junior Samuel Frith was on vacation three years ago, and spent a little too much time in the sun. Today, when the rays get a little too intense, he relives a painful part of that vacation.
"My lips are very sensitive when I'm out in the sun," he says. "I get really bad sun poisoning and blisters when I go out in the sun."
Frith went through all of the cosmetically available lip balms around, especially those with high SPF levels, but they just didn't work.
"I wasn't getting any relief," he says. "I even tried the brands that were SPF 30 or 40."
Last summer, he decided to take things into his own hands, and create The Ultimate Lip Balm. It's a balm that would help sun-sensitive people like Frith. Active outdoor types could also use it, and it even has medical applications—chemotherapy patients often get severely dry lips during cancer treatment, and they could benefit from Frith's balm as well.
Frith, a finance and entrepreneurship student, was one of the top winners during this month's Innov8 for Health
business pitch event. He was one of four $1,000 prize winners in the student track.
Frith's past experience includes working on a cosmetic lotion project for GA Communications
in Chicago, which helped him learn about the process of getting a facial care product to market.
"I did a lot of reading and research about the FDA and regulation of product claims," he says. "While I was there, I learned about SPF, sun care products and the facial care industry."
After doing further Internet research, Frith decided to work with a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company—Raining Rose
—to develop the lip balm. Raining Rose is a small, custom lip balm manufacturer known for using organic and natural ingredients. The company and Frith are working to develop a formula aimed at making the lip balm last longer, and therefore, be more effective, Frith says.
"After SPF 30, [sun protection quality] plateaus," Frith says. "You have to come up with other ingredients that will stick better on lips, or attributes other than SPF to make a higher quality lip balm."
Currently, he's working to raise $15,000 for product testing. He hopes to get The Ultimate Lip Balm onto lips by late fall.
By Feoshia H. Davis
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