Ingredient obsessive Del Brown was encouraged to record his research on the ingredients, formulations and his experience of using natural skincare products. So on the 1st January 2014, the Tumblr website for Del Brown Approved was born. Friends and family quickly cottoned onto this new project and by the summer of 2014, his blog had outgrown Tumblr and was moved to WordPress, where his audience quickly grew. Now Del Brown Approved has over 1300 combined followers (Sept 2015) via his Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WordPress site. Subscribers to his emails look forward to receiving his regular reviews direct to their inbox. Impartial, independent and unbiased natural and organic skincare products that are free of chemical nasties.
“KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS, that’s the key thing about my blog. Several years ago now, I made a conscious decision that I wanted to free my skin of as many chemicals as I could. The only way to achieve that was to educate and inform myself of the ingredients that go into making the products I buy and use.
All the products I talk about in this blog contain natural and where possible, organic ingredients. Ingredients researched and given the ‘Del Brown Approved’ seal of approval. That means they do not contain any petrochemicals, sulphates, parabens, phthalates, glycols, PEGs, DEAs, mineral oil, synthetic polymers, synthetic fragrance or colours and products I’ve personally tried and tested.
I’d say 90% of blogs currently out there on the internet, just talk about their own personal opinion. They like the colour, the packaging or the smell. Del Brown Approved strives to be different. My priority and main interest is always the ingredients. I research from many different sources and speak directly to the manufactures, often the boss of the company, to bring you all the facts you need to know. Then let you decide.
I often get asked “which brands do you recommend?”. My answer is it’s less about the brand and more about what’s in it. Often brands will have a few ‘clean’ products (*clean being chemical free) and quite a few products, which are riddled with chemicals.
A few years back, when ‘Parabens’ were suddenly the buzz word as something best avoided, a lot of the big manufacturers quickly reformulated some of their lines to exclude them and made a big deal on their packaging praising they were paraben free. The trouble was, the customer could be forgiven for thinking that ALL of their products were therefore paraben free, which a quick glance at the ingredients, clearly showed were not the case. Then we all calmed down, thinking it was only parabens you should avoid. Well my friends, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but take a moment to google ‘propylene glycol’. Now see if that appears in your shower gel, moisturiser etc.
“So what if it does contain some of these ingredients you harp on about Del. None of it has been scientifically proven, they wouldn’t have these ingredients in them if they really were harmful, it just wouldn’t be allowed.” That’s what my dear old 94 year old nan used to say about smoking when she was in her 20’s! Never forget that Doctors used to recommend smoking tobacco for anxiety.
Consider this. If there is a chemical ingredient which, even in small quantity, you apply to your skin in the form of shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturiser, deodorant, toothpaste.. lets stop there. Now apply that little lot onto your skin every day of your life, sometimes more than once a day. Some of those products will have skin contact for minutes at most, others will sit and absorb into your skin for hours. Now lets give you a blood test and see how many of them chemicals have absorbed into your body. Let’s not touch on the subject of what they could be doing inside your system. I have to say at this point, if you’re a smoker, you really don’t need to take on board a word of what I say!! Go, light up and enjoy it!!
If you suffer from skin irritation, be that itching, spots, dryness etc. It could be for all manner of reasons. Surely self-help is the first course of action, try to test and eliminate as many chemical nasties as you can. Think about the full picture. Lets start with what are you washing your clothes in? Don’t be fooled by clever marketing or fancy packaging. Your first priority should be to read the ingredients.
Know what you’re spending your hard earned money on, understand exactly what’s in the product and be mindful of the amount of chemicals you’re applying and consuming. It bothers me when people have disillusioned opinions about certain brands or products being perceived as being high end and good quality. Then when I turn the plastic bottle around to read the label, I see its greatest ingredients are sodium lauryl sulfate – an inexpensive synthetic detergent that is a known skin irritant. Then go on to read a list of artificial colours and synthetic fragrances. Then just to make you feel good about buying it, they add a few drops of natural oils, which they boast about in big letters on the front of the label. Then charge you £15 for the privilege. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not the product I have the issue with in this scenario, it’s the person buying it! You might as well pop down the pound shop and buy their own brand hand wash! The ingredients will be almost identical for a fraction of the price!! I’ve yet to find a single brand out there on the market, where I have liked every product in the range. A lot of the so called ‘natural’ brands are sneaking in the odd chemical here and there, so know your ingredients and check them!
Finally (I’m almost over), don’t get into bad habits of always using the same products or sticking to just one brand. The skin is said to change every seven years. Just like working the same muscles at the gym, occasionally you should wake up your skin into trying something new. Your skin condition will change throughout the year, maybe dry in winter, oily in summer etc.
I’ll get off my soap box now! Feel free to comment and join in the conversation on anything you’ve found, are using or would like to use. Also leave comments on my posts, tell me your opinions and experiences. Suggest products I may have yet to discover. You can use the ‘search posts’ box to filter my posts, so if you just want to just read my reviews on ‘moisturisers’ or ‘shower gels’ for example or use key words such as ‘tea tree’. Finally don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
I hope you find this blog a useful source of information, an independent unbiased review and an entertaining read!”