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

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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.

BEFORE

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MIXED WITH WATER

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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.

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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

http://www.sheabuttercottage.com/authenticafricanblackneemliquidsoap.html


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Botanicals Nourishing Face Moisturiser Rose and Camellia

IMG_2590Botanicals Nourishing Face Moisturiser: Rose and Camellia – 30ml (£17.95)

Already impressed by the Botanicals Radiance Serum, which I reviewed last year, I am now very pleased to approve their Botanicals nourishing face moisturiser.

First, an observation on the packaging.  This small 30ml size comes in a smokey brown glass bottle. This already ticks boxes as far as I’m concerned.  Fully recyclable, no chemicals leaching out of plastic bottles to be concerned about and the brown glass, helps preserve the integrity of the natural ingredients from sun light.

If the glass had been left clear, the UV light would quickly degrade the ingredients, reducing the potency and longevity of them.

IMG_2592Now onto the main feature, the ingredients.  It contains an impressive 99% naturally derived ingredients, 91% of them, certified organic by the Soil Association. None of the ingredients are tested on animals and the entire Botanicals range is suitable for vegans. Suitable for both men and women, it is recommended for normal, dry and mature skin types.

The base and biggest ingredient is water, organic sunflower oil, organic shea butter and organic cacao butter. Unusual to find those three rich moisturising ingredients as the base ingredients. Then we see vegetable based glycerine, organic rose hip oil, organic olive oil and organic flax seed oil. In the middle of the ingredients list there is organic aloe vera powder and wild carrot root extract   Other key ingredients include natural source vitamin E and organic camellia sinensis leaf extract, more commonly known as the antioxidant Green Tea.

IMG_2593The aroma is clean, uplifting and not overly floral, despite being made up of the main ingredients, together with a mix of lavender, rose, geranium and ylang-ylang essential oils.

The convenient pump dispenses a small amount, so you can easily control how much you use. Only a couple of pumps is required. The light textured cream easily absorbs into the skin and does not leave a shiny, oily texture.

IMG_2595I particularly like how this moisturiser doesn’t suffocate the skin. Have you ever used a moisturiser that left your skin sweating underneath it? Well not with this. The cream maintains moisture levels throughout the day, without irritating or blocking the pores.

I definitely rate this moisturiser right up there in my top list of favourites, for a whole host of reasons, but particularly thanks to that list of 91% certified organic ingredients.  A pleasure to use and fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Aqua, helianthus annuus seed oil* butyrospermum parkii butter*, theobroma cacao seed butter*, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, glycerine***, rosa canina fruit oil*, olea europaea fruit oil*, linum usitatissimum seed oil*, sucrose stearate, sodium stearoyl glutamate, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder*, camellia sinensis leaf extract*, daucus carota sativa root extract*, coco-glucoside, coconut alcohol, tocopherol, xanthan gum, benzyl alcohol, lactic acid, dehydroacetic acid, parfum*; rosa centifolia flower oil*, pelargonium graveolens flower oil*, lavandula angustifolia flower oil*, cymbopogon martini flower oil*, cananga odorata flower oil*, geraniol**, citronellol**, benzyl benzoate**, linalool**, limonene**, citral**, farnesol**.

*Organic ingredient
**Natural constituents of essential oils
***Organic origin

http://www.botanicals.co.uk/natural-face-moisturiser-rose-camellia/


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Friendly Soap Cocoa Butter Facial Cleansing Bar

IMG_2583Friendly Soap Cocoa Butter Facial Cleansing Bar – 95g £2.49

Followers of Del Brown Approved will already be familiar with Friendly Soaps.  This one is their Cocoa Butter facial cleansing bar.

“Wash your face with a bar of soap? Have they gone mad!  No one does that anymore.. do they?”  

Consider this;  How many ingredients are there in your current face washing product, be that a cream cleanser, face wash gel or anything else you’d care to suggest.

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Counted them?  How many were there, six?, ten? more?  How many of them ingredients were of no benefit to you or your skin?  For example, colourings, perfumes, synthetic emulsifiers to stop the ingredients from separating in the plastic bottle.  Synthetic preservatives to stop the product going mouldy on the supermarket shelves.

So straight to the ingredients in this bar.  One third cocoa butter, one third olive oil and one third coconut oil.  That is it.  No fragrances added of any kind, no colourings and no preservatives.  Cruelty free, so no animal testing.  Vegan society approved, so no animal derived ingredients.

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If your face is suffering and you’re at your whits end trying to solve any number of skin conditions from itchiness to spots, then I encourage you to try something like this facial cleansing bar for just one month.  See if your skin says ‘thank you’ for not over loading it with a cocktail of synthetic ingredients.

Ingredients: Sodium Cocoa Butterate, Sodium Olivate, Sodium Cocotte, Aqua

Cocoa Butter Facial Cleansing Bar


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Bee Inspired Natural Lip Balm

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Bee Inspired Natural Lip Balm – 5ml £4.50

Some people are literally addicted to lip balms, applying them hourly throughout the day. Does this sound like you?  If so, check the ingredients to see if it contains petroleum. Petroleum based products can cause lips to dry out even faster than usual, hence the need to keep re-applying.

Petroleum is literally petrol, yes the same stuff that powers your car.  Petrol is of course a natural product, but once it has been extracted, refined and processed, it is then used in cheap synthetic cosmetics.  One downside of petroleum is that it creates a barrier effect on the skin, literally suffocating the pores where it is applied.  The jury is still out as to the possible side effects of using petroleum based products, some studies suggesting it is a carcinogenic.  All the while there is a question mark over the ingredient, I shall be avoiding it.

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So if you are looking for a simple, fragrance free, quality lip balm, look no further.  This lip balm from Bee Inspired contains just three 100% natural ingredients.  Sweet almond oil, beeswax and vitamin E oil.  That’s it.  No perfumes, no colourings, no preservatives and of course, petroleum free.  Made with bees wax produced from their own bee hives, Bee Inspired create small batch products by hand, using natural ingredients and without cruelty to animals.

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Not everyone wants a lip product with a fruity fragrance, so being fragrance free, both men and women feel comfortable using it.  Unlike petroleum based lip balms that just form a barrier on the skin, the natural oils and bees wax in this product penetrate deep into the skin, hydrating dry lips and making them feel soft and comfortable.

This easy to use, fuss free lip balm is a winter essential and fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: prunus amygdalus dulcis, beeswax, tocopherol

http://naturalbeeswaxcreams.com/for-your-body/natural-beeswax-lip-balms/product/view/17/184.html

Click HERE to see more Del Brown Approved lip balms


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Intelligent Nutrients Revitalizing Moisture Crème

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Intelligent Nutrients Revitalizing Moisture Crème – 50ml (£45.00)

Founded by the late Horst Rechelbacher, also the founder of hair brand Aveda (sold to Estée Lauder in 1997). The Intelligent Nutrients philosophy is, “Everything we put in and on our bodies must be nutritious and safe“.  They strive to keep the entire process clean, from certified organic farming and food grade ingredients, right through to organic botanical aromas.  I’m a big fan of this brand and am very excited to introduce you to this, their Revitalizing Moisture Crème.  70% of the ingredients in this product are soil association certified organic and it’s 100% ‘leaping bunny‘ cruelty free.

The ingredient list is both comprehensive and extensive.  Where some other ‘perceived to be’ natural brands like to use the word ‘science’, I interpret to mean ‘chemicals’.  But with Intelligent Nutrients, they truly have applied science to nature, extracting plant stem cells from organically grown botanicals.

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Researching the ingredients list, you discover they have used a large amount of stem cells from the Gardenia Jasminoides Meristem Cell Culture.  This is the first time I have reviewed a product containing plant stem cells, in this case from the Gardenia (Gardenia Jasminoides) plant.  Literally, extracting cells from the plant and applying them in this moisturiser to have a positive, visible and completely natural effect on the skin. Helping to firm and stimulate collagen and having the potency equal or greater to that of Vitamin C.

Let me highlight some other key ingredients.  As always, in the order listed on the INCI list, so the first being the greater quantity.  Vegetable based glycerin, Gardenia Jasminoides Meristem cell culture and Glasswort (Salicornia Herbacea) extract.  Bio actives in the form of Algae (Undaria Pinnatifida) extract, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  Soothing Aloe Vera leaf juice powder, organic black cumin seed oil, organic pumpkin seed oil, organic raspberry seed oil, organic grape seed oil and organic cranberry seed oil.  Moisturising organic coconut oil, organic African shea butter, organic safflower seed oil and natural source Vitamin E.

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On the subject of the aroma alone, which incidentally I would describe as gender neutral, clean and non-floral.  It is made up from the following organic botanicals: Ylang Ylang Flower oil, Bergamot Fruit oil, Orange Peel oil, Styrax Benzoin gum, Patchouli oil, Clove Flower oil, Nutmeg Kernel oil, Lavender oil, Sandalwood oil and Basil oil.

The result of this combination of ingredients is a cocktail of natural, potent antioxidants.  Moisturising, nourishing and softening which ultimately help support the natural structure of the skin, boosting moisture levels and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The airless pump keeps the product fresh, without the need of synthetic preservatives and delivers the product in a quick, easy to use, fuss-free way.  After experimenting, I’ve found two pumps delivers the optimum amount if you intend using it on its own.  One pump if you’re using it with a serum or face oil.

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My face is prone to redness after applying a moisturiser, but not with this one. My skin felt instantly hydrated, looking smooth with no irritation.  Lines around the sides of my eyes, particularly visible when I smile, age me greatly.  I’ve found with this moisturiser, I can hydrate and hide those lines all day, with just one application in the morning.

Suitable for all skin types, especially dry, it works great as a day or night time moisturiser and doesn’t leave your face looking glossy or greasy. I particularly noticed just how long my skin was left feeling hydrated, hours after application. I’ve been a big fan of Intelligent Nutrients since discovering their face wash.  This highly sophisticated moisturiser is a pleasure to use and the ingredients list is fully Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Hydroxystearyl Alcohol, Hydroxystearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Gardenia Jasminoides Meristem Cell Culture,1 Salicornia Herbacae Extract,2 Algae (Undaria Pinnatifida) Extract,2 Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder,3 Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil,3,4 Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil,3,4 Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil,3,4 Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil,3,4 Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil,3,4 Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil,3 Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter,3 Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil,3 Aroma,3,5 Xanthan Gum, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Diheptyl Succinate, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Heptyl Undecylenate, Microcrystaline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum, C14-22 Alcohols, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Gluconolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Limonene,6 Linalool,6 Geraniol,6 Farnesol,6 Benzyl Benzoate,6 Citral,6 Eugenol,6 Isoeugenol,6 Benzyl Salicylate,6 Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

1 = Plant Stem Cell Antioxidant
2 = Algae Bioactives
3 = Certified Organic
4 = Antioxidant Intellimune™ Super Seed Oil Complex
5 = Active Aroma/Flavor Oils: Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil,3 Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil,3 Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil,3 Styrax Benzoin Gum,3 Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil,3 Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil,3 Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil,3 Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil,3 Santalum Spicata (Sandalwood) Oil,3 Flavor (Nectar Type),3 Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil3
6 = Naturally Occurring Component of Organic Essential Oil Blend

http://www.intelligentnutrients.co.uk/cart/products.php?product=Plant-Stem-Cell-Science-Revitalizing-Moisture-Créme


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Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil 2150mg (EPA 1300mg – DHA 850mg DHA)

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Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil 2150mg – 125ml (£19.99)

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that our bodies need for good healthy skin, heart, eyes, joints and studies have shown an increase in DHA can also influence brain function and concentration levels. All fish oils are NOT created equal.  Try not to be influenced by offers such as ‘buy one get one half price’ on our high streets.  If you are looking to supplement your diet, then you MUST equip yourself with at least a little knowledge of the subject and of course, ALWAYS read the ingredients label so you know exactly what you’re buying and consuming.

If you want to increase your intake of Omega-3, by far the best way to achieve that, is to eat more 100% natural, freshly caught, unprocessed fish.  But, if like me, you’re not a lover of sea food, this can be tricky.  So, it’s good to know that we can also obtain Omega-3 from other sources, including nuts and seeds.

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Up until now, when it comes to Omega-3 fish oil supplements, there has only been ONE product that I have tried, tested, researched and recommend as being Del Brown Approved!  That is the MorEPA 1100mg platinum capsule.  That review and recommendation still stands.  However, I’d now like to bring you an alternative to capsules, with my review of this, Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil liquid, 2150mg.

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When looking at the label on fish oils, you should focus your attention on the EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and the DHA (Docosahxanoic Acid).  The mg is milligram.  The higher the EPA and DHA, the more benefit.  You should also note what ‘other’ ingredients have been unneccisarily added to help pad out the product.

One teaspoon full of this liquid (5ml) will provide you with 1300mg of EPA and 850mg of DHA, hence the 2150mg total. That is higher quantities than the MorEPA Platinum capsules.  This 125ml bottle provides 25, 1 x teaspoon servings (5mg), so 25 days worth.  There are just THREE ingredients in this product.  They are concentrated wild Alaskan Pollock (fish) oil, natural source Lemon flavour and certified non-GM (genetically modified) natural source vitamin E.  The product does NOT contain any sugar, gluten, starch, yeast, wheat, dairy, artificial flavours, artificial colours, nuts, shellfish, soy or corn.

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On the subject of the actual fish oil itself, the manufacture state: Alaska Pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) is a short-lived species of wild, coldwater fish. Pollock is a member of the cod family Gadidae. Our Alaska Pollock oil is sourced entirely from the Eastern Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska populations solely found within U.S. waters. Alaska Pollock is considered to be the most well-managed, large-scale fishery in the world.

So how to take it.  As with all supplements, they perform best when taken regularly, preferably around the same time every day and always with food.  Your body is at that point breaking down and consuming food, so this is the optimum window to take your supplement.  I decided breakfast was the best time for me to take this.  So, kept in the fridge for freshness (once opened), sat next to the milk, every day for 25 days, I took one teaspoon of this liquid, half way through eating my breakfast.  The liquid is of course an oil, but I can honestly say does not even hint at having a fishy aroma or taste.  The dominant fragrance and taste is lemon juice.  Even an hour after taking it, there was no after taste, aroma or hint that I had consumed a fish oil.

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I had previously ignored liquid fish oils, favouring capsules, convinced they would smell of fish and taste disgusting.  But this product is very different and quite unique.

As for the health benefits and effects of taking it, everyone is different.  Needless to say, if you’re in any doubt, consult your doctor before taking any supplements.  But if you’re in the market for a fish oil, I’d highly recommend this one.

Ingredients: Concentrated Wild Alaska Pollock (Fish) Oil Triglycerides, Natural Lemon Flavor, certified non-GMO Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Vitamin E)

http://wileysfinest.co.uk/index.php/peak-omega-3-liquid-fish-oil-2150mg-epa-dha-per-serving-25-servings.html


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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/