Founded by Kristen Dunning, who has grappled with eczema and skin sensitivities from a young age, Gently Soap offers a compassionate approach to skincare that emphasizes natural ingredients and sustainable practices. With its commitment to herb-infused, fragrance-free soap bars, Gently Soap aims to provide a gentle yet effective alternative for those with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, while also adhering to eco-conscious and community-supportive principles.
Gently Soap Before Shark Tank
Born with eczema, Kristen faced not just physical discomfort but also social stigmatization as a child. Her skin condition was severe enough that her parents likened her appearance to that of a “baby alligator,” due to the extreme scaling and peeling of her skin. In an effort to manage the painful symptoms, Kristen was put on a regimen of steroid treatments, which subsequently led to complications such as steroid withdrawal symptoms in her later years.
Fueled by these experiences, Kristen decided to take an academic path that could potentially lead her to answers for her own, and many others’, skin issues. During her undergraduate years, she studied Horticultural Science and Agricultural Communications, a choice inspired by her family’s agricultural background and her grandmother’s herbal knowledge. Kristen initiated a research project in horticulture, focusing on medicinal plants like calendula and chamomile, known for their anti-inflammatory properties. The insights she gained from this research played a crucial role in shaping Gently Soap’s philosophy and product line.
What Makes Gently Soap Special
Gently Soap is noteworthy for its dedication to excluding essential oils, synthetic fragrances, and toxic chemicals from its products. One might expect that a soap devoid of added fragrances or essential oils would lack a pleasing scent, but Gently Soap has creatively tackled this issue. The soap bars are infused with herbs, thereby subtly imbuing them with natural aromas without compromising the skin’s health.
Sustainability is another key pillar of the brand’s ethos. The soap bars are zero-waste, vegan, and made using organic and fair-trade ingredients. This commitment to environmental stewardship extends to the company’s packaging as well. In partnership with a supplier devoted to eco-friendly operations, Gently Soap’s packaging is made from 50% recycled paperboard, with a significant portion derived from post-consumer waste material. Currently, the company offers only bar soap, a deliberate choice to minimize the environmental footprint associated with single-use plastic packaging commonly found in liquid soap products.
Community involvement forms a cornerstone of Gently Soap’s operations through its LOVE GENTLY Wellness Initiative. Bi-annually, the company donates soap bars to local non-profits focused on aiding marginalized communities such as the homeless and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. This philanthropic angle aligns with the company’s overarching mission to create a positive impact, both on individual skincare routines and broader societal wellbeing.
Gently Soap, founded in 2020, has come a long way in a relatively short time, buoyed by Kristen Dunning’s personal journey and the brand’s triad focus on quality, sustainability, and community involvement. As it continues to grow, the brand remains steadfast in its original mission: to provide thoughtful skincare solutions that are not just benign on the skin but also beneficial for the environment and the community at large.