Category: Bath & Skincare

ABC of lice – what they don’t teach you at school

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abc of liceLice. Just thinking about it makes your head itch. It’s even worse to receive a letter from school notifying parents that there is a suspected outbreak and that we should check for nits. We can do our best to prevent it, but it’s just one of those things we all have to face at one time or another. It’s also no-one’s fault and has nothing to do with cleanliness. It’s just unpleasant. I thought you only need to worry about lice when your kids are young because of the frequent head-to-head contact, but I presume that the trending head-to-head selfies are no help to the spread in older children either.

Some more good news is that you can get rid of lice and even protect your child against them using Controlice® products.* Since we are back to school, I thought it would be fun to do an ABC of lice so we can all be educated about what to do when your child starts to itch and scratch their head.

Aniseed: Controlice® Oil Spray is a non-chemical pesticide that consists of plant oils including aniseed. When head lice are already in the hair, the clinically proven Controlice® Oil Spray is one quick way to eliminate the little monsters.*

Bath: Bathing or using a regular shampoo will not prevent or eliminate head lice. In fact head lice are not an indicator of poor hygiene at all.

Comb: Combing is an essential part of detecting and treating a lice infestation. Combing during a treatment assists to remove the nits (eggs) and dead lice from the hair. You can check for lice using one of the Controlice® combs. The Controlice® Lice Buster Comb is designed for long, curly or thick hair. The Controlice® Triple Comb is ideal for short hair.

Dog: The dog and cat (or any other pets) are not to blame for lice. Head lice cannot survive on pet animals, they are only spread by close contact with another person and you cannot get them from the family pets.

Ear: Lice favour the area behind the ears where they usually lay their eggs, so remember to also check behind the ear when finding signs of an infestation.

Frequently asked questions: For answers to some of the frequently asked questions about head lice, click here.

Girls and boys get lice: Lice don’t discriminate on gender, age or even hair length. Girls who keep their long hair are not any more vulnerable to lice than boys with short hair. Cutting your children’s hair to get rid of lice is not necessary.

Hat: Head-to-head contact is a common way for lice to be passed on. This is why they spread easily among younger children whose play typically encourages transfer. This can be difficult to manage. Infestation can also occur through sharing hats, combs, clothing and towels, so we can at least teach youngsters not to share their personal belongings to curb the spread of head lice.

Infestation: A nasty word meaning that lice have set up home in your hair. After being hatched the female louse is ready to mate in 7 to 10 days and will start laying her nits in another 7 to 10 days. Therefore treatment should be repeated within seven days to prevent re-infestation by breaking the lice life cycle.

abc of liceLice: An adult louse (plural: lice) is a crawling insect about the size of a sesame seed. It has six legs and grasps the hair with claws. Lice are clear in colour when they hatch but turn reddish-brown once they start feeding on the blood of their hosts. Female lice lay small yellowish-white oval-shaped eggs called nits which are attached at angles to the sides of the hair shafts. They crawl quickly but do not hop, jump or fly. They normally don’t separate from their human hosts because if they do they die from starvation in approximately 24-48 hours. They spend their entire lives in human hair, dropping down to feed on blood from the scalp four or five times a day.

Mom: The person children go to when they need to fix anything, when lice become a problem or when they don’t feel well. Moms know how to make it all better, and aren’t grossed out by things as they are well prepared after years of nappy changes. Also known as Controlice® Supermoms.

Neck: Check the back of the neck as well as behind the ears for lice and nits. Often lice prefer to lay their eggs in these areas hence could be the first sign of an infestation.

Outbreak: If your child hasn’t already shown symptoms of having lice, you may receive a letter from school informing you of an outbreak. Lice outbreaks often occur during warmer seasons, especially when the children are at school. Since lice spread by head-to-head contact, outbreaks can happen quickly between classmates during play, sport or sharing clothing. The Controlice® Defence products can assist to repel head lice and avoid a new or re-infestation during a lice outbreak.

Pharmacy: Controlice® is available at most pharmacies and leading retail stores nationwide.

Rinse: Controlice® Head Rinse is a non-chemical pesticide lice treatment. The active ingredient in the Controlice® Head Rinse is Dimethicone. Dimethicone forms a wax-like layer around lice that blocks the part of the respiratory system of lice causing them to die(1,2) . Work the solution through dry hair using your fingers. Head rinse is colourless and odourless and requires an 8 hour application time.

Shampoo: If you hear that there is a head lice outbreak at your child’s school, or if you have managed to get rid of the little crawlers and don’t want them coming back, you can use the Controlice® Defence range daily. Controlice® Defence Shampoo and Controlice® Defence Spray can assist to put up a line of defence to stop head lice from moving in.*

Towels: To avoid the spread of lice, teach your child not to share their towels. When you suspect a lice infestation, wash and dry all bed linen and towels on high heat.

Video: Checking and removing head lice can be quite a long process, so try to turn it into a happy mom and child experience. Using tactics such as videos and games like “I-Spy” can assist to distract your child and keep them still while you check or remove head lice.

Wash: When an outbreak has been identified, treat all the affected family members, wash bed linens and towels. Also check coat collars, hoods, hats and scarves for lice and nits and wash them as well.

Ylang-ylang is one of the active ingredients found in the Controlice Oil Spray.

Did you learn anything new about lice? There will be a test you know! Only kidding, but it’s best to be prepared as our patience and family will be tested if we do have an infestation. Reassure your children that it’s not their (or their friend’s) fault that they have an itchy head. With a few treatments, it will be gone and they can go back to school and play with their friends again.

*For a diagnosis or if symptoms persist, consult a medical practitioner. Efficacy of support may vary between users. This medicine has not been evaluated by the Medicines Control Council. This medicine is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



  1. Heukelbach, J., Oliveira, F.A., Richter, J. and Häussinger, D., 2010. Dimeticone-based pediculicides: a physical approach to eradicate head lice.Open Dermatol J4, pp.77-81.
  2. Burgess, I.F., 2009. The mode of action of dimeticone 4% lotion against head lice, Pediculus capitis. BMC pharmacology9(1), p.3.



Top 6 scar management solutions from experts

How to best manage scars after injury or surgery By the time we reach adulthood, we all have suffered a scar or two. Some scars are more than skin deep. They act as a reminder of past events and may even make us feel self conscious. I got the scar between my eyebrows as a baby, the scar on my shin when I fell on climbing bars as a child, and my caesarean scar from my two kids. What scars do you own?

Why we get scars

When an injury to the skin occurs, the body acts as fast as possible to repair the affected area. Whether the injury was from a cut, burn or surgical incision, the body devotes its energy and resources to healing quickly rather than perfectly. As a result, there is an overproduction of collagen at the site of the wound which leads to scarring. There are a number of factors that affect how fast or well the area heals. Factors like skin colour, the immune system, age, extent of the damage, exposure to sunlight and family history, all play their role.

The good news is that scars usually fade over time, and while there is no product that can make a scar disappear entirely, there are various solutions which may improve the scar’s appearance.

Top 6 scar management solutions from experts

  • Massage. Cosmetic scientist, John Knowlton, recommends applying Bio-Oil to the scar with a massaging action. “The benefits of massage are to reduce scar sensitivity and to help the skin and nerves become tolerant of the normal forces of everyday living. This process of ‘desensitizing’ the scar can take up to 4 months and is best initiated as soon as the skin and repaired tissues have adequately healed.”
  • Taping. Plastic surgeon, Dr Nerina Wilkinson, advises her clients to manage their scars early on in the healing phase. “In my practice, every patient is instructed to tape his or her scar in conjunction with applying oils. By minimising the stresses placed on the scar, we can reduce the risk of pulling the scar apart which delays the healing time. When we tape, we are actually supporting the scar, which keeps the edges together and dampens down the scaring response.” The following steps should be followed for up to a year for best results.

Best 6 scar management solutions from experts

  • Avoid UV exposure. Dr Ladonna Davids says to stay out of the sun. “We know that UV radiation prolongs the healing process, and sun exposure can cause permanent pigmentation or hyperpigmentation which is difficult to treat. We therefore recommend that patients use a UV protection over their scars and if possible, avoid exposure to the sun.”
  • Eat right. Maintain a healthy diet rich in Vitamin C and zinc, which aids in reducing scar appearance.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated and regenerating properly. Avoid alcohol and caffeine which dehydrates the body and skin.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking reduces blood circulation resulting in less nutrients needed for repair, being delivered to the skin.

Your scars may not fade completely, but follow these solutions to get better results.

This is not a sponsored post. Content supplied by Bio-Oil.



Snookums has a new look

Snookums has a new look - The Mommy CityRecognise the before logo? Well it’s about to change to this. Looks great right? Yes, the trusted South African baby brand Snookums is having a revamp and you will still be able to find all their quality products in your favourite stores, just with a different look. They are still producing their extensive range of affordable baby products right here in Cape Town, like they have done for over 43 years. Their products cover most categories such as Baby Feeding, Baby Bathing, Baby Grooming, Baby Soothing, Baby Teething, Baby Potty Training, Baby Development, Baby Toys and Baby Safety and Health. They constantly strive to include new innovative baby products to the range to ensure they stay at the forefront of international parenting trends.

I wanted to find out more and so I asked David Botha, managing director of Advacare of which Snookums is one of their brands, how their proudly SA company produces local products but at an affordable price and he replied: “Our ultimate customers are small innocent babies, so at Snookums we never compromise on quality, because we take their safety and wellbeing very seriously. We continuously strive to offer parents quality value for money products.  We are proud of our customer service. If parents are not completely happy with their Snookums product they can contact us directly at We will do everything in our power to help them. Snookums is a proudly South African brand, rooted in Cape Town. We understand the challenges of South African parents. We will never be the cheapest, but our quality products are excellent value for money, backed by caring staff and customer service.”

Snookums is available in all specialty baby shops, most pharmacies and mass retail chains.

WIN a Snookums hamper worth over R1000 on my Facebook page. Entries close Thursday, 22 October at 2pm.

Win Snookums hamper with The Mommy City

Touch and So Much More

Johnsons So Much More - The Mommy CityThis post has been special to write, as I have had chance to go through my photos and relive many happy, and sometimes sad and anxious, experiences with my new family. These are a few of my more personal photos which capture mine and my husband’s bond with our children. Both Paige and Ethan were Cesarean births and I was able to hold them as soon as the pediatrician had done their checks. Even though I was slightly dazed by the drugs and the whole experience, the comfort of knowing that your child is safe and in your arms is all you focus on. I enjoyed my hospital stays and the help I received from the nurses whilst I recovered from my surgeries. I knew that this was my chance to rest as much as I could, learn as much as I could from the doctors and nurses, before having to go home with my little one. I was shown how to correctly hold my baby, how they should latch on my breast for feeding, and how to bath them for the first time. I got to have one-on-one time with them and to learn each other’s smell, heartbeat and touch. I was fortunate to have healthcare providers who understood the importance of bonding from day one. After watching this incredible video of Kate Ogg & Jamie’s Story, I really do believe in the power of touch.

Touch can at times also be overwhelming for both baby and parent. As a new parent you will learn to read your baby’s cues as to when they are over-stimulated and tired. If only they could read their parent’s cues as we also get tired and need time to recharge. With two children, I have found it more challenging to give both Paige and Ethan the individual attention they want without upsetting the other. That’s why it is important to make the most of the times you do have to bond with your baby and toddler, whether that’s during bathtime, nappy change, through massage, or at bedtime.

Bathtime is one of the best ways to calm, relax and enjoy time with your baby. This is also a time when dad can help and spend time bonding with their child. Set a calming mood by having low lighting, a warm room and preparing all the items you will need including baby top-to-toe wash, a soft towel and clothing. Johnson and Johnson have a library of articles and videos on how to bath your baby and show you that bathtime can be So Much More™. Once my children were big enough, I loved joining them in the bath and spend ages washing their hair, playing with the duckies, and counting toes.

Touch through massage is hugely beneficial for you and your child. Paige and I did a massage course when she was a baby and it’s easy to learn yourself with the help of Johnson and Johnson guides and video. Again, create a calming environment by keeping lighting low, the room warm and play soothing music. Warm baby oil or baby moisturising lotion between your hands and slowly massage the legs and feet, chest and arms, then back. Keep a nappy on for as long as you can to avoid any accidents and be sure to end off by wrapping your child warmly in a towel and give them lots of cuddles.

What experiences have you had that have proven the power of touch?

This is a sponsored post. The content and images are my own.

Summer sun skincare

Summer sun skin protection with The Mommy CityDo you remember the sun ever being this fierce growing up? I can remember staying out in the sun all day without much worry but now I have to cover up with sunscreen just for a quick walk around the block. Admittedly I’m not sun savy which irritates my husband to no end as he has had to put up with me after a few painful sunburns, and so now always checks I’ve got sunscreen on. I’m good with remembering about the kids, we have to be as 1) we owe it to them to protect their skin from damage and cancer and 2) dealing with a screaming sunburnt child is one of our worst fears. Last year I was invited to Dermalogica on Wembley for a face mapping skin analysis, and even though I knew I had some skin damage, it’s a little worse than I had thought. The Dermalogica consultant makes a thorough examination of your face and identifies your skin concerns and how to address them. My main concern is sun damage, particularly in my hair line and on the top of my ears. I didn’t know that I needed to work my face cream and sunscreen into my hairline and I always forget to protect my ears. Well, now I know and what to do about it, and you can also receive a complimentary face mapping at the Dermalogica concept stores at Wembley, V&A Waterfront or Rosebank.

Bio-Oil is a brilliant product for summer skincare and can be used on dehydrated skin, uneven skin tone, ageing skin, sun burn, scars and stretch marks. It helps to lock in moisture and supplements natural oils which can be stripped away by sun exposure, swimming, frequent bathing and air conditioning. Apply on your skin before using sunscreen or self-tanning, and at the end of the day add a few drops to your bath. Bio-Oil is good for mom and children, but not for use on babies under 2 years as their skin is still very sensitive.

Ethan has fortunately grown out of his eczema, and after using many different lotions and potions recommended to us by friends, his doctor, paediatrician and dermatologist, we found Cetaphil to be the best product for us. Not one product suits everyone with eczema, and you will need to find what works for your family, but in our experience the Cetaphil cream and wash helped lock in the moisture needed to protect Ethan’s delicate skin. For his sunscreen, I use Cetaphil Daylong Kids SPF50+ which offers very high protection for delicate skin and is fragrance and paraben free. I like it’s pump dispenser as it squirts out the recommended dosage amount, so not too little or not too much, with guidelines for age.

What summer skincare products work for you and your family?


Bio-Oil Marks of Change

Bio-Oil Marks of Change initiativeI have stretch marks. During my teens I got those pesky silver streaks on my hips and then on my stomach after my second pregnancy. Adolescents and pregnancy are two hugely transitional periods in a woman’s life and one of the consequences can be stretch marks. According to research provided by Bio-Oil, about 70% of girls and 40% of boys develop stretch marks during puberty and occur in 88% of pregnant women. There are many factors that play their part their formation, and there is no way to prevent them entirely, you can only lessen their appearance by moisturising and using oils such as Bio-Oil. You can reduce their appearance when used on stretch marks that are still new and red, but once they are silver, few treatments can remove them.

“Your body never goes back to how it was before, but I don’t think you expect it to because as a person you have also changed. It would feel very incongruent to have such a huge change happen internally and that not be reflected in some way.” Kirsten

Bio-Oil is focusing on changing the perception of stretch marks and for women to become proud of their bodies with the marks of change initiative. They commissioned Rob and Karin Schermbrucker to capture the marks of change of 14 teenage girls and women, and to learn more about their experiences and feelings about their bodies. From the photos, you feel a sense of contentment in these women and that their happiness goes beyond their physical appearance.

“I feel a real sense of responsibility because I’m a mom of two daughters now and I feel a responsibility in how they are raised, how they see the world and how they view themselves as women.” Kirsten

When I was pregnant with Paige, I consistently moisturised and used Bio-Oil as I really didn’t want stretch marks, and I didn’t get them. With Ethan though, I was not as dutiful in my application of creams and I guess my skin had already stretched with my first pregnancy, as I got stretch marks on my stomach. I also have my caesarean scar, so double whammy with the post-preggy body blues. My doctor kept reassuring me that “it was all for a good cause” and even though I would have preferred to keep my pre-baby stomach, I didn’t and that’s what comes with having children. It should not be something to be ashamed of, our bodies are incredible and to create and carry another person to term is a wonder of nature.

“The changes in my body are because of my children and I wouldn’t have them if it weren’t for them. I’d be happier if they weren’t there, but not if it meant my children weren’t there.” Lisa

Paige will be looking to me as a role model and I realise that if I hate my body, she will learn to hate hers too. I don’t want her to grow up with body issues, and even though I can’t protect her from the outside world and the influences of friends and the media, it is within my power to teach her to love herself in and out, by loving myself and my body.

Bio-Oil Marks of Change initiative

Behind the Scenes at Mungo Retail

Mungo Retail Quality Woven Home Ware Products - The Mommy CityOn my holiday to Knysna, I popped in at the Old Nick Village, situated on the N2 just outside Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. Here you will find Mungo Retail and the most exquisite woven home ware products all made locally in the area. This family run business was started by Master Weaver Stuart Holding who learnt the skills of weaving during his apprenticeship in the Weaving Mills of Yorkshire U.K. I was fortunate to see the ‘behind the scenes’ with daughter Tessa and learnt more about the art of weaving and the people behind Mungo. For over 35 years Stuart has been designing and weaving products that are tried and tested by his family and all have a story behind their design. The weave design plans are drawn by hand the old-fashioned way, and then samples are made in the Working Weaving Museum on antique 19th century Hattersley looms. The yarn is sourced in South Africa and from Tanzania, and is chosen for each product based on its durability, look and feel.

Mungo Retail Quality Woven Home Ware Products - The Mommy CityThe fabric is washed, checked for imperfections and then sent to CMT (cut, make and trim) to be sewn and pressed. The finished product is packaged and sold locally and internationally. Delivery is free in South Africa and if you live overseas, shipping costs apply. There really is a sense of family amongst the staff who are all employed from the local community. Due to demand, the business has expanded over the years and they have a boutique weavery near Plettenberg Bay where fabrics are woven on modern Dornier looms.

Mungo Retail Quality Woven Home Ware Products - The Mommy CityThey have an extensive range of home ware textiles and their baby range includes cellular, wool and organic cotton blankets and hooded towels. If you are ever in Plettenberg Bay, pop in at the Old Nick as the shop is exquisite. Have a read more about the people and history behind Mungo and take a look at their range of quality home ware online.