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!


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Glycerine based shaving soap with propolis and honey

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Simply Bee Shaving Soap – 125ml (13.50)

Being a man who chooses to wear his hair short, oppose to being bald, I shave my head regularly. As this is a weekly task and covers a substantial surface area, I invested in a quality shaving brush and have tried a variety of shaving soaps over the years.

The qualities of a really good shaving soap are the following; primarily lubrication! The soap needs to encourage the easy slide of a sharp blade, cleanly over the skin, without drag or irritation. Foam, the soap should foam up and stay foamy for as long as the shave is taking place. This enables one to clearly see the areas already shaved. Bonus qualities include ingredients that calm the skin, because we all know the shaving process can promote redness, irritation and even spots. So anti-inflammatory, soothing and healing properties are all good.

This hand made shaving soap from Simply Bee natural products ticks all the boxes. It is primarily a vegetable derived glycerine based soap made with coconut oil, castor oil and palm kernel oil with added bees wax, antimicrobial propolis and honey. No synthetics, no perfumes, no artificial colours or preservatives.

It comes in a clear plastic 125ml pot with screw lid, making it practical for use when travelling. Unscrew the lid and apply a damp shaving brush, whip up a lather of long lasting, honey fragranced bubbles that soften the skin, lubricate a blade and soothes the skin. pop the lid back on and the soap is hygienically sealed ready for next time. The effect is a clean smooth shave and soothed, irritation free, moisturised skin.

If you’re already a shaving brush and soap user, take a moment to read the ingredients in your current brand of shaving soap. If you find it full of unnecessary additives, fillers, artificial colours and perfumes, then it’s time to throw it away! If you struggle with shaving creams or gels, get through them too quickly or are left with skin irritation, consider this more natural alternative.

Ingredients: Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut Oil), Castor Oil, Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Elaeis Guineensis Kernel Oil, (Palm Kernel Oil), Sorbitan Oleate, Sorbitol, Aqua, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Propolis Cera (Propolis), Maltodextrin (Honey)

http://simplybeeswax.co.uk/collections/mens/products/shaving-soap

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A natural ‘chemical free’ deodorant spray from Crystal Spring

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Salt of the earth Natural Deodorant Unscented Spray – 100ml (£3.84)

So the topic today is deodorants and antiperspirants. Firstly lets clarify the difference. A deodorant is tasked with ensuring we don’t smell. The ingredients within the product are formulated to destroy odour-causing bacteria. An antiperspirant on the other hand is designed to prevent the skin from sweating. It does this by temporarily blocking the pours that allow sweat to pass through them.

Now, equipped with that information alone, I decided years ago that I didn’t like the idea a product preventing my body from performing naturally. So I stopped using antiperspirants all together. I don’t however want to smell, so if there is a natural way I can destroy or mask odour causing bacterial in my arm pits, then I’m all for it!

Two ingredients that are regarded as ‘danger’ signs on an underarm product are ‘Aluminum’ and ‘parabens’. But, I challenge you to find an underarm product that contains parabens, as I can’t find one! You will however find aluminum, as this synthetic man made ingredient, has proven to reduce perspiration. But, it is this synthetic version “Aluminium Chlorohydrate”, which has people concerned.

Now if like me you’ve experimented with ‘natural’ under arm products and have been mortified to discovered you’re ‘less than fresh’ by the end of the day, I encourage you to consider this offering from Crystal Spring. This Salt of the earth spray is an unscented natural deodorant. The ingredients are water, potassium alum, which I’ll come onto in a moment. Organic Aloe Vera leaf juice, two types of antibacterial Honeysuckle flower extract and finally p-Anisic Acid, which has antiseptic properties and is found naturally in Star Anise.  Also important to note that this doesn’t contain any alcohol, colors or perfumes.

The main ingredient to look at here is the potassium alum.  Now this ingredient is a naturally occurring mineral salt, typically found as encrustations on rocks in areas of weathering, putting my geography A-level to good use there! The properties of this ingredient are that it has a natural deodorant effect by inhibiting the growth of bacteria responsible for causing body odour. This natural source ingredient has been used in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for generations.

Happy with the ingredients, I put the product on test. Firstly I love the fact it is unscented. I literally hate (strong word there) the synthetic aroma of cheap underarm products, be they roll-on or body sprays.  It baffles me how people think they smell nice?  To my nose they are a cocktail of synthetic chemicals.

Applying to fresh out of the shower clean skin, the product acts, looks and feels like water. I sprayed five pumps onto each pit and allowed a few minutes for it to air dry and absorb into the skin before pulling on my t-shirt. Obviously, if you don’t allow this time, the product will just wipe off onto your clothes. Then I forgot all about it. 12 hours later and the most crucial conclusion, no body odour.

If you apply too much, the product will run down your body like water. Apply to little and you may find it doesn’t perform as well as you’d like. So perceiver and find the right application technique for yourself.  The short and long term benefits of using a natural deodorant such as this, far outweigh that of the cheap synthetic offerings from the supermarket.  The ingredients in this are far kinder to your skin and body.  Fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Aqua, Potassium AlumAloe Barbadensis Leaf JuiceLonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower ExtractLonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extractp-Anisic Acid (from star anise or Indian basil)

http://www.crystalspring.co.uk/products/natural-deodorants-crystal-deodorants/natural-deodorant-spray


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Warm Orange & Shea Soap from Wild Sage & Co

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Wild Sage & Co – Warm Orange & Shea Soap – 100g (3.95)

If you that think bars of soap are just for washing your hands, or associate the word ‘soap’ with the bright white, astringent, chemical filled bars that appear on your supermarket shelves, I encourage you to reconsider.  As I’ve said in previous reviews, soap made using natural ingredients such as olive oils, coconut oils, shea butter etc, provide some of the most gentlest and kindest ways to cleanse the skin.  It should always be ‘about the ingredients’, not the packaging, the marketing, how pretty it looks or smells.  It’s all about what ingredients are put in to benefit the skin and more importantly, what synthetic, chemical ingredients are kept out!

So let me introduce you to one of the good guys, the base and biggest ingredients in this bar of ‘Warm Orange and Shea‘ from Wild Sage & Co are Olive Oil, Coconut oil, Castor Oil and Sunflower Oil.  We then see Shea Butter for moisturising, Calendula Oil for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties and Sweet Orange Essential Oil for its warming fragrance.

Two particularly interesting ingredients are Benzoin Styrax oil, which is extracted from the Styrax Benzoin tree and is said to boost the skin’s elasticity, while calming redness, itchiness and irritation and Bixa Orellana (annatto) seed, which gives the bar its orange colour.

Add warm water and the bar quickly foams up providing cleansing, moisturising and soothing properties to the skin.  Rinse off to leave you feeling clean and comfortable.  I’ve also successfully used this bar to shave with, when combined with a shaving brush.

Ingredients: Olea europaea (Olive Oil), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Ricinus Communis (Castor Oil), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Oil), Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Calendula Oil), Benzoin Styrax (Essential Oil), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange Essential Oil), Bixa orellana (annatto) seed, Aqua (Water), Sodium Hydroxide

https://www.wild-sage.co.uk/products/warm-orange-shea


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Kale Enzymatic exfoliating cleanser from Nourish

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Nourish Treatment Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser – 50ml (£16.50)

My first product review from the British born and made skincare brand, Nourish.  This product; Kale Enzymatic exfoliating cleanser, was launched on the 1st September 2014 and is ultimately what I would describe as a face scrub.  The ingredients are so well chosen that you can also use the product as a mask and allow the properties of the ingredients to penetrate into the skin, before rinsing off.

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I’ve enjoyed researching the ingredients in this product as it has uncovered some fascinating findings. The main ingredients are Sweet Almond Seed Meal (meal being a coarsely ground grain). Then we find Lactobacillus, which is a bacteria, I hasten to add, a very good one! Just one of the benefits of this ingredient is that it is anti-inflammatory, great if like me your face is prone to becoming red and aggravated by harsh ingredients.  Another main ingredient is Punica granatum fruit ferment extract, which is extracted from Pomegranate. Then we find Kaolin, a natural clay and the feature ingredient being organic Kale, the superfood of the moment renowned for its high levels of vitamins A, C and K.  The list goes on to include Myrrh oil,  Rosa Canina Flower Oil and Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil.  An 81% organic formulation, using a cleaver botanical mix not commonly found in natural skincare products.

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The result is a slightly gritty, pale green coloured paste with a pleasant clean fragrance that is hard to identify. It doesn’t contain any foaming ingredients.  Apply a small amount to damp skin and massage onto the face, focusing your attention to problem areas, such as around the nose, forehead and chin.  You can leave the product on your skin whilst showering, then rinse off.  The effects are exfoliated, clean, fresh, brighter looking skin.

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It is described as suitable for all skin types, however, the coarse nature of any scrub may make it unsuitable for very sensitive skins. I would a advise against using any face scrub daily, instead use it as and when you feel your face is in need of a really deep down clean. Men will love using this as the packaging is gender neutral and it doesn’t have any sort of floral fragrance.  Use this scrub before shaving to open and clean out blocked pours, remove dead skin cells and prepare bristles ready for a clean cut.  Or use it as a post shave face mask to help calm and sooth the skin.

Ingredients: Aqua, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) seed meal*, Glycerine**, Lactobacillus/Punica granatum fruit ferment extract, Kaolin, Lactobacillus/Bulgaricus ferment filtrate, Algin, Argania spinosa kernel oil*, Griffonia simplicifolia seed extract, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil*, Hydrogenated jojoba oil, Cetaryl alcohol, Brassica oleracea acephala leaf extract*, Glyceryl caprylate, Levulinic acid, Sorbitol, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, Rosa canina flower oil*, Stearic acid, Illite, Palmitic acid, Pelargonium, graveolens flower oil*, Sodium levulinate, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder*, Xanthan gum, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice bran polyglyceryl stearate, Brassica oleracea acephala powder*, Olibanum oil, Commiphora myrrha oil, Glyceryl undecyllenate, Faex (yeast) extract, Leuconostoc/Radish root ferment filtrate, Sodium stearoyl lactylate, Ananas sativus (pineapple) fruit extract, Populus tremuloides bark extract, Lactobacillus ferment, Rosmarinus officinalis oil*, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

*Certified Organic. **Organic origin, Naturally present in essential oils.  81% organic ingredients

http://shop.nourishskinrange.com/KaleEnzymaticExfoliatingCleanser.html


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Lavender and Chamomile Soap from Second Nature

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Second Nature Lavender & Chamomile Soap – 120g (£4.25)

Hand made in Hertfordshire by Second Nature, specialising exclusively in making soaps using the finest natural ingredients.

Let me start by breaking down all the ingredients found in this bar.  The base of this soap is a mixture of three soap staples; extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and palm oil. Then we find an addition of Wheat Germ Oil, which in itself is a rich source of vitamins A, D and skin benefiting vitamin E. This soap has essential oils of Lavender and Chamomile which are both renowned for both their soothing and calming properties. The top of the bar is decorated with real lavender flowers, which adds a nice touch.

If your skin needs calming down, or you simply like the idea of washing with the aroma of real, not synthetic, Lavender, then this bar of soap would be well worth considering. As this bar contains a good amount of Lavandula Hybrida Oil with has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, if you suffer from spots particularly on the back, shoulders or chest, then I’d recommend giving this a try.

Ingredients: Sodium Olivate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Palm Kernelate**, Aqua, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Lavender Flowers, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Linalool*, Limonene*, Geraniol*.

**Sustainable palm oil from a RSPO certified supplier

http://www.secondnaturesoaps.co.uk/lavender-chamomile-handmade-soap