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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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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Cioccolatina Natural Handmade Argan and Rooibos Soap

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Shea Butter Cottage Cioccolatina Argan and Rooibos Soap – 100g (£4.50)

I was excited to discover ‘Shea Butter Cottage‘ via Twitter, attracted by their African black liquid soap (review of that coming soon).  This range of natural skincare products has an African influence, specialising in products containing lots of Ghanaian Shea Butter. They source their shea butter directly from fair trade co-operatives set up locally and donate a portion of their profits back into the projects.

This is their handmade Argan and Rooibos soap.  The ingredients consist of just six ingredients (excluding water);  shea butter, water, argan oil, babassu palm oil, coconut oil, castor oil and rooibos.

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This fragrance-free bar does not contain any synthetics, no colourings or preservatives.  The main ingredient in the bar is unrefined shea butter, which has not been processed, preserving its natural properties.  If you’ve found bars of soap to be drying, then using a bar with this amount of shea butter could well be the solution.

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Then we find organic Moroccan argan oil, which I am soon to publish a full review on.  Sodium cocoate, a mixture of lye with coconut oil.  In the final product, no lye remains in the bar of soap, leaving just the coconut oil.  Then babassu oil, which is grown in South America and is similar to coconut oil.  Finally castor oil and Rooibos, better known in the UK as South African red bush tea.

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This was the first time I’d tried a soap containing babassu oil, argan oil or rooibos.  The combination of all these ingredients creates a richly moisturising, calming and soothing product.  Suitable for all skin types and has a natural aroma of shea butter, so liked by both men and women.  The bar quickly foams up with white cleansing bubbles, leaving the skin feeling clean and smooth.  None of that post-shower tight skin feeling or irritation with here.  It’s very unique and an absolute pleasure to use.  Highly recommended!

Ingredients: Butyrospermum parkii, aqua, argania spinosa (org.), orbignya oleifera, sodium cocoate, ricinus communis, aspalathus linearis

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


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The Organic Pharmacy Moisture Cream for Men

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The Organic Pharmacy Moisture Cream for Men – 75ml (£35.95)

The Organic Pharmacy, a company founded by Margo Marrone, opened her first shop on the Kings Road in London, in 2002. One of the brand philosophy’s is to ‘absolutely prohibit the use of artificial preservatives, fragrances and colorants’. So let me introduce you to this Organic PharmacyMoisture Cream for Men.

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It has a naturally cream colour and a heady, masculine, slightly woody aroma. Dispense a small amount onto your fingers and smooth over the face. Less is more with this moisturiser; you really don’t need to use much. The cream quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving your face feeling hydrated, comfortable and smooth.

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The biggest ingredient in this moisturiser is organic aloe vera, mixed with water, organic coconut oil, sesame seed oil, organic jojoba oil and organic shea butter.  Some of the other key botanicals found in this moisturiser include sunflower oil and Tamanu. Now Tamanu oil, from the Polynesian Islands, contains a host of neutral Lipids, Glycolipids, and Phospholipids.  More importantly used here in a moisturiser, it contains a natural anti-inflammatory.

Organic calendula has long been used to help heal a host of skin conditions. Organic St.John’s wart, anti-microbial organic propolis, natural antioxidant green tea and natural source Vitamin E.  This combination of ingredients helps to calm and repair the skin. The light texture and quick absorption makes it ideal post shave to re-hydrate the skin.

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This unusually large 75ml tube should last you a long time, the industry standard is 50ml.  Its compact size makes it easy to throw into a gym bag or take away whilst travelling. It contains an excellent list of natural ingredients, including 81% organic ingredients.  This is my first review of an Organic Pharmacy product and I’m confident, this won’t be my last!

Ingredients: Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis)*, Aqua (Water) , Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera)*, Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum), Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)*, Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)*, Ceteryl Alcohol, Parfum (Fragrance), Behenyl Alcohol , Sunflower Oil (Helianthus Annus), Glyceryl Stearate*, Sodium Lactate , Benzyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Phospholipids*, Tamanu (Calophyllum Inophyllum), Xanthan Gum, Soybean Sterols (Glycine Soya)*, Marigold (Calendula Officinalis) Extract*, Hypericum Perforatum*, Propolis Cera* , Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis), Vitamin E (Tocopherol) , Sorbic Acid, Limonene , Linalool, Benzyl Benzoate, Geraniol, Benzyl Salicylate, Farnesol, Isoeugenol, Eugenol, Coumarin,

http://www.theorganicpharmacy.com/health-beauty/moisture-cream/304