My love/hate relationship with Facebook took a sad turn this weekend with the passing of Samantha Channels. A woman I never had the privilege of meeting face to face. We connected a couple of years ago as she promoted her company “GotSunBlock.com” which sold clothing and raised awareness about malignant melanoma, the disease that so maliciously took her life on Sunday. She had a “fan page” on Facebook where she documented her fight. You could see, play-by-play, as she laid out the weekly chronicles of her campaign. It was raw and it was real. I didn’t know this woman, personally, but she let all of us in, anyway. Her spirit was remarkable and it was impressive to watch the strength in her fight, the passion of her advocacy and the emptiness in her passing.
My heart sank Sunday morning as I saw the “RIP” posts on her page. Although, I knew the imminence of her advanced melanoma, it still came as a numbed shock. Sobering is the process, the loss and reality of it all. It seemed so sudden and surreal and I can only resentfully ponder how a disease can rob the world of such a vibrant person. She leaves behind a husband and four children who loved her dearly. The unfairness and vivid reminder of our fleeting existence resonates with the storyline. She squeezed every ounce out of her life until every ounce of life was squeezed out of her. One person described her as a “beautiful warrior, educator and encourager”. Accurate and fitting is this description as she was able to turn the ugliness of her disease inside-out. She was a messiah, an unconfined spirit, but most of all, she was successful in achieving what she wanted.
I guess I’ll continue that love/hate relationship with Facebook. We are all connected whether we want to accept it, or not. Life lessons lay scattered among us. It’s those of us who choose to acknowledge them that learn the most. The irony of the pain is in the honor of knowing……
The ADD seems to be steering in the direction of anti-oxidant additives for sunscreens. I’m starting to sense that everyone is getting wise to regular sunscreen use and the sensibility factor is improving with the medical community, the FDA and the consumers. Good to know SolarAegis is already providing broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, but even better, also includes the powerful anti-oxidant, Vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) in the formulation!!
Read the article here
I recently had a customer here in south Florida use SolarAegis in her hair while spending a day at the beach. She had gone swimming and when returning to her chair she noticed her hair was feeling dry and brittle. She was also concerned because she had recently had her hair colored and was worried about the sun bleaching her hair out. She decided to dump a glob of SolarAegis in her hand and run it thoroughly through her hair. Much to my surprise, she told me it made her hair feel soft and conditioned and it protected her hair coloring all day while at the beach. Imagine that!
We are always learning new things around here, but this one was a unique and interesting story. I’m now going to have to give this application a try and report back. If anyone else has had a similar experience, we would love to hear from you.
On June 14th the FDA announced several important changes to how sunscreens are labeled and marketed. The proposed changes allow manufacturers with SPF 15 or higher to claim their product can help prevent skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. They also propose limiting SPF to not more than 50. It appears they are allowing time for public feedback and for manufacturers to submit data. My guess is the big guys will again lobby the FDA to extend all of this for some period of time….
FDA Press Release on Sunscreen Changes
Here is a good overview on sunscreen from a very good website. It doesn’t get in to great detail but does a good job of answering some of those general questions most of us have about sunscreen……
Click here for Personal Care Truth or Scare
Check out our friends at the Sun Safe-Tee Program out in Southern California! SolarAegis is a proud sponsor! Mark Wishner and his organization are doing tons to raise awareness about sun health and sun protection for our youth as they embark into the wonderful world of golf! Visit their website to learn more at www.sunsafetee.org. Also, see the video below with some of the PGA’s supporters of the SunSafeTee Program!
SunSafeTee and the PGA
It’s that time of year again to remind ourselves to lather up when we go outside. Summer isn’t even here and we are already seeing high UV indices during the day. Lets take a moment to review some sun-safety guidelines as we prepare to enjoy the outdoors.
> Wear sunscreen everyday. SPF 15, or higher is fine for regular, daily use and make sure it is broad spectrum (UVA/UVB). For extended time in the sun, SPF 30 is a better option. Remember that SPF is the law of diminishing returns. No need to pay more for higher SPF’s because you’re really not getting much better protection. See my March 2010 post on same topic. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every two hours thereafter. More frequent if participating in intense physical activity, swimming and/or sweating.
> Make sure you use 1-2 shot glass amounts when applying sunscreen. More is always better than less.
> Avoid the sun, when possible, between 10:00am and 4:00pm when UV intensity is the highest.
>Wear sunglasses, a hat, long sleeves and long pants, when possible, to minimize exposure.
> Don’t allow yourself to burn.
> Stay out of tanning beds!! They are bad!!!
> Examine your skin for changes, at least monthly.
> Visit a dermatologist annually for a skin exam.
Have fun this summer and stay protected. Check back regularly to the SolarAegis site for additional information on sun health and to check out our products!
In gearing up for summer, we have introduced a 16oz. pump bottle. Great for refilling your 2.5oz tubes and keeping around the house to lather up the family before heading outdoors. We have also added a large, after-sun bath bomb to soothe your skin after a long day outside. Come by the website and check them out!
We are working on Baby Elephant production now. We are currently procuring raw materials for manufacturing and plan to have it available on the website by the end of May!
Yesterday I met Tara Parla and her husband Jonathan. Tara is a survivor of stage III malignant melanoma and started the Passion Foundation (www.passion-foundation.org). The Passion Foundation’s mission is to build shade structures over playgrounds in Southwest Florida and to educate our community about sun safety and the benefits of early detection of skin cancer. I am pleased to announce SolarAegis will be partnering with Tara’s foundation to lend support to their cause and awareness efforts. We look forward to working with them on upcoming projects and events!
Tara and Jon are a beautiful couple. They have two young children, as well. This disease is terrifying and traumatic. I get scared when I think about its reality and impact on the families it affects. But yesterday was different. When I met Tara, she shook my hand with authority and looked me squarely in the eye. Mind you, Tara is half way through a one year chemo regimen of Interferon. I knew at that moment I wasn’t dealing with an average person. She is a focused and determined fighter. She will stay true to that fight with her family and friends squarely behind her. It reminded me of a question my college baseball coach used to pose to us…”You’re going to war. You’re going into the trenches with all of your teammates. Are you the type of fighter that makes your teammate say ‘I’m glad he’s in the trench with me. I want him by my side!’?” Tara is that kind of fighter. You want her in the trench with you. I find myself asking the same question I asked 20 years ago: “Am I good enough to be in the trench with her???” Yes, because failure is not an option….
Please check out the Passion Foundation website. It’s brave, committed and compelling stuff! SolarAegis is glad to be a part! Thank you Tara and Jon for letting us join your crusade.
We are thinking about a four pack with Baby Elephant all-natural sunscreen, aloe lotion, body wash/shampoo and tender tush cream. We would love to have some feedback/comments on this concept to assess interest. Products would be packaged together in 5 oz. bottles……Feel free to leave comments here or on our Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=261267912237