Made in the Midwest: A Solution to Sensitive Skin

Posted at: 11/11/2012 10:56 PM
Updated at: 11/19/2012 8:49 AM
By: Ellery McCardle

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The next time you go to the drugstore to buy lotion, just stop for a second and look at all the brands.

You may stumble upon Vanicream.

It's a well-known brand that's different than most on store shelves.

"It's really nice to hear how our products helped someone in their family or changed their lives," said Brian Leary, co-president of Pharmaceutical Specialties, also known as PSI.

Leary hears that often from people.

"It keeps you motivated," said Leary.

Vanicream, probably the most well-known brand in the company is unlike most competing products

"We keep out as many of the common irritants as possible so all our products are formulated without fragrances, dyes, certain preservatives, things hat may irritate skin," said Leary.

That said, it can take up to one month from creation to completion of each jar because everything that goes into the cream is tested. But once the conveyer belts are rolling, up to 12,000 jars of Vanicream can be packaged in one day.

"When you walk down the aisle there you'll see it and think 'gosh I had something to do with it and it makes you proud," said James Fritz, production manager at PSI.

Two Rochester pharmacists started PSI in the 1970's Ed Mansfield and Conrad Thompson. Now products are shipped all over the world and are sold at major retailers like Walgreens.

PSI has new products in the works, but no secrets are being revealed just yet. If you ask employees what consumers will get, the word "quality" is said often.

"When you've got a quality staff, the end is a quality product," said Fritz.

This year, PSI was ranked one of the top 100 workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune.