Del Brown Approved!

The ingredient-scrutiniser, Del Brown has a passion for natural & organic, chemical free skincare. Researching ingredients and talking with the manufacturers. "Free YOUR skin now!" with skincare free from petrochemicals, sulphates, parabens, phthalates, glycols, PEGs, DEAs, mineral oil, synthetic polymers, synthetic fragrance or colours. All personally researched, tried, tested and Del Brown Approved!

Nova Scotia Fisherman Soap

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Nova Scotia Fisherman Seabuckthorn and Shea Soap – 136g (£5.95)

I was very excited when I discovered this brand a few months ago and have been looking forward to trying it out. Hand made in Nova Scotia, quite hard to find in shops and fairly new to the UK being a Canadian based company. I’ve started with one of their bars of soap.

Nova Scotia Fisherman use Sea Kelp in all their products.  Sea Kelp (Fucus Vesiculosus) is more familiarly known to us as bladderwrack sea weed, is highly nutritious and renowned for its detoxifying, anti-oxidant and anti inflammatory properties.

Olive, Coconut and Palm Oils are used as the base for this soap.  Palm Oil sourced from organic sustainable palm oil production I hasten to add.  We then see Castor Oil infused with Nova Scotia Kelp.  Moisturising Shea Butter, then to add some skin benefitting and fragrant ingredients of sweet orange, tangerine, ginger, lemongrass and Sea buckthorn oil.  The ingredients are cold processed and all natural.

But don’t expect this naturally yellowish looking soap to smell greatly of orange or citrus.  It has an unusual fragrance that is difficult to pin down.  At times whilst using it in the shower, I will admit, it did have a slight smell of the sea about it, which quickly dissipated.  That’ll be the sea kelp then!

As you’d expect from all the Del Brown Approved products, this soap doesn’t contain any artificial colours, fragrances or synthetic preservatives.  It does however leave your skin looking, feeling and smelling clean and fresh.  I’m a big fan!

Now time for a Del Brown rant!  some of you will be trained to dismiss the word “soap”, as you associate it with supermarket brands you were brought up with.  If this is you, then I encourage you to compare the ingredients in your usual shopping trolley brand with this or any other soap or cleansing bar featured on Del Brown Approved!.  You will see there is no comparison.  The quality and integrity of the ingredients in all the bars of soap I feature, are comparable with any quality, high end natural shower gel or body wash on the market.  Bars of soap are long lasting, versatile and easy to use and contain some very expensive, quality essential oils and other natural ingredients with skin benefiting properties. So next time your favourite shower gel runs out, consider one of these.

Ingredients: Olea Europea (Olive) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Aqua (Water), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil infused with Fucus Vesiculosus (Nova Scotia Kelp)*, Glycine Soja (Soy) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Stearic Acid, Citrus Reticulata Blanco Var Tangerina (Tangerine) Oil, Zingiber Officinalis (Ginger) Oil, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemongrass) Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)


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Daily face wash from Balance Me

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Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash – 125ml (£16.00)

My first review for the ladies at Balance Me, a British brand that many of you will already be familiar with, founded by sisters in 2005.

This face wash is both effortless and a genuine pleasure to use.  The tube is big, easy and practical to use.  The cleanser has a bright white, silky texture that slides effortlessly over the face.  It has a clean, fresh grapefruit mix fragrance thanks to the Frankincense, Grapefruit and Palma Rosa essential oils.  Its mild foaming action with tiny bubbles, works well as a facial hair shampoo for us men with beards.

It didn’t inflame or aggravate my broken capillaries or leave me red faced.  It rinses off easily with no need for a cloth, which I’ve never been a fan of myself and left my face feeling clean and comfortable.  No tight or stripped feeling with this one and suitable for ‘normal to combination skin’

The biggest ingredients and base for this cleanser (after water), is Decyl glucoside and Lauryl glucoside, which are plant-derived mild surfactants, often found used in baby products or in products for use on sensitive skins.  They have then used Rice Bran Oil, vegetable derived glycerin and still very high up in the list, Moringa Oil.  Other natural plant and oil ingredients found include Spruce Knot extract, Aloe Vera, Petitgrain, Ylang Ylang and Roman Chamomile.

This particular cleanser boasts 98.8% natural origin ingredients and having checked out the ingredients myself, are also fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Aqua, Decyl glucoside, Lauryl glucoside, Oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, Glycerin, Xanthan gum, Modified potato starch, Moringa oliefera (moringa) oil, Citric acid, Abies picea (spruce knot) extract, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf extract***, Citrus paradisi (grapefruit)*, Boswellia carteri (frankincense)*, Citrus aurantium amara (petitgrain)*, Cymbopogon martini (palma rosa)*, Cananga odorata (ylang ylang)*, Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile)*, Benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate, Dehydroacetic acid, Limonene**, Linalool**, Geraniol**

*Natural pure essential oil **Naturally occurring in essential oils ***Certified organic ingredient

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Hi del,Im male just turned 30,have combination/sensitive skin,was just wondering,I use the Elemis sensitive cleanser and toner ATM,I cleanse twice then I use the Elemis cleansing balm just to make sure my skin is really clean then I tone and moisturise,is this correct?thank you for your help!

I’m concerned you are cleaning your skin far too often.  I wouldn’t advise washing your skin twice with your face wash, then following it with a cleansing balm.  Sensitive skin require delicate attention.  Your body produces natural oils on the skin which is healthy and normal. You don’t want to strip the skin of oil, as you may cause your sebaceous glands to go into over drive and produce more oil to compensate.

I would suggest you pull back on the frequency of your cleansing. Use a gentle face wash, be that a liquid gel wash, cream or balm.  Then apply your moisturiser of choice.  I’d suggest using a gentle moisturiser that is suitable for combination/sensitive skin.

I personally would not suggest you need use a toner.  Toners are designed to rebalance the pH levels of your skin, following application of product and water, which may have upset the balance.  It is true that within hours, the body would naturally rebalance the pH levels of the skin on its own.  My issue with a lot of toners on the market is, that as well as rebalancing the pH levels, they often also contain synthetic colourings, perfumes and  preservatives, which themselves can cause upset and irritation to the skin.  Toners also claim to close and refine open pores.  My tip, splash your face with cold water after you’ve cleansed the skin.  This will naturally help to close open pores, reduce redness and help calm the skin.

So, I recommend using a gentle cleanser which doesn’t upset the pH level too radically in the first place, then follow with a good natural moisturiser.  Ultimately trying to achieve a balanced equilibrium on the skin, which will allow the skin to settle, remaining calm and clear.

Moss & Myrtle Artisan Soap

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Robin Skincare Moss & Myrtle Artisan Soap – 100g (£5.50)

This bar of Moss & Myrtle Artisan Soap from Robin Skincare (formally Woadworks Botanicals) is all about the ingredients.  This gentle bar is particularly good for sensitive and spot prone skin, especially across the shoulders, back and chest.

The base and biggest ingredients are Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Castor Oil.  So already we’re all about moisturising the skin 100% naturally, no synthetics here.  Then we see some really interesting additions.  Carrageen Irish Moss, which is a species of nutrient rich red algae.  Spirulina powder, which you may be familiar with as a green dietary supplement.  Organic Lemongrass oil and finally two types of myrtle; Bog Myrtle and Organic Lemon MyrtleMyrtle, for those not sure, is a type of flowering plant.  Lemon Myrtle in particular is known for its antimicrobial properties.

The soap quickly builds to a good lather of tiny white bubbles, which cleans the skin without stripping.  It has a faint fresh lemon fragrance, thanks to the organic lemongrass oil.  After just a few uses the pieces of moss and myrtle come to the surface.  Softened and rehydrated by your shower water, these not uncomfortable additions provide the benefit of a mild exfoliation whilst washing.

Now I’m a big fan of bars of soaps, not the traditional (Non Del Brown Approved!) bars of supermarket soap we’re all familiar with.  But soaps made from 100% good natural ingredients.  If you’re follicly challenged (bald) like me, then bars of soaps are particularly practical as they not only clean the entire body, but can also be used on the head (no need for shampoo here!).

If you’ve previously dismissed soap because you consider them all as being drying and not good for the skin, then think again!  If you know your ingredients and do your research well, you can find bars of soap just like this, with better quality skin care ingredients than expensive shower gels.

Ingredients: Sodium Olivate (extra virgin olive fruit) oil, sodium cocoate (Coconut) oil, Butyrosperum parkii (shea nut) Butter, Theobroma Cacoa (Cocoa) seed butter, Sodium Castorate (Castor) seed oil, Aqua, Dried Chondrus Crisps (Carrageen Irish Moss), Spirulina maximus (Spirulina) powder, Essential Oils; Cymbopogon Schoenathus (Organic Lemongrass) Oil, Myrica Gayle (Bog Myrtle)*, Blackhousia citriodora (organic lemon myrtle)* *May contain Citral, Citranellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, which are natural constituents of essential oils.!cold-processed-soaps/productsstackergallery4g25=4

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Calendula Repair Balm from Robin Skincare

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Robin Skincare Calendula Repair Balm – 50g (£12.95)

So if you’re already familiar with using a facial serum, oil or balm then this one is definitely worth giving some attention.  My first review for Robin Skincare (formally Woadworks Botanicals), a small artisan, natural skincare company based in Cumbria.

Calendula oil has long been regarded for its anti-inflammatory and anti-irritation properties.  Making this balm particularly popular for people with sensitive skin.  This balm also contains Chamomile which is another plant revered for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Truly a jack-of-all-trades, the applications for this balm are endless.  Here are a few suggestions.

Chapped lips – use it as a lip salve to rehydrate, moisturiser and sooth sore chapped lips without the use of petrochemicals.

Dry knees and elbows – apply a small amount onto dry skin where hydration is required.

Facial balm – instead or in addition to your moisturiser, apply a tiny amount into the palm of your hands, warm together then apply to the face.  The calendula will help calm irritation and the Olive oil, bees wax and shea butter will moisturise dehydrated skin.

Hand and Foot Balm – scoop out a small amount into the hands and massage into dry feet.  Pop your socks back on and allow the balm to soak into your feet over night.

The balm has near zero fragrance and a natural cream colour.  The solid waxy texture quickly melts with the warmth of your skin.  The ingredients are, as you’d expect, all natural using no colourings, fragrances, preservatives or unnecessary fillers.

The biggest ingredient in the pot is Olive Oil infused with Calendula petals and Bees WaxShea Butter, Evening Primrose oil and Chamomile oil.  That’s it!  So if your skin needs moisture or gently calming down, I’d highly recommend giving this a try.

Ingredients: Olea europea oil infused with Calendula officialis petals; Cera alba; Butyrospermum parkii butter, Oenothera biennis oil, Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower oil* May contain limonene which is a natural constituent of the essential oil.!balms-&-salves

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Bodhi & Birch Rosemary Chi Himalayan Detox Salt Scrub

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Bodhi & Birch Rosemary Chi Himalayan Detox Salt Scrub – 250g (£35.00)

This is my first review of a product from Bodhi and Birch.  A young English brand using all natural ingredients and made in England.  Attracted by the ingredients and being in the market for a really gritty body scrub, I thought I’d give this Rosemary Chi Himalayan Detox Salt Scrub a whirl.

When you unscrew the heavy 250g black glass jar, you are first hit with the aroma of Ayurvedic Indian oils, like from a newly lit censer.  Sink your fingers into the pink/peach coloured salts and scoop out a small amount.  Then massage onto damp skin (not the face).

My tip and stay with me for this, is to do this process whilst stood in the bath with the hot clean water around your ankles. Oh and don’t put any bath product into the water.  Trust me!

The first thing that impressed me was that the salts didn’t dissolve away. The grittiness remained and whilst massaging, the salts released more of their natural aroma and essential oils.  Dry elbows and knees drink up the oils like a sponge.  Dull looking skin on arms and legs become glossy and rehydrated.  Tired aching rough feet become smooth, energised relaxed and sweet scented.

Then, just when you’d usually rinse the salts down the drain, instead, lower yourself into the bath water and watch.  The salts instantly dissolve releasing their essential oils into your bath water.  Take time to relax in this most indulgent and opulent bathing experience.  Your entire bathroom fills with the heady aroma of mixed essential oils.  A treat for the mind, body and soul.  If you think I’m over exaggerating, I encourage you to try this for yourself.

When your much deserved ‘me time’ is over, pat the skin dry.  Your skin will feel like you’ve slipped into a pair of silk pyjamas and socks.  Even your towel will become scented with the aroma of the oils and you’ll look forward to the next time you treat yourself to the Bodhi Salt Scrub again.

My ingredient purists among you will adore this little lot.  The biggest ingredient in the pot is Himalayan Salt Crystals, Organic Shea Butter, Grape Seed, Sweet Almond and Olive Oil.  Then we find Rosemary, Geranium, Cedar wood and Red Mandarin oils.  Where most other salt scrubs would have stopped, we then find Clary Sage Oil, Tea Tree, Galangal Root and Vetyver oil.  In short, not a single ‘dud’ ingredient in the entire pot.

To conclude.  So far, the ultimate ‘Rolls Royce’ of salt scrubs on Del Brown Approved! and proof that all salt scrubs are NOT created equal!

Ingredients: Sodium Chloride (Himalayan Salt Crystals), Butyrospermum Parkii (Organic Shea Nut) Butter, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca, (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Prunus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Squalane / Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Juniperus Virginiana (Virginian Cedarwood) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Red Mandarin) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium var. Amara (Petitgrain) Leaf Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf OIl, Alpina Officinalis (Galangal) Root OIl, Vetiveria Zizanoides (Vetyver) Root OIl, Citral*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool* *natural constituents of essential oils

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