Stay Protected – Personal Care Product Blog

How Well Do You Know Your Sunscreen?

Repeated exposure to the sun will have its natural consequences for your skin. The best way to protect yourself is the proper use of sunscreen.

Regardless of color, skin that is repeatedly exposed to the sun tends to become tough and thick. Beyond the middle years of adulthood, the results can be even more dramatic.

Selecting a sunscreen product that offers some degree of protection from the sun’s UV rays can be one way to protect your skin from these ageing affects.

Due to the variety and range of sunscreen products available, here are some basic factors to consider in making an appropriate selection:

1. Ingredients:

Sunscreen products can be made with ingredients to protect against UVA rays, and / or other ingredients to protect against UVB rays (which are in fact more harmful for sun burning than UVA rays). The best products offer ingredients for protection from both UVA and UVB rays.  Consider also the actual ingredient list.

2. SPF (Sun Protection Factor):

The SPF number on the product’s label refers to the strength of protection, and the length of time a sun-screening product will allow your skin to be in the sun without burning – relative to the length of time bare skin (or skin without the product applied) would burn or redden.

For example, let’s say ‘Danny’, a young student, would normally burn after 12 minutes of being out in the sun. He applies a sunscreen, also referred to as a sun block, with an SPF of 15. This means that he should be fine for 15 times his average amount of protection time. In other words, ‘Danny’ is protected for up to 3 hours.

12 minutes x 15 SPF = 180 minutes (3 hours).

(Now if ‘Danny’ applied a sunscreen with an SPF of 30, he’d be protected for up to 6 hours.

12 minutes X 30 SPF = 360 minutes (6 hours)

3. Skin Type:

When selecting a sunscreen, it’s important to consider the different skin types and how they react with exposure to the sun.

Young children:   For ages 6 months+, consider a product with SPF of 15 or higher to protect against both sun tanning and burning. Also consider a product label that lists protection against both UVA and UVB rays (also known as the “broad-spectrum”).

Skin Type – Very Fair:  This skin type generally burns quickly. Tanning is rare. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 20 to 30.

Skin Type – Fair:  This skin type almost always burns easily. Some tanning can occur, although not much. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 12 to 20.

Skin Type – Light: This skin type burns in the moderate range. Tanning is normally gradual, yielding a light brown shade. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 8 to 12.

Skin Type – Medium:  This skin type burns in the minimal range. Tanning happens much of the time, yielding a moderate brown shade. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 4 to 8.

Skin Type – Dark:  This skin type rarely burns. Tanning occurs big time, yielding a dark brown shade. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 2 to 4.

Skin Type – Other:  This skin type includes people with moles (or whose close blood-relatives have a history of moles), people with skin cancer in their family histories (including melanoma), and people with very fair skin and hair. As this is a high-risk category for health damage from too much UV exposure, consider using sunscreen products with the highest SPF available, combined with light to moderate sun exposure.

Once you’ve selected the most suitable sunscreen product, and regardless of your skin type, apply your sunscreen ‘before’ going out into the sun’s rays. To ensure the best possible UV protection, the sunscreen product should also be spread fairly thick, and in a uniform manner over all areas of the skin that will be exposed to the UV rays.

Taking appropriate care of your skin ‘now’ will help determine a healthier and younger-looking skin in the future.

Organic Lip Balm

OraLabs is proud to introduce our new Lip Organics line Lip Balm.  For over a year, we have worked ardently with the USDA and CCOF to achieve our organic certification.  Our facility, as well as our Lip Organics, have been certified in the process.

What Does That Mean?

‘Organic’ refers to how food, or related products, are produced.  By eliminating the use of any and all synthetics in the ingredients and production process, we are able to create a truly ‘green’ lip balm

Is It Organic or Natural?

The term “organic” can only be used on products that are grown and produced without pesticides, and other harmful chemicals.  Products that host the USDA Organic Seal are produced under the high standards set forth by the US Dept. of Agriculture. There is no legal definition of what the term “natural” means.  Natural foods can include organic foods, but not all natural foods are organic.  Look for products with the USDA Organic seal and you’ll be making the right choice for your health and the environment.

Then What’s In It?

    Our Lip Organics line include the following ingredients:

  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*
  • Beeswax*
  • Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*
  • Helianthus Annus (Sunflowe) Seed Oil*
  • Flavor
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
  • *Organically Produced

Why Go Green?

Organic food tastes amazing! Organic food tastes better than conventional because it’s not coated with chemical residues from pesticides and fertilizers. Organic food, which often times is synonymous with local food, optimizes time by allowing food to grow at a natural pace in the garden or field. This coupled with a shorter farm to market distance ratio than means fresher food as well.

Organic food is healthy! Organic food on average contains higher Vitamin C (powerful antioxidant) levels as well as higher levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, and chromium. The bioavailability of nutrients in organic foods is at a greater level than that of conventional.

Organics are better for the environment! Organic production systems do not allow the use of chemical fertilizers which pollute our rivers and streams. Instead, organic production systems utilize composted manure and leguminous cover crops in rotation with cash crops to naturally feed nitrogen to the soil.

Organics support communities! For small farmers, organic agriculture has offered an alternative market where organically grown food commands a fair price. Workers on organic farms have reduced exposure to harsh cancer causing chemicals.

Avoid Germs in Public

The emergence of hand sanitizer dispensers as a part of our everyday lives is an indicator that public awareness of easily spread disease and infections has reached all-time highs.  As unappealing as it may be, the reality of our world is that escalator railings, grocery carts and the handles of a gas pump are teeming with germs and bacteria. Viruses and bacteria are everywhere and people around the globe are taking heed in the dark shadow of H1N1, MRSA, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli O157, Campylobacter and Clostridium perfringens.

Some germs are a necessary part of life. There are about 200 species living in symbiosis on the human body and perform necessary duties such as eating dead skin cells. Humans have more bacterial cells on them than there are human cells. You cannot, however, live inside a plastic-wrapped bubble or remain house-bound, so it becomes prudent to take a few precautions and save yourself from unnecessary illness.

Take a few simple steps to reduce your exposure to Germs:

  • Be a role model. Teach good hygiene practices in home and in school. Kids learn fast and will mimic hand hygiene habits, especially if a parent or teacher shows them the “why” and “how” they can successfully keep pesky germs at bay.
  • Wash your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
  • Teach children and adults to cover their mouths and avoid placing their fingers into their mouth or eye.
  • To open the public bathroom door from the inside, grab a piece of paper towel, then dispose of it properly.
  • Instead of using your hand to flush a public toilet, use your foot or a dispensable hand towel.
  • Most grocers provide bleach wipes in the entrance; grab one on your way into the store. Wipe the handle and associated areas and then use another one on your hands.
  • After visiting a public event where you shook a lot of hands, wash thoroughly before you leave the event. It’s easy to contaminate the steering wheel for the next driver.
  • On the way home, keep your fingers out of your mouth and do not rub your weary eyes.
  • Wash your fresh produce as if your family’s lives depended upon it. A friendly critter may have left a “gift” on the unwashed produce. Foreign pathogens often hitchhike into the produce aisle.
  • If you favor a Jacuzzi, be sure it has been maintained properly. Upon exiting, take a cleansing soapy, rinse-off shower (Bleach cannot kill every pathogen).
  • When you have a cold, frequently wash the phone, refrigerator handle, doorknobs and such. If someone near you sneeezes, leave the room till the air clears. Wash your hands frequently during the day. Keep some sanitary wipes in your wallet, school box or purse Antimicrobial lotions are good, but can be overused.
  • Gas pump handles have been used by hundreds of good folks before you. Beware of department store escalator handles. The stainless counter at an inside fast food take-out can be highly contaminated. Grocery cart handles also harbor dangerous bacteria; mostly fecal matter. Beware of toilet flushing handles and lifting the seat. Beware of bathroom door handles. Turn on the water in a public toilet with a hand towel.
  • When conventional hand washing is not possible, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer

Great Uses for Lip Balm

1.    Tame wild eyebrows with a little lip balm. Apply it as a styling wax and stroke brows into place. Manage an unruly mustache the same way.

2.    Stop the bleeding from shaving nicks. Dab on a little lip balm and stop the bleeding from most small cuts.

3.    Protect your face from windburn. Stroke a little lip balm across your cheeks before heading down the slopes.

4.    Remove a ring that’s stuck on your finger. Smear a little lip balm around the finger in the area of the ring and work the ring off in a circular motion.

5.    Rub a little lip balm with your finger up and down the teeth of a zipper to smooth its action. Zip and unzip it a few times and the lip balm acts as a lubricant to make it slide more smoothly. Do the same on the tracks of windows and drawers to make them glide more easily.

6.    Prevent outdoor light bulbs from getting stuck in their sockets. Coat the threads with a little lip balm before setting them in to make removal easier.

7.    Make drilling screws and pounding nails easier. Put a little lip balm on nails and screws and they virtually slide into wood.

Recent Spike in H1N1 cases

Health officials are carefully watching a spike in cases of the pandemic H1N1 flu in the Southeastern U.S.

Georgia in particular is worrisome, with 40 people admitted to hospital for the flu last week — more than in any other state, according to Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Georgia has outpaced the rest of the nation in laboratory-confirmed H1N1 flu cases admitted to hospitals for the past three weeks, Schuchat said in a telephone press conference.

While the death figure is lower than the 36,000 usually attributed to seasonal flu every year, Schuchat said that’s misleading. Most of the deaths occurred among people younger than 65, where the death rate is five times higher than usual.

The press conference — the first in several weeks to discuss the pandemic — was called largely because of the situation in Georgia, she said. The rate of H1N1 disease overall nationally is lower on average than last fall.

The increase in Georgia is “unusual and we did want to spotlight that,” she said.

Schuchat added that the number of hospital cases in the state is higher now than it was in early October, and since many cases of influenza-like illness are not tested for the virus, it’s possible that the number is underestimated.

As well, she said, “H1N1 has been causing more disease recently in the Southeast.” Georgia is one of three states reporting regional flu activity, she said. The others are Alabama and South Carolina.

Six other Southeastern states — Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia — plus Hawaii, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico are seeing local flu activity.

The flu that’s causing anxiety in Georgia, Schuchat said, is caused by the H1N1 strain and is mainly affecting adults with underlying conditions. The virus itself has not changed, she said.

Schuchat said most of the people affected by the flu in Georgia have not been vaccinated, and indeed the state had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Although investigation of the spike is still under way, she said, the CDC decided to call attention to it in order to reinforce the message that vaccination remains an important preventive measure.

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, said the supply of H1N1 vaccine last week reached 24 million doses “but many Americans are still vulnerable to the H1N1 (flu) because they haven’t gotten vaccinated yet.”

She added that minorities are staying away from the vaccination program, even though they have higher rates of some of the underlying diseases that make the flu more dangerous.

Benjamin added that an estimated 60 million Americans have been infected by the virus, 265,000 have needed inpatient care, and nearly 12,000 have died.

While the death figure is lower than the 36,000 usually attributed to seasonal flu every year, Schuchat said that’s misleading. Most of the deaths occurred among people younger than 65, where the death rate is five times higher than usual.

On the other hand, those over 65 have been “relatively spared,” she said.

Schuchat added that the seasonal flu has been largely missing in action so far. “We’ve not seen seasonal flu in substantial numbers at all,” she said.