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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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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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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Friendly Soap Shea Butter Facial Cleansing Bar

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Friendly Soap Shea Butter Facial Cleansing Bar – 95g (£2.49)

I previously wrote a review of the aloe vera soap from Friendly Soap, made with just four (five if you include water) 100% natural ingredients.  Well how about I now go one better!  Now let me introduce you to this vitamin A and E rich, facial cleansing bar, that contains just THREE 100% natural ingredients (excluding water).

Say goodbye to ‘made with ¼ moisturising cream’, with no reference as to what the moisturising cream is?  And welcome in 1/3 shea butter, 1/3 coconut oil and 1/3 olive oil.  That’s it!

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  • Shea butter, extracted from the African shea tree, is a natural fat, high in vitamin A and has been used for generations in a wide range of applications from cooking to cosmetics.
  • Coconut oil, extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts, has a high saturated fat content, making it great for softening the skin.
  • Olive oil, an antioxidant rich natural oil, high in vitamin E and a respected all round skin moisturiser.

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No essential oils in this one, so fragrance free.  As you’d expect, no colourings, synthetic or natural.  No preservatives, Vegan Society Approved and leaping bunny registered.  Ideal for the most sensitive skins, hence why the boys at Friendly Soap have labelled this one as suitable for face cleansing.

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I personally used it all over the body and loved the way it quickly foamed up with lots of cleansing white bubbles and left my skin feeling clean and comfortable.  Suitable for everyone, men, women and children.  Problematic skin, that reacts to even the mildest of natural ingredients should be fine with this one too.  So consider upgrading your body wash and allow your skin to re-establish its natural equilibrium.  One of the purest bars of soap I’ve brought you so far and totally Del Brown Approved!

Ingredients: Butyrospermum parkii butter, Sodium olivate, Sodium cocoate, Aqua

http://www.friendlysoap.co.uk/products-page/facial-bars/shea-butter/

Click here to read my other reviews from ‘Friendly Soap’


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Wild Sage and Co Three Flowers and Clay Handmade Soap

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Wild Sage and Co – Three flowers and Clay Soap – 100g (£3.95)

The Wild Sage and Co is a small, family run business, who make their soaps by hand in Herefordshire.  The ingredients used are suitable for Vegans and all of the oils are cold pressed, to help preserve the quality and properties of the oils.

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The base ingredients in this soap are a mix of olive oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil.  They have then added three essential oils of Lavender, Geranium and Palmarosa.  Finally, the most dominant and interesting ingredient in this particular soap, the superfine Australian Reef Red clay.

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Now on the east coast of Australia where the red clay is naturally found, locals and tourists cover their entire body in the stuff.  The clay is naturally high in iron and rich in essential minerals, making an excellent, skin benefiting, clay mask.

This combined with the Lavender, Geranium and Palmarosa, create a cocktail of balancing, calming and anti-inflammatory oils that will aid calming angry skin and re balancing sebum.  If you suffer from spots on the back, shoulders or chest, then washing with a soap containing these ingredients, could be particularly beneficial.

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This soap lathers up to an unusual naturally red coloured foam, thanks to the clay.  Don’t worry, the red clay might leave a red residue on your white bath, but it rinses away leaving without staining.  The all-natural ingredients are gentle on the skin and the fragrance is mild.  A pleasure to use.

Ingredients: Olea europaea, Cocos Nucifera, Helianthus Annuus, Lavandula Angustifolia, Pelargonium graveolens, Cymbopogon martini, Sodium Hydroxide, Aqua, Australian Reef Red Clay.

http://www.wild-sage.co.uk/products/three-flowers-clay

Click here to read my reviews of other ‘Wild Sage and Co’ products


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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:

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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]:

noun

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.

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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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Friendly Soap Lemongrass and Hemp Soap

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Friendly Soap Lemongrass and Hemp Soap – 95g (£1.99)

In general, from the people I speak to, it seems the favoured ‘washing’ product of choice, is shower gel.  But for those who suffer from some sort of skin irritation, we need to first look at what ingredients are in your cleansing products.  I encourage you to go and count the number of ingredients that are in your current shower gel and consider this, Lemongrass and hemp soap from Friendly Soap.

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This soap is made up of just five main ingredients.  No SLS, no synthetic perfumes, colourings or preservatives.  The base ingredients in this soap are olive oil, coconut oil, water, shea butter and finally the genuine, natural, sweet citrus aroma of lemongrass oil.  No synthetic lemongrass aroma here.  Finally, hemp leaves are crushed and mixed into the soap to provide a natural exfoliation.

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Out of all of the friendly soaps I have reviewed so far, I found this to be one of the most foamy.  So, while this soap makes an excellent all round body soap, leaving the skin feeling clean and smelling fresh, it also whips up to make an excellent shaving cream.  A sharp blade glides effortlessly over the skin, negating the need for separate shaving gel.

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Lemongrass is not only a culinary herb, often used in Chinese cooking, but did you know, Lemongrass has also been found to have anti fungal properties.  Ideal for daily use, with a mild citrus lemon fragrance, both men and women will love this.  I maybe wouldn’t suggest this for very sensitive skins or children, as you may find the hemp leaves a little too scratchy on the skin.

Thoroughly Del Brown Approved and a new personal favourite!

Ingredients: Sodium olivate, Sodium cocoate, Aqua, Butyrospermum parkii butter, Cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass) essential oil contains citral, geraniol, limonene, citronellol, Cannabis sativa

http://www.friendlysoap.co.uk/products-page/bath-soaps/lemongrass-hemp-soap/

Click here to read my other ‘Friendly Soap’ reviews