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What is UPF and Why is Sun Protective Clothing So Important?

Protecting your skin with a physical barrier like clothing is one of the most simple and effective ways to prevent sun damage, though not all clothing is created equal. Understanding the UPF meaning and rating system is critical when shopping for sun protective clothing. 

Dealing with the aftermath of a sunburn from a long day at the beach can not only be painful and uncomfortable, but it can cause internal damage and increase your risk of skin cancer.  Preventing sunburn doesn’t have to involve greasy sunscreen and reapplication schedules. We’ll cover the definition of UPF sun protection, UPF vs. SPF, and the best clothing for sun protection so you can enjoy the outdoors safely.  

Find more great sun-safe tips and advice in our blog.

UPF Sun Protection: What Does It Mean?

You’ve probably noticed rash guards on more and more people at the beach, but did you know that there are nearly endless options for clothing that protects from the sun? So, what does UPF mean exactly, and what does it stand for? It stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is the rating system used for fabrics. The higher the rating, the better the fabric’s protection against the sun’s spectrum of UV (ultraviolet) rays that can harm our skin. 

There are different electromagnetic waves around us all the time. All waves have energy and some are natural while other are man-made. Some are harmful and while others are not so harmful.

Ultraviolet spectrum is a part of the electromagnetic waves that are not visible and are produced naturally. They are harmful to the skin, and we need to protect ourselves from them.

If we don’t protect ourselves from these UV rays, energies from ultraviolet rays / waves can pierce through our skin and reach different cell parts affecting our chromosomes. The cells then behave abnormally, and the new cell creation are not in control, thus causing cancer.

Quality UPF clothing is made with UV wavelength in mind, preventing dangerous levels of UV from reaching your body. 

Later, we’ll go over the difference between SPF and UPF, one of the most common questions surrounding this topic. Aside from seeking shade at the beach, having UV protection of 50+ in your clothing is the best way to prevent sun damage for you and your entire family. 

  • Easy to Use
  • Even Coverage
  • Works Wet or Dry

What is UPF Rating

UPF rating is a system made to help users understand their clothing’s level of protection. At this point you are probably wondering what the numbers actually mean. What is UPF 50 compared to UPF 10? The numbers in the rating indicate how much of the sun’s UV rays are absorbed by the fabric, thus preventing them from reaching your skin. 

UPF is followed by a number, ex. UPF 50 means 1 out of 50 portion of the UV reaches the body. This means 1/50= 2%

If the product is mentioned as UPF 10, it means 1 out of 10 portion = 10% of the UV rays reaches the body.

UPF 20= 1/20 = 5%. 95% UV reaches the skin

UPF 30 = 1/30 = 3.3%

UPF 40 = 1/25 = 2.5%

UPF 50 is considered a good level of protection, i.e. only 2% reaches your body.

Does only a percent or a half percent makes a big difference? The answer depends on how long would you be exposed to UV rays. A small percentage difference for long period of time is significant.

Difference Between UPF and SPF

Let’s take a look at the difference between SPF and UPF. UPF is a rating system used exclusively for sun protection offered by clothing, while SPF (sun protection factor) is a rating system used solely for sunscreen. Similar to UPF, the higher the SPF rating, the better the sun protection for your skin. The most important differences between the two are listed below. 

  • UPF is the standard rating for clothing, while SPF is the standard rating for sunscreen
  • UPF applies to both UVA and UVB rays, while sunscreen applies to UVB rays only
  • UPF should not need to be reapplied to ensure protection, while sunscreen does

4 Things You Need to Know About UPF Protection

Not all clothing can be made UPF 50+.   

UV protection is better achieved with tight weaving/ knit, thick yarn, dark colors. It should not allow UV rays that have wavelength of UVA (315-400 nm) UVB (280-315 nm) to pass through the micro holes between the yarn.

  • Challenge: Not comfortable, heavy, does not let sweat pass through and limited color choices. Comfortable fabrics are normally light, thin.

Mesh fabric or loosely knitted / woven fabric cannot be used. Sometimes two layers of fabric or lining are used in hats to make sure that the UV rays do not reach the head.

  • Challenge: How to make a fabric that is both UV protection, comfortable and have all the colors like any other elegant clothing.

To achieve both, we have to study different fabrics and test it under a UV testing machine to find the right option. Many clothing company trust the fabric vendors who may or may not test the fabric well before the use, or it may not be tested regularly to assure that all the lots of fabric used are really UPF 50+. At Coolibar, we have tested many garments with this claim and sadly only 50% of them passed the real UPF 50+.

UPF Ratings Do Not Exceed 50+

UPF can exceed 50. UPF 50+ has a + sign which has a very significant meaning. It means over 50. This could be 100% coverage, i.e. not even a single portion reaches the body.

If a fabric allows only 1% of UV reaches the body, then it is 1/100 which is equal to UPF100. If it allows only 0.5%, then the rating is UPF200

Why is it not specifically called out? Currently, there isn’t an official rating for clothing that completely blocks all UVA/UVB rays, so the maximum rating given to any fabric with a UPF rating higher than 50 is 50+. 

Coolibar is the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology, so you can guarantee you are getting maximum sun protection with every purchase. Some of our fabrics even block out 100% of UVA and UVB rays! Be cautious of any clothing brand that lists a rating greater than 50. Neither of those are accurate or official ratings for fabrics.

  • Maximum rating is currently 50+
  • Coolibar offers the highest rated sun protection clothing
  • Watch out for brands claiming ratings above 50 

UPF Washes Out of Some Brands

UPF can wash out.  Cotton fabric shrinks after multiple washes, the holes between the yarn get smaller so there’s more UPF than before. If the garment is not well handled and gets stretched through different washing or drying process, the holes can become bigger and looses its properties.

Some fabric cannot achieve the UPF 50+ without a certain chemical treatment, especially light fabric, some fabric composition and specific light colors. If these chemicals are not well locked into the fabric construction at the time of manufacturing, and comes out after the wash, then the UPF level will fall. 

Instead, purchase confidently with our industry-leading fabrics. At Coolibar, our sun protective clothing blocks 98% of UVA/UVB rays and never washes or wears out, no matter how much you sweat or swim.  

  • Look for active ingredients infused in every fiber
  • Avoid spray ons or laundry aides
  • Coolibar’s sun protection never washes out

Look for the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation

You have options when it comes to UPF clothing, but not all companies are backed by the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. It’s crucial to look for this seal, especially if you’re shopping for clothing for working in the sun or clothing for long days at the beach. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal is trusted worldwide, indicating safe and effective sun protection, and Coolibar was the first clothing company to receive it. To meet this recommendation, fabrics must have a minimum of UPF 30 protection. Coolibar goes above and beyond Skin Cancer Foundation-approved clothing with all products rated 50+.

  • Skin Cancer Foundation’s Recommendation awarded for safe sun products
  • UPF Clothing Must be at Least a 30 Rating
  • Coolibar’s Products Are the Highest Rated UPF 50+

Seek Out Brands That Rigorously Test Their UPF Products

Aside from the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal, continuous product testing is necessary to maintain product integrity year after year. Sadly, this is an overlooked step for many clothing companies. 

Look for brands who specialize in UPF clothing and have been focused on this as their main business mission for many years. There are brands who carry UPF clothing but it is only a small part of their brand and they do not take it that seriously.

At Coolibar, UPF is what we do. Brands that know UPF inside and out can explain their manufacturing and testing processes. They have the necessary tools and team to control their fabric and product process. It is worth paying extra money for reliability.

Brands with no obvious background in sun safety and claim to sell low price UPF 50+ clothing should not be trusted. It can be very dangerous. If you wear these types of clothing regularly, you may end up regretting it when you have to visit your dermatologist.

We have a rigorous testing process for all our fabrics. We test multiple times against the world’s highest rating standards for UV transmittance and safety. We also perform life cycle tests to ensure that even after laundering, exposure to sunlight, and chlorinated water, your Coolibar clothing offers the same sun protection. 

  • UV Transmittance and Safety Testing
  • Life Cycle Testing
  • Coolibar’s Fabrics All Meet the World’s Highest UPF Standards

Explore our UPF clothing for men, women, and kids!

Why is Coolibar the Best Sun Protective Clothing Brand?

Coolibar’s 100% business is Sun Protection products for different users. We’ve been in the business for more than 20 years and all users have appreciated our reliability.

We have invested in multiple UV testing machines and all our offices throughout the world have these machines. Each machines cost more than $30,000.

Each fabric lots are tested at the time of approval for first usage and then each lot of fabric for bulk production thereafter. We allow the vendors to cut the fabric only when the test is done. We can trace each garment back to each lot of fabric used.

Before selecting a fabric to be used in our styles, we test the fabric before wash for UPF 50+, then we do 40 cycles of wash and expose it to 100 hours of xenon light simulating real sunlight and then retest again for UPF 50+. We can confidently say that our UPF50+ is guaranteed for lifetime of the garment.

We also take into consideration the design of the products. For example, to help manage perspiration, we use mesh fabric in our clothing but not in places where there is direct exposure to sunlight. We add technical features such as thumb hole, high collar, etc. to provide extra sun protection.

Shop Coolibar’s High Quality, Technical, Elegant Sun Protection You Wear

Whether you are embracing the Coastal Grandmother trend or shopping for a new look for your next garden party, Coolibar has you covered with the highest rated UPF 50+ clothing on the market. You don’t need to sacrifice style or comfort with our highly technical and elegant clothing for the entire family. 

Coolibar is the industry leader in UPF fabric technology, trusted and recommended by dermatologists worldwide. Discover more sun safety tips on our blog from our team of experts!

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Live Wisely

3 Sunscreen Alternatives to Protect Your Skin

Have you ever found yourself asking, “What can I use instead of sunscreen”? Maybe it’s the stickiness or the need to constantly reapply that is making you consider something different. The good news is that there are plenty of sunscreen alternatives out there that provide just as much protection while being better for your body and the environment. 

Sun protection is relevant for everyone, no matter who you are or where you live. While chemical sunscreens are probably the most common solution, they are not the best one. We’ll cover some of the top alternatives to sunscreen so you can feel confident making the switch.

Protect your skin from the sun the easy way with Coolibar’s UPF 50+ clothing that never washes out.  

Why Should You Protect Your Skin with Alternatives to Sunscreen?

The conventional sunscreens lining grocery store shelves are often loaded with active chemical ingredients that can wreak havoc on your body, internally and externally. Many of the chemicals are linked to skin irritation and allergies and can also be absorbed through the skin, enter your bloodstream, and disrupt your body’s hormones. 

Chemical sunscreens aren’t great for the environment either, causing damage to coral reefs and other marine organisms. Incorporating natural alternatives to sunscreen into your routine is your best bet for a healthier you.

  • Avoid harmful chemicals: reducing the number of toxic substances entering our bodies is the primary reason to find a natural alternative to sunscreen. 
  • Allow for healthy absorption of Vitamin D: natural sunscreen alternatives allow your body to maintain a healthy level of Vitamin D, some of which need to be absorbed directly from the sun. 
  • Less risk of skin allergies: a natural sunscreen substitute will be healthier for your skin and body as a whole, reducing the likelihood of skin allergies and other issues.
  • Protect the environment: switching to a natural alternative to sunscreen will have a positive effect on your body and also the environment.

What to Use Instead of Sunscreen

You may have heard before that some exposure to the sun is healthy and necessary for your body to function correctly. If you always cover your body in chemical sunscreens, it will interfere with the body’s essential absorption of Vitamin D from the sun. 

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to weakness, loss of bone density, and other problems. In addition, a healthy amount of blue light from the sun through your eyes and skin in the morning helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and boost your mood.  

Fortunately, plenty of natural alternatives to sunscreen are effective at preventing skin damage while allowing your body to get the Vitamin D it needs from the sun. Try incorporating one or more of the sunscreen alternatives below into your everyday routine.

  • Keep Your Skin Covered With UPF Clothing
  • Time Your Exposure to the Sun
  • Seek Shade From the Sun

UPF Clothing

Arguably one of the most accessible and convenient alternatives to sunscreen is UPF Clothing, Sun Protection You Wear. Incorporating UPF clothing into your everyday wardrobe allows you to ditch the sunscreen regimen and have a built-in healthy sunscreen alternative

When shopping for UPF Clothing, the ratings are based on how much UV light can be absorbed through the fabric, which is different from the SPF rating used for sunscreens. Look for a UPF rating of at least 50 in clothing for the best protection. Coolibar is the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology, so you can be confident that your skin is well-protected. At Coolibar, we make garments that are elegant and has technical features of sun protection you wear.

Time Your Sun Exposure 

Although sometimes tricky to pull off, timing your sun exposure can be a good substitute for sunscreen. Pay attention to your skin type, the UV index, and the altitude of your location when planning time outdoors. If you can optimize your time outdoors for when the UV index is at its lowest, you can avoid sun damage altogether. 

Because the UV index is lowest in the morning and night, it can be difficult to avoid the outdoors during the day. Keep UPF clothing on hand for those times when you can’t avoid the outdoors during the peak heat of the day. It will keep you protected from the sun and cooler than regular clothing!

Seek Shade

Seeking shade from the sun is another easy way to prevent sunburn that is chemical-free. Especially on beach days or summer vacations when you are outside for long periods, creating shade for yourself can have a significant impact. Why not opt for a hike through the woods, where you will naturally get shade from the sun? 

For days at the beach, Coolibar has a variety of sun-safe accessories like sun blankets and sun umbrellas that are lightweight and perfect for travel. Or, create your own unique sun shade to protect you and your family from the sun.

Check out Coolibar’s blog for more tips on how to enjoy the sun responsibly.

Protect Your Skin with Coolibar’s Sunscreen Alternatives

It’s no wonder UPF clothing is consistently at the top of the list for sunscreen alternatives. Of course, there are many sunscreen substitutes out there, but safely enjoying the sun doesn’t have to be a struggle! Incorporate UPF clothing into your wardrobe, and you’ll be set for any outdoor adventure. 

Explore Coolibar’s rigorously tested, dermatologist-recommended UPF 50+ clothing and accessories, so you and your family can enjoy life outdoors worry-free. 

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Live Wisely

3 DIY Beach Shade Ideas To Try On Your Next Beach Trip

Long days at the beach can be incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating, but they can also wreak havoc on your skin. What’s more, keeping up your sunscreen regimen can be challenging, especially with young children.

Since most beaches aren’t covered with shady trees, you will need to create your own shade! There are three significant sources of beach shade you can bring with you to keep you and your family covered while enjoying the sun and sand.

Level up your sun protection game with a beach sunshade and UPF 50+ beach wardrobe from Coolibar!

Why is Beach Shade Important?

When it comes to preventing sunburn for you and your family, the  American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends:

  1. Applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher 
  2. Cover your skin by wearing lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses. Select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) for more effective production
  3. Seeking out shade, especially when the sun is at its strongest between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm

Most remember to apply sunscreen and sun protective swimwear, especially when it comes to young people. But they don’t always seek out shade! Coolibar has got you covered…literally. Here are some beach shade ideas for your next vacation in the sun.

DIY Beach Sun Shade Ideas

Shady Wide-Brimmed Hats

First and foremost, protection starts at the top. You need a hat! The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a hat with a brim of at least three inches to shade your scalp, neck, shoulders, and upper back, along with easily overlooked places like the tops of the ears and back of the neck. 

There are many fashion hats out there made with materials that allow UV Rays to penetrate the fabric and reach the skin, but with a UPF 50+ hat, you don’t have to worry about it! Here are some of our tried and true favorites:

UV Ray-Stopping Umbrellas

Second on our list of convenient sun shade options is the beach umbrella. The Intego beach umbrella is made with rigorously tested, highest-rated UPF 50+ material and is even tilt adjustable to maximize sun blockage. You can be sure it will last you for many beach trips with the following technical features:

  • UPF 50+
  • Water repellant 
  • Easy to transport
  • Effectively provides shade for up to two people

Stay cool and protected with Coolibar’s UPF 50+ beach umbrella, a sunshade you can transport wherever your next adventure takes you.

Tiny Home on the Beach

A beach canopy or tent is usually made up of four posts with a piece of fabric on top and is an excellent option for a larger group of people. There’s really no limit to how large you can make it, so you can feel confident that your children are getting adequate shade. Beach canopies require just a few materials, are easily packable, and can be made in various sizes and heights, depending on your needs. Below are the materials you’ll utilize to create a beach canopy of your own.

  • Posts: we recommend using four posts anchored vertically in the sand as the base. You can use tent poles or even sticks found along the beach! 
  • Fabric: for the best protection, use a dark or dense material such as canvas or woven cloth.
  • Clamps: you’ll need four clamps or another type of fastener to secure the fabric to the posts. 
  • Towels or Chairs: enjoy a snooze or a snack in the shade under your newly created beach canopy!

If you’re not looking to create your own, many Coolibar customers love the Shibumi Shade. It’s lightweight, easy to set up, and can provide shade for the whole family.

Now that you’ve learned about the importance of sunshades, check out Coolibar’s blog for more sun-safe tips and shop their selection of Sun Protection You Wear.  

Protect Your Skin at the Beach with Coolibar

Whether you choose to DIY at the beach or purchase one of your own to use for many years to come, a sunshade is a must for your next warm weather getaway. You’ll not only have a spot for everyone to gather, but you’ll keep your skin covered and have a chance to cool off from the sun. With so many varieties of sunshades, there’s one to fit every situation. 

Check out Coolibar’s collection of beach umbrellas and other sun accessories, and find more sun safety tips in our blog!

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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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Inside Coolibar

What the Heck is a Rash Guard?

what is a rash guard cover image

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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Skin Diaries

74-Year-Old Instagram Influencer Embraces Sun Safety and Aging

My name is Candace, but most know me as Leslie B from my Instagram channel Style in Your 70’s with Leslie B. I started my channel to help women embrace aging with grace and optimism. After all, ‘aging is changing’, and that’s a good thing. When I started posting, I was 72 and had been a model, then a wife, mother, grandmother, and I was ready to share with everyone the joy and enthusiasm I was feeling for my evolution. I wanted to help everyone feel vibrant at any age.

I share a lot of health and wellness tips, but I focus a lot on protecting your skin. I come from a generation that had no idea that the sun was bad for you. It never occurred to anyone back in the 50s and 60s that we needed to protect ourselves from the sun. Not only did we spread baby oil all over our skin to intensify the sun’s effects, we bought Sun Lamps to use inside when we could not be in the sun! Like many of the women I grew up with, I unknowingly made myself more susceptible to skin damage and cancer. I had my first brush with skin cancer at age 48.

I had a very itchy spot on my leg and just kept assuming it would go away. Thanks to the spread of information on skin cancers at the time, I was well enough informed to know that this needed to be looked at. I was told that it was a Squamous Cell Carcinoma and had it removed by a dermatologist.

This experience inspired me to start being more sun-safe. I first started to gradually incorporate sunscreen into my makeup. But still, for many years I did not use sunscreen all over my body.  For a long, while I worked as a model, the fashion and advertising industry continued to promote models and actresses with bronzed bodies. We weren’t hearing enough about how we were damaging our skin.

Then, two years ago when I was 72, I again noticed a suspicious spot on my other leg. Again, the biopsy came back Squamous Cell but this time it was more serious and needed a more extensive surgery, so I chose to go to a MOH’s trained surgeon where they were able to take as little skin as possible and test at the time of the surgery to make sure there were clear margins. It required about 26 stitches and a long healing process. Not even a month later I noticed another suspicious spot a couple of inches from the first one. Another biopsy revealed I had yet another Squamous Cell. While the first surgery was still healing, I went back to have surgery again.

At this point, sun protection became a much more significant part of my life—and my family’s.  Wearing sunscreen and sun protective clothing from Coolibar has become part of our everyday lives. I am very vigilant about checking my body regularly for other skin cancers, and I visit my dermatologist every four months for a full body check. I consider myself very lucky that so far, my cancers were all easily treated. Having had these cancers I know that there is a high likelihood that there may be more in my future. Hopefully, by being well informed, using SPF products and sun protective clothing that is guaranteed UPF 50, I can minimize my chances of developing more skin cancers in the future. By learning to choose only high-quality products like Coolibar and by becoming educated that not all UPF is created equal, I can help spread this knowledge to so many!

The one thing I want my followers to take away from my posts and my story are that aging isn’t a negative thing. There is so much we can do to care for our minds and our bodies that help us age and change gracefully. Protecting our skin is one of them. So go out there! Break all the rules and myths you’ve heard about the downside to aging. Put on your sun protection and have fun!

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Skin Diaries

A Journey of Reclaiming Her Identity

Imagine that you lived for 33 years as one race. Now imagine that your appearance changes so much that your race is not identifiable. This is what happened to me. I lived for 33 years as a dark-skinned African American woman. At age 33, white spots on my hands were diagnosed as Vitiligo. By the time I was 37 years old, I had lost all pigment in my skin due to Vitiligo. I now have white skin all over.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Vitiligo consists of white patches of skin that are caused by the loss of melanin, the pigment that is a major contributor to skin. Melanin is produced by special cells called melanocytes, which are destroyed in people who have vitiligo. The cause of vitiligo is not known but evidence strongly suggests that vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly targets and injures these specific cells.”

I love the beach. Anyone who knows me knows that if I’m on vacation, I’m at the beach. I always reserve an oceanfront room due to the fact that I get sunburnt so easily. Having clothes that have UV protection allows me to spend more time out in the sun in order to get much-needed vitamin D, which is so important for people with vitiligo because we also suffer from low levels.  I have personally had difficulty with vitamin D deficiency.  I am on a constant quest to find aids to combat underlying conditions of vitiligo.  Coolibar’s clothing and hats are medicine for a number of conditions that require extra sun protection.  

I am currently a retired teacher.  I taught students with cognitive and physical disabilities for 20 years. My goal is to share my journey with vitiligo to inspire others like me. Each journey is different but I believe that by sharing, we don’t have to feel alone. I was not prepared for the responses I got about the changes in my skin due to vitiligo. I soon discovered that some attributed my white skin to race.  This started a journey for me to reclaim my identity from within. I had to do the work to understand who I am was as an African American woman.

On this World Vitiligo Day, I am happy to share my journey in celebration. There are as many vitiligo stories as there are people with vitiligo.  Whatever your journey, take a moment on this day to reflect and let your light shine. 

Link to my book on Amazon: Vitiligo Black to White: My Personal Journey (Volume 1)

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Live Wisely

Mom Bloggers Educating Families About Sun Safety

Kelli Gillespie Richardson and I met when working in and around the media world. As our careers grew, so did our families.  Picture two career women literally wearing their babies to press junkets and TV stations, and frantically changing diapers before jumping on air. It sounds crazy, but we made it work!  Our friends suggested we share our crazy experiences with others so we took their advice and created Family Entourage—a place to celebrate and support growing families. We continue to juggle our careers, families and our growing blog network from sunny San Diego, which brings us to our need for sun protection…

Living in San Diego, we are outside year-round. We always prepare for sun exposure when we’re at the pool or beach, but the reality is that we are exposed as soon as we step outside the house. The easy solution…sunscreen! But picture this…every time you step out of your front door the sun is blazing and you need to cover your toddler or young kiddo in sunscreen. Whether you’re at the San Diego Zoo or La Jolla Beach, we have to chase down our kiddos every 1-2 hours and slather them down. This resulted in a lot of stress, sunscreen in the eyes, sand and mud sticking to our kiddos, sometimes for days. We needed a better solution for our kids, our readers and our sanity!

Kelli and I were first introduced to Coolibar when researching a TV segment on Pool Party Ideas. The amount of information available on water safety and teaching kids to swim was huge. But what we also discovered in our research was that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. We were blown away! This revelation really opened our eyes to the need for sun protection, and how best to use/wear it.

After that initial Pool Party Ideas segment where we tried out Coolibar, our families have been wearing it everywhere. We also make sure we’re ‘modeling’ it during any and all TV segments where we can recommend sun-protective clothing. It’s our way of using our voice to help local parents tackle sun safety. If our blog helps keep families sun-safe and cancer-free, we’ll keep spreading the word. Education and awareness is everything and we don’t want any families to be a part of the ‘1 in 5’ statistic.

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Live Wisely

6 Easy New Year’s Resolutions You Must Try this Year

New year, new you. It’s a phrase we are all very familiar with and tell ourselves every 12 months. In a recent study, they found that approximately 80% of resolutions fail by February.

The secret to successful resolutions is keeping them realistic and attainable in a way that you feel progress from the start. Go for the win by focusing on things that give you emotional satisfaction as well as outward results. So, here are 6 little things you can easily do to feel good and realign goals you’ve been carrying for the last few days, weeks or perhaps even years. But, this year is different because it is YOUR year.

1. Get Outside

Almost every year, it seems like people sign up for a new spin class or a personal trainer at their local gym. They dedicate themselves to it for two months and burn out. Don’t worry about joining a club, just get outside. It can be as simple as going on a 30-minute walk before you start your day to going on a quick bike ride around the neighborhood in the afternoon. The fresh air will recharge you! Don’t sacrifice your skin though. Keep sun-safe and cool in a hat and UPF 50+ clothes made for fitness, like those that have cooling technology built in.

2. Sign Up for a Lesson or Class

Never too old to learn a few new tricks! An always popular choice is taking up golf or tennis. Just make sure to cover up for all that added sun exposure! Other ideas could be learning a new language or picking up a new computer skill. You’ll never regret owning an abundance of diverse skills later in life.

3. Rekindle Important Relationships

Life gets crazy. It’s inevitable. But NEVER lose sight of, or become too busy for, your friends and family. Make one phone call a week with a distant friend; simply inviting family over once a month for dinner (delivered if you’re not into cooking); that’s all it takes. once a week, to simply inviting family over once a month for dinner, that’s all it takes, and it goes a very long way. At the end of the day, the relationships we have are more valuable than anything imaginable.

4. Take Care of Your Skin

This is one we are really challenging you to this upcoming year. How often are you consciously thinking about the amount of sun exposure you are receiving every day? Whether you are in the car or at work, there are so many sneaky ways that we are exposing ourselves to UV rays! A good habit to start as soon as possible is applying a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 daily. Afraid of needing to reapply or having an oily feel to your skin? Choose UPF 50+ clothing that blocks out 98% of UV rays and never washes out!

5. Indulge Once a Week

A classic resolution, like dieting, can be extremely tricky, hence the reason it is a reoccurring challenge. One of the secrets is balance and easing into it. Start by dedicating 5 days a week of healthier food choices and then rewarding yourself with a cheat meal. If you become too obsessed with it right away you will become miserable, and nobody wants to associate food with misery. If you are struggling with figuring out where to start, here’s a great beginners guide to understanding food.

6. Be Kind to Yourself

Be good to yourself. Do nice things for yourself. Reward yourself for all your hard work. We can get so caught up in our jobs or daily chores and forget to take care of ourselves. Need a spa day? Have it. You’ve been looking at that new bike for a while? Get it. That tropical vacation you’ve had your eye on? Book it. Try and do one thing completely for yourself at least once a week.

New Year’s is an end and a beginning. It allows you to turn the page and focus on the new goals you’ve just created for yourself. But remember, all of this depends on you and how ready you are to commit. Make the most of 2020. We are all rooting for you!

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This is Brave

Welcome to ‘This is Brave’

We’re on a Mission to Protect and Prevent in 2020

Warriors Advocate for Skin Cancer Prevention and Protection During a Pandemic

Coolibar launched This is Brave in 2018 when a young girl stepped up and reminded us all of the importance of advocating for and supporting individuals with skin cancer. When Quinn told her brother Graham to Be Brave, she was reminding us all that we can do this! We can battle through and no matter what the outcome might be, we’re better when we can Be Brave together.

In 2020, the third year of our This is Brave campaign and first year as the Official Apparel Partner of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), our mission remains the same but the need for support is even greater. In the past few months, the world has shifted significantly in terms of patient care, research funding, and non-profit outreach. Key fundraising events like Miles for Melanoma have been postponed, and we’re working with the MRF and our community to find ways to continue funding life-saving research, and support patients and advocates across the country.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime whether there is a pandemic or not. #CancerHasNoCurve. The good news, the MRF and the greater melanoma community continues to be strong and active. Patients and advocates have done everything from taking the message of prevention and protection cross-country, to telling a neighbor to care for their skin and get checked. You are amazing. Everything you’re doing counts!

A lot will change forever in 2020, but the need for skin cancer prevention and protection will not. If you’re able, we’re asking you to support skin cancer awareness and the MRF this May, Melanoma Awareness Month. Here is how you can help:

  1. Read the awe-inspiring stories of our Brave warriors and share them with your friends and family. Awareness can save lives!
  2. Consider donating to the MRF. They’ve created wonderful virtual programs to ensure that the funding for research and education remains strong.
  3. Purchase a 2020 This is Brave UPF 50+ T-Shirt for yourself or send it to someone as a sun-safe gift for a cause. The proceeds go directly to the MRF.

Thank you for all that you do and remember…together we can BE BRAVE!

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