Caribbean Heritage Month

    The month of June is Caribbean Heritage month. West Indian Americans or Caribbean Americans are Americans who are from, or have at least one ancestor from the lands of the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America, (see map).  Caribbean immigrants have been contributing to the well-being of American society since its founding. Alexander Hamilton, the First Secretary of the Treasury was from the Caribbean island of Nevis.

    Among our famous sons and daughters: James Weldon Johnson, Harlem Renaissance poet and author of the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, Bahamas heritage;  Marcus Garvey, black nationalist leader, born in Jamaica;  Shirley Chisholm, first African-American congresswoman & the first black woman to run for president, Barbados & British Guyana heritage;  Marion Jones, track and field Olympic gold medalist, Belize heritage;  Juan Carlos Finlay, discovered Yellow Fever was transmitted by a specific mosquito, born in Cuba;  Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, founder of Chicago, born in Haiti;  Oscar de la Renta, fashion designer, born in the Dominican Republic;  Malcolm X, late Nation of Islam spokesman, Grenada Heritage;  Colin Powell, first black U.S Secretary of State, parents born in Jamaica;  Antonia Novello, first female U.S. Surgeon General, born in Puerto Rico;  Stokely Carmichael, black power activist, born in Trinidad;  Constance Baker Motley, first black woman appointed to the federal bench, parents from Nevis;  Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader, mother from St. Kitts;  Dr. William Thornton, physician and architect who designed the U.S. Capitol, born on Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands.

    In entertainment & sports we have plenty. .  Sidney Poitier,  Cicely Tyson,  Harry Belafonte, Geoffrey Holder,  Naomi Campbell,  Kerry Washington,  Rick Fox,  Patrick Ewing,  Mike Tyson,  Sheryl lee Ralph,  Nicki Minaj,  Grace Jones, Continue reading


    Know your UVA, UVB & SPF’s

    Nothing smells like summer, than the coconut/pineapple/watermelon flavors of suntan products at the beach. It’s no secret that you should wear sunscreen every single day (rain or shine!) to prevent premature aging and reduce your risk of skin cancer. But finding the right formula for your skin can be a challenge. Many people complain that sunscreen makes their face feel sticky, flaky, or take on a ghostly white sheen.   One must decide between physical and mineral options and think about water resistance, too. And those considerations are just the start – after all, sunscreen is one of the only shields we have against premature aging from sun damage and skin cancer. Do you know enough about SPF, UVA and UVB’s?Sunscreens are products combining several ingredients that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV) from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer.  UVB is the chief culprit behind sunburn, while UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply, are associated with wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other light-induced effects of aging (photoaging). They also exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays, and increasingly are being seen as a cause of skin cancer on their own. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB.

    SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin.  Assuming you use it correctly, if you’d burn after 10 minutes in the sun, an SPF 30 protects for about 5 hours. But the intensity of UVB rays varies throughout the day and by location, and all sunscreens must be reapplied every 2 hours when you’re in the sun. Most of the sun’s radiation is in the form of UVA. Unlike UVB rays, which are strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., UVA rays are present throughout the daylight hours, even on cloudy days.

    We all know that wearing SPF is important, but chemical sunscreens – the kind you’ve probably been wearing for years, can be irritating for some people with sensitive skin.  Those folks are choosing to use Mineral Sunscreens to help prevent sun damage.  They are similar to traditional sunscreens, but they do so using physical blockers like zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These ingredients work by reflecting the sun off your skin, as opposed to absorbing and transforming harmful rays on the skin as chemical sunscreens which contain the likes of oxybenzone, avobenzone and homosalate do.  No matter which you choose: Continue reading