It is the source of all energy on earth, crucial to every part of our being and we need it! But with the depletion of the protective ozone layer, the UV rays emitted from the sun can have more of a detrimental effect on our bodies. So we need to up our own protection of our skin, and this is why it is so important to pick the right sunscreen.

Creating our sunscreen, Revitalising High Protection Fluid SPF30, was a challenging process. Since we could not find a single sunscreen that ticked all the boxes we needed from one, we decided to create our own. Its fluid texture ensures you can reapply it as often as you like without clogging your pores or compromising on a broad spectrum chemical and physical sun protection. A good sunscreen isn’t just about looking at an SPF number on a bottle. Here’s a few questions to which I’ve provided brief answers so you know more about the issue:

Why is too much sun exposure bad for you? 

While too little sun exposure might result in Vitamin D deficiency, which is needed for healthier bones and a better immune system, too much sun exposure can increase the risk of cancer, and scientific studies have shown that up to 90% of the visible signs of ageing are a result of UV exposure.

There are three types of UV emissions from the sun: UVA, UVB and UVC. The ozone layer still protects us from UVC, whilst UVB affects the skin epidermis causing sunburn and UVA penetrates the skin’s epidermis to induce the production of free radicals.  This is havoc at a much deeper level and compromises the size of the dermis layer by damaging the collagen and elastin that hold this layer together. Over time, the epidermis then hangs over this smaller layer, resulting in a wrinkled or lined effect on the skin.

Wear the best sunscreen: how to choose your SPF

You’ve gathered by now that a good sunscreen will provide broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating given to sunscreens, like the SPF30 in our Revitalising Fluid, indicate the level of protection against UVB rays and provides 30 times the protection versus no sunscreen. This does not necessarily mean SPF50 is better. Why? Because you have to reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours anyway (people sweat, your skin produces oils, you swim etc. – in other words the protection disappears). So SPF50 won’t protect you better than SPF30. Reapplying sunscreen is the most important tip of all – rarely do people reapply when they should and that is when photoageing will occur.

But what about UVA protection? After all, this is the one we should be slightly more worried about as it penetrates deeper into our bodies. This is where sunscreens in EU Under EU regulation, sunscreens must contain at least one third as potent a UVA protection as the UVB protection: i.e. a sunscreen of SPF30 must have a UVA protection of at least 10.

Furthermore, look for whether your sunscreen provides physical protection which sit on the skin and reflect rays (in the form of Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide in the formulation) or chemical protection that sit within the skin and absorb the UV rays. The best needs to be a combination of both physical and chemical protection, so do check your product’s ingredient listing.

Always choose quality

Before I launched Elethea, I was using other sunscreen products and thinking it was okay. Knowing what I know today, I am happy to share it with you because I believe looking after our skin with quality ingredients is like eating good, clean and wholesome foods – over time you will reap the benefits, even though you may not see a short-term benefit. We are here to provide knowledge and to encourage you to choose quality in your skincare products, including your sunscreen. Make sure your sunscreen is the best you can get and I can assure you that your skin will age healthily and not prematurely. Also ensure that you have great antioxidants and oils – we use Pumpkin Seed Oil in our Revitalising High Protection Fluid.

BOE Magazine


WikiLeaks admits they advised Edward Snowden to seek Putin’s protection


snowdenfeatureWikiLeaks, which sent their representative Sarah Harrison to Hong Kong last summer to supervise Edward Snowden’s flight to Moscow, admitted today that it had advised the former NSA spy to seek asylum in Russia for his own personal safety.

Until today’s admission, WikiLeaks and Snowden supporters have blamed the United States and the Obama Administration for allegedly forcing Snowden to request asylum in Russia, insisting that Snowden had never intended to seek protection in one of the world’s most efficient and repressive police states. As the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen wrote in his volte-face hagiography on Snowden,

“Snowden’s residency in Russia has been forced upon him — he had nowhere else to go.”

But today, after Chancellor Merkel’s government blocked Snowden from coming to Germany to appear before parliament, WikiLeaks tweeted:

Today’s admission from WikiLeaks that their Snowden advisor deceived the Western public about Snowden’s asylum intentions comes on the same day that Snowden was awarded the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling.  It is the latest in a series of US Establishment prizes and accolades heaped on Snowden and his scribes.

The WikiLeaks tweet admitting that Snowden’s closest advisor in Hong Kong pushed him to seek asylum under Kremlin protection jibes with what Julian Assange (who reportedly controls the @WikiLeaks handle) told Rolling Stone:

“While Venezuela and Ecuador could protect him in the short term, over the long term there could be a change in government. In Russia, he’s safe, he’s well-regarded, and that is not likely to change. That was my advice to Snowden, that he would be physically safest in Russia.”

Last June, while still in Hong Kong, Snowden gave hints that he might drop his high-minded talk about principles and opt for the security of a friendly police-state like Russia. Sometime between Snowden’s first Guardian interview on June 9, and a follow-up Guardian interview on June 17, he appeared to have a change of heart—and principles.

On June 9, the principled Snowden told the Guardian:

“My predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values. The nation that most encompasses this is Iceland. They stood up for people over internet freedom.”

Just over a week later, with WikiLeaks’ Sarah Harrison having flown to Hong Kong to supervise his asylum strategy, the realpolitik Snowden took over, telling the Guardian that protecting his own personal safety was more important than Iceland’s hippie-dippy respect for Internet freedom. In an online chat-interview, The Guardian’s Ewan MacAskill asked Snowden:

“I should have asked you this when I saw you but never got round to it……..Why did you just not fly direct to Iceland if that is your preferred country for asylum?”

A simple and rather obvious follow-up question. A week earlier, on June 9, Snowden had told the Guardian he chose to go to Hong Kong first because of its alleged “reputation for freedom” and its “strong tradition of free speech.” But on June 17, he gave a different explanation to the same Guardian journalist for why he chose Hong Kong over Iceland:

There was a distinct possibility I would be interdicted en route, so I had to travel with no advance booking to a country with the cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained. Hong Kong provided that. Iceland could be pushed harder, quicker, before the public could have a chance to make their feelings known, and I would not put that past the current US administration.

Shortly after this Guardian chat-interview, Snowden and Harrison began spending time in the Russian consulate in Hong Kong. According to both Putin and the Russian daily Kommersant, Snowden spent several days at the Russian consulate before flying to Moscow on June 23, allowed by Russian officials to use his revoked US passport to board Aeroflot and to land in Moscow. (The story that Snowden traveled to Moscow with a letter of safe passage from an Ecuadorian official was later refuted — thus far, no one from Snowden’s camp has explained how he was allowed to board an Aeroflot flight to Moscow on a revoked passport.)

It may be that Snowden’s asylum bid under Kremlin protection is a fulfillment of something Julian Assange first floated years ago, just before WikiLeaks exploded on the world stage and his serious troubles began. Assange has been there before — and there’s evidence that if he had to do it again, he’d have sought Kremlin protection before the Interpol ax fell. According to the Guardian’s book about their collaboration with Assange, “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy” Assange told a room full of international journalists back in November 2010 that he was considering seeking asylum in Russia:

“[A]s the journalists sank pints of Pilsner Urquell, Assange confided he was thinking about going to Russia. Russia was an odd choice — especially in the light of soon-to-be-published cables that described it as a ‘virtual mafia state’. He did not disclose, however, details of the relationship he had privately struck up with WikiLeaks’ new ‘Russian representative’, the bizarre figure of [FSB agent/Holocaust denier] Israel Shamir.”

Assange has since wound up trapped in the tiny Ecuadorian embassy in London. Perhaps he still regrets not leaving for Russia when he could. His public statements make clear that he advised Snowden to do what Assange himself did not — actively seek Putin’s protection. The only problem, of course, is if the Western public you’re appealing on high-minded principles grounds finds out you’re cynically willing to seek police state protection for your own safety, regardless of all the millions oppressed by that police state. Such rank double-standards — in the best liberal imperialist tradition, in which the Natives’ problems always take a back seat to the enlightened White Man’s sufferings — might create a credibility problem.

Last August, when Russia granted Snowden temporary asylum and he and Sarah Harrison left Sheremetyevo Airport, WikiLeaks once again pushed its narrative that Snowden did everything he could to seek asylum in a country that could not protect him — but a country whose very name [Venezuela, Iceland, Bolivia] evoked all the best associations in his Western leftist audience’s minds — and only wound up “stuck” in Russia because the Obama Administration forced him to. Despite all the gaping holes in that story, despite being debunked by WikiLeaks and Assange, it was a story we wanted to hear.

Now that WikiLeaks has contradicted this account, it’s interesting to re-read what essentially was a cheap kabuki theater act put on for a gullible Western media establishment who were only too happy to be fed this bullshit, anything to avoid the confusing, depressing truth:

Mr Snowden and Ms Harrison have been staying in the [Moscow] airport for almost six weeks, having landed on an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong on the 23rd June. They had been booked on a connecting flight the following day. Mr Snowden intended to request asylum in Latin America. However, after Mr Snowden’s departure was made public, the United States government canceled his passport, which rendered onward travel impossible.

From within the transit zone of the airport, Mr Snowden and Ms Harrison spent a number of weeks prior to his Russian application assessing the options available to him to ensure his future safety. Without a passport and no immediate offers of the necessary safe passage, travel was impossible. Over twenty asylum requests to various countries were made to try to secure Mr Snowden’s passage. Throughout this period the United States took irregular and disproportionate actions to block Mr Snowden’s right to seek asylum….

Now that we know we’ve been duped — the question is, does it matter? Most people I know don’t want to think about it, can’t separate the value of the leaks from the colossal disappointment that is Edward Snowden, and so decide to hold a posture of virtuous indifference to the matter, rather than deal with that contradiction. Our simple American brains are incapable of making separate judgments on the leaks and on Snowden the man.

There’s another reason why no one on the left (or libertarian right) cares about being deceived by Snowden, or by Snowden’s betrayal of principles: Because they don’t give a shit about oppressed Russians. Not unless those oppressed Russians live outside of Russia’s borders.

Every time I hear this same mantra from my friends on the adversarial left — “I don’t really care that Snowden saved his ass by seeking Kremlin protection, I’d do it too, what’s he supposed to do” — I always ask them if they’d be that glib about it if Snowden, using this same principle of “anything to save my ass,” took asylum with militant Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories. If Snowden were Jewish, it would certainly be a possibility. How many of his supporters would be so quick to virtuously dismiss its relevance; how easy would it be to ignore the politics of Snowden hiding out with violent right-wing Zionist chauvinists in a place you do care about? How glibly would you dismiss every lie Snowden hawked your way, knowing he’s in an ultranationalist Jewish settlement with killers?

The ongoing hagiography of Edward Snowden as the embodiment of so many high-minded Establishment principles, anti-Establishment principles, courage, bravery, heroism and the like — it’s all only possible if you’re indifferent to Russians’ problems. And if there’s one thing that left, center and right in this country can agree on, it’s that we don’t give a shit about Russians.

A quick refresher: Putin came to power waging a savage war against Islamic Chechnya that killed tens of thousands, forcing untold thousands into savage “filtration camps” where torture and rape were rampant, and displacing hundreds of thousands more into refugee camps. He has presided over the total dismantling of every fragile vestige of democracy and freedom of expression first introduced by Gorbachev, most recently cracking down hard on Internet freedom, opposition protests, and critics of any sort — period.

Last year, Snowden told human rights representatives gathered in an airport room (where Snowden was protected by scores of FSB agents) that Russia has…

…my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world.

Tsk-tsk say our adversarial intellectuals. Why get worked up? They’re just Russians, after all. It’s not as though Snowden is ignoring or personally benefiting from a state that’s oppressing Palestinians — because that would be grotesquely wrong and unforgivable. But Russians? Their oppressions and sufferings are just an abstraction. Had Snowden hidden out in a violent Jewish settlement in Hebron, on the very same principle of saving his own ass by any means necessary with any devil necessary — and released a statement praising his Zionist settler protectors “for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless” — I seriously doubt today’s Snowden supporters would adopt the same virtuous indifference to the people he sought protection from.

But Snowden isn’t Jewish; he didn’t have that option to seek safety in a Zionist settlement. He chose the most vile and self-serving option on the table, and it happens to be an option that doesn’t offend the left-intelligentsia here, because after all, who on the left gives a fuck about oppressed Russians. (I do, but I am a rare case — I happen to have spent a good portion of my life in Russia, have family in Russia, had my problems with the Kremlin, and still maintain ties there. But clearly that’s my problem, not yours, not Snowden’s.)

Somehow indifference to Kremlin oppression is a sign of enlightened righteousness. Snowden’s virtuous indifference is our intelligentsia’s virtuous indifference; Snowden canonized as a Ridenhour Truth Teller is really our way of celebrating how we adversarials are truth tellers — even when we’re lying. Or worse, completely indifferent to the truth.. If you never had oppressed Russians on your mind in the first place, it’s easy to mistake your indifference as a virtuous principle, as adversarial journalism’s legions of steely Henry Kissingers do.

[Illustration by Brad Jonas for Pando]