Small batch is a popular buzzword these days and with good reason. Small batch production means fresh ingredients, greater quality control and supporting small businesses. For Sanitas, it also means creating skincare that’s produced just when it’s needed, right at our Colorado headquarters.
So what does small batch manufacturing at Sanitas actually look like? It begins in our production facility. On any given day, within just a few feet of each other, you’ll find compounders carefully weighing raw ingredients to begin a new batch of Oil Free Moisturizer; a manufacturing technician filling tubs of Triple Butter Body Cream; and another Sanitas team member running a small machine that’s pinching and imprinting today’s date on a tube of PeptiDerm Eye Treatment. Just beyond that, a technician is wiping down products and ensuring they look perfect and ready to be carefully hand packed in their boxes for delivery to a customer.
Handmade with care
“Every step of the process is done by hand,” says Jessie Rustici-Jones, director of R+D for Sanitas. “There are no robots here.” In addition, everyone involved in the manufacturing process has direct access to Jessie, meaning anyone can bring any quality concerns to her right away.
“Because of our hands-on approach, we know exactly what’s in each batch of products, and who’s responsible for what part of the process,” says Jessie. “We all have to be honest about our work—there’s no way to cover up mistakes!” The result? Ultimate quality control.
Testing at every stage
Our emphasis on innovation and using cutting-edge ingredients naturally makes it necessary to test, test and test again. In fact, before it even makes it to the production room floor, each new product undergoes multiple rounds of testing within the team and consumers.
Once the product has checked all the efficacy, safety and good user experience boxes, it goes through intense stability testing, where members of our R&D and quality teams simulate the effects of heat and moisture on a product for three years. If a product can’t make it that long without staying stable (e.g. separates), it has to be reformulated.
When those tests are complete and the formula moves into production, “we make sure each product looks right, smells right, feels right,” says Jessie. Bulk products are tested immediately after they’ve been finished, and tested again after the product is filled, labeled, packaged and packed up for shipping (to ensure the external packaging hasn’t introduced any biological contaminants). One product from each batch is also filed away so that the team always has access to an exact replica of what’s in customers’ hands, providing a baseline to test that product’s long-term efficacy.
Getting fresh ingredients in customers' hands
On average, it takes just 2-3 months from the time a Sanitas product begins its journey to the time it reaches a customer. That short timeframe doesn’t just guarantee freshness; it also means fewer preservatives are needed, leaving more room for the purposeful ingredients that make our skincare so effective.
The importance of working in small batches is intensified when you’re working with active, less stable ingredients like vitamin C and retinol, says Jessie. “Knowing the ingredients are fresh means knowing that the product a customer receives is going to be as effective as possible,” she says.
For Sanitas, small batch production is the only way to go. “It’s all about having control over every part of the manufacturing process,” says Jessie. It offers a way for us to ensure that each results-driven product that goes into a customer’s hands is fresh, effective and backed by real-life results.