Kindred – 100% organic oil based skincare
During my last trip to the US I got in touch with Frances from Kindred Skincare Co. by mail. After communicating back and forth for a while, Frances recognised a venue that I had posted on Instagram and realised that I was actually staying very near by! So she invited me over to an old school and charming workshop building (that has a very interesting history by the way), in which she has set up her business in Delaware.
What a treat!
When doing product reviews, I hardly get to visit the business as such and if so, it is usually more like a showroom than a production site I get to see.
In this case, I was really spoilt by not only being introduced to this magnificent organic oil based skincare product line by the founder herself. I also got to meet the office pets, other human family members, and I got to see Frances’ ‘witches brew’ laboratory kitchen, in which she manufactures all products herself.
How Kindred Skincare was born
Frances launched her skincare line in fall 2015, hence fairly fresh in the market. However she had been working on her formulas since 1998, when she was looking for a natural way of cleansing, nourishing, and calming her fragile skin.
After formulating countless prototypes, Frances – who has a background in engineering – has found her best recipes, that she now shares with the world.
Frances, who is originally from Atlanta, tells me “I got overexposed to chemicals during my career in engineering, spending a lot of time in the back of a polypropylene plant. So I started making my own skincare years ago, when finally a friend, who is a plastic surgeon, said to me ‘ you’ve got to share this, Frances’.”
Although only a very short time on the market, Kindred Skincare is already available in a clinic, several shops and a spa.
‘Soak till you squeak’
Kindred Skincare is all organic oil based.
Frances says “I think in Europe there is more open mindedness to oil based skincare than in the States. In the States you are brought up being taught to have squeaky clean skin. ‘Soak till you squeak’ is just the worst thing for you skin. It actually triggers your skin to produce more oil itself. Oil based skin care is slowly becoming more accepted here in the States. Yet people are still drawn to their soaps. I can explain the chemical background to cleansing oil with oil and I can assure you it does work.
I have been using my oils for about 15 years now” .
(Frances has beautiful skin!)
Cleansing oil with oil
Frances continues: “I make two different oil cleansers, let me get some cotton wash cloth mitts for you, Anja, and we can play with all of them.
When using my cleansers, you want to use enough products so that you feel that slip on your face when you are cleansing.
And then you massage for a good two minutes, because of different things:
one is the chemical action, you are letting the oil do its thing. Also the heat of your fingers are warming up all the oils. We have got a lot of essential oils in there, but very subtle. None of my products has an overpowering smell.
After the two minute massage you wipe it all off with water and the wash cloth mitten.
I for example do it once a day, I only cleanse at night, before I take a shower, and my skin feels really nice and clean.
I also have a cleanser with tea tree oil in it for people suffering from skin conditions such as dermatitis,acne, rosacea, etc. I have had great feedback from people, that the cleanser has helped them a lot, even stopping them to use any medical prescriptions.
It has tea tree oil in it and is high in linoleic acid. The National Institute of Health studies show that if you apply it topically it actually can create an improvement in increasing the level of linoleic acid that can help you skin.
All my oils are high in linoleic acids.
People with problem skins have higher levels of oleic acids and lower levels of linoleic acids on the lower levels of their skin.
As for rosacea, which may probably also be caused by irritations, the tea tree cleanser can help. We usually over stimulate our skin, we over do it in many ways sometimes, so a simple routine may be the answer.”
Two Different Moisturisers
Kindred organic oil based skincare offers two different moisturisers, one for the night and one for the morning.
The morning moisturiser has an oil, which is actually from the seeds of the Queen Anne’s lace plant, that you see everywhere in the summer up here in New Jersey. Frances adds raspberry seed oil, which they say can protect you against the sun.
The nightly nourish is a little bit thicker than the morning moisturiser, which is great for nighttime. I love the nightly nourish, it really nourishes my skin that feels great in the morning.
As for the morning moisturiser which is a little lighter in texture, it leaves a healthy glow on my skin, which I am very happy about on most days, however it does not work for me with a full make up (that I do not wear most days anyway).
And I cannot reply often enough to the question of sceptical people: No, your skin is not going to be greasy! Not at all!
Frances elaborates: “Actually natural oils absorb more quickly compared to lotion or creams, which are always made from water and oil, or oil and water emulsion, so you have to have a chemical ingredient to hold it in suspension. It is actually a form of mayonnaise. I believe that you are so much better off with a natural and light oil only.”
Of course the scrub is also organic oil based, and again like for the cleanse, you use it on dry skin with dry hands. It contains fig seeds and citrus peel. The green colour comes from the spirulina and it has peppermint too. The scrub is safe for face and body.
Frances herself uses it every 2 to 3 days. The scrub has a very fine texture and does not do the harsh tear that some other scrubs can do, which can really do more damage to the skin. But this one leaves the skin soooo super soft! One of the other main ingredients in there is mango butter from mango seed, which chemically is very similar to sebum.
What I love about the scrub is, that it is kind of sticky in texture. Some other oil scrubs I have tested in the past are runny when opening the lid, you need to stir them first and apply them really quick. Not so for the Kindred scrub, that stays on the skin almost like a mask.
My absolute favourite in this line!
The Body Oil
Since I was a baby suffering from some sort of dermatitis and the doctor told my mother not to clean me with water but oil only, I have loved oil on my skin.
The Kindred Body Oil has a lovely subtle smell, and Frances explains why it does not feel slimy but dry on the skin after application:
“I use fractionated oils. I remove the waxes so I am left with the liquid which I think is absorbed more quickly. When breaking that fatty acid chain, you are making the oil go into the skin better.”
My favourite oil in the body oil is plum kernel oil, and it has just a little bit of mustard seed oil, because although it is an irritant when used straight, a bit of mustard seed oil can increase circulation at a cellular level of your skin.”
I use body oil almost every night, usually donning a robe or some sort of other comfortable home wear. I have tried many many different body oils over the years, and I have x-ed out many of them, for example as some of them have left a stale smell in my clothes. Another plus I have noticed using the Kindred Body oil: no unwanted smell in clothes, robes or towels!
The Body Baton – a great innovation
Remember the push pops when we were kids?
The Body Baton is similar, you push it up as you need it. It is a solid oil based stick moisturiser.
What a great innovation! You can use it on the lips, or hands, any area you wish to moisturise without getting your palms all yucky. Great for on the go, in the car, travelling, for the golf or gym bag etc.
They come in two different version, lavender and woods. Frances had her rocket-science-air-space-engineer-husband 3D print her a tray which serves as molding form for manufacturing her mango butter, bees wax, calendula oil batons.
I am so making the Body Baton my favourite hand bag organic beauty item!
The packaging really stands out too, elegant and simple. The bottles are all glass, and the exterior packaging is safe enough so that you can travel with. The packaging is totally safe when shipped and the products come in TSA friendly sizes.
Frances actually tested the sturdiness of the packaging herself by deliberately throwing a bottle on her basement steps without any damage outcome.
Like mentioned above, Frances manufactures all her food grade products herself in small batches in her little ‘witch brew’ laboratory, as she is keen on controlling her batches tightly.
“There is a piece of me in every bottle that walks out the door” she says. She puts a lot of effort into attention, sterilisation, hygiene, and more during the entire manufacturing process.
All Kindred Skincare products are certified organic and gender neutral in several aspects, such as smell. Nothing smells flowery.
There is nothing fancy or complicated about the regiment of using Kindred Skincare. It is not like having to do 45 different steps…
Frances says: “I appreciate more lengthy rituals, however there is also the reality of busy lifestyles. This is why I want to keep my line simple. If you want to do more, you can always add more.
There is nothing magic in my products. They are just letting the body do what it does best: take care of you. Your skin is going to be in equilibrium.”
Frances puts all ingredients on the label in front of the bottle. In readable font and size that my 50+ eyes really appreciate!
And I would love to hear about your experiences with organic oil based skincare!