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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Siam Botanicals Lemongrass and Tea Tree Shave Oil


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.


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.


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.


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.


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



Botanicals Radiance Serum – White Grape and Avocado


Botanicals Radiance Serum – White Grape and Avocado – 28g (£25.95)

Welcome to Botanicals, a range of natural products using soil association certified, organic ingredients.  Cruelty free, suitable for vegans, made here in the UK and founded by Wendy Stirling.

This is their Radiance Serum with white grape and avocado.  Serums are a mixture of essential oils within a base oil.  The base oil is the carrier and the biggest ingredient in the bottle.  Face oils or serums by their very nature, are able to penetrate the skin far deeper than any cream moisturiser.


I’m going to start this review by declaring my absolute love for it!  As you know with me, it’s ALL about the ingredients, so lets start with that.  The biggest ingredient in the bottle is organic apricot oil.  Most of the big brands use olive oil as their carrier, as its cheap and widely available.  Apricot oil is a natural anti-inflammatory when applied topically, so if you’re face is looking red, irritated or inflamed, this oil is perfect.

The second ingredient is organic sunflower seed oil, then organic grape seed oil, organic rosa canina fruit oil, organic jojoba oil and organic avocado oil.  All five of these organic oils are renowned skin softeners and moisturisers.  Together, they create a cocktail that can help diminish the appearance of scars, lighten pigmentation, re-hydrate dry skin and even reduce the appearance of stretch marks.


Then we see organic evening primrose oil, organic camellia sinensis leaf extract, natural source vitamin E, organic lavender oil, organic chamomile oil and finally organic mandarin orange peel oil.  Every one of the ingredients in this list are there to serve a purpose or tackle a skin concern.  Another big plus for me is that every ingredient is organic.  None of the plants from which the oils have been extracted, were grown using chemical pesticides, fertilisers or were genetically modified.

I’ve been using this for over a month and have found it help heal spots quickly, calm red irritated skin and rehydrate dry skin.  There are several ways of using a face oil in your routine.  You can use it on its own, replacing a cream moisturiser. Apply a couple of drops onto your fingers and smooth it into the skin.  If your skin is feeling particularly dry or you’ve got some skin issues you want to tackle, apply one drop in with your moisturiser, combine, then apply.  Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and even oily.


If you’re a bearded brother, apply one or two drops onto your fingers then work into your beard.  Less is more in this scenario.  This will not only give your beard a glossy look and feel, but will also nourish the hair and skin.

Very easy to use, quick, simple and very effective.  I love the 99% organic ingredients and feel my skin is reaping the benefits.  Highly recommended and totally Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil*, helianthus annuus seed oil*, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil*, rosa canina fruit oil*, buxus chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, persea gratissima (avocado) oil*, oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil*, camellia sinesis leaf extract*, tocopherol***, (lavendula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil*, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower oil*, citrus nobilis (mandarin orange) peel oil*, geraniol**, limonene**, linalool**. (*Certified organic ingredients. **Natural constituents of essential oils. ***Natural origin.)


Zephorium Soul Tonic Carrot and Sweet Orange Face Oil


Zephorium Soul Tonic Carnelian Crystal Face Serum – 30ml (£36.00)

Time for something a little bit different!  We’re all familiar with face oils and serums, I am a big fan and regular user of them as oils are able to penetrate deeper into the skin than any moisturising cream.  So allow me to introduce you to a brand called Zephrorium.

Zephroium have created a range of natural skincare products and I’ve been trying out their 85% organic Carnelian Crystal with Carrot Oil and Sweet Orange Oil face serum. Presented in a bright orange coloured frosted glass bottle with a pipet lid, this face oil has an unusual and intriguing list of ingredients.


The base and biggest ingredient in the bottle is organic apricot kernel oil, followed by carrot oil infused with sunflower oil. Then we find sweet orange oil, natural source vitamin E, frankincense oil and finally palmarosa oil.  That’s it.  No fillers, artificial colourings, perfumes or preservatives.  Produced in Suffolk and using British suppliers.

So what makes this oil different from most other face oils on the market?  On closer examination of the ingredients list, you will find references to Potentised Carnelian Crystal D200 in Citrus Aurantium Dulcis, Potentised Carnelian Crystal D 400 in Boswelia Carterii and Potentised Carnelian Crystal D1000 in Cymbopogon Martini.  I had the pleasure of chatting with the company founder Sarah Cox, whilst at a recent trade event and asked her, “what does this all mean?”.

“The Homeopathic potency is in the aromatherapy in three different potencies as the different potencies offer a slightly different vibration. I find it beneficial to have a blend of vibrations.  The homepathically potentised crystal is in the bottle in vibrational form only so no physical crystal remains. The energy of Carnelian crystal is all about grounding and restoring vitality and crystal healers will tell you that it is a wonderful crystal for helping to overcome lack of trust. I think it works beautifully with the carrot oil which is such a vibrant oil packed with vitamins. Many companies use a synthetic version of Vitamin A, I like to use the real thing!”

Intrigued?  Read more about the homeopathic use of crystals in the Zephorium products by clicking here to visit their website.


I used this face oil mainly at night before bed.  Applying a few drops onto the fingers then massage on to the face.  You can use it just on its own, or for especially dry skin, follow with your moisturiser of choice.  If you’re in a real hurry, you can even apply a few drops directly on to your moisturiser, combine and apply to the face.  The oil leaves your face feeling hydrated, comforted and soothed.


There are two big effects you notice when using this oil.  Firstly, is the aroma.  It is packed with the zesty uplifting aroma of freshly squeezed oranges, making it an absolute pleasure to use.  Secondly is the colour.  The base ingredients being apricot and orange oil have that naturally bright orange hue, which with regular use, did seem to give my face an almost sun kissed complexion. Whilst using this face oil I had more than one person ask me “Have you been away?”.

The use of carrot oil provides the skin with natural source vitamin A, combined with natural source vitamin E found in the form of Alpha Tocopherol.  This face oil is not only a delight to use but also treats the skin to a vitamin packed boost every time you use it.

Ingredients: Prunus Armeniaca* (Apricot Kernel*). Daucis Carota infused in Helianthus Annus (Sunflower oil). Potentised Carnelian Crystal D200 in Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange Oil). Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E Oil). Potentised Carnelian Crystal D 400 in Boswelia Carterii (Frankincense Oil). Potentised Carnelian Crystal D1000 in Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa Oil) *Organic

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Pure Radiance Rosehip Oil from A’Kin


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.


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.


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.


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

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Gamila Secret Rose Face Oil


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Gamila Secret Rose Face Oil – 50ml (£70.00)

With my face going through a seasonal adjustment during September and October.  Summer over, broken capillaries ablaze thanks to fading sun tans and pale and pasty dry skin returning, this was an ideal opportunity to try out the Rose Face Oil from Gamila Secret.

Already a big fan of the range and having tried and reviewed the Original Face Oil from Gamila, I was excited to try this Rose version. Rose Essential Oil, in this case distilled from the Rose Damascus (Damask) plant, is renowned for it’s therapeutic properties. Rose oil contains more than 300 known compounds and is used as an antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral and even as an aphrodisiac.

The biggest ingredients in this face oil is Grape Seed oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Lavender Oil and Black Cumin Seed Oil. Then we find Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Elecampane, a herb better known as Horse-heal. Bay leaf oil, Pistachio nut oil and Rose Damascena Oil.

A lot of face oils use olive and or nut oil as their base, then mix in a few other ingredients. The difference here is we find a large mix of several different types of skin benefitting oils and in larger quantities.

For your skin it soothes, moisturizes and hydrates and is good for all skin types, young or old, dry to oily.  “Wait a second, Oil on oil?  He must be mad!”  Friends, don’t just take my word for it, do your own research.  It is also used to calm broken capillaries, inflammation and skin redness.

All of the vegetable oils used are first pressed meaning they are the first extraction, and cold pressed so doesn’t used any heat in the extraction process, which can effect the properties of the oil.  Being an oil, the liquid absorbs quickly and deeply into the skin and the active ingredients stay potent for longer compared to that found in creams.

Apply a few drops of this heady rose scented oil onto clean skin to leave it looking moisturised and hydrated.  Use at night time allowing the ingredients to penetrate and wake to smoother, calmer skin.  Can be used instead of, or in addition to a moisturiser cream.  Less is most definitely more!  A little goes a long way, one pump dispenses more than enough for the entire face.  Fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera [Grape] Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis [Sweet Almond] Oil, Simmondsia Chinesis [Jojoba] Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia [Lavender] Oil, Nigella Sativa [Black Cumin] Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Olea Europaea [Olive] Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima [Avocado] Oil, Unsaponifiables, Inula Helenium Extract, Laurus Nobilis [Bay] Leaf Oil, Pistacia Vera Seed Oil, Rosa Damascena [Rose] Oil, Fragrance.,default,pd.html

Click here to read my review of the Original Face Oil from Gamila Secret

Gamila Secret Original Face Oil


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Gamila Secret Face Oil Original – 50ml (£60.00)

The daily herbal oil care for your face.  100% natural product hand made in Galilee.  Golden in colour with a non-specific, non-citrus and non-floral, herbal fragrance.

I was having one of those days when my face was looking red and blotchy.  My broken capillaries on my right cheek appeared like blazing acne.  I needed something to soothe, calm and get my face back on track.  So I reached for this little bottle of golden oil.  So impressed was I by the results that I’ve continued using the face oil from Gamila Secret for the past month.

At night I add two drops to my moisturiser for an intensive over night moisture boost.  Within just two days I visibly noticed the difference in condition of my skin.  In the morning my face has an even completion, broken capillaries were calmed down and my skin looks plump and hydrated.  Despite being an oil, it hasn’t made my face feel oily or greasy and didn’t cause me any spot break outs.

Use instead of a moisturiser cream in the morning, apply one to two drops and pat it into your skin.  The hydrating effect can be felt throughout the day as oils by their very nature are able to penetrate deeper into the surface of the skin than traditional creams.  It’s important to note that if you’re using any face oil during the day, take extra care when exposed to the sun.  Oils accelerate the effects of the sun and do not contain SPF’s.

Men looking for a quick and easy grooming routine, apply one or two drops onto the fingers then smooth over your entire face including your beard.  I often apply a tiny (don’t use too much) amount of this oil onto a comb and brush my beard to create a bushy, healthy, glossy groomed look.

If you’re already a fan of face oils, or are in the market for one but would be interested to try one with a mixture of ingredients that are gentle on the skin but powerful in their properties, the Gamila Secret Face Oil would be one I’d recommend.

The ingredients are 100% natural, cold pressed and fully Del Brown Approved! with a base of Grape Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Jojoba seed oil.  Then we see Lavender, Nigella Seed, Tocopheryl Acetate better known to you and me as natural source Vitamin E.  Olive and Avocado oils.  Finally Inula Helenium extract which is also known as horse-heal, bay leaf oil and Pistacia Vera seed oil.

No cheap fillers, hidden chemicals, preservatives, synthetic colours or fragrances.

Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera [Grape] Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis [Sweet Almond Oil], Simmondsia Chinensis [Jojoba] Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia [Lavender] Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Olea Europaea [Olive] Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima [Avocado] Oil Unsaponifiables, Inula Helenium extract, Laurus Nobilis [Bay] Leaf Oil, Pistacia Vera Seed Oil

Click here to read my review of the Rose Face Oil from Gamila Secret

Bodhi & Birch Neroli face oil

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Bodhi & Birch Neroli Luce Revitalising Face Oil – 15ml (£32.00)

First day on holiday in Lanzarote and the other half suggests going for a little stroll along the coast.  The weather is overcast, blustery and temperature requires a jumper.  Six hours later, we return from our ‘little’ walk and one hour after that, the sun burn began to reveal itself.  I know, I know!!  My forehead, nose, cheeks and ears, all ablaze!

But, thank goodness I had packed this little black glass bottle of goodness from Bodhi & Birch.  I mixed a few drops together with my moisturiser and pressed it onto my face.  My skin drank it up like a sponge.  Why did I mix the two? I could have used this oil entirely on its own but in this scenario my skin really needed some help.  It’s entirely all down to personal preference.  Moisturisers help hydrate the skin.  Oils and serums do the same, but they also contain high potency of essential oils that can help target other issues.

The bright orange coloured oil has a cocktail of aromas and is surprisingly non greasy.  It absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving it hydrated and comfortable.  Within no time my face felt calmer and soothed.  So pleased and impressed was I with the results, I continued this routine morning and evening and am blessed to have been left with smooth, hydrated skin with an even and balanced complexion.

As I’d expect from Bodhi & Birch, having recently reviewed their Himalayan body salt scrub, the ingredients speak for themselves.  The base and biggest ingredients in the pump are Grape Seed, Apricot and Jojoba oil.  Then we see Evening Primrose and Sea Buckthorn – in large quantity here.  I’ve noticed other brands boasting about this ingredient on the front of their packaging, only to see it used in tiny quantities.  Bitter orange, Frankincense, high altitude Lavender, Geranium, Palmarosa and finally Ylang-Ylang.

To focus on just two ingredients within this product.  Frankincense is recognised for its skin regeneration properties, to help improve skin tone and condition. It acts as a balancer, reducing excess dryness or oiliness, rebalancing the skin. Its cytophylactic properties encourages the growth of skin cells and also effectively heals sores and wounds, reducing scarring and inflammation.

Sea Buckthorn oil has 6 different fat soluble vitamins, 22 fatty acids, 42 kinds of lipids and 36 kinds of flavanoids. It is the richest natural source of Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) and Omega 7.

The combined effects of the ingredients in this oil create a powerful natural healing, regenerating and calming effect on the skin. Suitable for Normal, Combination, Dull, Tired or Blemished prone skin types.

Interesting point about the dark smoky glass bottle.  The properties in natural oils degrade in sunlight, so the dark smoky pump bottle helps preserve the potency of the ingredients.  Be mindful of this when purchasing oils in clear containers.

Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca, (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Lavendula Augustifolia (High-Altitude Lavender) Flower Oil, Pelargoneum Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Flower Oil, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Citral*, Citronellol*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*, Geraniol*, Isoeugenol*, Limonene*, Linalool* *natural constituents of essential oilsé-revitalising-face-oil

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