Thursday, January 6, 2011

In Kind - Safeway's new natural personal care line

"Safeway Inc. has rolled out the In-Kind natural personal care line of products for body, hair, face and hands. In its official blog, the Pleasanton, Calif.-based retailer said the new product line of body washes, shampoos, conditioners, facial products, hand soaps and more -- retailed in a unique curvy bottle -- is specially formulated with gentle ingredients.

According to Safeway, all In-Kind products feature a formulation consisting of more than 90 percent natural ingredients; clean, fresh, and natural scents; and a strong efficacy. Additionally, the products are free of parabens, sulfates, animal byproducts, pesticides, phthalates, EDTA, petroleum or petroleum-based products, synthetic colors, mineral oil and synthetic fragrance."

Well, you know me, I'm a sucker for natural and inexpensive. I was unhappy with my current facial moisturizer, and I have a difficult time finding ones I like anyway. I have skin that is oily in some areas and dry in others. Products designated for sensitive skin tend to be too weak for me. They don't make my skin feel clean enough or hydrated enough. Products for dry skin make me oily. Products for oily skin dry me out. It's a huge pain in the behind. "Combination Skin" is just a synonym for "Difficult and Unruly - impossible to please". Hmmm...maybe this goes deeper than my skin. Anyhow, I've never been truly happy with any facial moisturizer. The closest I've ever come was Oil of Olay, oil-free, SPF 15. wasn't natural, organic, name it. So, when I made my move to natural products, it had to go, because its parent company did animal testing.

So, here I am, still without an acceptable moisturizer, still with disappointed skin.

I tried Aubrey Organics (probably the best stuff out there that is easy to find - great ingredients, great company philosophy) but it just didn't work. Might as well have been using straight water. In fact, the moisturizer felt like that: watery.

I tried Avalon Organics. It honestly made my skin burn. Which bummed me out, because it was one of the few "easy to find locally" natural/organic products with SPF.

So, when I saw this lotion at Safeway, I decided to do some research. Information was very hard to find. In Kind is a Safeway store brand, and the only place you can find information is on their website or by calling their headquarters. They were fairly helpful on their facebook page and emailed me within two days with a full list of the products they offer in the In Kind line:

Anti Aging Eye Cream
Daytime Facial Firmer
Nighttime Facial Firmer
Anti Wrinkle Facial Serum
Anti Frizz Cream
Volumizing Shampoo
Volumizing Conditioner
Curl Care Shampoo
Curl Care Conditioner
Moisturizing Conditioner
Daily Facial Calming Cream for Sensitive Skin
Sensitive Facial Cleanser
Facial Moisturizer
Clarifying Tonic
Facial Foaming Gel
Hydra Cream Facial Cleanser
Eye Make Up Remover
Intensive Repair Body Lotion
Moisturizing Body Lotion
Sensitive Body Lotion
Hand Cream
Natural Ginger Hand Soap
Natural Verbena Hand Soap
Revitalizing and Exfoliating Body Wash
Moisturizing Body Wash
Sensitive Body Wash
Hair Spray
Styling Gel

*I've put the products I'm trying in bold. I wanted to try the Clarifying Tonic, but my local store hasn't returned my call about a product request. (I'm also requesting that they carry Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant so I don't have to buy it at Rite Aide - which is the only place in town that carries it.)

I imagine that information will be easier to find soon. It's a very new line, so few people have reviewed it.

And...I've put in a good hour doing research on all of the ingredients in the cleanser. So, here you are:

1) Water
2) Sodium methyl-2 sulfolaurate - Derived from coconut; mild, non-drying cleanser.
3) Disodium 3 sulfalaurate – couldn’t find what it is, but did find it in lots of other organic brands and learned that it does not seem to be toxic or connected to any negative chemical research (via and the Skin Deep database).
4) Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate - Derived from coconut and palm oils; a safe, skin-friendly surfactant (foaming agent) for both skin and hair. This mild plant derived surfactant creates a rich, luxurious lather that effectively removes surface oil, dirt and bacteria, without stripping or drying sensitive skin. Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is also hydrophilic. This means it is attracted to water, which enables it to dissolve more readily in water, thus providing superior rinseablility.
5) Cocamidopropyl betaine - a synthetic surfactant; it has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis, reactions that could be due to the ingredient itself or to impurities. (I will mention that I found this ingredient in several other natural or organic brands and that it received a 5 out of 10 rating for toxicity from Skin Deep.
6) Glyceryl Stearate - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Glyceryl Stearate (also called glyceryl monostearate) in its list of direct food additives affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). The safety of Glyceryl Stearate and Glyceryl Stearate SE has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Glyceryl Stearate and Glyceryl Stearate SE were safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.
7) Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate - a natural, food grade, emulsifier derived from the sodium salt of lactic acid.
8) Sorbitan sesquioleate – a plant-based emulsifier, approved for use in cosmetics, has been linked to allergies in some studies.
9) Aloe
10) Chamomile flower extract
11) St. John’s Wort extract
12) Oat kernal extract
13) Sodium PCA - Sodium PCA, otherwise known as the sodium salt of pyrrolidone carbonic acid, is a humectant that is naturally occurring in the skin. It is a derivative of amino acids that is very water absorbing. It is also hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from the air.
14) Sodium Lactate - used in the cosmetic, food field as flavor enhancer, humectant, pH control agent to prolong the reserving period etc.; Sodium lactate is natural salt that is derived from a natural fermentation product, lactic acid.
15) Arginine
16) Glycine
17) Alanine
18) Serine
19) Valine
20) Proline
21) Threonine
22) Isoleucine
23) Histidine
24) Phenylalanine (15-24 are common amino acids)
25) Fragrance (100% natural) – this is the most vague and therefore most suspect ingredient. It might be natural…but from what?
26) Tetrasodium glutamate diacetate – I couldn’t figure out exactly what this is, but Skin Deep gives it the green light as a 100% acceptable, non-toxic gel-forming substance.
27) Phenoxyethanol – an organic chemical compound often used in skin products. It is a bactericide
28) Tropolone – a natural anti-bacterial agent

So, for a product that purports to be "natural" measures up. It doesn't claim to be organic. And, as far as I can tell, it would stand up in a test against many of the major "natural" or "organic" brands that I have tried and for which I have studied the ingredients. And, after I contacted the company, I can say with sureness that this product is also cruelty-free.

I have used it for several days now, and it beats the Burt's cleansers (which don't seem to clean well enough) and the Avalon Organics (which just irritate the heck out of my skin). My skin is soft, less oily in the T-zone and less dry everywhere else. The product cost less than $5 on sale and is produced in California by Lucerne North America, LLC - a Safeway manufacturer.

Lucerne/Safeway does not have a spotless reputation. PETA ran a campaign in 2002 call Shameway...meant to "shame" Safeway into implementing better animal welfare standards. According to the website,, "Safeway became the first grocery-store chain—and the first Fortune 500 company—in U.S. history to pledge to make much-needed improvements in the living and dying conditions of farmed animals.
Under PETA and Safeway's agreement, Safeway committed to immediately implementing unannounced audits at Seaboard Farms in Oklahoma, a major supplier of pig meat, where a PETA undercover investigator caught on videotape the fact that screaming pigs were beaten, bludgeoned, and slammed against the floor. Safeway has pledged to stop working with suppliers that fail audits, and the company continues to work cooperatively with PETA in order to improve the lives and deaths of the animals it sells."

And in 2008, after further negotiations, "Safeway and PETA announced a new agreement that made Safeway the industry leader on animal welfare."

I still prefer to shop at Sunny Farms, Country Aire, and other local grocery stores, but Safeway is a good stand-by when I need items I can't find at these local stores.

The jury is still out on In Kind. I'll need to use the product for a few weeks to tell if it is really any good. The price, however, is right. Around $5-8 per product.


Melissa said...

Just a note to add...this product is made in Canada.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing this info. I am currently using the daily facial calming cream for sensitive skin and the eye cream. I like them very much but I am not sure if these products clog my pores. I called and asked but they were not helpful.

Anonymous said...

I have had adult acne breakouts for a few years now. Since I've been using the facial cleanser, my breakouts have disappeared! When I do get one tiny zit, I put this on my face and it seems to numb the skin immediately leading to zero irritation and zero itchiness. I even rubbed this facial cleanser on my husband's sunburned skin one day, washed it off and it soothed his skin immediately. I am going to keep this is the best skin care product...period. The natural ingredients work so well together for different situations!

andrea said...

i've been using the night cream for about 2 weeks now. i plan on trying the facial cleanser, body wash and lotion as well. i like the night cream, there's only one weird thing about it. when i go to wash my face in the morning, it feels like there's a coating on my skin. not sticky or oily, it feels like moisturizer. i feel like it washes off with my cleanser, but it's just a little....weird. overall i'm happy with it though.

Sammarye said...

Do they test these products on animals?

Melissa said... to their website.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that one of the items it states it does NOT contain is EDTA. Does anyone have any insight on that? Or why that woud be important?

Kristin V. said...

Do you know which of these products do not have chamomile? I'm allergic. I would check myself, but we don't have Safeway in Kansas. So if this stuff is good, I might want to pick some up next time I'm in Colorado.

Melissa said...

It does not appear to be in the sensitive skin facial moisturizer (light purple bottle) or the moisturizing body lotion or body wash (yellow bottles). It IS in the sensitive skin facial cleanser, however (hmmmm...). I have not tried the other products, but if I think about it when I'm at Safeway next time, I'll take a glance and post again.

Cara said...

I've recently started using the curl care conditioner on my fine, spiral curly hair and I am delightfully surprised. I really like this product and I have been looking for something that worked just like this forever now! i had no idea it was a safeway brand.

Anonymous said...

Though so far I’m really pleased with the In-Kind nighttime firming facial moisturizer I purchased recently, I just discovered that “Product of Canada” doesn’t mean much. The In-Kind line is distributed in California, but the only other packaging info aside from the list of ingredients says, “Product of Canada.” However, following is some info regarding that not very enlightening statement, courtesy of Canada’s investigative consumer show “MARKETPLACE”:

” ‘Product of Canada’ doesn’t actually mean the ingredients are from Canada. All it means, legally speaking, is that at least 51% percent of its production costs were spent in Canada. As … [the] report reveals, sometimes “Product of Canada” has been to three continents before it lands here.”

Furthermore, a post on the MARKETPLACE website notes that ” ‘Product of Canada’ …simply means that it is a product of Canada being sold to the public. Products don’t necessarily have to be grown or produced in Canada in order to be ‘products of Canada.’ As long as Canada is buying the products, whether it’s from another country or whatever, it is buying the product and owns it, so they can literally say that it is a “product of Canada.”

I’d like to try more In-Kind skin care products, but does anyone know how to find out exactly where the ingredients really come from, and where the products are made? I’ve done some research, but was unable to find any information. If I’m able to get a reply through the website, I’ll share it, so I hope it’s good news. Don’t want to disappoint anyone, myself included, because this seems to be a good skin care line with great pricing!

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