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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Skin and Tonic London Beard Oil

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Skin and Tonic London Beard Oil – 30ml (£16.00)

I’m very excited to bring you this one!  My first review for East London based ‘Skin and Tonic‘.  They are a small, fast growing producer of natural skincare products.  Located in the home of the fashionable hipster and Shoreditch beard, they just HAD to make a beard oil.

This is their Skin and Tonic London Beard Oil, made with just five ingredients; Grapeseed oil, Thistle oil, Argan oil, Cedarwood essential oil and finally Rosemary essential oil. Every single one of them certified organic by the soil association.

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Now I’ve reviewed a number of beard oils since launching Del Brown Approved!, but not many of them can boast being 100% certified organic.  Why should this make a difference?  Well, with the certification, the ingredients have to meet the high standards of the UK based Soil Association.  They have a rigorous list which all have to be met, in order for the ingredients to be certified.  No synthetic pesticides used during the growing of the plants, not GM (genetically modified) ingredients, the list goes on.

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I’ve long sported a beard in a variety of shapes and sizes, but when it starts to get long, it does require some help to prevent you from looking like cat weasel.  So, how best to use this beard oil.  It all depends on how long and thick your beard is.  If you’ve only got a short one, you’ll need very little.  But if you’ve got a long one, you’ll need more.  Are you detecting slight innuendo here?  Well it’s true!

The thing about beard oil is, and I’ve experimented extensively with them, when you first apply it, you can fall foul of using too much because you can’t see or feel much difference.  But, give it an hour for the oil to warm to your body temperature.  The bristles of your beard will spread the oils all around your chin.  Use too much beard oil and you’re left feeling like an oil slick for the rest of the day.

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My first tip is to equip yourself with a comb.  Nothing fancy, just a bog standard hair comb will do, preferably with closely sat prongs.  Apply one or two drops straight onto the comb and brush evenly into a freshly washed, dry beard.  Comb the hair in the opposite direction of the hair growth, getting the oil right underneath, before neatly brushing the hair back down.  Again, don’t worry if it feels like not much has happened, or you haven’t used enough.  Take a moment to evenly distribute the oil by simply combing the hair through the comb.  Then my next tip is not to man handle your beard too much.  Allow time for the oils to penetrate and nourish the hair and skin.

Ultimately, you’ll notice your beard is looking well groomed.  Slightly glossy in appearance, thick, healthy and neatly styled.  To start with, you may reserve this ritual only for special occasions and date nights.  But trust me, the look and feel becomes addictive.  You’ll find yourself applying the beard oil as part of your daily grooming routine.  With regular use, this oil will keep your beard in tip-top condition and the skin beneath will benefit too.

This huge 30ml sized beard oil is an all round winner.  Its going to last you ages and is easy to use thanks to the pump dispenser.  The aroma is primarily Grapeseed oil with a sharp, zesty twang, it’s all fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Vitis Vinfera*, Cathamus Tinctorius*, Argania Spinosa*, Cedrus Atlantica*, Rosmarinus Officinalis*
*Certified organic by The Soil Association + Vegan

http://www.skinandtoniclondon.com/product/beard-oil/

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Siam Botanicals Lemongrass and Tea Tree Shave Oil

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Siam Botanicals Lemongrass and Tea Tree Shave Oil – 24.0g (£16.30)

I’ve discovered a little known secret, it’s called Siam Botanicals.  A brand that specialise in hand blending essential oils to create a range of skin and hair care products.  Made in small batches from their base in Bangkok, Thailand, using 100% natural ingredients sourced mainly from South East Asia, Africa and India.

I met the ladies from Siam Botanicals whilst at a recent trade fair and they introduced me to this, their Gentlemen of Siam, Lemongrass and Tea Tree Shave Oil.

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Obviously, the first thing I looked at was the ingredient list. Cast your eye over this little lot, in order of greatest amount; Organic Castor Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Organic Moringa Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Tamanu Oil, Rosehip Oil, Cucumber Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, natural source vitamin E, Organic Rosemary Oil, Juniper Berry Oil, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Plai Root Oil, Lemongrass Oil and Ginger Oil.

Not a synthetic additive in sight.  No artificial perfume, colourings or preservatives. 97% of the total ingredients are certified organic.

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The concept is simple, apply a few drops into your fingers, spread over the area to be shaved, then shave.  The oil helping to protect the skin and lubricate the sharp blade.  Being a man who shaves his head, I gave this a whirl.  The problem I find with shaving oils is, you can’t always see where you’ve applied it. Then I fall foul of using too much.

So, I’ll admit I went a bit rogue! With an ingredient list this good, it would have been a sin just to use it as a shave oil.  So, I tried it as a beard and face oil and it is amazing!  As a beard oil, the combination of ingredients meant I only required a couple of drops, brushed into my beard, to give it a healthy, glossy, soft look and feel.  I also used a couple of drops at night as a face oil and my face was left feeling smooth, hydrated and calm.

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The mix of different essential oils makes this a true multi-tasker.  The tea tree oil has anti-fungle, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.  Whilst the argon oil is great not only for the skin, but also to nourish the hair.  Perfect for men with beards!  Rosehip oil is rich in pro-vitamin A, mostly beta-carotene, Vitamin E, Omegas 3, 9 and 6 essential fatty acids.  I’ve also spotted three unusual ingredients like Moringa oil, an antioxidant, full of free-radical neutralizers and has one of the most concentrated natural sources of oleic acid, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  Tamanu oil, known for its unique ability to boost the formation of new tissue, Tamanu oil is often used to accelerate the healing of blemished or inflamed skin. Finally, Plai Root Oil, known as an exceptional healing oil with natural antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties

The oil is called Lemongrass and Tea Tree, as these are the two strongest aromas you can detect, despite the catalogue of other essential oils in the product.  The smoky dark brown bottle helps preserve the integrity of the oils from sun light.  Within the cardboard box is a handy little pipet, replacing the lid to make using the oil highly practical, allowing you to easily dispense the ‘just right’ amount.

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I really like the philosophy of Siam Botanicals.  They do not use ANY synthetic ingredients, are cruelty free, committed to responsible sources and where possible, use local providers.  So if you’re already a fan of using shave oils, you should certainly add this one to your try list.  A highly practical, multi-tasking oil, packed full of skin benefiting ingredients.  Fully Del Brown Approved!

INCI Ingredients: *Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, *Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, *Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, *Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, *Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Cucumis Sativus Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Tocopherol , *Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil, Zingiber Cassumunar Root Oil, Cymbopogon Citratus Leaf Oil, Zingiber Officinale Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citral

*Certified COSMOS Organic

http://www.siambotanicals.co.uk/shop/lemongrass-and-tea-tree-shave-oil/


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Pure Radiance Rosehip Oil from A’Kin

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A’Kin Pure Radiance Rosehip Oil – 23ml – £18.00

I’ve been using this face oil from Australian born A’kin for the past month.  My ingredient purist friends out there should particularly appreciate this one.

Despite being called Pure Radiance Rosehip oil, there are actually two ingredients in this bottle, Rosehip oil and Rosemary oil.  Combined together, this face oil packs a powerful punch when it comes to skin benefitting ingredients.  Rosehip oil is rich in pro-vitamin A, mostly beta-carotene, Vitamin E, Omegas 3, 9 and 6 essential fatty acids. Rosehip oil is produced by extracting oil from the Rosehip bush seeds. Its thanks to the beta-carotene that this oil has such a strong, completely natural orange colour. The fragrance is also 100% natural.  Rosemary oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and is often used to treat a range of skin conditions.

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Apply just a few drops of this concentrated oil onto clean skin, via the easy to use pipet and allow to absorb.   Apply before using a moisturiser or just on its own.  Oils are able to penetrate deeper into the skin layers than any cream.  A lot of people find using face oils instead of creams just as beneficial. The list of ingredients that go into making a cream moisturiser can be endless, where as in this oil for example, there are just two!  If you suffer from with dry patches, redness, eczema or contact dermatitis, then you’ll know the key is keeping the skin moisturised to help minimise the condition.

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I’ve found the best way of using this oil is at night just before bed.  Apply the oil on its own and allow the ingredients to repair and soothe the skin while you sleep.  You can even take it around the eyes to help plump out fine lines and help address those dark tired bags. The dark smokey bottle helps protect the properties of the oils within it, which can degrade when exposed to day light.

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A comment for my bearded brothers; I can never resist testing out face oils and using them as beard oils.  Rosemary oil if used regularly is said to stimulate hair follicles making hair grown stronger and longer.  I’ve also read some reports saying Rosemary oil slows down premature hair loss and greying of the hair.  I can neither confirm or deny that one!  But what I can say is with regular use, using this Rosehip oil on your beard will help maintain moisturise levels in the skin and nourish the hair, preventing dry, itchy flaky skin.  Apply a few drops onto a beard comb and brush evenly through your beard to encourage a well groomed, healthy looking, glossy beard.

Ingredients: Rosa Canina Seed Extract, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) leaf extract

http://akinbeauty.co.uk/our-products/facial-care/pure-radiance-rosehip-oil-certified-organic


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Foad Wax Silky Hare Beard Oil

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Foad Wax Silky Hare Oil – 10ml (£6.99)

All beard oils are not created equal. I became geekily excited when I read the ingredients that go into making this ‘Silky Hare beard oil’ from those mad boys at Foad Wax. They haven’t slung together a cocktail of your common or garden nut oils, added a few drops of sweet smelling essential oil and called it a day. Oh no! Allow me to break down this list of six ingredients for you.

First up and the biggest ingredient in the smokey brown glass bottle, Brassica oleracea italica, or better known to you and me as Broccoli seed oil. Now that’s unusual but let me shine some light as to why they have used this. Broccoli Seed Oil is high in vitamin C and also contains vitamins A & K, along with Iron, Potassium and Calcium. It is mother nature’s nearest competitor to silicones, helping to control frizzy and flyaway hair, giving a shine and gloss without leaving the hair feeling greasy or heavy.  So what better ingredient to use in a beard oil eh boys!

The next ingredient is Oryza Sativa, more commonly known as Asian Rice, which unlike wheat oil has no allergens.  Then we see Helianthus annuus seed (Sunflower) oil, Calendula oil, Olive Squalane and finally Juniper oil.  The Olive Squalane is a particularly fascinating organic compound, which I could write for hours about, but in this circumstance it is extracted from Olives and used here for its moisturising effects.

The result is a highly sophisticated mix of ingredients which is loved by both hair and skin. Apply just a few drops, depending on the thickness and density of your beard, either rub thoroughly in with your fingers or brush through with a beard comb. A little goes a long way and as its an oil, it will spread easily and quickly with your body heat.   The result is a glossy, well groomed, healthy looking beard.

Ingredients: Brassica oleracea italica, Oryza Sativa, Helianthus annuus seed oil, calendula officinalis flower extract, Squalane / olea europaea fruit oil, juniperus communis essential oil.

http://foadwax.com/shop/silky-hare-oil/

The Brighton Beard Company Beard Oils

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The Brighton Beard Company ‘Old Jolls’ Beard Oil – 10ml (£7.95)

This one is obviously for the men but specifically aimed at the bearded amongst us.  I’ve had a beard now for several years, but have never considered using a beard oil.  So I’ve been road testing these three from The Brighton Beard Company.  The oils come in small 10ml brown glass bottles, which is good as they contain essential oils that would otherwise degrade in day light. There is also a pipette within the screw top, that makes using them nice and easy.

So the first decision you have to make is what fragrance are you going to go for?  Personally, I like them all.  Apply a few drops onto your fingers and massage thoroughly into the beard.  Within an hour or so, the oil will have spread.

If you’ve not used a beard oil before, initially you’ll need to experiment with the amount required.  This will depend on the thickness and length of your beard.  Short beards require just one or two drops of oil, where as big thick bushy beards may require more. Should you find your beard or face feel greasy or oily, then you’ve used too much.

Once you’ve cracked it, the optimum amount of beard oil will provide a glossy well groomed beard, with bristles that stand erect and feel ‘freshly washed’ to the touch. If your beard is multi toned, this will also be enhanced, an almost wet like appearance.

Now the ingredients. The base oils of Jojoba and Sweet Almond oil have been cleverly combined with Argan and Vitamin E oil, providing not only hair supporting properties but also skin moisturising benefits.  If you suffer with spots or irritation under your beard, your skin will benefit from the additional tea tree oil, which has both antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.  The scents are clean, masculine and citrus, all of which quickly disperse.

The Brighton Beard Company currently make three beard oils.  The ingredients within them are fully Del Brown Approved being 100% natural with no added preservatives, synthetic colours or perfumes.

Now I’m in the habit of using a beard oil, I’m a complete convert and addict!

Ylang Ylang & Sandlewood

Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, Vitamin E, Essential oils: Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Tee Tree

Blackpepper & Grapefruit

Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, Vitamin E, Essential oils: Black Pepper, Grapefruit, Tea Tree

Mandarin, Cedar wood & Juniper

Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, Vitamin E, Essential oils: Mandarin, Cedar wood, Juniper, Tea Tree

Beard Oil