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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Shea Butter Cottage African Black Liquid Soap


Shea Butter Cottage African Black Liquid Soap: Neem – 250ml (£7.60)

This black liquid soap from Shea Butter Cottage contains over 50% unrefined, fair traded shea butter.

Shea butter is a fat, extracted from the nut of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa), native to Ghana on the east coast of Africa.  A co-operative of local women harvest and crack open the nuts by hand.  At this stage in the process, the shea butter is completely unrefined, meaning it has not been treated or mixed with anything else.

Shea butter is similar to coconut oil or olive oil in the way it can be consumed and applied topically on the skin. Although mainly used in cosmetics, it is also used as a cooking oil.





The biggest ingredient in the bottle is water, unrefined shea butter and unrefined neem oil.  Neem oil is particularly good at calming irritated skin and healing spots.  Then we find unrefined palm kernel oil and unrefined coconut oil.  Musa sapientum which is extracted from a banana like plant. Cocoa, yes that very same ingredient used to make chocolate and finally mango.

The look and texture of this liquid soap is just like molten dark chocolate.  The fragrance is naturally slightly smoky, but as the product is unscented, there have been no unnecessary ingredients added just to make it smell nice.

Black liquid soap can be used on its own as a liquid hand soap and body wash.  But my personal favorite use is as a beard shampoo.  One pump is all that is required, rubbed into damp hair, builds a thick white foam that cleanses your beard of grease and grime.  Rinse off to leave your beard looking and feeling clean and groomed. Use more than one pump when using it as a head shampoo.


Black Soap has been used for generations to help relieve spots and acne, oily skin, clear blemishes, rashes and various other skin issues.  Take dandruff for example, caused as a result of a dry, irritated scalp.  Try replacing your existing shampoo with this and see how you get on.

Ingredients: aqua, butyrospermum parkii, azadarichta indica, potassium palm kernalate, potassium cocoate, musa sapientum, theobroma cacao, mangifera indica


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

Shea butter liquid black soap with tea tree oil

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Shea By Nature Black Soap Tea Tree & Peppermint Shower Gel – 250ml (£7.99)

I’ve long been a fan of black liquid soaps as they contain high amounts of shea butter and work great as a foaming beard shampoo.  But they also are good as an over body wash.

This particular black liquid soap from ‘Shea by nature‘ comes in a rather unexciting white plastic bottle with an old fashion, but practical, flip up spout.  The texture is certainly nothing like a gel, but more like running water.  It has a naturally muddy brown colour and has a fragrance of peppermint with a hint of tea tree.  It foams up gently and easily.

For my ingredient purists, you’ll love this excellent list: water, organic (fair trade) shea butter and coconut oil.  Cocoa ash, tea tree and peppermint oil.  That’s it!  No SLS, no preservatives and Vegan friendly.

So if you want all the benefits antibacterial/antimicrobial tea tree, moisturising shea butter and like your skin smelling of natural peppermint, give this one a try.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Unrefined Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Cocoa Ash (Theobroma Cacao), Tea Tree Leaf (Melaluca alternaifolia), Peppermint (mentha piperita), *Limonene, *Linalool. *Occurs naturally in essential oils.

Remember to use the key words ‘search posts’ box to look up and compare my other ‘Del Brown Approved black liquid soap‘ reviews.

Liquid black shea butter soap from Akoma

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Akoma Black Liquid Soap – 250ml (£7.34)

Attention my bearded brothers!!  This has to be one of THE best beard shampoo’s I’ve ever used. It has the consistency of muddy water and will happily run straight through open fingers.  It also does’t have the sweetest of smells, so what’s so good about it I hear you ask?  Gents, it contains only FOUR ingredients!!  No preservatives, no glycols, no artificial colourings or perfumes and above all, no synthetic SLS foaming agents!

Just one pump of this Shea Butter liquid and your beard will foam up with the most natural foaming and moisturising ingredients around.  Beards are left clean, glossy and fluffed up, bristles erect and looking great!!

Not having any hair on the top of my head myself, I can’t say I’ve tested it as a hair shampoo, but give it a whirl!

INGREDIENTS: *Aqua (Distilled water), cocos nucifera (Coconut Oil), **butyrospermum parkii,(Raw Shea butter), Cocoa Pods

*Certfied organic ingredients
**Contains Certified fairtrade raw shea butter

I also swear by the black soap bars, the only down side to these are they are messy to use, often contain sharp bits (what I can only describe as grit or bits of old twig) and dissolve quickly.  If you want an easy life, opt for the liquid.