STYLE

REVIEW: I Tried Soft Services, Instagram's Favorite New Body Care Brand

In my adult life, here is the line I have drawn: I don't take beauty advice from TikTok.

As an app mostly populated by teenagers, lots of the beauty and fashion content is often questionable and fickle, relying on trends and urban wisdom more than anything substantial. From wasteful haul videos, fleeting avant basic microtrends like the Coconut Girl, or problematic expressions of teenage insecurity (we're looking at you, "That Girl"), as an adult, that side of TikTok feels too much like regression to fall into.

And though certain trends and tips seem more salient, most of the time research quickly debunks the claims — for example, who else tried "slugging" and "oil training" and ended up looking greasy for a week?

However, having grown up with Instagram as my social network of choice, I am still susceptible to targeted Instagram ads. A victim of aesthetically pleasing marketing, all I need is a well packaged product to appear on my feed for my interest to be piqued.

But Soft Services, a body treatment brand, is more than just it's pretty packaging. It's backed by high quality ingredients, intensive research, and real results.

They're also more than just a well packaged beauty brand; they specifically target body care and skin concerns like keratosis pilaris (aka KP or "chicken skin"), discoloration, ingrown hairs, and more. The high efficacy products use the best, most researched ingredients to work well and work fast.

Don't get me wrong — the Soft Services packaging is in fact very pretty, and its campaigns are worthy of Glossier ads. Beyond their prettiness, they also prioritize sustainability in their process and packaging, trying to reduce waste at every step of the way.

Sold by the aesthetic and ethical components, the actual products had a lot to live up to — and they didn't disappoint.

Soft Services currently carries three products which come together to make a power trio, called the "Smoothing Set."

First the Buffing Bar, a microfoliant exfoliator. Don't be fooled — this isn't a soap. The exfoliating brick is made of fine crystals packed tight with shea butter and other moisturizing ingredients to soothe while it sands away the harshness in your skin.

Upon first use, I was surprised by just how effective the seemingly smooth blue bar was. It's not for the faint of heart!

Pro tip: Start gentle and work up to more vigorous motions where you need it. The Buffing Bar is satisfying because you can feel it working, and the invigorating feel of physical exfoliation is also a great way to wake yourself up in the morning or destress at night.

This is definitely the star product of the set. Body scrubs can be hard to use, with most of the product ending up on the shoer floor instead of on your body, so the Buffing Bar gets points for being easy to use and because you can immediately feel the results.

The other two products are nothing to scoff at though, adding to the physical exfoliation of the Buffing Bar with daily, chemical exfoliation.

The Smoothing Solution is a concentrated chemical exfoliant that I've compared to the cult-like Paula's Choice BHA Liquid, but for your body. The gel formula uses 10% lactic acid to exfoliate and 5% urea to moisturize.

The last step is the Carea cream to both soothe and exfoliate to keep your skin moisturized as it heals your skin issues. These two daily steps work together to go deep into your skin and work hard in a less glamorous way than the invigorating Buffer Bar.

But combined, they really do work. Just days into my routine, I looked over my skin and thought, wait … did it always look this smooth? Did it always feel this soft?

And though I would love to take credit for my newfound baby softness, it was all the magical powers of the Smoothing Set.

All in all, the Soft Services Smoothing Set makes me more excited to get in the shower and has me marveling at how soft and smooth my skin is spontaneously throughout the day.

Feeling my skin get softer is one thing — as a dry brushing devotee, I was already doing pretty well there — but watching my skin look clearer and more even over the past few weeks took me by surprise.

I'm newly (more) obsessed with myself and equally obsessed with these products. I've already told everyone I know about them, and now I address the internet to say: Run! Don't walk! Go into the summer softer than you've ever been.

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