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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Are you washing with ANIMAL FAT?

So there I was, staying in a luxury five star hotel in Berlin.  Next to the bathroom sink, sat a collection of beautifully presented, complimentary hotel toiletries.  This particular range had written, and I quote: “natural and organic bodycare” products; shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and a little bar of soap.

The label on the ‘Citrus Facial Soap’ boasts; “Made with Organic Shea Butter.  Gentle triple milled soap with vitamin E”.  So far, so good.  I opened it and was hit with the aroma of lavender and citrus.  As you can believe, I was all ready to spread the word and write a review on it.

So of course, me being me, I went straight to the ingredients list and started reading:


Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, glycerin, sodium choride, parfum, lavandula angustifolia oi, linalool, limonene, pentasodium pentetate, tetrasodium etidronate, butyrospermum parkii*, tocopherol, benzyl salicylate, citral, geranoil. *certified organic

So the biggest ingredient is Sodium Tallowate.  But what is that?  Well, I started doing some research. It turns out the ‘Sodium’ bit means it has been mixed with Lye (sodium hydroxide), but Tallowate means animal fat.

The definition of the word ‘Tallow’ [tal-oh]:


the fatty tissue or suet of animals

the harder fat of sheep, cattle, etc., separated by melting from the fibrous and membranous matter naturally mixed with it, and used to make candles, soap, etc.


So let’s start by looking at the facts.  Tallow is animal fat, it could be beef, lamb or pork.  A by-product of the meat industry, just like the feathers in your pillows and the leather on your shoes.  Tallow is not a new thing.  We have been using animal ingredients in soaps and other beauty products for donkey’s years.  Think about it.  We used to make soap from whale and seal blubber.  I’m sure somewhere in the world this practice is still going on.

Tallow can legally be classed as a natural product.  After all, it wasn’t created in a lab by mixing chemicals together.  It was merely cut off the carcass of a dead cow and melted over a low heat.

I was genuinely shocked to think I might have been washing my face with animal fat, from a bar of soap that is presented as being a natural and organic, citrus facial soap.

This revolution started me thinking, I wonder where else this ‘Tallow’ or ‘Sodium Tallowate’ might appear?

Surely not in ‘Simple – Pure soap for sensitive skin’?

IDShot_225x225-2Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid

How about ‘Shield Fresh Aqua’ Soap?

IDShot_225x225-1Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Triclocarban, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Eugenol, Coumarin, Amyl Cinnamal, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl-3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, CI 77891, CI 74260, CI 74160, CI 17200.

‘Palmolive Naturals Moisture Care’ Soap:

IDShot_225x225Ingredients: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Oleate, Aqua, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Pentasodium Pentetate, Pentaerithrityl Tetra-di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sine Adipe Lac, Olea Europaea Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Gel, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool, CI 77891, CI 47005, CI 61570

So friends, it’s about time we all started facing facts.  We are being bombarded by advertising and marketing.  We need to ALL be clever consumers and start reading the ingredient labels and understand exactly what goes into the making of products we purchase and use.

Del Brown Approved (the ingredient scrutiniser) is ALL about the ingredients, not about the packaging or misleading marketing.  Click here to read my reviews of soaps that qualify for being Del Brown Approved and DO NOT containing any animal derived ingredients


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‘All you need is me’ from True Organic of Sweden



True Organic of Sweden – All you need is me – 50ml (19.99)

I’ve been genuinely excited to bring you this one! It’s an ‘All you need is me’ cream from a company called ‘True Organic of Sweden”. As you’d expect from the title, but should never assume, this product is made in Sweden and uses certified organic ingredients.

As you can see from my photographs, when you squeeze the tube, incidentally made of GREEN PE (sugarcane derived), the cloudy yellow cream slowly starts to come out of the tiny hole in the tube. It’s at this point you discover the product is not a cream but in fact a balm. With little or no aroma to speak of, the balm melts on contact with your skin temperature and a little goes a long way.

The product is actually called ‘All you need is me’ and you quickly realise it’s actually true. It is described as being suitable for use on dry, flaky, cracked or thirsty skin.  Apply a small amount on the lips to make the most moisturising lip salve.  Unlike the paraffin based lip products, you won’t need to keep re-applying this every couple of minutes!  Also apply it last thing at night and wake up with hydrated lips.

It can be used on dry elbows, knees, heels, feet, finger nails, cuticles, tip of your nose and even your hair!  Yes brothers with beards, this means us too!  I have been melting a small amount between my fingers and combing it into my beard. Within minutes I’m left with a glossy, tamed, well groomed, healthy looking beard.  For those fortunate enough to have hair on your head, just think about how you could use it there too!

As this is a true multi-tasker, it’s even good for use on areas of red or irritated skin, minor scrapes or scratches, apply a small amount and allow the natural ingredients to soothe, calm and heal.

As this is oil based, the ingredients sink deep into the skin, moisturising and soothing as it goes. The squeeze tube application makes using it highly practical and with the absence of any floral aroma coupled with the gender-neutral packaging, makes us all feel comfortable about using it.

The ingredients read like a Del Brown wish list!  Mineral oil free, every single ingredient is 100% natural and 95% of them are from certified organic farming. Even the outer packaging is made of sustainable paper.  The base for the cream is Castor oil, Beeswax, Olive Oil and Shea Butter.  Then we find skin loving Vitamin E, phytochemical and antioxidant rich Blueberry seed oil, Sunflower seed oil and finally Rosemary leaf extract.

I’ve been using ‘All you need is me’ for the past month and have become an instant fan, there’s nothing about this product I don’t love.  Fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients (INCI): Castor Oil (ricinus communis seed oil), Beeswax (cera alba), Olive Oil (olea europaea fruit oil), Shea butter (butyrospermum parkii butter), Vitamin E (tocopherly acetate), Blueberry seed oil (vaccinium myrtillus seed oil, tocopherol, helianthus annuus seed oil, Rosemarinus officinalis leaf extract)

All you need is Me

A natural alternative to deet!

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Incognito Anti-Mosquito Spray – 100ml (£9.95)

Now I appreciate Summer does seem a long long way away.  But during the British winter months, lots of us love to fly away to warmer climates.  This can invariably mean visiting parts of the world that are effected by the dreaded Mosquito.

Whilst holiday in Kefalonia, I was bitten on my exposed legs by the dreaded beasts every night of my holiday.  I hadn’t expected to encounter Mosquitos, so headed down to the local chemist and was offered an array of chemical based sprays, lotions and potions, which contained a cocktail of chemical ingredients, including something called Deet.  Now, needless to say, these sprays did the business in stopping Mosquito bites, but when I researched the ingredients, particularly deet, was shocked and horrified at what I’d been applying to my skin on a nightly basis.

Pre-holiday this year, I decided to search the market for something a little more ‘Del Brown Approved’ and discovered ‘Incognito’.  Drawn to the product not only by its name sharing that of my all time favourite acid jazz funk band ‘Incognito’, but also by the fact it contained a list of natural ingredients and was deet free!

So last year I flew off to Crete for a well deserved break, sprayed ‘Incognito’ to all my exposited body parts prior to venturing out in the evening air and my friends, I’m pleased to report, wasn’t bitten once.  Now, I’m not making any claims that this success story will be the same for everyone.  And if I was to go back packing in the Amazon Jungle where diseased mosquitos were rife, I may well be tempted to take something a little more powerful.  But my advice would be to give it a go as it has good reviews on the internet.

Incognito Mosquito repellant spray comes in a 100ml bottle, which makes it hand luggage approved.  It has a pleasant natural fragrance made up of essential oils, drys quickly and easily and doesn’t make you feel like you’ve just loaded your skin with a cocktail of synthetic chemicals.

It states on the bottle it “repels and camouflages you from ALL insects” and “effective for at least 5 hours”.  Once opened you’ve got 2 years to use it, so keep it in the cupboard for next years holiday.

Ingredients: Alcohol, Citrepel 75 (eucalyptus maculata citriodora), organic bergamot (citrus bergamia), camphor (cinnamomum camphora), linalool*, limonene*, citral* (*Natural components of the essential oils).