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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Natural Empathy Top to Toe wash

Natural Empathy Top To Toe Wash – 200ml (£12.00)

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This is my second review for Natural Empathy, this time their ‘Top to toe wash’ for all skin types.  As the name suggests, this shower gel is designed for use both on the body and hair.

If you’re a lover of shower gels that foam, then this one is for you.  The foaming agents found in this bottle are naturally derived, avoiding the use of synthetic skin irritant sodium laureth sulfate.  The fourth biggest ingredient is Aloe Vera, then we see Quillaja Saponaria, more commonly known as Chilean Soap Bark.  Now Chilean Soap Bark is as you’d expect, extracted from an evergreen tree, native to central Chile.  The application of this ingredient are vast and it has been for hundreds of years.  It is used in this shower gel for its natural foaming properties.

Cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil is the base oil to which Lavender, Cedarwood and Patchouli essential oils have been infused.  Finally a couple of natural preservatives (no synthetic parabens here) and natural source vitamin E.

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The gel is clear thanks to no added colourings and it quickly foams up when added to water.  The natural cleansing and foaming agents leave the skin feeling clean and fresh and the blend of essential oils has created a primarily lavender fragrance, leaving the skin faintly scented.  The fragrance is clean and fresh and is a pleasure to use. I’ve been using this as a body and beard wash, highly successfully I hasten to add!

Ingredients: Aqua, Caprylyl Capryl Glucoside (naturally derived surfactant), Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Xanthan Gum (natural viscosity agent), Quillaja Saponaria (Chilean soap bark), Brassica Campestris (cold-pressed, extra virgin rapeseed oil), *Juniperus Virginiana (Cedarwood), *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), *Pogostemon Patchouli (Patchouli), *Natural Parfum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol (naturally derived Vitamin E) (*denotes 100% organic essential oils), **Citral, **Citronellol, **Coumarin, **Eugenol, **Geraniol, **Limonene, **Linalool (**from essential oils)

Click here to see other Del Brown Approved products from ‘Natural Empathy’


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Warming black pepper shower therapy from Bodhi and Birch



Bodhi & Burch Pep Noir Bath & Shower Therapy – 200ml (£18.00)

The clocks have gone back.  It’s now dark when you get up, dark when you come home and the weather has turned cold and wet.  This season is calling for a product that’ll give you a warm hug in a bottle!  Intrigued?  Then I encourage you to try for yourself this Pep Noir Energising bath and shower therapy gel from Bodhi and Birch.  I’m already a huge fan of the Bodhi and Birch range as their ingredient formulations are consistently of a high quality.  Whenever I review products from their range, I get excited to find a high list of natural ingredients, essential oils and plant extracts.  You can read all my Bodhi & Birch reviews by clicking here.

This shower gel is no exception.  As always, it’s ALL about the ingredients so lets see what’s in it.  Where as in cheaper synthetic brands you’d except to read Aqua, then Sodium Laureth Sulfate, none of that here.  The four biggest ingredients in the bottle after water are Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Coco-Glucoside and Polysorbate 20.  These four natural foaming and cleansing ingredients are derived from fatty acids from coconut oil, sorbital (sugar alcohol) and fruit sugars.  Then we see the piper nigrum fruit oil, which is the Black Pepper oil.  This warming, spicy, comforting oil is infused with White Thyme leaf oil, frankincense oil, bergamot oil and warming Ginger root oil.  Then we see Oakmoss extract, cinnamon bark oil, patchouli leaf oil and coriander seed oil.

This list of oils and extracts reads like an exotic Ayurvedic recipe.  The result is a warm spicy perfumed liquid gel, which has as many notes to it as found in most eau de perfumes.   When you start massaging the gel onto the skin, detoxing and booting circulation, it releases yet more fragrant notes from the essential oils.  Take a moment to inhale deeply and enjoy.  The lightly golden coloured liquid gently foams, cleansing the skin without stripping.  When you finally rinse off you are left with an overall feeling of warm and comfort, together with the masculine fragrance.  This shower gel is truly a feast for the senses, perfect for this time of year and for use on tired or tense muscles.

All black pepper shower gels are not made the same.  Many manufacturers use synthetic foaming agents (SLS), which can cause skin irritation, then add synthetic perfumes to fragrance and artificial colourings, giving all of the illusion and none of the quality.  This shower gel from Bodhi & Birch contains none of these.  I’d go so far as to call this Bodhi and Birch Pep Noir shower gel, the king of winter bathing products with ingredients to match!

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate (from Coconut Oil), Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate (from Coconut Oil), Coco-Glucoside (from Coconut Oil & Fruit Sugar), Polysorbate 20 (from Coconut Oil & Fruit Sugar), Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) Fruit Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (White Thyme) Leaf Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Evernia Prunasti (Oakmoss) Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Bark Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Corrinadrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed Oil, Lactic Acid (from Beet Sugar), Gluconolactone (from Corn), Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol*, Eugenol*, Limonene*, Linalool* * natural component of essential oils

Energising ‘All-in-one’ hair and body wash from A’kin

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A’Kin Pureman Energising All-In-One Hair & Body Wash – 150ml (£9.50)

“Take two bottles into the shower, not me!” This All-In-One hair and body wash from A’kin ticks all the boxes. Never using SLS or synthetic foaming agents, A’kin have used a mix of five cleansing ingredients, all derived from coconuts. They have then mixed in Ginseng, Mandarin Orange, Clove and Cardamon oils, which leaves your skin feeling clean and smelling fresh.

The thick textured clear gel, melts creating small white bubbles making it ideal to wash both the hair and body.  Perfect for travelling, throwing in the gym bag or for fuss free showering.

Ingredients: Aqua (purified Australian water^), sorbitol*, glycerin*, lauryl glucoside*, disodium cocoamphodiacetate (from coconut), sodium cocoyl glutamate (from coconut & sugar cane), sclerotium gum*, sodium isostearoyl lactylate*, panax ginseng root extract, panthenol (pro Vit B5), quillaja saponaria bark (panama bark), sodium citrate*, sodium gluconate*, citric acid*, glyceryl laurate*, sodium stearoyl lactylate*, chlorphenesin, sodium dehydroacetate, ethylhexylglycerin, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, citrus nobilis (mandarin orange) peel oil, zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract [CO2], elettaria cardamomum seed oil (cardamon), eugenia caryophyllus (clove) flower oil, d-limonene#, eugenol#. ^BP standard *botanical sources #from essential oils

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Hello Del, could you recommend a face wash for acne prone adult skin? I never had spots as a teenager but as I head towards being 30, I constantly battle with spots on my face. Similarly I suffer from folliculites around my body, particularly my arms and back, what would the best skin wash be to help calm down any flare ups? Thanks, mike

The cause of acne and spots can be vast, hormones, oily skin, stress, bad diet.  So let us at least try to create an equilibrium and balance with the skin, to help calm down and ultimately stop the flare ups.

I’m going to recommend four facial cleansing products.  All of them are SLS free, don’t contain harsh ingredients, synthetic colours, preservatives or foaming agents.  They do however contain gentle soothing ingredients that your irritated and inflamed skin should respond well to.

REN Clear Calm Clarifying Cleanser

Green People Oy! Foaming Anti Bacterial Face Wash

Neal’s Yard Palmarosa Purifying Facial Wash

A’Kin Pure Facial Cleansing Gel

As for recommending a skin wash that won’t aggravate folliculitis, you absolutely want to ensure your skin wash is SLS and harsh ingredient free. Those ingredients are skin irritants and best avoided.

A’kin very gentle unscented body wash

JASON Fragrance Free Body Wash

Green People Neutral Scent Free Shower Gel

Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely Bath & Shower Gel

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Hi Del, I have an issue with very itchy skin on the sides of my torso and lower back – on the sides I have this every day when I wake up and occasionally at other times. I sometimes have a very slight red rash but usually it looks fairly normal. My sister has bad psoriasis but I do not. I use Pantenne 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner and usually a Dove body wash or some other common brand shower gel. I use an ecoegg for laundry but I don’t use any other products on my body. Any tips?

This can be a tricky one to pin down. Consider the ingredients in your current shampoo, conditioner, body wash and even as far as to what you wash your laundry in.

You seem to be using a good laundry product, which is mainly bicarbonate of soda. Your current hair washing product and shower gel may be harboring the culprit.  People with sensitive skin may react to sodium laureth sulfate or sulphates in general as these are chemical foaming agents which are known skin irritants.  You may find that dry skin is the cause of your irritated and itchy skin, so products that contain moisturising ingredients could be of benefit.

I’m going to recommend three hair and body products that are SLS free. They also contain less chemical irritating ingredients all round.  Try some of these for a couple of weeks and see how your skin responds.

SLS free Shampoo:

Jason Aloe Vera Moisturising Shampoo

Green People Daily Aloe Shampoo

Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo

SLS free Conditioner:

Jason Aloe Vera Moisturising Conditioner

Green People Daily Aloe Conditioner

Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Conditioner

SLS free body products:

Jason Aloe Vera Body Wash

Green People Daily Aloe Vera Body Wash

Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Body Wash

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Dear Del, could you recommend a tea tree based liquid body/face wash without any of the usual nasties, thank you.

None of my recommendations below contain SLS, parabens, petrochemicalsPEGs, artificial colours or fragrances.

A body wash that contains tea tree oil:

Jason Tea Tree Natural Body Wash 

Dr Bronners Tea tree & Hemp Liquid Soap

Essentially Yours Body Wash

Faith In Nature Tea Tree Shower Gel & Foam Bath

Dr Organic Tea Tree Body Wash

and for the face:

The Organic Pharmacy Tea Tree Face Wash

Oy! Clear Skin Face Wash

Tisserand Tea Tree Facial Soap

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Face Wash Foam

Organic Botanics Tea Tree & Lavender Face & Body Wash

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.