Humans contain multitudes, which is one of the reasons why so many skin-care lovers have a multi-step, twice-daily routine for their faces… but can barely remember to use body moisturizer. While working at Glossier during the early days of the beloved beauty brand, Soft Services founders Rebecca Zhou and Annie Kreighbaum watched as shoppers connected with the physical (and emotional) power of a skin-care routine for the face. However, while Kreighbaum used her beauty editor skillset to solve her facial skin concerns and Zhou helped build the e-commerce platform that turned commenters into customers, they felt something was missing in the body category.
“In my entire career, almost 10 years of being a beauty editor, I noticed the articles that went gangbusters [on Into The Gloss] were the ones that focused on niche body issues that nobody else is talking about,” Kreighbaum tells Allure. “Why are we 30 and still have body acne? My face looks great, but I’d never been able to really hack my body like I have my face.”
Zhou felt similarly, and the pair followed a very 2021 path, taking their work-based friendship out of the office before turning into freelance collaborators that later became brand founders together. With today’s official launch of Soft Services, a body-care company that targets specific skin concerns, like keratosis pilaris and body acne.
These days, keratosis pilaris (aka KP) is a popular skin topic, perhaps because a reported 40 percent of adults deal with so-called “chicken skin.” Board-certified dermatologist Doris Day previously defined the skin condition for Allure as “a build-up of keratin — a hair protein — in the pores that clogs up and blocks the opening of growing hair follicles. As a result, small bumps form over where the hair should be.” KP typically appears on the upper arms, thighs, butt, or even the outer cheeks of the face.
Treating KP typically includes encouraging cell turnover with exfoliation along with hydration, which is exactly what Soft Services’ debut products — the Smoothing Solution ($34), a calming gel exfoliant; the Carea Cream ($40), a body lotion; and the Buffing Bar ($28), an exfoliating handheld scrubber — intend to tackle. “The theme for the first three products is smooth skin,” Kreighbaum reveals.