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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Friendly Soap Natural Velvety Lather Orange and Lavender Shaving Soap


Friendly Soap Orange and Lavender Shaving Soap – 95g (£2.49)

Attention all wet shavers!  Be that male or female shaving hair on chins, legs, top of your head or anywhere else for that matter.  What do you currently use to shave with in the way of cream or gel?  Have you looked at the ingredients to see what you’re putting on your skin?  The primary purpose of a shaving cream or gel is to provide lubrication to the blade whilst gliding over the skin.  So what if I suggested a bar of soap made with 100% natural ingredients, that foams up in your hand like most soaps, but that can also be used to shave with!

Those clever gents at Friendly Soaps have developed a shaving soap made with coconut, olive and castor oil, together with clay.  The combination of these ingredients provide natural lather and a lubricating film on the skin, essential to a clean shave.


Holding the bar over the sink, I added a little water and quickly whipped up a luxurious foam which was perfect to shave with.  The shaving brush part is optional as for ladies shaving your legs, just work the bar directly on the skin, no brush required.


The base and biggest ingredients in this bar are coconut oil and olive oil followed by water, castor oil and clay.  Then we see the essential oils of lavender and orange and finally aloe vera leaf juice.  Now don’t expect the bar to smell overly strong of either orange or lavender, instead the bar has a fairly neutral fresh aroma.

Shaving soaps are traditionally round, heavily fragrances usually with some sort of synthetic woody aroma and quite expensive.  One popular high street brand sells a 100g bar for £12.00 and contains both synthetic perfume and colourings.  This on the other hand retails for £2.49 for 95g and is 100% synthetic free.


As the ingredients are so pure, I didn’t react, develop a shaving rash or spots.  My skin was also left feeling smooth and moisturised, not dry or irritated.  I took this bar whilst travelling and used it both as a both a regular soap and a shaving soap. Incidental if only used to shave with, I can see this bar lasting you months!  Fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Sodium cocoate, Sodium olivate, Aqua, Sodium castorate, Kaolin (clay), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) essential oil contains linalool, limonene, geraniol, Citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) essential oil contains limonene, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice

Click here for my ‘Friendly Soap’ reviews



Your essential guide to Olive Oil soap


Having just returned from a week in sunny Rhodes, I wandered the streets of Old Rhodes Town and the white walled village of Lindos, where tourists are encouraged to part with their hard earned cash on all manner of souvenir.  Fake branded clothing, model statues, carved wooden phallus bottle openers, ceramic pots, leather goods and even genuine fur coats were all on offer.

But I had my sight set on something a little more authentic.  I was on the hunt for locally produced Greek products, in particular, Greek olive oil soaps.  Now, those clever marketing companies had already spotted this potential money maker.  We stopped off at several souvenirs shops and one or two olive oil factories.  There on the shelves, sat right next to the olive oil were bars of soap.  Now in Lindos, where donkeys transport tourists up to see the acropolis for 5 euro a ride, they had bars of soaps with little plastic donkeys on them.  Other bars were brightly coloured and had pictures of lavender, vanilla or strawberry on them.

So the first thing I checked were the ingredients.  It is within the ingredients section of any product that the truth is found.  The old saying of ‘never judge a book by its cover’ has never been more appropriate.

Now, if you’re in the market for an Olive Oil soap and you’re stood in a country that grows more organic olive trees than you’ve ever seen, you’d hope this would be an easy task?  If you were stood in an olive oil factory where they produce their own oil right there on site, you’d hope the bars of soap they sell hadn’t been mass produced in another country and shipped over just for the tourists.

Upon closer inspection I was bitterly disappointed: Butylene Glycol, Parfum, Sorbitol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, colourings CI 19140.  Just a handful of ingredients I regularly spotted.  All chemicals added that your skin doesn’t want or need.  Synthetic perfumes and colourings, all rubbish!


So, when you’re next looking at Olive Oil soaps, here’s my Del Brown Approved essential guide as to what to look for.

The first ingredient in the list has the largest amount in the product, with the smallest being the last.   So look out for these three: Olive Oil, Saponified Olive Oil or Sodium Olivate (which is saponified olive oil)

So what does saponified mean?  In order to make the liquid olive oil into a solid, it has to be mixed with water and an alkali (saponify).  In soap making, ‘Lye’ (sodium hydroxide) is used.  Once the soap making process is complete, there is usually little or no Lye remaining in the final product.  So what if you see the words ‘Sodium Olivate’?  Well that is the INCI (The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) abbreviation for Olive Oil mixed with lye.


On the subject of ‘sodium olivate’, its handy to know that;

olivate is Olive Oil

palmate is Palm oil

almondate is Almond oil

cocoate is Coconut oil

What other ingredients are Del Brown Approved within a bar of olive oil soap?  Well Water (Aqua) of course, then you’ll also commonly find salt (sodium chloride) which acts as a natural preservative and acidity regulator.  You may also find Citric Acid which is a natural preservative found in citrus fruit.


Now other than those few ingredients, what more do you need in an olive oil soap?  Well if you’re standing in Rhodes, you might want to look for the words ‘product of’ or ‘made in’ Greece.  If you’re after a soap with a nice smell, you might look for added essential oils which will appear in Latin usually.  If it just says ‘parfum’ then be cautious as it could be synthetic.  So they’ve just added some artificial fragrance to the mix to make it smell.  Also, your skin never needs colourings, artificial or natural, so avoid bars with CI numbers.  CI numbers are similar to ‘E’ numbers in food.  If the bar is glowing bright colours of any sort, your radar should immediately avoid it!


Now that’s the essential guide over and done with.  Next time you’re browsing what appears to be a good quality locally produced natural product, always check the ingredients!

To conclude this topic, let me tell you that after a week of searching out the best soaps to purchase, averaging around €2.50-€3.00 per bar.  We went into a large supermarket and I was amazed to find Papoutsanis 125g bars of olive oil soap with the purest ingredients I’d found all week and to top it off, for just €0.45 each, that works out at just 32p per bar!

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If you’re in any doubt, don’t forget to check out the ‘soap’ category on my website.

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True Organic of Sweden Under Cover Agent Deodorant


True Organic Of Sweden – Undercover Agent Deodorant – 50ml (£10.00)

My second review for ‘True Organic of Sweden‘, who offer a range of top quality products all containing excellent natural ingredients and perform superbly.  This ‘Undercover agent‘ roll-on deodorant is no exception.

Now on the topic of deodorants, the ingredient you want to search out and avoid is synthetic ‘Aluminium Chlorohydrate’.  Not to be confused with ‘Potassium Alum’.  Potassium Alum is a natural salt that prevents the growth of odour causing bacteria, making it an ideal ingredient to use in an under arm deodorant product.  There’s an interesting website I’ve found which goes into lots of detail about the difference between natural potassium alum and synthetic aluminium.


True Organic of Sweden have developed this aluminium and alcohol-free deodorant using 99% natural ingredients.  This base and biggest ingredient in this deodorant is Water, potassium alum, organic triethyl citrate and organic vegetable based glycerine.  Being organic we know it is naturally sourced and not synthetically created.  Then we see the only non-natural ingredient in the product, bicarbonate of soda.  Natural thickener Xanthan Gum and organic Glyceryl Caprylate are next, with parabens replaced with natural preservatives Sodium Levulinate and Sodium Anisate.  Finally we see calming organic Aniba Roseaodora Wood essential oil and antiseptic organic Cupressus Sempervirens leaf oil.


Those last two ingredients Rosewood and Cypress oil, help provide this roll-on with one of the nicest fragrances I have found in a natural deodorant product.  It smells fresh and clean and quite unlike any other product or fragrance, totally unisex, no floral notes here.


No special application method required, shake before use and apply to clean, dry skin.  For maximum benefit, allow a moment to dry before pulling on clothes.  Another thing I love about this product is the 100% recyclable glass bottle, especially if you’re concerned about the chemicals found in plastic containers.

I’ve been using this daily for the past month and love it.  Its compact size, ease of use, fresh fragrance, lack of nasty chemicals and clean packaging.  Highly recommended and fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Aqua, Potassium Alum, Triethyl Citrate*, Glycerine*, Sodium Bicarbonate, Xanthan gum, Glyceryl Caprylate*, Sodium Levulinate*, Sodium Anisate*,  Aniba roseaodora wood oil*, Cupressus sempervirens leaf oil*, Aroma from essential oils: Linalol, Limonen, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate

*Certified organic ingredients

Undercover Agent

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Friendly Soap Peppermint and Poppy Seed Soap


Friendly Soap Peppermint and Poppy Seed Soap – 95g (£1.99)

When we are fortunate enough to get some hot weather in the UK or if you’re going away on holiday, what better way to cleanse your skin than in a cool shower with this Peppermint and Poppy Seed Soap from Friendly Soaps.


There are just six 100% natural ingredients that go in the making of this soap.  The base ingredients are olive oil, coconut oil, water and shea butter.  Then we see peppermint essential oil and poppy seeds.  If you’re familiar with Friendly Soaps you’ll know they choose not to use any Palm Oil, artificial colourings or perfumes in any of their soaps.IMG_6991

The Peppermint essential oil leaves your skin clean, fresh and cool whilst the poppy seeds provide gentle exfoliation, removing dead skin, grime, suntan cream and leaving both your skin and your shower room with the fresh aroma of peppermint.


The therapeutic properties of peppermint oil include being used as an analgesic, antiseptic, astringent, decongestant and a stimulant.

Ingredients: Sodium olivate, Sodium cocoate, Aqua, Butyrospermum parkii butter, Mentha piperita (peppermint) essential oil contains limonene, Papaver somniferum (poppy) seed

Check out my other ‘Friendly Soap’ reviews