What it takes to be an IndyCar pit crew member

  • Insider spent the week with an IndyCar pit crew ahead of the Indianapolis 500.
  • Along with pit stop-specific training, the team undergoes intense physical and cognitive exercises.
  • During a pit stop, a crew changes all tires and fuels the car in less than seven seconds.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Grant Richey: A pit crew generally consists of six people over the wall, and you get about 18 half gallons of fuel.

Mike: Fuel flows out of the fuel rig into my hose, then into the car.

Grant: And then the air jack.

Kevin: When I plug that hose in, all that air pressure goes through the hose into the jacks, raise the car up.

Grant: Change four tires. You change your tire, put it back on, and away the car goes.

Grant: In hopefully less than seven seconds, if you’re good.

Kevin: We are at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the week before the race. We are doing pit stop practice. We are getting in shape, lifting weights, and we are prepping the car to make sure everything’s perfect for the race.

Jessica: A lot of people, when they look at a pit stop, they’re like, “Man, that looks so easy.” But people don’t realize sometimes the hours that we have to put in to make it look so easy.

Bob Perona: From the outside, a pit stop looks like chaos, but it’s really very coordinated. We practice pit stops because consistency is key, right? It’s really working on technique more than speed. There might be a way a guy wants to put the tire on, two hands versus one hand. We’ll work those kinds of techniques in and try and get that done here so that when we go to the racetrack, we know what we’re gonna do.

On my first day of training, I admittedly wasn’t very good. There was potential there, but I’ve improved significantly. It went from probably, like, a seven- or eight-second stop to cutting it in half to, like, a four-and-a-half-second stop now. It all seems slow motion. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. So if you’re consistent and you just go through the motions and you don’t make any mistakes, then you’re going to be faster than somebody who goes out there and just rushes through the whole process.

Jessica: We practice every day. We do at least five sets each. Somebody goes back and forth with the car, and you just keep doing repetition and trying new things if you have an issue, and work it out until you’ve got it perfected.

My name is Jessica Mace, and I am the inside rear tire changer. I first changed a tire at the Indy 500 in 2014. I saw the guys practicing, and that was something I was like, “Man, I really want to do that.” I didn’t touch a car for months. I just worked on a stationary machine and just kept going and going and going. I was like, “This is something I really want to do.” And I was able to change tires that year. And ever since then, I’ve been part of numerous pit crews. To make a successful pit stop, I gauge it on nobody’s dropping a nut, air jack goes up when it should, and everyone’s done before fuel. If you finish before fuel, then you know you’ve had a successful pit stop.

Jim Leo: To be an effective pit crew member, you need to have a lot of explosive power, upper-body strength, lower-body strength, and also have a very strong ability to focus and maintain your cognitive awareness. You have to be able to get in and out of the pits as quickly as possible, not just for effective pit stops but also from a safety standpoint.

Grant: Going to PitFit, like, that’s huge. You’re doing these hand-eye-coordination things that a lot of the other teams aren’t doing.

My name is Grant Richey, and for pit stops, I do the inside front tire.

Trainer: So strong.

Jim: The drill with tire changing is using strobe glasses, which minimizes the ability for the pit crew member to see what he’s doing. It breaks up the vision. And so when he takes the glasses off, their vision is that much more acute. The Vector reaction-ball drill is a visual recognition and decision-making drill where the athlete has to quickly respond to the color of the ball and then put it in the appropriate bucket. That helps them with the decision-making in a pit stop. It’s cool because you’re working out your mind and trying to improve your reflexes, which is half of what a pit stop is.

Oh, boy! There it is! [laughing]

An IndyCar pit crew is an incredibly physical job. The longevity of a crew member depends on their physical health and their wellness. If they don’t have these qualities, then their career is going to be very short.

Rolando Coronado: I’m 51 years old. If it wasn’t for this kind of training, I would be limping home every night or walking on crutches or probably already in a wheelchair.

Trainer: Good, that’ll work, Rolando! Switch, right arm up. You look at the duration of what they’re doing, and it’s extremely short. It requires a lot of precision, a lot of strength, and speed. These guys are walking 20,000 steps a day during a race weekend before they even get to the pit stops in a race situation.

Grant: So, with today being Carb Day, it’s really the last chance for teams and pit crews to prepare themselves for the race. The biggest thing is making sure your car is set up properly for the race. Is the car handling well through the corners, behind cars, in front of cars, passing cars?

They make sure that everything is under its life, everything is crack-checked. Most teams put a new, fresh engine for the race.

I’d say the biggest differences between an IndyCar pit crew and a NASCAR pit crew — so, in an IndyCar team, the guys changing the tires are also the ones building the car at the shop.

When I strap into the race car and go into turn one at 230 miles an hour, you know, you have full confidence that the car is built right. And then on his side, like, we gotta trust him, that he’s going to come in the pit box safely and hopefully quickly, but mostly safely, and not going to hit any of us.

Fortunately, I have a great pit crew that hasn’t made any mistakes this year yet. They obviously need to be on point with their pit stops, just like I need to be on point with my driving. The coolest moment of the whole month is coming in race morning and then coming out on-grid and seeing usually not a seat left in the house. That’s the coolest part of the year, honestly.

Drivers, start your engines. [engines revving]

In a race like this, you’re going to make anywhere from five to eight pit stops, depending on your strategy.

You have to start hydrating weeks before because you just sweat and sweat and sweat.

A good pit crew is important just because of the competitive level of IndyCar, everything’s measured in tenths of a second, hundredths of a second. It’s hard to imagine that we see, like, a 6.5-second stop versus a 6.4-second stop and that tenth of a second could be the difference between winning and losing.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new state budget that defunds the entire state legislature

Texas Governor Greg Abbot points at the camera with a stern expression
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed Article X of the state budget, effectively defunding the entire legislature.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defunded the state legislature while signing the state budget on Friday.
  • Abbott made the decision after Democrats staged a walkout in May to prevent restrictive voting legislation from passing.
  • Texas legislator pay is written into the state constitution, so legislative staffers will be most affected.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed Article X of the state budget on Friday, effectively defunding the entire state legislature after Democrats staged a walkout to prevent restrictive voting laws from passing in May.

“Texans don’t run from a legislative fight, and they don’t walk away from unfinished business,” Abbott said in a statement. “Funding should not be provided for those who quit their job early, leaving their state with unfinished business and exposing taxpayers to higher costs for an additional legislative session. I therefore object to and disapprove of these appropriations.”

State Republicans were close to passing Senate Bill 7 in May which would have cracked down on initiatives that local election officials undertook in 2020 to expand voting options during the COVID-19 pandemic including:

  • Making it a felony offense for election officials to send unsolicited absentee-ballot applications to voters, even those who are eligible to vote absentee in Texas. Harris County officials tried to send absentee applications to the county’s 2.4 million registered voters in 2020 but were blocked in court.
  • Banning election officials from offering drive-thru voting, which Harris County did in 2020. The county successfully defended itself against last-minute legal challenges to its drive-thru voting system.
  • Limiting counties to a maximum of eight hours of voting, between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m., on Sundays during early voting.

But while Abbott’s aim is to punish Democratic legislators, the people most affected will likely be legislative staffers. Abbott may have vetoed the piece of the budget with the legislature’s overall funding, but Sec. 24 of the Texas Constitution states that “Members of the Legislature shall receive from the Public Treasury a salary of Six Hundred Dollars per Month.”

The state constitution also dictates that the legislators must receive a per diem pay for every day they serve when called for a special session, so they would still likely get paid regardless of the state budget.

Democratic State Rep. Sheryl Cole said on Twitter that the legislators “will be alright,” but stressed that staffers are going to face the brunt of Abbott’s veto.

Texas House Democratic Chair Rep. Chris Turner said in a statement that “the tyrannical veto of the legislative branch is the latest indication that Governor Greg Abbott is simply out of control.”

“Our caucus is exploring every option, including immediate legal options, to fight back against Greg Abbott’s abuse of power.”

Grace Panetta contributed reporting.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I tested 14 pairs of false eyelashes to see which ones actually stay on and aren’t horribly uncomfortable, and only 7 survived my test

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • False eyelashes are a great way to get the look of full lashes without the hassle of mascara.
  • With so many on the market, it can be difficult to suss out which are the best option for you.
  • I tested 14 styles to find the best false lashes in a variety of categories.
Best false eyelashes 4x3

Few things can boost your confidence as instantly as a good pair of false lashes. Whether you’re looking for something subtle or prefer to go full-on glam, falsies can add the perfect finishing touch to your makeup look or even help you feel a bit more put together on a no-makeup day.

But finding the best false lashes for you is certainly not a one-size-fits-all situation. Besides the fact that we all have different preferences, our individual eye shapes also play a huge role when it comes to choosing falsies. This is why it’s so helpful to do your research before purchasing false lashes; after all, it’s not like you can try them on before you buy.

Here, I tested nearly 20 different styles of false lashes – everything from the cult-favorites to new launches – to bring you the best of the best in a variety of categories. Read on to discover your perfect pair of falsies.

Here are the best false lashes in 2021:

The best false eyelashes for everyday wear

Best false eyelashes_MyLashButBetter

If you love everyday glam, look no further than Kiss’s My Lash But Better collection.

If testing lashes has taught me anything, it’s that a thin band is key for all-day comfort. Kiss has long been in the falsies game, but the My Lash But Better collection hits it out of the ballpark. Their supposed “Superfine Band Technology” sounds pretty gimmicky, but the band is extremely thin, flexible, and easily adheres to the lash line. Perhaps the best part? They’ll only cost you five bucks — an ideal price point if you’re wearing them daily. 

My Lash But Better (small)
The best natural-looking false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_LoveSeen

LoveSeen allows you to customize your lashes based on your coloring, eye shape, and preference, resulting in the most natural-looking style. 

As someone with hooded, slightly downturned eyelids, it’s often difficult to find false eyelashes that fit properly and don’t stick out at the outer corners. This is why I was thrilled to come across the brand LoveSeen — they offer a quiz that recommends the best styles based on your eye shape and preferences. They also offer both Brown/Black and Light Brown shades, which I’ve rarely seen in falsies. 

I particularly love the “Jack” lashes — they looked so incredibly natural while also giving me the perfect amount of volume. Plus, the band is extremely thin, making them a breeze to apply. I also tried (and loved) two other styles (Iris and Cate), but felt Jack looked the best on my specific eye shape. 

LoveSeen lashes range from $20-$24, putting them on par with other mid-tier brands. However, they do not come with eyelash glue, so that would be an additional cost.

Luca (small)
The best magnetic false eyelashes lashes

Best false eyelashes_Velour

Struggle with applying lashes? You’re not alone. Velour Beauty’s magnetic lashes make it incredibly easy.

If you’re clumsy (and impatient) like me, lash glue can quickly become a giant mess. Magnetic lashes were created to take the guesswork out of applying falsies since they are meant to adhere to a magnetic eyeliner. Velour Beauty’s Vegan Mink Luxe Lashes apply exceptionally seamlessly — and they felt super comfortable all day long. 

The first time I wore them, my immediate thought was that they would be the perfect false eyelashes for someone’s wedding day. Not only are they just the right amount of glam, but they’d be super comfy during hours of smiling, dancing, and photo-taking.

At $27 these lashes may seem a bit on the pricier side (plus, the magnetic eyeliner is sold separately at $23), but I was able to rewear them several times with no issues. For a special occasion, they’re definitely worth the splurge.

Vegan Mink Luxe Lash Collection (small)
The best glam false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_LillyLashes

When you want your lashes to make a statement, these Lilly Lashes will do the trick.

Sometimes you just want the look of long, full lashes. These Lilly Lashes are the perfect compliment to glam makeup because they heighten the look without overpowering it. The criss-cross style of the “Goddess” lashes, in particular, gives such a pretty effect.

I find these quite easy to apply and I love the thin band. Though I wouldn’t say they’re bothersome, they do feel a bit heavier on my eyes than some of the more natural styles. However, if you’re only wearing them for a special occasion, chances are you’ll be peeling them off in a couple of hours anyway. 

These lashes retail for $20 and do not come with lash adhesive. 

Goddess (small)
The best affordable false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_Ardell

Ardell lashes are widely appreciated for their affordability, variety, and accessibility.

Ardell lashes are a well-loved falsies brand and for good reason. Most pairs are around $5 and they offer a wide selection of styles for any and all preferences. I personally love the Natural #110 (they look the most natural on my eye shape), but the Demi Wispies are a hugely popular style. Plus, Ardell is also sold in major retailers like Ulta and Target as well as most drugstores — so you can easily find them in the event of a lash emergency.

Natural #110 (small, Preferred: Ulta)
The best individual false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_KissIndividual

This trio helps you build a natural look — without the commitment of a strip lash.

Let’s face it: false lashes can be extremely intimidating. If you’re new to falsies and want to test the waters (or just want to try something a bit more low-maintenance), individual lashes are a great option. This trio from Kiss is great because it offers three different lengths, so you can easily customize your look to get the most natural effect. I like to apply two of the longer lashes at the outer corner for subtle, wispy lashes.

At only $6 for 30 individual lashes (that you can easily reuse), it doesn’t get much better than that. These do not come with lash glue.

Ever Ez Trio Lash (small, Preferred: CVS)
The longest false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_Lashify

These innovative falsies are essentially DIY lash extensions — they can last up to 10 days.

Lashify is changing the false lash game with their patented Gossamer lashes. They give you the look and feel of lash extensions, but without the costs and upkeep. It consists of four steps: applying a primer, attaching the lashes, fusing the lashes together with a wand, and applying a clear mascara that’s meant to lock everything in. I tried out the Control Kit (in the style Bold), which provides you with everything you need for $145. It’s definitely not cheap, but the kit comes with two sets of lashes (in two different sizes) and each wear can last up to 10 days. 

I absolutely love the look of these lashes. Because you apply them underneath your natural lashes (rather than on top), they look extremely natural and feel weightless. If you’re someone who’s interested in the longevity of lash extensions but wants to avoid the costs and maintenance involved, the Lashify system is definitely worth checking out.

Gossamer Lashes (small)
Other lashes we tested

Best false eyelashes_What else we considered (Glamnetic Livin; KVD, Qveen)

Although the seven lash sets above were my top picks, I also tested a variety of styles from 7 other brands. Here’s why they didn’t make the cut:

  • Qveen Studio Lashes in Hot Boy Sweat: These did not fit well on my downturned eyelids and they are also a bit heavy, but they do have a soft, fluttery look. For someone with a different eye shape, these could work really well. 
  • Glamnetic Luxe Lash: While these did adhere very well, the individual magnets along the band make it a bit bulky as well as difficult to trim. This particular style was also way too long for my eye shape/preference.
  • Glamnetic Livin’ Lash: While this set was far more comfortable, the lash length was too natural. I could barely see the lashes past my natural lashes, so it just didn’t seem worth it to have on falsies at all. However, if you’re looking to simply add fullness and not length, this could be a good option.
  • Sephora Collection Luxe False Lash in Plume: Again, these lashes are very pretty and natural-looking, but lacking a “wow” factor.
  • Tartiest Pro Cruelty-Free Lashes in Wifey: These lashes are extremely long and heavy, making them difficult to apply. These should definitely be avoided if you’re a natural lash lover, but if you’re after a dramatic look and are an absolute pro at applying falsies, these might be for you.
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Businesses need to reassess their workplace culture and technology as workers prepare to return to the office

hibt_articleheader_3_1200x627 (1)

There’s no question that 2020 turned the workplace on its head. The start of the pandemic led companies to reconsider everything from their office layout to how they can foster a sense of community when a majority of team members are working from home.

Tom Vecchione, Principal at architecture and interior design firm Vocon, believes the pandemic has only made the concept of the office and what it represents to employees more powerful. Of the executives he works with, Vecchione says, “What they miss the most is the level of ambition the office created for their teams and their staff. It’s very much part of the emotional, inspirational aspect of what an office gives us and your teams.”

To get back that missing spark, and to address the larger question of the office and its role overall, companies are starting to reassess their relationship with urban real estate.

What’s influencing them? “Everyone’s waiting for three factors,” Vecchione says. “What’s my peer doing, which is a very big influencer; what does science tell us we can do; and what do government agencies say we should do. This waiting game is creating uncertainty and volatility in the real estate market.”

The way Vecchione sees it, three tiers of employee engagement will emerge within the workforce: mission-critical onsite employees who must be onsite to do their jobs; hybrid employees who can split their time between onsite and offsite; and offsite workers who can effectively do their jobs without ever using the office as a permanent home. In order to gauge the demand for workspaces moving forward, Vocon is analyzing companies’ post-pandemic needs. “Executives aren’t sure why people really need to go back — if it’s for mentorship, culture, learning.” Vecchione adds that the purpose of the workspace isn’t just to facilitate the work itself, but to create knowledge, inspire culture, build a career path, and bring clients and talent “into the fold.”

There’s more to the workspace of the future than socially-distanced desks, sound barriers, and outdoor meeting rooms, and many employees find their job performance suffers when they lack access to a communal office. According to a 2020 survey conducted by enterprise platform Smartsheet in conjunction with 451 Research, 82% of workers feel less productive at work since going remote.

As companies start to consider the slow or staggered transition back to the office environment, they’re also thinking about something else: technology, and the key role it plays in the culture of collaboration.

“What I find fascinating is that we’ve all owned this technology and never really operated in this way,” says Anna Griffin, Chief Marketing Officer of Smartsheet. “(Companies) know that we’re going into a hybrid world, and they’re going into the new year in build mode.”

Smartsheet is seeing “a lot of enthusiasm for working this way,” along with signs of recovery and greater investments in technology, Griffin says. All of this signals that leaders are on board with modifying their business strategies.

Traditionally, changes like these have come straight from the top. Insider’s Human Impact of Business Transformation study, a project designed to gauge perspectives on business transformation as they relate to brand purpose, mental resilience, and more, shows that among 68% of respondents, it’s the leadership teams that drive such efforts.

But this model may not last. Employees are taking a larger role in the technology they use, and the workplace experience overall. Instead of the old approach, where management implements processes and expects teams to follow suit by using the tools they provide, Griffin is seeing employees driving these decisions. “The way you work, and the way people are able to participate more, is truly becoming democratized. And so there’s this shift in power. You’re doing something collectively together,” she says.

Ricardo Vargas, former Executive Director of Brightline Initiative, a coalition designed to help companies bridge the gap between strategy and execution, is seeing a similar trend as businesses prioritize employee satisfaction. The companies that succeed at transforming their business, Vargas says, also ensure their leaders are just as immersed in the company culture as their teams.

“In the more traditional organizations, the leadership lives in a castle on the top floor that nobody gets access to. You don’t talk to them.” Rather, Vargas says, leadership should be approachable and accessible, wherever they are.

Organizations now face an opportunity. The pandemic has highlighted weak spots in corporate culture, and leaders are starting to address those proactively. “We need to learn how to lead in permanent disruption because we are living in a permanent state of transformation,” Vargas says.

When it comes to designing the new workplace, Vecchione believes the physical work environment will never go away. Its purpose, however, may well be reinvented. Employees will one day find themselves in shared spaces again — and when they do, they’re likely to discover that a change was long overdue.

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The 11 best sheet masks we’ve tested for every skin type


  • Sheet masks offer an easy, speedy way to treat your skin without having to leave home.
  • We’ve tested dozens of sheet masks and rounded up our favorites for every skin type.
  • You can also check out our guide to the best moisturizers.

As well as being renowned for their incredible hydrating properties, sheet masks treat different skin concerns, from soothing sensitive skin to brightening dull complexions. Some are great for a pre-night-out boost, while others work better if you wear them before you go to bed, so the serum can soak in and you can wake up with glowing skin. Many experts are now using sheet masks as part of their daily skincare routine.

With the incredible number of sheet masks on the market, working out which one is right for you can be a minefield. As well as researching thousands of reviews from beauty experts and buyers, we’ve tried and tested all sorts of sheet masks to come up with our top picks.

Here the best sheet masks in 2021:

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Farmacy Coconut Gel Sheet Mask Sheet

farmacy sheet mask

The Farmacy Coconut Gel Sheet Mask Sheet is loaded with ultra-moisturizing ingredients for a boost of hydration in a pinch.

Farmacy’s Coconut Gel Sheet Mask is loaded with nourishing ingredients like coconut water, hyaluronic acid, and cucumber extract. Hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, so it delivers some serious hydration. Paired with calming cucumber extract and moisturizing, refreshing coconut water, this mask works for any skin type. Just slap the Coconut Gel Sheet Mask on for 15 minutes — that’s all you need for the mask to work its magic. Take it off to reveal more supple, smooth, calm skin.

Coconut Gel Sheet Mask (small)
Patchology Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask

patchology sheet mask

For smoother, hydrated skin in just five minutes, the Patchology Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask is hard to beat.

Patchology’s mask is your secret weapon for defeating dry skin because it features ingredients like hyaluronic acid for hydration, and vitamin B5 and betaine to improve elasticity and smooth skin. Traditionally, sheet masks take up to 20 minutes to work, but the Patchology Hydrate Flashmasque accelerates delivery of the ingredients to the skin with its unique material, so you see results in just five minutes.

This speedy skin saver is perfect for a last-minute touch-up before you put on your makeup or before you go to bed. It is the ideal quick fix for winter when your skin needs some extra hydration or on a long flight (as long as you don’t mind scaring the flight attendants).

Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask (small)
Erno Laszlo White Marble Bright Hydrogel Masks

Erno Laszlo sheet mask

For an easy, fast path to radiant skin, the Erno Laszlo White Marble Bright Hydrogel Masks should be your go-to sheet mask.

The White Marble Bright Hydrogel Mask from renowned skincare brand Erno Laszlo is designed to instantly brighten skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots and aging. The serum is made up of allotonin to plump up the skin, essential oils including peony and chamomile to moisturize, and sunflower seed oil to protect against wrinkles.

We’re obsessed with Erno Laszlo’s range of sheet masks, and this one is awesome. Each sheet mask comes in two pieces of gel-like material. It felt a bit slippery and strange, but it was easy to apply. I liked that it didn’t slip off my face so I could walk around while the mask did its work.

White Marble Bright Hydrogel Mask (small)
Dr. Jart+ Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask

dr jart +

When you want to give dry, sensitive skin some extra love without spending a fortune at the spa, the Dr. Jart+ Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask is ideal. 

Our favorite water-based face mask for sensitive skin comes from the legendary Korean Brand Dr Jart+. The mask is packed with hydrating ingredients like algae extract, aquaxyl, xylitol, and oligo-hyaluronic acid to moisturize sensitive skin without irritation. The mask is designed to calm redness and cool irritated skin, making it a godsend for people with sensitive skin. It works just as well for those with oily, dry, or combination skin.

Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask (small)
SK-II’s Pitera Facial Treatment Mask

SKII sheet mask

Japanese brand SK-II’s Pitera Facial Treatment Mask is a cult classic because it visibly hydrates, brightens, and firms your skin.

The SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask is an all-in-one sheet mask that does everything you need for a glowing, gorgeous complexion. The sheet is soaked with SK-II’s signature serum Pitera. Discovered in a sake brewery back in the ’70s, this liquid is packed with naturally-derived vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. It is designed to refine texture and address uneven skin tone, dryness, large pores, and oiliness. SK-II suggests you use a mask once or twice a week or before a special event.

The SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask lived up to the hype in our testing. It made my skin look more radiant instantly, and my skin felt tighter and softer. The mask fit well and stayed put, although it felt a bit slimy. Granted, most face masks feel a bit slimy because it’s the slime that fixes your skin.

Pitera Facial Treatment Mask (small)
Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask

tatcha sheet mask

For smoother skin in just 15 minutes, the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask is our top pick.

Tatcha’s gel-like face mask is packed with powerful anti-aging products including red algae and hyaluronic acid, as well as green tea and rice to target dryness, dullness, and loss of firmness. It is derived from coconut and is more effective than paper masks.

Tatcha claims it can increase the skin’s total moisture by 200% in 15 minutes. While we can’t verify that claim, we can say that it left our skin feeling great. It’s a bit fiddly, as you have to remove one of the layers to put it on, but it fit well. 

Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (small)
Leaders AC Clear Treatment Mask

AC Clear sheet mask

If you’re prone to breakouts and want effective instant relief, then you’ll love the Leaders AC Clear Treatment Mask.

The AC Clear Treatment Mask from Korean company Leaders Insolution balances skin and provides relief for irritated, stressed, and sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts and inflammation. This hypoallergenic 100% cotton sheet mask is packed with maple water, hyaluronic acid, and snail secretions to calm skin and reduce redness. It’s gentle enough to be used daily and the more often you use it, the better the results.

AC Clear Treatment Mask (small)
Tonymoly I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask

tony moly sheet mask

For a fun and very affordable sheet mask with great results, the Tonymoly I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask is a winner.

Established in Seoul more than 10 years ago, Tonymoly pioneered the Korean sheet mask beauty trend that has spread across the world. The innovative brand is now a household name in the US. There are 14 different masks in the Tonymoly I’m Real Sheet Mask collection to address every possible skin concern and we’ve tried them all. Our favorite is the I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask.

Ideal for dull, dry, and stressed-out skin, this highly moisturizing sheet mask is soaked with nutrient-rich avocado essence. The paper sheet has a pleasant smell but feels quite delicate. After leaving it on for 20 minutes in our testing, our skin definitely felt softer and looked fresher.

I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask (small)
St. Ives Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask

St Ives sheet mask

St. Ives’ Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask helps calm even the reddest of faces.

Just like the oatmeal baths of your childhood, St. Ives’ Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask soothes whatever is ailing your face. Sunburn? Pop this on. Windburn? You got it. That’s all thanks to the oatmeal extract. It works to calm any type of skin issue while leaving your face feeling refreshed and clean.

And since it’s in an easy-to-use sheet, you can get all of the benefits without the mess. This is actually a great mask to pop on after you’ve applied a more detoxifying mask. It will calm things down while sealing in the good-for-you ingredients of the first.

Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask (small)
Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask

7 wonders face mask

Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask helps fight free radical damage, leading to a bright, beautiful complexion.

If you live in a city, it’s not just the sun you have to worry about every time you step outside. Free radicals brought on by pollution can wreak havoc on your skin, leading to a dull complexion. But a skincare regimen rich in antioxidants is perfect for combating these issues. And Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask should be a regular part of any antioxidant-rich regimen.

This little mask is chock-full of good-for-you ingredients that help fight free radicals. Vitamins C, B, and E are the powerhouses of this mask, while acai berries come in for the assist. All these ingredients work to wick away the negative effects of pollution.

7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask (small)
Check out our other great skincare guides

body lotion

The best exfoliators

The best moisturizers

The best eye creams

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The 5 best women’s multivitamins in 2021, backed by medical experts

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Taking a multivitamin has always been common practice in my household – I grew up taking (and still do) every morning, but I never really stopped to think about why. After researching how some offer 100% of the US Daily Value (DV) for essential nutrients like iodine, vitamin D, and calcium, I realized multivitamins aren’t just a mundane part of my morning routine; they actually offer a sort of safety net to certain individuals, ensuring they meet recommended nutrient intakes.

Multivitamins are a bit of a hot topic. That’s because, while there are certain categories of people who can benefit from taking one every day, there is also a massive group of people who don’t necessarily need one. A 2020 study in BMJ Open found that people who take a multivitamin don’t have lower rates of illness or disease compared to those who don’t. However, people who take one daily said they feel healthier on a regular basis and, even if it’s a placebo effect, that counts for something toward wellbeing and adhering to healthier habits

Also, that study didn’t measure actual nutrient levels, so we can’t say the multivitamin had no real benefit. What’s more, the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2020-25 say about three out of four people don’t eat enough dairy, fruits, or vegetables. 

Julie Garden-Robinson, PhD, RD, Nutrition and Food Safety Professor at North Dakota State University, told Insider multivitamins can be the “nutrition insurance” if you’re not following an adequate diet. She advises aiming for a healthful diet first, as food contains a “complex array of nutrients and phytochemicals (‘plant chemicals’) that help fight disease.”

That said, there are certain groups of Americans who do need to have their vitamin and mineral levels supplemented.

What is the best multivitamin for women?

Supplement Safety Graphic_Health & Wellness

Once you know you need a multivitamin, you have to breach the next big hurdle: picking the right one. It seems like this should be an easy task, but multivitamins (like all supplements) are not regulated by the FDA, which means there’s no governing body confirming (1) what’s included on the label is in the supplement or (2) if it’s actually safe. What’s more, with how important it is to understand your body’s needs and how highly personal multivitamins are, it’s difficult to recommend just one that works for everyone. 

We talked to a nutritional psychiatrist, a pharmacist, and a registered dietitian to help narrow down what’s available and hone in on the top multivitamins for women at different stages of their lives. At the end of this guide, we go into more detail about who needs a multivitamin and how to choose the right one

Here are the best women’s multivitamins of 2021:

Best women’s multivitamin overall

Best women's multivitamins Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women 4x3

The Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women is an all-in-one choice packed with the essential daily nutrients, probiotics, and enzymes to aid with digestion.

Pros: Vegetarian, gluten-free, contains probiotics, optimal for women during reproductive years, no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners

Cons: Pills are large, must take four daily

The thing that makes Garden of Life’s women’s multivitamin rise above other brands is that it’s void of synthetic materials and contains the ingredients they claim — which you may think is a given, but a recent analysis by Consumer Labs found that 44% of multivitamins it tested didn’t actually contain the amounts of nutrients the label claimed. 

Not only is the formula certified organic by the USDA, but Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code for Women covers all the basics: The capsule is gluten-free and the formula includes folate, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, D3, E, and B-Complex, and the raw formula also reinforces breast health.

A vegetarian vitamin, Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women is made without binders or fillers and contains probiotics and enzymes to help with digestion. Vitamin Code for Women met all purity standards set forth by Labdoor and was given a B score. 

The two drawbacks of this multivitamin are that each pill is quite large, about the size of a mini binder clip, and you have to take four daily. So those who have trouble swallowing big pills should probably opt for another supplement.

Best for active women

Best women's multivitamins Optimum Nutrition Opti Women 4x3

Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women offers a tailored distribution of nutrients designed for a more active lifestyle.

Pros: Provides immune support, includes 23 essential nutrients and 17 specialty minerals

Cons: Not for people under 18 years of age

Regular physical activity can affect your vitamin and mineral levels — which in turn can affect your athletic performance.

Physically-active women, especially those who do aerobic exercises like running and biking, are more likely to be iron deficient, according to researchers at Cornell University. What’s more, a 2017 study from the National Institutes of Health found that some women (in general, not just athletes) are deficient in folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, three vital pathways used during exercise. If your B vitamins and folate levels, in particular, aren’t up to par, it can impair your athletic performance and increase fatigue, risk of injury, and ability to concentrate, the study adds. Your doctor can test your levels, and if he or she confirms yours are low, you would be well-served to opt for a multivitamin designed for an active lifestyle.

The Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women multivitamin is formulated to help women with an avid fitness routine score enough nutrients to keep their active bodies healthy and strong. It’s curated with 100% DV of B vitamins, folate, and iron. In addition, the multivitamin provides 17 other specialized minerals, one being calcium phosphate which aids in vitamin D absorption to keep muscles healthy

Though Consumer Labs has not reviewed this specific multivitamin, when they surveyed more than 9,700 respondents on “overall customer satisfaction” in February 2020, Optimum Nutrition was named a top-rated vitamin and supplement brand. The Opti-Women formula did receive a C grade from Labdoor, namely because the amount of vitamins in the tested formula differed from the label. However, the biggest discrepancies (vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc slightly lower than the label; vitamin D and B-complex slightly higher) aren’t at harmful levels, Véronique Taché, MD, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UC Davis Health, confirmed during medical review. Plus, the formula met all purity standards.

Best on a budget

Best women's multivitamins Nature Made Multi for Her 4x3

Nature Made Multi for Her gives a boost of calcium, folic acid, iron, and vitamin D for less than $30.

Pros: Great value, 23 nutrients, contains the daily recommended amount of iron and calcium, great folic acid count for prenatal or pregnant women, more vitamins per bottle; only need to take one tablet daily

Cons: Some may find pills to be large and may be hard to swallow for some

Vitamins can be expensive. If you’re looking to cut the cost without eliminating the essential nutrients, Nature Made Multi for Her comes at a great value: 300 capsules for less than $30.

The multivitamin contains all the major nutrients vital to women’s health (23 total), including the daily recommended amounts of iron, calcium, and D3. It also contains more than 100% of the Daily Value (DV) of folic acid, a key nutrient for those who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. C. Michael White, PharmD, department head of University of Connecticut’s pharmacy practice and dietary supplement researcher, told Insider adequate levels of folate help to reduce the risk of having neural tube defects as babies are growing. 

While this multivitamin is catered toward females, it still contains sufficient vitamin levels essential for both men and women. Uma Naidoo, MD, director of Nutritional & Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital told Insider the 13 essential vitamins, including A, B, C, and D, play an important role in the body and are essential for healthy vision, skin, and bones for both men and women.

This multivitamin met all Labdoor’s purity standards, but inconsistencies in the formula earned it a C grade overall. The biggest formula-to-label discrepancies include slightly less vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as slightly more vitamin B-6, folic acid, and vitamin D3, but still within safe ingesting levels, Dr. Taché confirmed. Though this is its worst offense, nutritional value and safety outweigh this satisfactory rank, making it a top pick still.

Best vegan

Best women's multivitamins Ritual Essential for Women 4x3

Ritual Essential for Women is vegan, gluten, and major-allergen-free, focusing on brain health, bone health, blood-building, and antioxidant support.

Pros: Vegan, subscription model with free shipping for easy refills, free of gluten and major allergens, no artificial colorants or synthetic fillers, good for brain and bone health, infused with mint for freshness 

Cons: Not found in stores

Because people who follow a vegan diet don’t eat animal products, they are usually deficient in key nutrients abundantly found in meat, dairy, and seafood. A 2016 study in the Journal of Osteopathic Association found vegans are often deficient in vitamin B12, iron, calcium, vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Ritual Essential for Women is completely vegan and outlines a visible supply chain of ingredients so you know what you’re intaking. Ritual’s brand mission is to “bring foundational health into focus,” and its supplements are designed to boost brain and bone health, promote red blood cell formation, and provide antioxidant support with vitamin E

Ritual’s vitamins are vegan, gluten-free, and allergen-free. Ritual also operates on a unique direct-to-door subscription model, automatically sending a fresh bottle to you each month so you’ll never run out.

Vegan multivitamins tend to include plant-based ingredients, like calcium. While some calcium supplements are oyster-shell based, Ritual uses vegan-certified ingredients, like vitamin D, to rid worries of consuming a multivitamin using shellfish in the manufacturing process.

If you aren’t vegan but like the convenience of a multivitamin that will be automatically refilled and delivered, you can certainly take Ritual’s vegan multivitamin, but you should opt for their water-soluble option if you don’t have a specific deficiency. Dr. Naidoo told Insider that if you take a fat-soluble vitamin and are already getting sufficient amounts of those nutrients from your diet, your body will store the excess in your liver and fatty tissue which can accumulate to toxic levels. With a water-soluble vitamin, though, the excess is just excreted through urine. Ritual features both options to help fill gaps in your diet and support nutrient levels.

Though Ritual was not yet tested by Consumer Labs, it’s USP-verified, confirming that it contains what it lists on the label, contains safe nutrient levels, is void of harmful substances like heavy metals and pesticides, and can be broken down and released into the body as intended.

Best for women over 40

Best women's multivitamins Garden of Life women's multi 40 plus 4x3

Garden of Life myKind Organic Women’s 40+ Multi is specially formulated to address the changing nutritional needs of women as they age, with 16 nutrients at levels greater than 100% DV.

Pros:  Certified USDA organic, vegan, gluten-free, contains 16 nutrients over the 100% Daily Value (DV)

Cons: Pills are large

Though not a hard-and-fast number, when females hit 40, their body and hormones typically begin to change as they are maturing past childbearing years into perimenopause and menopause. Because of this, Dr. Naidoo says you may need less folate and iron, and more: 

  • Calcium: This helps to prevent and slow bone loss
  • Vitamin D: This is essential for bone and skin health
  • Vitamin B12: This is key for brain health
  • More water: This is important as kidneys tend to become less efficient in detoxifying the body

The Garden of Life myKind Organic Women’s 40+ Multi is our top pick due to its precise amount of nutrients of concern for middle-aged women. And, it’s the only brand on the market that is dual-certified as both USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, meeting purity standards and void of genetic engineering in the manufacturing process. Though pricier than other options, the vitamin is optimal for middle-aged women and provides an extra boost to a balanced diet.

Garden of Life’s formulation is made exclusively from whole foods, which may lower rates of heart disease, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

Though this multivitamin has not yet been tested by Consumer Labs or Labdoor, myKind is one of Consumer Labs’ approved brands based on product quality, appropriateness of dosage, formulation, and value. 

Who should consider a multivitamin

Generally, people who are pregnant, underweight, elderly, who don’t get enough sun exposure, or who have a chronic medical condition [like heart disease, certain cancers, and individuals who had bypass surgery] should consider taking a multivitamin, Uma Naidoo, MD, director of Nutritional & Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital told Insider. Those who follow a stricter diet, too, like vegans and vegetarians, should take special caution; low intake of B vitamins, as well as iron and possibly zinc, will likely lead to a deficiency.

If you know or you’re wondering whether you fall into the category of nutritional deficiency, it’s important to get your levels checked by your doctor. Though others may not need one, Dr. Naidoo advised reviewing your daily nutrition with your doctor to see if you need a multivitamin as well.

A daily multivitamin may holistically bring benefits, but Garden-Robinson notes there can be risks with oversupplementation. She and Dr. Naidoo said excess calcium may increase the risk for urinary stone formation in some people, while oversupplementation of vitamin A may promote birth defects and liver damage. An abundance of vitamin C can cause cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. That said, be sure to check out the DV for guidance on how much of each nutrient you daily need.

What to look for & other FAQs

If you’re wondering what to look for in a multivitamin and how to shop for one, check out our very detailed multivitamin FAQ page.

Check out our other vitamin guides

Best women's multivitamins - slide image 4x3
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‘Business Insider’ has simplified its name. Now we’re just ‘Insider’!

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Hello, everyone!

I wanted to let you know that we’re more fully integrating “Business Insider” with our broader publication “Insider.” In the process, we’re shortening Business Insider’s name to Insider.

As you can see, we’ve already changed this at the top of the page. 

Beyond what you see, what does this mean?

First, it doesn’t mean that we’re less committed to our business and tech journalism. On the contrary, we’re going to continue to expand our business and tech coverage over the next few years, in addition to investing in other areas.

It just means that we’ll refer to our company and publication as “Insider,” instead of “Business Insider” or “BI.” Our site will present Business Insider as the business section of Insider. The default email addresses of our journalists and team-members will change to “@insider.com,” though the “@businessinsider.com” and all other aliases will continue to work. We will continue to use the Business Insider name in some places – some social media feeds, international editions, and shows and emails, for example – but the broader publication will be called Insider.

Why are we doing this?

In short, because “Insider” is a shorter and simpler name – and because we believe we can better serve you and achieve our long-term vision with a single name.

Many of you already call us “Insider.” It’s a great fit for our broader plans, which extend beyond business journalism. It’s simple. It’s easy to say and type. It’s broad and flexible. Most importantly, it fully encompasses the breadth, depth, and scale of what we want to become.

In the next few years, Insider will also become even less of a traditional “one size fits all” publication and more of a next-generation digital journalism service, with different feeds and stories for different people. For business and tech executives, the “Insider feed” will be heavy on business and tech stories. For entertainment fans, it will include a lot of entertainment stories. And so on.

If the name Insider had been available when we launched 14 years ago as a New York-focused tech blog, we would have started with Insider. But it wasn’t. So we launched as Silicon Alley Insider. Two years later, when our coverage and ambitions had broadened to include finance, markets, and other industries, we became Business Insider. Now, another decade later, we’re completing the transition to Insider.

Name changes can be awkward and confusing. They can also be sad. Friends told me for years that they missed “SAI” and “Alley Insider,” for example, and I, too, fondly remember those days. Some of you will likely continue to call us “Business Insider” or “BI” for a while. You are of course welcome to do that. 


We love the name Insider, and we know a lot of you love it, too. We know because we’ve been building “Insider” as a broader publication for five years. We have a passionate global audience of hundreds of millions of people who know us only as Insider. Now, with all of our resources and creativity behind it, we will continue to build Insider into one of the most loved and influential journalism brands in the world.

In case you want to know more, I’ve included a Q&A below. 

Thank you as ever for reading, watching, listening, and partnering with us. We would not be here without you.

Henry Blodget
CEO and Co-Founder


Why not continue to have two publications – Business Insider and Insider? It seems like that’s working fine.

Yes, it’s working well. But it’s also occasionally leading to confusion – such as questions about where one publication begins and the other ends, whether and how the publications are related, what the respective missions are, etc. By focusing our resources on one publication, we have more opportunity to make it truly great.

Other publishers have lots of publications. 

Yes! Some publishers have portfolios (Condé Nast, Vox). Some have one big publication (New York Times, Washington Post). And some have one big one and smaller specialty ones (such as BuzzFeed and Tasty). There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. Three years ago, for several reasons, we concluded that the “one big publication” approach would be best for us. We believe the digital medium is well-suited to this approach, as companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, The New York Times, and others make clear. 
Does this mean business journalism is becoming less important to us?

No! Our editorial strategy is the same. We will keep investing heavily in our business, tech, and other “Business Insider” sections. These topics are extremely important for our audience and clients, and we’re still in the early stages of developing them. In fact, a large percentage of the editorial hiring we’re planning for the next few years will be in tech, finance, and other business verticals.

What should I tell people who love Business Insider but haven’t heard of Insider?

Tell them we’ve changed Business Insider’s name to Insider! It’s the same great publication, now with a shorter and more convenient name. It’s also now a publication in which they can now find an even broader range of stories they might love. (There’s more to life than business.) Also tell them they can call us whatever they want, as long as they read and watch and partner with us. 😉 

What will change?

Most instances of “Business Insider” and the “Business Insider” logo will become “Insider.” Our default email addresses will change to @insider.com. Our app will be called Insider. Our subscribers will subscribe to Insider, even if they continue to read primarily business, tech, and other “Business Insider” stories. The names of our syndicated feeds may change. The watermark on most of our videos will become “Insider.” We will continue to use the Business Insider name in some instances, such as on some social feeds and focused publications and shows like Business Insider Today. Some of our international editions will also remain Business Insider. Our company’s legal name will remain “Insider, Inc.,” but we’ll refer to ourselves as Insider.

What about our home pages?

The current Business Insider home page will remain the same: A hand-curated selection of stories for our business audience. The Insider.com home page, meanwhile, will reflect the full scope of our coverage. Eventually, it will also begin to reflect our product and technology vision: More innovative and dynamic, a special Insider experience for each of us. 

When will we make these changes?

We’ll make most of them in the early part of this year. They’ll be rolling, not all at once. Some tech changes, such as the combination of separate instances of our publishing system, Viking, may take longer.

Will we still use the businessinsider.com URL? 

Yes! Most of our Business Insider verticals will remain on businessinsider.com, as will our Business section home page. We will likely continue to migrate non-business verticals to insider.com, the way we did with Sports last year. Our site will incorporate both URLs, the same way it currently does.

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How Lufthansa Cargo will ship up to 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses a day

  • Lufthansa Cargo recently upgraded its Chicago O’Hare facility to be able to handle a large amount of pharmaceutical shipments.
  • The various Covid-19 vaccines all have special cold storage requirements, which Lufthansa Cargo is equipped to handle.
  • The cargo industry has already been overwhelmed this year by how many people shopping from home, leading to shipping surges and late packages.
  • There will likely be a fight for space between vaccines, Amazon packages, furniture, cars, and other cargo.
  • We went inside to see how the team is getting ready to ship up to 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses a day.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcipt of the video.

Narrator: Cargo planes like this MD-11 will soon be transporting the most anticipated vaccine of the 21st century. Prior to the coronavirus, Lufthansa Cargo invested $5 million to upgrade its facility at Chicago O’Hare International Airport to handle a lot more pharmaceutical cargo — 200 tons a day, to be exact. So when pharma companies began to develop the coronavirus vaccine, Lufthansa was in a fortuitous position. Vaccine manufacturers reached out to the company, which has just 19 planes in its cargo fleet, to help distribute millions of vaccines in record time.

It’s a product everyone on Earth needs as quickly as possible, but distributing the various vaccines to the entire world is going to be a massive undertaking. It will require solving huge logistical challenges. The different vaccines need to be kept at various cold temperatures, transported to isolated and hard-to-reach areas, and fit on different-sized planes.

David Zimmer: Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen with the vaccine. There was an estimation that we probably need approximately 8,000 freighter flights to globally distribute this vaccine. We don’t have that many aircraft.

Narrator: Prior to the pandemic, 50% of all cargo shipments were transported on passenger aircraft in the same luggage hold as our suitcases. But that all changed in March.

Zimmer: Boom. Now you have no passenger aircraft. So now everything’s going on the freighters.

Narrator: That’s David. He and his team took us behind the scenes at Lufthansa’s cargo facility to see how it’s preparing to move vaccines through this nearly 110,000-square-foot terminal that runs around the clock. It’s all done by a crew of over 200 highly qualified personnel, who can load two freighter planes full of 112 tons of cargo every day.

Zimmer: Through the facility, we can probably transport anywhere from 2 to 10 million vaccines every day. We do expect that once the vaccine is ready, that a lot of it will come through this facility.

Narrator: Not many cargo facilities have the massive cooling infrastructure required to handle large shipments of COVID vaccines.

Benno Forster: If you have a vaccine or something which got too high of a temperature or too cold of a temperature, it might not be good for the patient anymore.

Narrator: Benno works for DB Schenker, a logistics company that specializes in transporting pharmaceuticals with strict temperature controls, and is partnering with Lufthansa to ship the vaccines.

Forster: In the pharma industry, as you can see all over the place, it says 2 to 8 degrees. That’s the typical way you ship pharma. So the biggest challenge is to keep that product at this defined temperature from the moment we pick it up to the moment we deliver it.

Narrator: But Lufthansa Cargo is equipped to take on the challenge.

Zimmer: Before COVID happened, we made a huge investment here, and it’s really, it’s old-school stuff. Giant freezers and fridges that are connected and monitored. We have all these airlines asking us, “Can we use your warehouse?” Because we happen to have the infrastructure ready for COVID.

Narrator: Lufthansa’s $5 million investment resulted in two new rooms. The first one, called PPH, is for items to be stored at 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

Amra Bukva: We are here in the PPH room, pharma room, which stands for perishable passive high temperature, 15 to 25. This is the place where we store the shipments coming in from all over the world, until delivered.

Narrator: The PPH room can store all sorts of things, like flowers, stem cells, and live fish. Its 15-to-25 temperature range is designed so nothing gets too hot or too cold. But that’s not the only specialized room Lufthansa has.

Bukva: Welcome to our freezer room, which is setting minus 18 Celsius degrees. It’s suitable for the frozen goods, so usually we have smaller packages, like this one.

Narrator: Small to medium boxes, like those, can be packed with your regular old ice packs or dry ice to keep the products inside fresh or cool. But with dry ice, there are restrictions on how much of it you can load onto a plane.

Forster: You’re very limited on a passenger plane, because the dry ice will take the oxygen out of the air. So if we have too much dry ice here and we are standing all around here after a certain time, we will not be able to breathe.

Narrator: For pharmaceuticals that require even cooler temperatures, pharma and cargo companies use nitroglycerin, which could be especially vital for Pfizer’s vaccine, since it will need to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, or minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bukva: Nobody can set minus 94. So those are canisters filled up with nitroglycerin, and the vaccine is put inside.

Narrator: The vaccines you’ve heard about all have different temperature needs. While Pfizer’s needs to be stored at those subarctic temperatures, Moderna’s vaccine needs to be frozen at negative 20 degrees Celsius if it spends more than 30 days in refrigerated storage. AstraZeneca’s can be stored at the same temperature as a home fridge for up to six months.

Forster: The big challenge will be the minus 70, minus 80 Celsius. Airlines and freight forwarders have to invest in mobile coolers, because you will not build a cooler like this for minus 70 degrees. Because if you think about it, you need PPE material to go into it. I couldn’t go like this into minus 70 degrees.

Narrator: The good thing is Pfizer has already created its own container that uses dry ice to keep its vaccine cool for at least 10 days. Other vaccines that don’t require such low temperatures, like Moderna’s, can use already-existing solutions, like these Envirotainers.

Stephen Lindsay: The battery charge on here is 100%. The set temperature on this is minus 20.

Narrator: These Envirotainers, specially designed for transporting pharmaceuticals, can keep everything inside at temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius. They even have their own power supply, enabling them to operate without being plugged in for 10 to 15 hours, which allows them to withstand long flights.

Lindsay: There’s cords here that plug right into the outlet center in the containers there. When we have these containers here, they still need to be maintained as far as their temperature is concerned, because they run on a charge. They won’t stay long in the facility, but they have a home to sit into until it’s time for them to go.

Narrator: But in the event of flight cancellations, delays, or shipments to remote locations, battery-operated containers can pose a risk.

Bukva: You cannot have nothing except airplane engines running inside. They don’t want your phone on. So can you imagine how it would be if you have 10, 15 containers plugged in? That’s impossible.

Narrator: The Lufthansa facility does have one more way of keeping things cold.

Ricardo Lopez: This is where all the ULDs, or the pallets that come off the aircraft, they get stored in here.

Zimmer: This is my favorite part of the warehouse. I call it Bumblebee. As you can see, it is a little bit like a vending machine. Basically a giant storage system.

Narrator: Using this 30-year-old giant-vending-machine-like device, Lufthansa is able to store pallets in three levels of stacked rooms with garage-door-like openings. 18 of the rooms are temperature controlled, and each can store two full pallets of pharmaceuticals.

Zimmer: The only thing that’s been in this warehouse longer than this machine is this machine right here. [laughter]

Lindsay: Still running, running strong, no problem.

Narrator: When it’s time to retrieve a shipment, an operator will have Bumblebee go right to the appropriate door, retrieve the pallet, and load it onto a transporter that will take it directly to the plane. Some of the pharma cargo may find its way onto pallets like this. Specially trained operations managers put these together based on weight and volume distribution, all while trying to maximize the space available on the plane.

Lindsay: The more we maximize, the more extra we can take on the flight there.

Zimmer: It’s really just, it’s a game. So good builders are Tetris players. They have very good spatial vision.

Narrator: If a pallet like this is going on the MD-11, the plane we saw on our visit, it can’t just be cube-shaped.

Zimmer: The contour is built to the shape of the aircraft. So this is a main-deck position. We want to maximize space, so that’s why you see that curvature here.

Lopez: Cargo that’s loaded in there cannot go outside those boundaries, because otherwise it’ll damage the aircraft. And there’s a distance of two inches that it’s got to be away from that wall in order to keep it in a safely controlled distance.

Narrator: Yep, every pallet has to be built around where it will be on the plane and what shape the interior takes at that position. While the front offers more height, the tail does not.

Lopez: All right, let’s take you up to the MD-11. We’re going up to the cockpit right now.

Husmira: Please watch your steps. Walk carefully, as this space is tight between the pallets.

Lopez: So, as you can see up here on the aircraft, it’s pretty much a skeleton. And it’s very thin walls that you have out here. It’s just like a cardboard. And that’s all that’s protecting the aircraft. So you don’t want weight, because as soon as you put more weight on an aircraft, you lose cargo.

Pharma is going to be transported on our ULDs. These locks are what holds the pallet from moving back and forward and also upward positions. The only difference between cargo and pharma is you have your temperature restrictions. You would just notify the crew and tell them to put the whole main deck at that temperature, or the lowered holds, which will be the forward hold in front of the aircraft downstairs, he can set that temperature as well.

Narrator: Ops agents like Ricky have to get everything right within the confines of the plane, weight limitations, and weather conditions.

Lopez: These white plastic — as you can see, it’s different from this other one. This is just clear plastic. This is regular cargo, and these are temperature-controlled ULDs. And we put this white plastic here as a protective covering. So it can reflect the sun or anything. That’ll keep it to the temperature that it’s needed while it waits outside.

Zimmer: When it’s heavy rain, snow, sleet, all that stuff accumulates on the cargo. When you move that into the aircraft, that drips into the avionics compartment. It can happen on an aircraft that the avionics compartment just goes blank. The entire aircraft is dark. That is a huge risk. So when that happens, our ops team, they have to basically make sure there’s no water anywhere. That aircraft sits there until the next day, until everything’s dry, until everything’s inspected and it can fly.

Narrator: And all this has to happen within a very limited time frame.

Lopez: We have a ground time of two hours and a half to offload the aircraft and load it. That’s as much time that they give us. That’s for a full turnaround.

Narrator: If cargo is not loaded perfectly, then shipments could be delayed, someone could get hurt, or pharmaceuticals on the aircraft could be deemed unusable.

Zimmer: If the aircraft is delayed until 7 in the morning, you got to stay until 7 in the morning.

Lopez: We, as operations, we’re the final check that we have to prevent anything from happening.

Narrator: While Lufthansa has nine 777s that can carry 103,000 kilograms, its other cargo aircraft, the MD-11 seen here, can carry only 90% of that, or about 93,000 kilograms. And it was never meant to carry cargo in the first place.

Zimmer: The MD-11 was originally built as a passenger aircraft. We converted ours to freighters. We have three MD-11s left in our fleet. We were supposed to no longer have them. They’re old aircraft. They’re very nice, very beautiful, but very old aircraft. They’re also very difficult to manage from an operational point of view.

Lopez: They should have been phased out already by the end of the year, but they’re keeping them a little longer because of the demand that we have. The main difference from this, the 777 and this, this aircraft has three engines, and it’s got one in the back, and that’s one of our critical points. This aircraft is so tail-heavy that we have to have extra precaution on not tipping it, because if you have too much weight in the back this aircraft will go up, and those wheels will come down.

Zimmer: The MD-11 is like playing Tetris. If the four of us standing here on an empty aircraft walk to the back of the aircraft, that airplane tilts, and you can no longer fly that aircraft. That’s an AOG, aircraft on ground.

Narrator: While the crew has to worry about the MD-11 popping a wheelie, the process is much easier with Lufthansa’s 777s.

Lopez: A 777 only has two engines, and they’re located in the middle. So it’s very hard for it to tip. So safety related, the 777’s a lot better, fuel efficient than the MD-11.

Zimmer: A 777 aircraft, which is the largest aircraft we have that is a freighter aircraft, commercial freighter aircraft, holds approximately 100 tons. So in this facility we could run two full freighter aircraft every day, coming in with pharmaceuticals and delivering them.

Narrator: And while the Lufthansa facility is ready to handle 224 tons on two 777s a day, that still might not be enough planes.

Zimmer: There was an estimation that we’d probably need approximately 8,000 freighter flights.

Narrator: That’s 8,000 freighters carrying only the vaccine. But remember, these flights also normally get loaded with shipments like furniture, pets, cars, and all sorts of other cargo. And this is all happening as we enter a holiday season in a year that has already put massive strain on the air-cargo industry.

Zimmer: It is going to be a huge congestion. My understanding is there’s going to be a huge competition for space. So if Amazon pays more than the United States government for the space on the aircraft, then, you know, they’re selling it to Amazon.

Narrator: But passengers are flying less because of COVID-19. So why not just load up all those passenger planes with vaccines?

Zimmer: You can’t really convert an aircraft like that. I can’t go, boom, now it’s a freighter aircraft. The biggest problem with that is the door. So, you can’t, you look around here. You can’t fit that through a passenger door.

Narrator: The increase in cargo shipments has presented its own challenges for Lufthansa.

Zimmer: Suddenly everybody needs qualified people who can work on freighters. Everybody here at the airport is trying to poach our people. Our biggest challenge in the middle of this pandemic is suddenly all the other competitors want our people, and we have limited resources to train new staff. So you really, your Steves that has been here for 42 years and your Husmiras and all these people that are qualified and know what they’re doing, they’re all being approached by everybody else, ’cause everybody needs them for COVID and for freight.

Narrator: At the same time, Lufthansa Cargo had to implement social distancing, mandatory masks, and temperature checks in its facility.

Zimmer: We’re an essential business, obviously. I always say, you know, try moving freight on a Zoom call. It doesn’t really work, right? So we have to make sure that our people stay healthy.

Narrator: Distance, travel times, and the urgency of the vaccine will add even more complexity to this already-complicated process.

Zimmer: You need a lot of space, but only for a few days, and then you don’t need it anymore.

Forster: Especially when you go to Africa. When you go to remote areas, it might take more than 10 hours to be there.

Narrator: And while that’s a large-scale problem to solve, there are some micro issues that need to be addressed closer to home.

Zimmer: We’re getting electrical forklifts to handle the pharmaceuticals. If you’re in the room with the pharmaceuticals, you don’t want to be using a propane forklift for too long, because it can be a contaminant.

Lindsay: These are all the adjustments that we have to make in order to make everything work. And a lot of things we’re learning as we’re going.

Bukva: We will definitely do everything possible to accommodate, because this is huge.

Forster: If you do pharma or vaccine, you know that there is a patient behind. So that automatically gives you a sense of, you know, even more responsibility to make sure that, not to say that the other freight is not important, but, you know, this is something which we obviously have to be monitoring any minute, because if it goes bad, it can cost the life of a human being.

Bukva: It gives you a big sense of responsibility. We putting Band-Aid on the world.

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