Head Lice Bugging You? It Earnestly Bugs Me.

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Please note, I am not selling or promoting any specific products for profit – I only recommend what I use because I am sure of it’s quality and effectiveness. Also the recipe included is not certified to treat head lice, it only helps with prevention.

When I was in the 7th grade I got head lice so bad that my mother (bless her heart) cut my long hair above my ears with kitchen shears. I cried, I remember holding my ponytail recently separated from my body through blurry sobs. In 7th grade I knew not to share hats, brushes, sweaters or lay next to friends for worry I may get head lice – but I got it anyway. So I showed up one day after all the dreaded “Head Lice Memos” went home, with a boy’s haircut (we went to a pro once I was all cleaned up from lice). I was mortified, I had such bad head lice that I still cringe at the nick names I received from the whole experience, ‘lice queen, lice hotel,’ and other creative names I do not care to mention. My 7th grade self is still petrified of getting head lice, and now that I have a long haired daughter starting school – I have worries, naturally.

Before my 7th grade experience, I got head lice for the first time, in Kindy; I remember sitting to get my bum length hair french braided and sprayed before school. I can still taste the mist of that choking aerosol spray we used to help prevent any louse wanting to get to my scalp. Of course, I ended up getting lice and my first experience with that nasty, stinky shampoo and painful nit catching comb. God bless my mother, she had 4 girls and head lice was quite an event in our house.

I know when I was in school there was a lot of myth and misinformation about lice, and today I still hear the same stuff. Here are some facts, head lice are:

  • 1 of the top 3 reasons kids miss school
  • Extremely common! Between 6-12 million U.S. kids 3-11 years old get head lice each year
  • Not dangerous, but are contagious (and SO annoying)
  • NOT signs of unwashed or unclean hair – they thrive in clean hair
  • Unable to jump, fly or swim
  • Unable to live on your pets
  • Unable to live in your environment (couch, carpet, furniture, pillow, sheets, mattress, car, movie theater, airplane)

Now, I also know that there are A TON of sprays and solutions out there that promise prevention and they are CRAZY expensive so I am going to share my recipe that is super easy and effective, but also will not break the bank. I will also share the prevention tips I follow and so far so good while my littles have attended PreK, VBS and play dates!

Lice Prevention Spray

Recipe:

  • 4 oz Distilled Water
  • 1 tsp alcohol free witch hazel
  • 8 drops dōTERRA Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 5 drops dōTERRA Lavender EO
  • 5 drops dōTERRA Rosemary EO (optional)
  • 4 oz glass spray bottle (I recycled this one from Urban Oreganics Rose Water Spray)
  • Shake well and spray on wet or dry hair before and after styling.
  • I use this daily with my kiddos, lice can attach to any hair that is 2 inches or longer so if you have young lads with longer hair they can use the spray too!

    Witch hazel – Since head lice do not like clean hair, my kids wash their hair every two/three days, a very small amount of witch hazel can help reduce oil build up

    Tea Tree Essential Oil (melaleuca) – anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties make it effective for preventing lice, treating dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. It can clear the follicles and allow your hair to breathe; also moisturizes the scalp while preventing buildup of excess oil on the scalp.

    Lavender Essential Oil – has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which can prevent head lice and improve overall scalp health. Lavender is also known for properties that can generate the growth of cells and reduce stress.

    Rosemary Essential Oil – can counter hair loss by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp, which, in turn, promotes hair growth. Its high nutritional value and anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent ingredient for nourishing the hair follicles and soothing the scalp. It is also known to aid in lice prevention.

    Other oils that are good for preventing head lice – eucalyptus, peppermint and neem.

    Lice Prevention Tips:

    • Weekly lice checks, not sure what to look for? Google human lice/louse/nits
      Wash hair infrequently
      Style longer hair in braids or ponytails
      Use above spray daily before going to school/activities
      Encourage children not to share combs, brushes, hats or shirts
      Keep on the look out for frequent scalp itchiness or complaining of tickling feeling on scalp/hair

    Good luck mamas! If your kiddos end up getting head lice take a moment, breathe and do not panic. There are several ways to treat, kill and clean lice from heads and home. It can be quite a task but worth the work of preventing re-infestation; some natural and OTC treatments may not work as some are resistant; if necessary feel free to call and see your child’s practitioner.

    Please know, and I speak from experience, that parental reaction can have long lasting effects and staying calm, reassuring and supporting to your child who has lice is worth it’s weight in gold.

    You’ve got this!

    x. earnest mom

    Earnest Mom Gets UnPapered!

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    A while back, earnest dad and I had chatted a bit about using unpaper towels. Never really getting around to it and feeling quite intimidated by the change, I finally bit the bullet and reached out to the sweet Sarah over at Marley’s Monsters to get our hot hands on some high quality unpaper towels.  There were some great fabrics to choose from, since I figured paper towels are used to clean up messes it was best to get a fabric or two that looked nice together and hid stains if needed. I loved the flower print and Sarah helped me to pick the perfect complementary color to go with it.  We are a family of four and we ordered 24 unpaper towels, we have not been disappointed at all!

    Here they are compared to the Honest Company’s”select a size” paper towels and then a shot of the thickness of the flannel.

    As I mentioned above, we ordered 24 unpaper towels and they are the perfect amount for our family of four. They are great for wiping up spills, wash up great and are super soft for wiping sticky fingers and faces. To store clean ones, we roll them together and hang from our paper towel roll, well, now our unpaper towel roll. The flannel sheets naturally cling to each other which make them roll off perfectly when we pull them off the roll. I use the same unpaper towel through the day when I am drying my hands and then with supper (as I am home all day with earnest babe). We store dirty unpaper towels in an Urban Oreganics muslin bag in our broom closet. I wash a load of unpaper towels about every two days and use our regular natural detergent on a quick wash and tumble dry for about twenty five minutes (they dry quick!).  So far zero stains too!

    Unpaper towels have been an easy transition for this earnest family and I am wishing everyday that I had not felt so intimidated and bought these bad boys sooner! Marley’s Monsters is such great quality and Sarah is SO sweet I would recommend anything from her shop. If you are curious about unpaper towels, try them today and use earnest mom’s 15% discount listed below, which is good until March 20th, 2016. Sarah also offers cloth wipes (which we use and love), nursing pads (also use and love!) and many other great handmade items. Enjoy!

    x.

    earnest mom.

    Marley’s Monsters 15% code: EARNESTMOM15

    Visit Marley’s here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/marleysmonsters?ref=s2-header-shopname

    Expires March 20, 2016

    I Screen. You Screen. An Earnest look at Sunscreen – plus an earnest give away!

    With the summer’s sunny season quickly approaching I have been doing some earnest research on sun safety and our skin.  According to the American Cancer Society, people who get a lot of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays are at greater risk for skin cancer – sunlight being a main source of UV rays.  If you have been burned once in your life, you may be at a greater risk of developing skin cancer; since our children are dependent on us – lets keep their skin safe.  Of course, this does not mean stay out of the sun completely but to follow basic sun safety.  Seek the shade on sunny days (you will still get UV exposure even in the shade), wear sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), cool long layers, and a hat.

    When it comes to sunscreen, most of us buy one of the major brands like the one with the puppy pulling on the girls bathing suit or the one that smells like sunny vacations – hot and tropical, but I would earnestly encourage that we turn that bottle over and read what we are slopping on our skin in the heat of the day.  Remember, our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs all chemicals it comes into contact with instantly – which is directly absorbed into to our bloodstream.

    The majority of big brand labels (non-mineral or organic based) sunscreen’s active UV filter ingredients are Oxybenzone, which acts like estrogen in the body; alters sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women; Rentinyl Acetate, a synthetic vitamin A ingredient – the FDA has raised a concern that daily skin application of vitamin A creams may contribute to excessive vitamin A intake for pregnant women and other populations; Octinoxate which creates hormone-like activity in the reproductive system, and linked to thyroid and behavioral alterations in animal studies.  These ingredients are among only some of the concerning ingredients (others are parabens and fragrances) that have been proven to attribute not only to hormone disruption, but have been found to be linked to cancer and skin allergies.  So – whoa, earnest information overload I know, and if you are interested in learning more I urge to you to do some of your own research, start with the Environmental Working Groups website article The Trouble With Sunscreen Chemicals, and from there check out their other links that are helpful and informative.

    Okay, so now what?  Well there are sunscreens out there that are mineral based, which on the whole are much more safer for you than the ingredients already listed. When shopping for a safer sunscreen use the following criteria:

    1. Stay away from ALL aerosol spray screens – the inhalation factor raises too many concerns.
    2. Natural does not always mean safe – check ingredients and avoid the ones listed above.
    3. Stay with mineral based – look for the following ingredients Titanium DioxideZinc Oxide or Mexoryl SX.
    4. Avoid SPF higher than 50, there has been little evidence of the increased protection once the SPF has reached 50. (According the EWG – High-SPF products may give people a false sense of security, tempt them to stay in the sun too long, suppress sunburns but upping the risk of other kinds of skin damage. The FDA is considering limiting SPF claims to 50+, as is done in other countries.)
    5. NO tanning oils – the offer minimal sun protection and placing oil on your skin only magnifies the harmful rays we are trying to protect ourselves from.

    If you are not in the mood for looking and researching all ingredients here are some of my favorite, low toxicity exposure sunscreens that I love (and will also be giving away).  For the earnest kiddos, I like BabyGanics, not only is it mineral based but is also friendly on the checkbook.  BabyGanics offers 2 cream based sunscreens (one in a tube, another in non-aerosol, pump spray form) both go on nicely and are fragrance free for sensitive skin, water resistant (80 minutes), tear free, hypoallergenic, and have NO PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles.  BabyGanics can be found at Target, Babies R Us and other big box stores that have natural or organic sections.  For the whole earnest family I like The Honest Company‘s Sunscreen Lotion.  It is a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, it is also a bit higher in cost.  If you are already a subscription holder you can get it at a discounted rate, and can also be found at Target stores.  This sunscreen is hypoallergenic, non-Nano, mineral-based, biodegradable, reef-friendly, water resistant (80 minutes)  and pH balanced.

    For my everyday facial lotion, I am sure to use a face cream that contains SPF 20, I use UrbanOreganics Green Tea facial moisturizer (you can find my review of the item here).  This cream contains no harsh chemicals and leaves your skin feeling soft and well moisturized, without feeling greasy. It is thick, but not heavy, and will fully absorb into your skin in a matter of minutes. Perfect for all skin types. SPF is from Zinc Oxide and the cream is vegan, organic and contains non GMO ingredients.

    Earnest followers, get out and enjoy the sun, its vitamin D, its light and its warmth – but let’s be safe and choose mineral based coverage in addition to covering up when we can. Have fun in the sun!

    To Enter To Win Sweepstakes:

    Please share your sun safety tips in the comments below (one entry per person) to enter to win an earnest sun safe prize pack that will include my favorite sunscreens listed in this post (UrbanOreganics SPF 20 facial cream, The Honest Company SPF 30 Sunscreen lotion and BabyGanics SPF 50 mineral based sunscreen lotion – valued at over $50.00). Earn extra entries by sharing on Facebook/Twitter and come back and comment “shared” in the comments section.  The earnest giveaway closes 5-31-15 and is open to residents of Canada and the USA. The winner will be drawn at random and notified on 6-1-15.  **Participants must 18 years of age or older.

    x.

    earnest mom.

    Earnest Tip:  SPF cannot “add up” – if you use SPF 15 facial cream, then apply SPF 30 suncreen, the protection factor is 30 – it does not add up to 45.  This is a common consumer mistake so lets spread the word and be sun safe.

    Think globally. Act locally. An earnest review of Urban Oreganics all natural organic products. 

    As an earnest mom – I try to be mindful of my household and it’s health – I do my best to do things as naturally as possible. For instance, in celebration of Earth Day today, the earnest household will not be turning on the television nor the lights. In general however, we try to eat only organic, use natural based cleaners, we make our own laundry detergents and I’m even one of them earnest cloth diapering moms – but I also take my skin care very seriously. It’s the only skin I’ve got!  I try to steer clear of toxins in make ups and face creams/cleansers and even use simple vinegar/baking soda for hair care. Did you know that everything we put on our skin gets absorbed and actually goes into our bloodstream?! Think of all those chemicals listed on that cold cream sitting in the cupboard – needles to say, I was in need of a good facial cleanser and cream.  

    While poking about online looking for an earnest skin company for my dilemma, I found Urban Oreganics (https://www.etsy.com/shop/UrbanOreganics?ref=s2-header-shopname) and decided to try it out. Then, I earnestly feel in love. I’ve been using cleansing grains and facial cream (with SPF 20), I can be earnest and say both are wonderful! Best thing is – I know AND can pronounce every item listed in the ingredients. I’ve gotten complements on how “glowy” my skin looks, and I was even told I looked fresh faced. 

    The cleansing grains smell like yummy oatmeal (gluten free of course) and my skins feels clean and soft afterward. The facial cream (I got unscented but you can choose from their selection of natural scents), goes on with no greasy or sticky feel – the best part is it feels refreshing on my face. I feel like I’m getting salon quality cleanings in my very own earnest home – with zero toxins!  



    I must insist you try them out!  https://www.etsy.com/shop/UrbanOreganics?ref=s2-header-shopname  you will find face creams, masks, cleansers, toner, full body/hair care and mama-baby sections as well. PLUS, they are all hand made in Oregon and packaged with love. Not only will you feel good with natural products for yourself, but you will actually be supporting this Oregon mama making the skin care world less toxic one Urban Oreganic at a time. 

    This Earth Day – I earnestly say, let’s act locally, starting with the care of our skin! Use this special earnest mom blog code to receive 20% off your entire order today! 

    EM200 (This code is redeemable until 4-30-15) 

    x

    earnest mom

    About Urban Oreganics:

    Urban Oreganics handcrafts the highest quality bath & beauty products from natural, sustainable, organic, and vegan ingredients in Portland, OR. Their handmade creations are lovingly fashioned in small batches and tested on friends and family, never on animals. https://www.etsy.com/shop/UrbanOreganics/policy