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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Cioccolatina Natural Handmade Argan and Rooibos Soap

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Shea Butter Cottage Cioccolatina Argan and Rooibos Soap – 100g (£4.50)

I was excited to discover ‘Shea Butter Cottage‘ via Twitter, attracted by their African black liquid soap (review of that coming soon).  This range of natural skincare products has an African influence, specialising in products containing lots of Ghanaian Shea Butter. They source their shea butter directly from fair trade co-operatives set up locally and donate a portion of their profits back into the projects.

This is their handmade Argan and Rooibos soap.  The ingredients consist of just six ingredients (excluding water);  shea butter, water, argan oil, babassu palm oil, coconut oil, castor oil and rooibos.

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This fragrance-free bar does not contain any synthetics, no colourings or preservatives.  The main ingredient in the bar is unrefined shea butter, which has not been processed, preserving its natural properties.  If you’ve found bars of soap to be drying, then using a bar with this amount of shea butter could well be the solution.

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Then we find organic Moroccan argan oil, which I am soon to publish a full review on.  Sodium cocoate, a mixture of lye with coconut oil.  In the final product, no lye remains in the bar of soap, leaving just the coconut oil.  Then babassu oil, which is grown in South America and is similar to coconut oil.  Finally castor oil and Rooibos, better known in the UK as South African red bush tea.

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This was the first time I’d tried a soap containing babassu oil, argan oil or rooibos.  The combination of all these ingredients creates a richly moisturising, calming and soothing product.  Suitable for all skin types and has a natural aroma of shea butter, so liked by both men and women.  The bar quickly foams up with white cleansing bubbles, leaving the skin feeling clean and smooth.  None of that post-shower tight skin feeling or irritation with here.  It’s very unique and an absolute pleasure to use.  Highly recommended!

Ingredients: Butyrospermum parkii, aqua, argania spinosa (org.), orbignya oleifera, sodium cocoate, ricinus communis, aspalathus linearis

http://www.sheabuttercottage.com/arganrooibossoap.html

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Urtekram Tea Tree Toothpaste

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Urtekram Tea Tree Toothpaste – 75ml (£3.95)

Whilst pottering around a natural health food store in the east end of London, I happened upon this unusual looking tea tree toothpaste from Danish company UrtekramUrtekram make a wide range of natural products, not just toothpaste. This toothpaste does not contain any SLS (Sodium laureth sulfate), no fluoride, no synthetic colourings, artificial flavours or preservatives.

The base and biggest ingredients are chalk, water, vegetable based glycerine and xanthan gum, which is a natural thickener.  Then we find organic aloe vera leaf extract, organic tea tree oil, myrrh oil and magnolia bark extract. In total, 22% of the ingredients are from certified organic farming.

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So putting the toothpaste to the test.  When you squeeze it out of the tube, you’ll notice it has a slightly off-white, almost grey colour.  Don’t be put off by this, as this toothpaste doesn’t contain any synthetic colourings, unlike your regular supermarket bright white toothpaste.

The paste sits steadily on the brush head, not attempting to run off.   I used this paste with my Philips Sonicare toothbrush, which incidentally is the ONLY toothbrush on the market to be Del Brown Approved!.

As the paste doesn’t contain any foaming agents, you can brush all you like and the paste just will not foam up.  Being used to a foaming toothpaste from an early age, this is a tricky one to get your head around.  You almost feel like something is missing or it’s not doing its job properly.  But, I encourage you to have patience and persevere.  I brushed my teeth for the recommended two-minute cycle and rinsed.  My mouth was left feeling clean and with a very mild taste and smell of tea tree oil.

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Tea tree oil is mother nature’s very own antiseptic, antiviral, anti everything!  So if you’re gums aren’t in the best condition or you’re feeling run down and suffering a mouth ulcer, then brushing regularly with a tea tree toothpaste could be just the ticket.

Whilst driving to work a short time later, I happened to notice in the rear view mirror, just how shiny and polished my teeth were looking.  It was honestly really noticeable.  That is thanks to the chalk, the first and therefore biggest ingredient in the tube.  Chalk, yes the same stuff your teacher use to write on the blackboard with, is mildly abrasive.  When used in a toothpaste, it buffers the surface layer of the teeth, gently removing stains caused by tea, coffee and nicotine, leaving them looking shiny and polished.

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Now on the subject of fluoride, this toothpaste does not contain any.  There’s an on going argument about the pro’s and con’s of fluoride.  In some parts of the country (UK), fluoride has or even still is, being added to our tap water, as the government boffins say it has a positive effect on the nation’s teeth.  Whilst others claim fluoride is a bad thing, that we should not be consuming.  You decide.

This toothpaste also carries the ECOCERT is the European equivalent to the soil association, an official body whose symbol is widely recognise and respected to confirm organic standards and status.  The leaping bunny, cruelty free ECEAE organisation against animal testing and the Vegan Society, confirming no animal derived ingredients.

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So to conclude, most of us continue to use the same brand of toothpaste we’ve used since childhood.  Full of 100% synthetic ingredients, foaming agents, colourings and synthetic minty aroma.  To suddenly swap onto something like this will take guts and determination.  You’ll convince yourself your mouth just doesn’t feel clean, you’ll detest the tea tree smell and taste and crave your old toothpaste back.  BUT, if you can persist and fight through the rocky honeymoon period, you could come out the other side with a fresher, healthier and a synthetically chemical-free mouth, teeth and gums.  Fully Del Brown Approved!

(INCI) Ingredients: Calcium carbonate, aqua, glycerin**, xanthan gum, aloe barbadensis leaf extract*, melaleuca alternifolia leaf oil* (aroma*), commiphora myrrha oil, magnolia officinalis bark extract, limonene. ( *= ingredient from Organic Farming, ** = made using organic ingredients).

* = ingredient from organic farming.  ** = made using organic ingredients

http://www.urtekram.com/products/body-care/mouth/tea-tree-toothpaste-organic-75-ml


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Bee Inspired Fab Face Cream – Bergamot, Sandalwood and Pine

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Bee Inspired Fab Face Cream – Bergamot, Sandalwood and Pine – 50ml (£18.00)

Bee Inspired are a small, natural skincare company, based in Surrey in the UK.  They are also Beekeepers with over 20 years experience. They harvest beeswax and honey from their own hives and use it in their natural skincare products. This is their ‘fab face cream’, which comes in an easy to use airless pump dispenser.

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The main and base ingredients in the moisturiser are emulsifying wax NF, which provides a thick, glossy texture and helps to combine the oils. Coco butter, which is extracted from the cocoa bean and is used to make chocolate. It has a velvety texture and is highly moisturising. Then we find three hydrating and soothing oils; sweet almond, rice bran and castor oil.

Two key ingredients in this moisturiser are homemade beeswax and honey, both extracted from their own hives.  In the photograph below, you can see three of their actual bee hives.  The beeswax provides the skin with a natural protective barrier, sealing in moisture. Whilst honey is full of antioxidants and is naturally antibacterial, so great to help keep the skin healthy and in good condition.

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Finally in the ingredients list we find vegetable based glycerin and essential oils of bergamot, sandalwood and pine needle. These three essential oils combine to create a subtle woody, warm aroma, making it popular with both men and women looking for a moisturiser without a floral fragrance.

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One pump delivers the perfect amount to fully moisturise your entire face, making this 50ml pot last a long time.  The texture is quite waxy, which is different to most other cream moisturisers. The cream quickly breaks down when smoothed into the skin, making it an easy to use product.  Ideal as a day time moisturiser, thanks to the light consistency and non-greasy finish.

Ingredients: Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol and Polysorbate 60 (emulsifying wax NF), Theobroma Cacao, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis, oryza Sativa, Ricinus Communis, Beeswax, Honey, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Bergamia Oil, Santalum Album Oil, Pinus Sylvestris Oil contains naturally Linalool + Limonene

http://naturalbeeswaxcreams.com/for-your-body/beeswax-creams-natural/bergamot-sandalwood-pine-ultimate-face-cream.html


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Friendly Soap Shea Butter Facial Cleansing Bar

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Friendly Soap Shea Butter Facial Cleansing Bar – 95g (£2.49)

I previously wrote a review of the aloe vera soap from Friendly Soap, made with just four (five if you include water) 100% natural ingredients.  Well how about I now go one better!  Now let me introduce you to this vitamin A and E rich, facial cleansing bar, that contains just THREE 100% natural ingredients (excluding water).

Say goodbye to ‘made with ¼ moisturising cream’, with no reference as to what the moisturising cream is?  And welcome in 1/3 shea butter, 1/3 coconut oil and 1/3 olive oil.  That’s it!

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  • Shea butter, extracted from the African shea tree, is a natural fat, high in vitamin A and has been used for generations in a wide range of applications from cooking to cosmetics.
  • Coconut oil, extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts, has a high saturated fat content, making it great for softening the skin.
  • Olive oil, an antioxidant rich natural oil, high in vitamin E and a respected all round skin moisturiser.

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No essential oils in this one, so fragrance free.  As you’d expect, no colourings, synthetic or natural.  No preservatives, Vegan Society Approved and leaping bunny registered.  Ideal for the most sensitive skins, hence why the boys at Friendly Soap have labelled this one as suitable for face cleansing.

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I personally used it all over the body and loved the way it quickly foamed up with lots of cleansing white bubbles and left my skin feeling clean and comfortable.  Suitable for everyone, men, women and children.  Problematic skin, that reacts to even the mildest of natural ingredients should be fine with this one too.  So consider upgrading your body wash and allow your skin to re-establish its natural equilibrium.  One of the purest bars of soap I’ve brought you so far and totally Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Butyrospermum parkii butter, Sodium olivate, Sodium cocoate, Aqua

http://www.friendlysoap.co.uk/products-page/facial-bars/shea-butter/

Click here to read my other reviews from ‘Friendly Soap’


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Spiezia Moisturising Hand Balm

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Spiezia Moisturising Hand Balm – 50ml (£16.95)

Let me start this review by shouting 100% ORGANIC!  Every single ingredient within this little green frosted jar, is certified by the UK soil association as being organic.  Welcome dear reader to my second review for the brand I had never heard of, Spiezia Organics.

You may be forgiven for thinking this is an international brand, but in fact, their home is sunny Cornwall.  All of the Spiezia products are certified organic, which makes them quite unique.  Most natural brands contain ‘some’ organic ingredients, but very few contain ALL.

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“oh wow!” were the words I uttered when I first opened the lid and smelt the aroma.  It was a warm day and I could see the top layer of the balm melting in the jar.  I scooped out a tiny amount (petit pois size) in preparation to take you a photograph and upon contact of my body heat, the balm had melted.

The base and main ingredients in this hand balm are ylang ylang oil and beeswax.  Then they have mixed an infusion of sweet orange peel oil, grapefruit seed extract, petitgrain leaf oil, lavender oil, olive oil, rose geranium, apricot oil, rose flower extract, sesame seed oil, jojoba seed oil and finally wheat germ oil.  Every single one organic.

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With ingredients like this, I would expect this to be a face balm.  But no, in this case Spiezia have created a moisturising hand balm.  Oils by their very nature are able to sink deeper into the skin than any water based cream, that’s why face oils work so well.  Now let’s be practical for a moment.  The ingredients in this hand balm are all oils, which may not be the most practical thing to apply to your hands if you’re about to start some paper work or require a firm grip.

So, having experimented with this product for a while, I conclude, for day time application use only a tiny amount.  Less is more. The oils melt and spread easily and widely, keeping your hands hydrated for longer than creams.  Last thing at night, apply slightly more and massage into dry hands for an intensive overnight treatment. If you’ve been over generous, make sure you rub any excess into your feet or elbows.  Don’t waste a drop.

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The results are exactly what you’d want from a hand product. Highly moisturised, long lasting smooth, soft skin.  You may be detecting a little excitement in this review and rightly so I think.  100% organic and 100% Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Cananga Odorata flower oil, Cera Alba, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis peel oil, Citrus Grandis seed extract, Citrus Nobilis leaf oil, Lavandula Angustifolia flower extract, Lavandula Angustifolia flower oil, Olea Europaea fruit oil, Pelargonium Graveolens flower oil, Prunus Armeniaca kernel oil, Rosa Damascena flower extract, Sesamum Indicum seed oil, Simmondsia Chinensis seed oil, Triticum Vulgare germ oil

http://www.spieziaorganics.com/hand-balm-organic-natural.html

Click here to read my other ‘SPIEZIA’ product reviews


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Wild Sage and Co Three Flowers and Clay Handmade Soap

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Wild Sage and Co – Three flowers and Clay Soap – 100g (£3.95)

The Wild Sage and Co is a small, family run business, who make their soaps by hand in Herefordshire.  The ingredients used are suitable for Vegans and all of the oils are cold pressed, to help preserve the quality and properties of the oils.

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The base ingredients in this soap are a mix of olive oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil.  They have then added three essential oils of Lavender, Geranium and Palmarosa.  Finally, the most dominant and interesting ingredient in this particular soap, the superfine Australian Reef Red clay.

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Now on the east coast of Australia where the red clay is naturally found, locals and tourists cover their entire body in the stuff.  The clay is naturally high in iron and rich in essential minerals, making an excellent, skin benefiting, clay mask.

This combined with the Lavender, Geranium and Palmarosa, create a cocktail of balancing, calming and anti-inflammatory oils that will aid calming angry skin and re balancing sebum.  If you suffer from spots on the back, shoulders or chest, then washing with a soap containing these ingredients, could be particularly beneficial.

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This soap lathers up to an unusual naturally red coloured foam, thanks to the clay.  Don’t worry, the red clay might leave a red residue on your white bath, but it rinses away leaving without staining.  The all-natural ingredients are gentle on the skin and the fragrance is mild.  A pleasure to use.

Ingredients: Olea europaea, Cocos Nucifera, Helianthus Annuus, Lavandula Angustifolia, Pelargonium graveolens, Cymbopogon martini, Sodium Hydroxide, Aqua, Australian Reef Red Clay.

http://www.wild-sage.co.uk/products/three-flowers-clay

Click here to read my reviews of other ‘Wild Sage and Co’ products