging in the sun includes loose, breathable long-sleeves.

While it may seem counterintuitive, long sleeves help circulate airflow and actually keep your skin cooler than wearing short sleeves while out in the sun. Better yet, consider a flowy dress or long-sleeve tunic as the basis for your grandma look. Here are some grandma aesthetic-inspired options: 

Wide Brim Sun Hat

Topping off your outfit with an elegant sun hat can totally transform any look. Whether you choose a full-coverage hat or a fedora style, you want something made with rigorously tested UPF 50+ material to protect the sensitive skin on your face and scalp. Explore our large collection of sun hats to find the right one for your glamorous gran style:

Wide-Leg Pants 

The coastal aesthetic is all about comfort and mobility. Wide-leg pants provide more range of movement for activities such as squatting down in the garden or walking on the beach. These pants are also feather-light and breathable for maximum air circulation on hot summer days. With wide-leg pants from Coolibar, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for coverage. 

Flowy Outer Layers

Consider some of our sun wraps or cover-ups to complete your collection of grandma attire. For colder months, you can get your grandma sweater aesthetic on with hot chocolate next to a warm fire. When choosing the best layers of sun protection you wear, always prioritize comfort and coverage. You won’t be disappointed! 

How to Embody the Beach Grandma Aesthetic

We all know how much the right outfit matters for any occasion, but remember, that’s just the beginning of the journey towards embodying the beach grandma aesthetic. 

Comfort is Key

For many of us, getting older means learning a valuable secret: life is way more fun in comfortable clothes! The beachy aesthetic really lends itself to comfort more than other trends—no need for tight waistbands or tops when you can have loose button-ups and wide-leg pants. 

  • Consider what it is that you really love about your favorite pieces of comfy clothing and try to incorporate that as you expand your coastal grandmother wardrobe.
  • Choose materials that are lightweight and breathable, like our buttery soft Aire and Moduri clothing lines. 
  • Look for pants with a drawstring for maximum waistband comfort

Embrace Ease and Versatility

There are many ways to prevent sunburn at the beach while fully embodying the beachy grandma lifestyle. They include wearing a UPF 50+ full coverage sun hat and breathable clothes. Luckily, beach aesthetic clothes usually promote ease of movement by being loose and flowy. Layers add versatility to your look to protect you from the sun and keep you warm on cool, breezy days. 

  • Keep a shapeable or roll-up sun hat in your car for impromptu adventures.
  • Seek out clothing that can be paired with various styles and items that you already own. 
  • Build outfits with flowy layers to help prevent sunburn and regulate body temperature. 

Self-Confidence and Self-Acceptance

The Golden Girls inspired a generation of women to be confident and independent as they age. Now, Golden Girls’ fashion is more popular than ever, which reflects how much this lifestyle continues to resonate with younger generations. While cool grandma clothes are part of it, this trend is really about self-confidence and self-acceptance.

  • Choose clothes that make you feel good without focusing on how they look in the mirror
  • Use a vision board to help you discover your own unique grandma clothes aesthetic
  • Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Remember to have fun! 

Embrace Your Inner Coastal Grandmother with Coolibar 

Getting older doesn’t mean sacrificing style. On the contrary, Grandma fashion empowers women of all ages to dress in a way that’s technically smart and still very elegant. You want your cool grandma outfits to keep you comfortable and sun-safe for many years to come. Unfortunately, a lot of flowy, breathable clothing allows light to pass through, which means you can get sunburned through your clothes.

Coolibar is the world leader in sun protection you wear. Our clothing is rigorously tested and guaranteed to block 98% of UVA/UVB rays. It is even recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and dermatologists worldwide. With Coolibar, you can choose cool grandma clothes that embody the coastal aesthetic while also staying sun-safe.

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Inside Coolibar

What the Heck is a Rash Guard?

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You’ve probably noticed the athletic-style shirts on people at the beach or pool and wondered what it’s for. So what is a rash guard? Its purpose is so much more than just a functional piece of clothing to wear around water and protect you from the sun.

You might be wondering why it is called a rash guard in the first place. Rash guards are shirts that were originally developed for surfers who experienced irritation to the skin from sand and residue on their surfboards. They continue to be a popular choice for surfers and lifeguards due to their comfort and high performance.  

Explore our wide selection of sun protection products to help keep you and your family safe while enjoying the outdoors.

What Are Rash Guards For?

Rash guards are no longer just for surfers. They are a versatile piece of clothing for all family members, whether boating, swimming, or just hanging out in the sand and sun. Below are three top benefits they provide.

  • Rash Protection: no need to worry about chafing and rashes, as the tight-fitting rash guard is an extra layer of protection for your skin
  • Sun Protection: they offer coverage from the sun, so your skin will be protected from harmful UV rays
  • Breathability: they are made with a combination of fabrics, providing comfort, breathability, and ease of movement

Best Rash Guard for Every Person In Your Life

Rash guards are versatile pieces of clothing for any outdoor occasion. Maybe you love to snorkel or just enjoy spending time on the beach reading a book. Whatever activities you prefer, extra protection and comfort will keep you and your family looking and feeling your best.

Best Rash Guard for Women

Rash guards provide fierce protection and functionality. They make a wonderful gift, and with a range of beautiful colors and prints, you really can’t go wrong! Read about free diver Ashleigh Baird’s review of our Coolibar Quick Zip Rash Guard, and see more of our women’s rash guard styles below.

Best Rash Guard for Men

Whether you are a water sports fanatic or just spend a lot of time outdoors, rash guards are the best outdoor clothing choice for men. They are perfect for long days outside spent working on the lawn or leisure activities like playing a round of golf.

The sporty designs feature high performance in cooling and sweating-wicking properties. We offer a variety of colors and styles for men. Here are some of our favorites:

Best Rash Guard for Kids

Rash guards are especially great for kids because of the sun coverage and protection. There is no need to worry about keeping their entire bodies lathered up with sunscreen when they’re in and out of the water.

A long sleeve guard reduces exposed skin to the elements. Your children will also love the range of bright colors and prints. Shop some of our top kids’ styles at the links below.

When Should Rash Guards Be Worn?

Since the purpose of rash guards is so varied, there is really no limit to when one should be worn. Their protection from sun, sand, and rashes makes them an excellent addition to any beach day. Some activities that are especially great for wearing this protective layer are:

  • Water Sports: they are perfect for wearing out on the water for activities like water skiing, tubing, surfing, and wakeboarding. Not only will you be protected from sun damage and skin irritation, but you will be protecting yourself from skin irritation while staying sun safe.
  • Beach Sports: long days on the sand playing beach volleyball or other beach sports can wreak havoc on your skin. Be prepared by wearing a beach rash guard to defend against damaging UV rays and irritation from the sand. Their sweat-wicking properties make them the ideal gear for all beach sports.
  • Other Sports: if you spend extended amounts of time doing other outdoor sports like running, golfing, or biking, rash guards may be a solution you might not have considered. Their sun protection and sweat-wicking properties will keep you safe and comfortable.
  • Yard Work: this is another excellent solution for anyone who does a lot of outdoor work. Even just regularly mowing the lawn can cause damage to your skin. Getting in the habit of wearing your rash guard for doing work outside can significantly impact your overall skin health.

Other Common Questions Around Rash Guards

Before we dive into the best rash guards for everyone in the family, let’s tackle some common questions that come up.

Does a rash guard protect you from the sun?

Getting a sunburn at the beach is never fun, but there are plenty of ways to prevent sunburn. Rash guard clothing from Coolibar provides a physical barrier from the sun and comes with the added benefit of having UPF protection built into the fabric. At Coolibar, our world-leading fabric offers the highest level of UPF protection and is guaranteed to block 98% of UVA and UVB rays.

Are rash guard shirts hot?

Unlike wetsuits, rash guards are not meant to keep your body warm. They are not as thick as wetsuits, so they do not trap body heat as well. They actually can have a cooling effect on the body because of their material and how tight they lay on your skin.

What are rash guard shirts made of?

Since the purpose of rash guard shirts is to prevent rashes and protect you from the sun, they are generally made of athletic fabrics like polyester, nylon, lycra, and spandex. These materials are soft, durable, and lightweight while allowing for breathability and stretch to maximize your comfort.

What do you wear with a rash guard?

What to wear with a rash guard is most often a matter of personal preference. However, since they’re generally worn during outdoor activities, we recommend pairing it with other UPF clothing items to ensure maximum sun protection, such as:

Explore Rash Guards And Sun Protection Clothing From Coolibar

Long gone are the days when rash guards were only worn by surfers, and for good reason! They keep your skin healthy and protected from the sun’s harmful rays so you can make the most of your time outdoors.

Check out our blog for more helpful sun protection tips, and read about some of our favorite styles for spring!

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This is Brave

Be Brave: A Week of Gratitude

As a part of Melanoma Awareness Month, we’d love to hear and share your Coolibar gratitude throughout the month of May! Make sure to tag us on social media for a chance to get featured.

From: Michelle, Coolibar

“I want to thank Susanne Milne for sharing her positivity and hope with us, and everyone around her. Anytime I, or the Melanoma Research Foundation, would reach out to Susanne asking to help raise awareness or support a non-profit, she said yes. Even though she was a fairly private person, she never hesitated to share her story or donate her time in the hopes that she could make a difference.”

From: David, A Sun-Safe Dad

“I will be the first to admit that I don’t have a great sun-protection routine, but it’s getting better. I grew up on the lakes of Minnesota in the 80’s and developed an early habit of avoiding sunscreen. That started to change when I had my son.

As a parent, I’d never send my kid out to play or swim without sunscreen or a rash guard. I’m slowing starting to apply the sun-safe habits we use for him to myself as well. We need to take care of ourselves, as parents, too and show the kids how it’s done. I’m still not a fan of sunscreen, but I’ll happy to suit up in a swim shirt and a hat with my son.”

From: Leighann, Coolibar

“I’m so grateful to Coolibar for keeping my friends and I safe, as well as fashionable and carefree in the sun!”

From: Michelle, Coolibar

“I’m incredibly grateful for the awareness that working for Coolibar has brought me. I have family members who have had skin cancer, but I didn’t take my skin care seriously until I started sharing the stories of our warriors and learning about skin protection from excellent dermatologists.

In three years at Coolibar, I’ve gone from applying sunscreen sparingly to carefully scheduling annual skin checks. I owe it all to our warriors and the awareness we’ve built together.”

From: Noureen, A Sun-Safe Mom

“I used to watch parents chase their kids with sunscreen and I’d smile thinking, ‘eh, my kids will be fine. Their dark skin protects them.’ Imagine my chagrin when a friend gently taught me that everyone needs sun protection, no matter the shade of their skin. We learned that protecting our kids (and ourselves!) from long-term sun damage is essential.

Fortunately, discovering Coolibar has helped me keep avoiding sunscreen battles. I love how the swimsuits leave less exposed skin to put sunscreen on! The fact that they’re cute is just icing on the cake!”

Our year-round mission is to protect the world from sun damage. During Melanoma Awareness Month, we show additional support to our community with our ‘Be Brave’ campaign! We are determined to change the one in five statistic of people developing skin cancer in their lifetime.

You can help support life-saving research, education and awareness by donating to the Melanoma Research Foundation

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Live Wisely

SPF 30 vs 50: Which One Is Better For Your Skin?

At Coolibar, we know that the amount of sun protection options on the market can be overwhelming and leave you with a lot of questions like if SPF 30 vs. 50 is better for your skin.  

Whether you love spending all your free time outside at the beach or you just venture out for the occasional picnic or hike, sun protection is essential. UVA and UVB sun rays can damage your skin, causing sunburns and wrinkles, and increasing your risk of cancer. That’s why understanding the difference between SPF 30 and 50 is necessary to properly protect yourself from damaging sun exposure.

Learn more about how to safely enjoy your time outdoors with our 10 tips for sun protection. It covers how to apply sunscreen correctly and alternative sun protection options to ensure you and your loved ones are always shielded from the sun’s damaging rays. 

What is SPF?

SPF stands for sun protection factor. The SPF rating number tells us how much of the sun’s harmful rays will reach our skin while using the sunscreen according to the directions. The higher the SPF rating, the more UV sun rays are blocked. So, the most straightforward answer to whether there is a difference between SPF 30 and 50 is yes!

But what are UV rays exactly? UV stands for ultraviolet. UV rays are invisible beams of light from the sun that can damage our skin. There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB.

  • UVA rays from the sun do not cause sunburns, but they can cause wrinkling and other skin-aging effects. While some sunscreens protect against UVA rays, the SPF rating does not measure this.
  • UVB rays are those pesky ones that burn our skin and can lead to cancer. All SPF sunscreens protect against UVB rays, but check your sunscreen to make sure it says “broad spectrum.” This means it protects against the aging effects of UVA rays as well.

Remember that UV rays can damage your skin even on cloudy days, so no matter what SPF rating you choose, make sure to lather up any time you are going to head outside! Also, according to sunscreen expert Kirk Minster, the specific ingredients in your sunscreen matter, so make sure to do your research when choosing the best sunscreen for your skin. 

What’s the Difference Between SPF 30 and SPF 50?

In the debate between SPF 50 vs. 30, it’s vital to understand what these ratings mean. Since we know that higher SPF ratings indicate more protection, SPF 50 protection is going to be stronger than SPF 30. But let’s dive more into each of these ratings.

SPF 30

So what is SPF 30, and why is SPF 30 good? SPF 30 sunscreen only allows 1/30 of the sun’s UVB rays to penetrate your skin. That means it blocks about 96.7% of those harmful rays. To ensure this level of protection, make sure to follow all directions on the sunscreen label, including reapplying at least every two hours.

  • Recommended protection: SPF 30 sunscreen meets the recommended SPF rating from the Skin Cancer Foundation. They recommend SPF 15 for everyday use and SPF 30 for those days where you are spending hours outside.
  • Reduced risk of cancer: Because UVB rays are the ones responsible for causing skin cancer, all SPF 30 sunscreens help protect you from this risk. 
  • Everyday protection: UVB rays can even penetrate through windows, so SPF 30 can provide everyday protection while driving or sitting at home. 
  • Who should wear it: Anyone who is outside for longer than 20 minutes a day, even on cloudy days, can benefit from wearing SPF 30 sunscreen.

SPF 50

SPF 50 sunscreen only allows 1/50 of the sun’s UVB rays through, blocking 98% of them. Answering the question of is SPF 30 or 50 better is really a personal decision. If you are still getting burned while using SPF 30 sunscreen according to the directions, then consider switching to a different SPF sunscreen with a higher rating.

  • More protection: SPF 50 blocks about 1.3% more harmful UVB rays than SPF 30.
  • Longer protection: SPF 50 sunscreens can protect your skin for longer, which means you have to reapply less often. Many SPF 50 sunscreens recommend reapplying every 150 minutes rather than the recommended 120 minutes for SPF 30. 
  • Protection at high elevation: The sun’s rays are stronger at higher elevations, so if you are going skiing or hiking in the mountains, consider SPF 50 or higher.
  • Who should wear it: Anyone with an increased risk of skin cancer, has prolonged sun exposure, or is outdoors at high elevations may benefit from SPF 50 sunscreen.

UPF is Also Important for Sun Protection

Now that the critical question, “What is the difference between SPF 30 and 50?” is answered, let’s look at another type of sun protection: UPF clothing. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor. It’s similar to SPF ratings in that it measures how much of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate through the clothing’s fabric to your skin. A shirt with a UPF 50 rating will only allow 1/50 of UV rays through.

The biggest difference between SPF and UPF is that UPF ratings measure both UVA and UVB rays while SPF ratings only measure UVB rays. This means you are potentially getting more sun protection from UPF clothing than you are from sunscreen. Even with broad-spectrum sunscreen, you may not know exactly how much UVA protection you are getting. Furthermore, sunscreens often contain harmful chemicals, while UPF clothing protects your skin without any dangerous additives.

Learn more about the benefits of UPF clothing versus sunscreen on our Respect the Sun blog.

Discover UPF Sun Protection Clothes and Accessories From Our Team at Coolibar

Sun protection is no longer simply a question of SPF 30 vs. 50. There are broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays, plus there are more quality UPF clothing on the market than ever before. We offer a variety of clothing with UPF sun protection, including wide-brimmed hats, sun sleeves, and breathable gloves. We’ve got you covered no matter how you like to spend your time in the sun, whether it be lounging at the beach or summiting a mountain!

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This is Brave

Be Brave: A Week of Gratitude


As a part of Melanoma Awareness Month, we’d love to hear and share your Coolibar gratitude throughout the month of May! Make sure to tag us on social media for a chance to get featured.

From: Michelle, Coolibar

“As a parent, I’m so grateful that I have learned how to keep my kids sun-safe. Before working at Coolibar I depended on sunscreen alone and spent so much time battling to reapply it. Now my kiddos see themselves as Coolibar sun protection ambassadors. They’re always wearing their UPF 50+ gear and are constantly asking me for ‘swag’ for their friends and their teachers. They’re 8 and 10, but already understand the importance of teaching other to be sun safe”

From: Kelsey, Coolibar

“As an avid golfer growing up, I used to only apply sunscreen at the beginning of every round but would always forget to reapply. I had no idea how bad that was for my skin. I’m truly grateful of the awareness and knowledge that working for Coolibar has given me. One of the great things about our UPF 50+ protection is that I don’t have to worry about reapplying it. I feel confident golfing and doing other outdoor activities when wearing Coolibar because I know that I’m sun-safe!”

From: Laurie, Warrior

“When I was first diagnosed with melanoma, I quietly rearranged my personal life to fit the sun’s schedule. I was afraid of the sun! Sun protective clothing has been a Godsend. I can get out and golf, ride bikes and enjoy the pool with my grandchildren. I’m finally learning to get back in the sun.”

From: Kani, A Sun-Safe Mom

“Living in Southern California as a busy mom, it’s very hard to shelter myself from the sun. I just want to say that Coolibar’s neck scarves are absolutely amazing! I have them in several colors and can’t wait to buy more!”

Our year-round mission is to protect the world from sun damage. During Melanoma Awareness Month, we show additional support to our community with our ‘Be Brave’ campaign! We are determined to change the one in five statistic of people developing skin cancer in their lifetime.

You can help support life-saving research, education and awareness by donating to the Melanoma Research Foundation

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Experts Say Live Wisely

How to Prevent Sunburn at the Beach

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Avoiding sunburn may seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Even during the hot summer months, when your sun exposure level is high, you can take steps to ensure you are protected. 

How long does it take to get sunburned? Can you get sunburned through a window or water? These are important questions to know the answers to so that you can avoid sunburn in the future.

Sunburn is caused by harmful UVB rays from the sun. This type of light ray causes more damage than just sunburn and skin aging. It is often linked to skin cancers. When we talk about how to protect your skin from the sun, we are not only considering how to avoid sunburn but also how to limit your risk of developing skin cancer. 

Sunburn prevention is an important topic for people of all ages. Explore our blog for more sun safe tips and advice so that you can avoid getting sunburned again.

image of a person with sunburn

Is Sunburn Dangerous?

If you’re wondering how long it takes to get a sunburn, it depends on factors such as your skin type and the UV index. Sometimes it can occur in 15 minutes of exposure or less. So, how bad is sunburn for you? 

Sunburns cause more than just the visible damage you see to your skin. The UVB rays are responsible for sunburns that are more intense, causing damage to the actual DNA in your skin cells. Over time, this damage at the cellular level can lead to skin cancer. 

Can you get skin cancer from one sunburn? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Any length of sun exposure could be causing damage, even if you don’t actually burn from it. Consistent over-exposure to the sun, especially at a young age, increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

can you go outside with sunburn

Is It Bad to Go Outside With a Sunburn?

If you have a sunburn, one of the worst things you can do for your skin is going back out into the sun. Skin that is burned or recently healed from sunburn is extremely sensitive, so it’s best to stay inside. If you can’t avoid the outdoors entirely, there are some safety precautions you can take. 

Drink plenty of water and avoid excess activity, as sweating does make a sunburn worse by irritating the skin that is trying to heal. You can stop a sunburn from burning by applying a sunburn moisturizer with aloe vera or taking a cold shower. 

Wearing UPF clothing and applying sunscreen on sunburn can help minimize further damage. It’s important to note that sunscreen only protects against sunburn if used correctly. Keep the following best practices for sunscreen use in mind:

  • Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 (50+ is preferred)
  • Apply enough sunscreen to cover your body (roughly 1 ounce)
  • Reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes at the minimum and every 40 minutes if swimming or sweating
  • Avoid using expired sunscreens
how to avoid sunburn

How to NOT Get Sunburn at the Beach: 6 Simple Solutions

Figuring out how to not get tan or sunburned at the beach may seem like an impossible task, but you can be prepared and protected with the following steps. 

Sun Protective Clothing

You may not realize that you can get sunburn through your clothing. One of the easiest ways to avoid getting tanned and sunburned is to start integrating sun protective clothing into your wardrobe. This option is great for the whole family, whether you’re spending the day at the beach or needing daily sun protection.

Coolibar’s UPF 50+ clothing incorporates sun protection into each and every fiber, and it never washes out. You can rest assured knowing that all of our clothing and accessories provide a minimum UPF rating of 50. We offer sun-safe solutions for men, women, and even kids & babies! Sun protective clothing is easy to use and gives you the peace of mind you need, with many benefits, including:

  • Sun protecting minerals embedded in every fiber
  • Tight weave construction offers maximum sunlight blockage (UPF 50+)
  • Permanent sun protection (no washing or wearing out)

Apply Sunscreen Often (and Thoroughly)

Applying sunscreen is another relatively easy and effective method for preventing sunburn, but only if used correctly. When buying sunscreen, look for one with at least SPF 30, and be sure to apply enough to cover your entire body. Sunscreens must be reapplied every 80 minutes. If you are actively swimming or sweating, you should aim to reapply every 40 minutes. 

Sunscreen is one of the most common methods for preventing sunburn, and for good reason. It can be used for the entire family and has advantages, such as:

  • Solution for exposed skin
  • Prevents sunburn and other skin damage
  • Easy to apply and readily available

Create Your Own Shade

Although you can get sunburn in the shade from light reflecting off other surfaces, it’s better than direct sun. Creating a shaded spot can also give you relief from the heat. If staying in the shade is possible, it’s an excellent solution for minimizing sun exposure. Coolibar makes it easy with sun umbrellas you can take with you on the go.

  • No direct UV radiation
  • Lowers risk of sun damage and sunburn
  • Easy solution

Know When the Sun is Strongest

Understanding when the sun is the strongest and what sun hours to avoid can make a big difference. The sun’s UV radiation is usually at its peak between 10 am and 4 pm. If possible, staying indoors during this time frame is a simple solution. 

  • Eliminate possibility of sunburns
  • Decrease risk of developing skin cancer
  • One way to prevent tanning of the skin 

Wear a Hat That Protects Your Neck

Shielding susceptible areas from the sun’s harmful rays is another simple way to stay safe when you want to be outdoors. The face and neck are sensitive areas that a hat can cover perfectly. 

Even on a cloudy day, the sun’s UV rays still break through, so wearing a hat will minimize UV exposure and skin damage. Coolibar offers a wide variety of sun hats with UPF 50+ protection so you can feel confident and protected from the sun.

  • Keeps your head and neck cool
  • No mess and easy to incorporate into your day
  • Range of style offerings for everyone

Wear Sunglasses With UV Protection

Your eyes are another critical area to protect from the sun, not only because the skin around your eyes is particularly thin and sensitive, but because UV damage in your eyes can affect your vision. Prolonged exposure to UV rays has been shown to increase the likelihood of developing vision issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration. When looking for sunglasses, check for 100% UVA/UVB protection.

  • Provide comfort from the bright sun for your eyes
  • Minimize UV damage to your eyes and vision issues
  • Simple sun-safe solution
can you get sunburned under water

Sunburn Prevention FAQs

Those are some simple solutions to reducing sun exposure and avoiding sunburns. Here are some commonly asked questions about sunburn prevention.

Can You Get a Sunburn Underwater?

Although water does partially block UV rays, most of those rays do travel below the water’s surface and can cause sunburn to your skin. Water is also an excellent reflector of light, so while you are swimming, you are likely getting more intense sun exposure than you would out of the water. 

Can You Get Sunburned in the Shade?

Sticking to the shade will significantly reduce sun exposure, but it depends on the quality of the shade. Due to light reflection from other nearby surfaces, it’s still possible to get a sunburn in the shade with long enough exposure. 

Should You Wear Sunscreen Even If You Don’t Burn?

Sunscreen doesn’t just prevent sunburn. It also deters the other damaging effects the sun can have on the skin. Wearing sunscreen will minimize the risk of developing skin cancer and slow skin aging, so it’s essential to wear sunscreen, even if you don’t burn. 

avoid sunburn

Shop Coolibar’s Sun Protection Solutions

The sun can cause severe damage to one of our body’s most vital organs, our skin. Learning how to prevent sun damage is key to a long and healthy life. 

Living sun-safely is important. That’s why we developed the most technical, elegant sun protection you wear so that you can enjoy life under the sun. Check out our blog for more sun safety tips, and shop our latest styles for men, women, and kids & babies.

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World-Renowned Golf Instructor Teaches Sun Safety

By David Leadbetter

As a professional golf coach, I am very focused on the health and fitness component of a player’s performance. The game has so many positive health benefits but like anything where you are outside for long periods of time, sun awareness and protection are vitally important.

I was born in England but moved to Southern Africa when I was a young boy, so we grew up playing lots of sports and activities outdoors with lots of sun. Back then in the 60’s and 70’s skin cancer wasn’t really ever spoken about, and sunscreen may have been applied but mainly to the nose and ears to prevent peeling. Hats weren’t always worn either. We never had the level of knowledge about protecting ourselves as we do today. 

I became more acutely aware when my father was diagnosed with Melanoma, no doubt as a result of overexposure to the sun. Sadly, he passed away from it and as a result I have become very conscious and proactive in protecting myself and my family from the negative effects of the sun and going for regular checkups to the dermatologist.  Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States but not only is skin cancer preventable, it’s highly treatable when detected early.  

I was introduced initially to Coolibar through my wife Kelly, who grew up in sunny Arizona. Our dermatologist recommended I wear Coolibar’s sun sleeves to protect my arms since I’m outside for long periods of time. My wife Kelly had been a Coolibar customer for a while and selected some pieces for me. I especially liked the fashionable Erodym shirt with long sleeves and after that was sold. I have been wearing the products for a while now and really enjoy the style, comfort and performance of the products.

Over the years, awareness of sun protection has increased substantially and particularly within the golf industry but I think there is still a long way to go.   My trademark has always been wearing a straw hat  and sunglasses. I never leave home without them, plus SPF lip balm and a high quality SPF sunscreen.

I am really excited to be an ambassador for Coolibar and work with the team on developing new products and raising the awareness for sun protection.

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Live Wisely

16 Things to Keep in your Car: A Car Essentials List

When an emergency arises during your commute to work or long road trip, you will be glad you planned ahead with this list of things to keep in your car for safety. What to keep in your car varies slightly depending on your region, but there are several car essentials that apply regardless. 

Traveling by car is a convenient mode of transportation, but it’s important to have an emergency kit packed and ready in case something goes wrong. There’s always a chance of a flat tire, accident, or breakdown, and you’ll be glad you thought ahead if those situations arise. 

Aside from the everyday things to have in your car in case of emergency, there are special precautions to take during the summer and winter months if you get stranded. No matter the time of year, UV rays can reach you in the car and cause damage, so sun protection is key. Here are 16 car necessities for every driver to keep in mind when going out on the road.

Image of car essentials for an emergency, like jumper cables

Emergency Essentials

There are certain safety items to have in your car, no matter where you are going or for how long. These items are necessary and will help with some of the most common issues that occur when traveling by car. Whether your vehicle is used or new, these essentials are vital to keeping you safe in transit. 

Jumper Cables

One car essential for new and experienced drivers alike is a set of jumper cables. If your car is not starting, you do not want to be caught without jumper cables handy. A dead battery is an ordinary car problem, especially with older cars and during the wintertime. 

Dead batteries can be caused by simply forgetting to turn off the interior lights in your car. Jumper cables allow you to jumpstart your battery by connecting with another vehicle’s battery. Most cars will have a hidden spot in the trunk that is perfect for storing jumper cables. When shopping for jumper cables, look for the following features:

  • Cables of 10-20 feet in length 
  • Heavy duty clamps so they properly secure to the battery, with rubber handles for safety
  • Lower wire gauge number (4 is preferred) for faster jump speed
  • Clear instruction manual

Tire Kit

A flat tire is a major disruptor of travel, so being prepared with tire gear will go a long way to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Some cars will come with a spare tire in the trunk, but it’s worth it to double-check that you have both the spare tire and the tools needed to change the tire. When preparing your tire kit, be sure to include the following items to address any issues with tire pressure, tire leaks, and flat tires:

  • Tire gauge
  • Tire sealant 
  • Spare tire
  • Tire jack
  • Lug wrench
  • Work gloves

First Aid Kit

Another basic item on the list of things you need in your car is a first aid kit. A medical issue could happen at any moment, so having a first aid kit packed is crucial. 

It’s a good idea to keep your first aid kit in the glove compartment because it’s a secure and cool spot that children won’t be able to access, but you can. Many stores will sell first aid kits already assembled with everything you need. Be sure that your kit includes these items:

  • Adhesive bandages and bandage wrap in multiple sizes
  • Gauze pads and tape
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn gel or aloe vera
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers and small scissors

Flashlight

Last on the emergency necessities list is a flashlight. Having a flashlight in your car can help if you need to jump your car late at night or need to alert other drivers if you are stranded on the side of the road. These key features will ensure your flashlight is ready to help during any emergency:

  • Long battery life
  • High brightness level (500-Lumens or above)
  • Convenient size for storing in your center console
a photo of a wallet as a smart thing to keep in your car

Personal Essentials

In addition to the necessary emergency essentials, it’s also a good idea to keep some personal items stocked in your car. These are convenient things to have in your car, not just for emergencies but also for everyday use. 

Water and Snacks

When hunger and thirst strike, it’s good to have a small stash of food and water in your car. Snacks are best stored in the glove compartment or center console to keep cool. Keeping a water bottle in the front with you and maybe even an extra gallon of water in your trunk can be a lifesaver in an emergency. When stocking your car with food, look for those items with a longer shelf life, such as: 

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Protein bars
  • Dried fruits

Multi-Tool 

Multi-tool devices such as a Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife are versatile items to keep in the car and will come in handy more often than you may realize. They combine many functions into one tool and have many practical applications. Some even have things like a bottle opener or nail file. When shopping for a multi-tool device, look for it to have these standard components:

  • Knife
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors

Emergency Cash

Cash is often overlooked nowadays, but it’s wise to keep it in your car, especially if you are traveling in remote areas. You never know when you might find yourself in need of cash. 

Maybe you are running low on gas, and the only gas station nearby does not accept credit cards. Or your car broke down, and you need some cash to pay someone for a ride into the nearest town. When getting money ready for your car, keep in mind the following:

  • Make sure to have a variety of smaller bills like fives and tens
  • Store the cash in a hidden place like the center console or glove compartment
  • Avoid large quantities of cash (nothing more than $100)

Phone Charger

Running out of phone battery on the road can make an emergency situation even worse. Stay prepared by always having a backup phone charger in your car. While phone chargers that plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or USB port are great when your car is running, choose one that does not depend on your car, like the options below.

  • Battery pack that charges via USB (select one that holds many hours of charge)
  • Charger with a removable battery (be sure to keep a spare battery on hand)
  • Solar power phone charger
car essentials header image of a person scraping snow off their car

Winter Essentials

The list of essential items for a car grows longer if you live in a colder climate. Winter storms can wreak havoc on your car and travel plans. Get your car ready for winter with these things to have in your car trunk.

Snow Shovel

Whether you’ve hit ice and veered off the road or left your car outside during a snowstorm, a snow shovel is a major winter essential, and it’s easy to store. If you are stuck and having to remove lots of snow, you’ll want a winter shovel that will hold up to the wear and tear, so consider the following when shopping:

  • Comfortable grip
  • Durable material like aluminum or carbon steel
  • Collapsible to save room in your car

Traction Aid

Getting your car stuck in the snow can be a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. Having a snow shovel to dig yourself out is great, but you might also need a traction aid for your tires. This will help give your tires some grip so you can more easily accelerate out of the snow. 

When stored in the trunk of your car, large bags can also improve overall traction when driving by adding extra weight to rear- and four-wheel drive vehicles. Some examples of traction aids are:

  • Sand
  • Salt
  • Kitty Litter

Ice Scraper

Even if you aren’t stuck in the snow, you’ll want a tool to remove snow and ice from your windows and windshield during or after a snowstorm. An ice scraper will come in handy during the wintertime and should be on your car necessities list. Look for an ice scraper with the following features:

  • Comfortable grip
  • Scraper for ice removal
  • Brush for snow removal

Winter Gear

Other items to always keep in your car during the winter include extra winter gear. If you happen to get stranded, you may have to wait multiple hours for help, especially during a severe storm. Be prepared with extra equipment to keep you warm, including:

  • Winter boots
  • Extra winter jacket
  • Hat and mittens
  • Blanket
things you need in your car during the summer time

Summer Essentials

During the summer months, when the sun’s UV rays are powerful, there are a few simple items you can keep in your car to minimize sun damage to your skin

Sunscreen

The windshield and windows in your car offer some limited protection from the sun, but there’s a reason that most skin cancers occur on the left side of the face and body. If you drive often, you get consistent UV exposure and damage from the driver’s side window. Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen daily and keeping extra in the car. When shopping for sunscreens, look for these qualities: 

  • Mineral-based
  • SPF 30 or above
  • Water resistance

Driving Gloves

Wearing gloves when you drive can actually significantly impact skin health on your hands, especially if you drive frequently. UV damage to the delicate skin on your hands can cause aging, wrinkles, and even skin cancer. There are many options out there, but here are some important features to look for in driving gloves:

  • UPF 50+
  • Tech gloves or fingerless gloves
  • Coverage for your wrists and arms 

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a good thing to keep in your car, and most cars have storage explicitly made for them with easy access for the driver. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV damage that can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. They can also reduce glare when driving. A few things to look for when shopping for sunglasses: 

  • 100% UVA and UVB protection
  • Polarized lenses for the best protection
  • Large enough in size to protect the sensitive skin around the eyes

UPF Clothing

Last but certainly not least on the list of car needs is UPF clothing. This is especially important in the summer when the sun is the strongest and during long road trips. Even though you are in the car, your skin can be damaged if left unprotected. Here are some UPF 50+ clothing and accessory items to consider: 

Shop Coolibar to Stay Protected From the Sun in your Car

Preparing your car for emergencies is important for all drivers, regardless of age and experience. In addition to emergency and personal essentials, items for sun protection can help you avoid skin damage and stay safe in the car. Read more sun safety tips on our blog, and check out Coolibar’s UPF 50+ clothing for you and your family.

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Experts Say

Can You Get Sunburned Through Clothing? The Definitive Answer

Have you ever wondered if you can get sunburned through clothing? The answer comes down to a number of factors surrounding the type of fabric the clothing is made out of and the properties of that fabric. Not all clothing is treated equally.

For extended periods of time in the sun, it’s important to wear SPF on any skin exposed to the elements and consider the type of clothing you are wearing. There’s a misconception that you don’t get sunburned through clothing. 

Can You Get Sunburn Through Clothing?

So, can you get sunburned through clothes? The answer comes down to whether your clothes allow light to pass through. At a glance, your clothing may look like a physical barrier against the sun’s rays, but it really depends on the type of fabric you are wearing. 

As a general rule of thumb, if you can see light through your clothing, then sunlight can get through and cause sunburn. Below are some factors that determine the amount of sun protection your clothing offers.

  • Fabric type: synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon can reflect the sun’s radiation due to their sheen. 
  • Weight: the density of thicker materials reduces the ability of the UV light to pass through.
  • Weave: fabrics with a tighter weave have a better physical block to the sun compared to fabrics with a lighter weave.
  • Color: darker or brighter colors soak up more of the UV rays than lighter colors, allowing less sunlight to pass through to your skin.

The Solution: Clothes That Protect From the Sun

Clothes that protect from the sun are a great solution when it comes to avoiding skin damage and keeping cool. When searching for clothes to wear in the sun, you will likely notice UPF ratings. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It’s a rating system used for sun protective clothing, telling us how much of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays actually pass through. 

What SPF does clothing provide? Non-UPF clothing has an average UPF of only 5 to 10, and that number lowers to a UPF of roughly 3 when that clothing gets wet. At Coolibar, we set the standard with all of our clothing, hats, and accessories rating at a UPF 50+. This means that less than 1/50th of the sun’s rays will be allowed through the fabric. Our fabrics are guaranteed to block 98% of UVA/UVB rays, so you can live sun-safely in sun protection you wear. 

Does UPF Clothing Really Work?

How does UPF clothing work, exactly? Coolibar’s proprietary fabrics achieve sun protection starting at the most basic level: each tiny fiber.

  • Zinc Oxide: a main ingredient in sunscreen; this is permanently embedded into every fiber.
  • Titanium Dioxide: another mineral found in sunscreen and permanently embedded into every fiber, so it never washes or wears out.
  • Construction: a tight weave for maximum sunlight blockage.
Tip: Long Sleeves Are Actually Cooler

It may seem counterintuitive, but long sleeves are actually cooler in the sun. Long sleeves have a secret advantage on especially hot days. Particularly long sleeve shirts that are looser fitting on the body and have sweat wicking properties. This is true even for shirts that block the sun with a high UPF.

One reason behind this has to do with our sweat. Sweat is a natural bodily cooling mechanism, and long sleeves in a sweat-wicking fabric keep your skin drier than a short sleeve shirt. Long sleeves provide airflow between the fabric and your skin, almost like a wind tunnel keeping you even cooler. Additionally, the fabric on the sleeve provides a bit of shade to your skin that short sleeves do not. 

Clothing and Sun Protection FAQs

There are many misconceptions out there surrounding clothing and SPF protection. Since you can get a sunburn through clothes, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the best protection methods. A combination of UPF clothing and sunscreen will safeguard you from sun damage. Here are some commonly asked questions surrounding clothing and sun protection.

Can UV Rays Go Through Clothes and Damage Skin?

UV light can go through clothes and cause damage to your skin, including sunburn. The best clothes to wear in the sun are those with a high sun protection rating. UPF shirts do work and will help prevent skin damage.

Can You Absorb Vitamin D Through Clothes?

If sun rays can go through clothes, vitamin D can be absorbed through them as well. There is a limit when it comes to a healthy amount of vitamin D, so protect yourself with proper UPF clothing and sunscreen. 

Does Denim Block UV Rays?

Due to the fabric qualities of denim, it provides more sun protection than other materials. The general thickness of denim helps to block UV rays, as well as its tight weave construction and generally darker color.

Does Linen Provide Sun Protection?

On the other end of the spectrum, linen does not provide much sun protection due to the nature of the fabric. The weave is much looser, and the overall weight of the fabric means that there is not much blockage from the sun. 

Explore More Sun Safety Tips in Coolibar’s Blog

Taking sun protection seriously means wearing sunscreen and incorporating UPF clothing into your wardrobe. Coolibar is the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology, so you can feel confident that your skin is protected. 

Living sun-safely is important. That’s why we developed the most technical, elegant sun protection you wear, so you can enjoy life under the sun. Check out our blog for more sun safety tips, and shop our latest styles for men, women, and kids & babies.

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