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August 05, 2020 4 min read 5 Comments

You asked, we answered! A few months ago we crowdsourced your burning Rocky questions for our Product Development team. We put those questions to our rockstars and have their responses for you here. We really love answering your questions and hearing your feedback at Rocky. Listening to you makes our products as amazing as they can be, so never hesitate to reach out to us through Facebook, Instagram or on the blog.

How long does it take from idea to seeing a new product on the shelves?

That depends on the product. Case by case, it can take anywhere from six to 24 months before a new product grows from a seed of an idea to your new fave.

How do you refine a formula for the final product? Is it based on customer feedback?

It’s a long process. Here it is, step-by-step:

1. First, we conduct lab trials (that means over 200 experiments!)

2. Next, we measure the physico-chemical parameters. That means the physical and chemical characteristics of something.  

3. Then, our first guinea pigs (we NEVER test on animals, only on people) our chemists/biologists and lab staff test the products on themselves.

4. Next, we move on to our CEOs, Cam and Karina, for testing and approval. 
5. Lastly, we do our final tests ethically, using human volunteers.


Image of woman wearing a hijab working in lab.

What do you have new in the works? Any toothpaste on the horizon?  We keep busy here at Rocky. There are 10 to 15 new projects happening at any given time, and we’ve always got experiments on the go. Toothpaste, cream cleanser, deodorant that works overtime…we’re always working to meet the needs of your healthy lifestyle! We can’t say when to expect these products, but they’re things we’re working on.

Loving the new shampoo and conditioner! Can we expect it in a bar form?
Thank you! We love it too. We’re working on the technology to make this happen. In the meantime, we do have a Rosemary Shampoo Bar you might enjoy. We find it works best on short hair.

Who develops the packaging, our team? Or do they just work on what goes inside?
Great question! The research and development team is responsible for packaging development, and they work with other departments (like marketing) before the final product reaches the shelves and your hands. That process includes:
1. What shape and size the packaging needs to be

2. Material (plastic, glass, paper etc ...)

3. How it works: tube, lid, bottle, container, etc … 

4. Colour

5. Labels (all designed in-house by our rocky designer, Alex)

6. Technical content

7. Marketing component 


Person ins lab coat in a lab in front of a row of empty clear bottles.

How do you ensure ingredients you source are free of toxins and synthetics?
Patrick, our chemist, wants to be clear: there are no toxic chemicals, there are only toxicological doses (doses that are high enough or administered in such a way that they can harm you). For example: Water is normally non-toxic if you use it for washing and drinking but if you pass water via your respiratory path to lungs it will definitely be toxic.

When it comes to cosmetics, all the ingredients we use are rigorously tested by manufacturers and regulated by authorities like the PCPC (Personal Care Product Counsel) and FDA. There are clear guidelines that separate synthetics from naturals.

Are the ingredients only sourced locally from Canada? How much consideration is out into how they are grown/produced?
We try our best to source our ingredients as locally as possible, and organic when we can.

Some great examples are Abyssinian Oil from PEI, Camelina Oil from Saskatchewan, Goat’s Milk from B.C. and Beeswax from Alberta. That’s just to name a few. You can read up on a spotlight on our Canadian suppliers here.

How do you decide what types of soap to make? Are we allowed to give you ideas?
We often make decisions based on consumer feedback (that’s you!) So, yes, please send us your ideas!

Why is the Dry Skin Butter so great right now? Has something changed?
The ingredients are the same but we’ve improved our process. We’re glad you’ve noticed and like the change!

How do you choose the Essential Oils in skincare?
We look at the properties of key constituents in each essential oil for their possible benefits to the skin as well as the desired overall scent/aroma profile. Then we review industry safety guidelines to see if everything fits at the required usage levels for best scent, review costing parameters, essential oil sustainability and consistent availability in the marketplace to meet our high volume demands.

Image of woman in lab mixing essential oils.

How do you choose scents for seasonal products?
We often look at nature to see what colors, aromas and feelings we want to evoke with the scent. That said, although winter looks and feels white/cold typically and we’ve had cool/minty/cold color themes here (like Vanilla Candy Cane), we may also want to inspire a sense of comfort with a spicy/warm/sweet scent profile launched for this time of year, for example when we have the ultra cozy London Fog Community Bar. Late spring/summer is generally warm and vibrant in scent and color so often we look to what is active and growing with a nod to local flora and fauna. Sometimes the events in a season will also influence direction, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Canada Day or back to school. We actually have a Q&A with Tara, our herbalist, available here about what went into creating our Orange Cardamom scent that you may find interesting!

What is your favourite product to make?
Patrick, our chemist says he loves making Day Cream and Shampoo. For Tara, our herbalist, the new scent categories and therapeutic aromatherapy blends. She also prefers bases in lotions, body oils and face serums.


5 Responses

Rocky Mountain Soap Company
Rocky Mountain Soap Company

November 05, 2020

Thanks @SARA glad you love it! There are no plans to make a matching lotion just now but it’s a great idea! You might find the scent resembles our Pomegranate Day Cream a touch ;) thanks again!

Sara
Sara

November 05, 2020

The jasmine citrus smell of the Jasmine Nomad Hand Sanitizer is amazing! Will you be making a lotion or hand sanitizer with that scent in the future?

Alisha
Alisha

August 07, 2020

This is all so interesting!! Thank you for the Q&A!!

Is there any way I can sign up to be a volunteer tester for Rocky? #lifegoals!

Joan Burnett
Joan Burnett

August 07, 2020

Love your products. Wish you had someplace in Saskatchewan to sell them . The Moose Jaw spa use to . Do you have any retailers selling the product

Donna Dempster
Donna Dempster

August 07, 2020

I love your unscented shampoo and conditioner! More and more people and places are going scent free for whatever reasons so I has very happy to find these products on your website. Thank you!

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