Product Review: Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balms

Sometime in the last couple of years, aromatherapy went from an occasional sensory indulgence to an integral part of my daily routine. Essential oils aren't as bothersome for those with scent allergies as traditional fragrances; they fade away faster; they're all-natural instead of being loaded with synthetics and potentially endocrine-disrupting chemicals; and they boast a slew of wellness-enhancing benefits. All of this works for my current lifestyle—I work in an open office space and exercise at a scent-free barre studio (so many people with perfume allergies!), and I'm trying to go more natural and adopt healthier habits. I've mostly stuck to oil roll-ons, so when I heard about the new Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balms ($18 each) and their innovative balm texture, I was definitely interested and requested PR samples right away.

The Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balms are a replacement for the discontinued Aromatherapy Sticks (previously featured here and here). The old Aromatherapy Sticks faded too quickly and didn't have enough essential oils in them to counterbalance the strong smell of the beeswax in the base; I ended up re-purposing mine as lip balms. Apparently a lot of customers felt the same way because Rocky Mountain Soap Co. went back to the drawing board. (Side note: How much do you love a company that actually listens to customer feedback?)

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balm NPN number detail shot

The result is an essential oil blend suspended in a base of distilled water and safflower oil, with a lightweight creme-to-balm texture. If you wear a lot of makeup, you might find the Wellness Balms easier to wear and apply than traditional oil roll-ons; they come out of the bottle a light beige and can be dabbed on top of makeup in a thin, clear layer that won't disrupt concealer or foundation. (By contrast, oil roll-ons tend to leave noticeable shiny spots.)

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balms

As you can see from the photo above, this is a vegan, non-GMO formula that wasn't tested on animals. Oh, and that NPN in the photo above? That means the Wellness Balms are a licensed natural health product under Health Canada, which also means they "have been assessed by Health Canada and found to be safe, effective and of high quality under their recommended conditions of use." Personally, I always feel better about aromatherapy products with NPNs. You're buying something a third-party regulatory body has deemed effective, instead of a random essential oil blend from a farmer's market that smells pretty but does nothing.

One final note about the 15 ml pump bottles before I talk about each Wellness Balm: I think some tweaking still needs to be done on the packaging. The pump tends to stick and either not dispense anything or dispense one big spurt of product at a time. It'd be nice if the pump had a smooth downward action so I could pump out as much or as little product as I like. And while the bottles do look adorable sitting on a desk or nightstand, they're not as slim and portable as the roll-ons I'm used to.

Now then, shall we take a closer look at the different fomulas?

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balms texture detail shot

Stress Away combines rosemary, soothing lavender, and uplifting sweet orange and grapefruit to alleviate stress. Lavender is the dominant note, but I like how the other essential oils weave in and out to make this anti-stress scent more complex. This one is my fave of the four—it smells better than any other anti-stress aromatherapy product I've tried. In fact, it smells so good I dab it on pulse points as a personal fragrance before I leave the condo!

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balm Stress Away

Deep Sleep blends together neroli, ylang ylang, French lavender, and bergamot and promises restful sleep and sweet dreams. As a chronic insomniac I don't find it as effective as Tata Harper's Aromatic Bedtime Treatment in sending me off to and keeping me in deep sleep. However, it does smell nice and help clear my mind and relax me at bedtime.

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balm Deep Sleep

Likewise, Headache doesn't deliver the same pepperminty tingles and powerful whoosh of relief as my usual headache remedy, Saje Peppermint Halo. The combination of peppermint, French lavender, sweet marjoram, and rosemary helps ease tension across the forehead and temples, but might not be potent enough for migraines.

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balm Headache

Breathe Easy relies on eucalyptus, sweet marjoram, tee tree oil, rosemary, cedarwood, and peppermint to relieve cold and flu symptoms. I like the tea tree oil, which gives the formula a slightly antiseptic smell and makes a nice change from peppermint-heavy everything. It does help you breathe easy just as it promises by opening up nasal passages, but isn't as effective as my favourite natural cold and flu remedies.

Overall, I had a lot of fun testing the Wellness Balms. The fragrance blends smelled different from my usual aromatherapy products and the creme-to-balm formula was a novel twist; both made for a refreshing change of pace. Stress Away was by far my favourite of the four, and while the formulas were pleasant and mildly effective at addressing their intended ailments, they didn't smell as strong and weren't as potent as I'd like and the pump bottles need some improvement.

Have you tried Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balms? Thoughts?

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Wellness Balms Breathe Easy

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