Five minutes with: Catherine De Groot and Sarah Gibbs

How did Trilogy first come about?

We started Trilogy in 2002 after we teamed up to look at the potential of an ingredient Sarah was developing in her natural products manufacturing business. That product was Rosehip Oil, the more we researched and used the product, the more we believed in the potential for a contemporary skincare range powered by natural actives with Rosehip Oil starring in the lead role.

What is the philosophy behind Trilogy?

We set out to create a simple, easy to use skincare range that has maximum effect on your skin and minimum effect on our environment.

In terms of efficacy, how do you think natural skincare products compare to synthetic ones?

Natural skincare products are just as effective. The decision to go natural shouldn’t be about compromising efficacy, it’s should be about personal choice.

Trilogy never includes animal derived ingredients in skincare products (with the exception of honey and beeswax).

Is Trilogy carbon neutral?

Yes. Trilogy was the first New Zealand skincare brand to gain carbon neutral certification which has been fantastic. We believe this benefits all the stakeholders in our business from customers to retailers and our team.

The key ingredient in most Trilogy skin and hair care products is Certified Organic Rosehip Oil. What is it good for and why is it so effective?

This is a product that has everything. Firstly, it’s 100 per cent natural, certified organic and comes from fairly traded and sustainably grown sources. Secondly it is a clinically proven cosmetic oil and has been shown to help reduce the visible signs of ageing, improve the skins moisture content and promote smoother skin.

Lastly, it’s so affordable – we don’t believe one should have to re-mortgage the house in order to buy an effective skin care product.

What is Trilogy’s hero product?

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip oil is simply a bestseller. Both here in Australasia and in our international markets in the UK and Asia.

What does the term “natural active” mean?

Ingredients extracted or constructed from raw plant, flower or mineral sources or minimally refined from their raw state and that contain one or more active components directly benefiting the skin.

Please tell us about your latest range, Age Proof? How does this differ to your existing range?

Age Proof is about feeling youthful at what ever age we are, celebrating the confidence we’ve gained and being smart about how we minimise the visible signs of ageing.

This new range of three products is designed to compliment the existing Trilogy product line-up and comprises an SPF15 daily moisturiser, a powerful antioxidant serum and a replenishing night cream.

Age Proof has been formulated specifically to combat the signs of ageing – from the first signs of ageing and as your skin matures. The range therefore contains some different natural ingredients to the rest of the Trilogy range, ingredients that are particularly effective for firming and brightening your complexion.

Who is this range aimed at?

Anyone interested in protecting their skin against premature ageing.

What ingredients are used to make these products particularly beneficial for maturing skin? Please explain the benefits of these ingredients.

Our hero ingredient in Age Proof is nature’s moisture magnet, hyaluronic acid which deeply hydrates and plumps the skin. We’ve also included: licorice and mulberry extracts to brighten; certified organic rosehip oil, avocado, evening primrose and marula oils to moisturise and repair skin as well as host of antioxidant vitamins to help fight free radical damage and assist healthy skin cell regeneration.

You have added an SPF15 to Trilogy’s Daily defence Moisturiser. What haven’t you had a sunscreen in any of your products until now?

We have always been firmly off the opinion that providing your skin with protection from UV rays is a vital part of caring for your skin. But until now we’ve been unable to find a sunscreen ingredients that we have felt suited our range. Our new Daily Defence Moisturiser with SPF15 contains what’s known as a new generation sunscreen which contains both organic and inorganic filters and is photo-stable, meaning it won’t degrade over time when exposed to UV radiation and it offers broad-spectrum sun protection without whitening the skin.

What do you believe is the secret to true beauty?

A healthy and balanced approach to life and a belief that beauty is not about age; it’s about attitude.

Five minutes with: Kathy Phillips

Kathy Phillips spent seven years at Vogue as Health and Beauty Director. She left this prestigious post three years ago to pursue various new projects both in journalism and in the commercial arena.

She is now the International Beauty Director for Cond̩ Nast Asia working with all their titles (Vogue, W and Allure) in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. April 2004 saw the launch of her own brand РThis Works Рan award-winning aromatherapy bath, body and skincare range

What first attracted you to essential oils?

Twenty years ago when I was pregnant, someone suggested I have an aromatherapy massage. I felt so good during and after the massage that I started using aromatherapy products.

I would use them everywhere – I bathed in them, I used them to massage my body. I found I couldn’t live without them. Here I was with a desk full of products that I could have for free – more than you could ever imagine – and instead I was spending my own money on others.

I was always on the look out for better aromatherapy products than the one I was using. That was a reason I wanted my products to measure up. This has also been a personal journey.

Your products are designed to deliver what the bottle promises. Is this the reason for the name This Works?

Parallel to my beauty editing is my life with yoga. When you start doing yoga you seriously start thinking about the way you live. The standpoint with these products is that I was actually very thoughtful about what I put in them.

The name isn’t just a catch phrase because these products really do work. What I know is that it performs. The benchmark was that it must perform.

Do you believe synthetic products can be toxic to the skin?

All this talk about toxicity in products is mainly scare mongering. Although, the one thing that does prove to be irritating to the skin is synthetic fragrances.

And why bother, when the scent of essential oil is so much more pleasant.

How important was the packaging of your products?

One of the advantages of having worked at Vogue was that I was aware of how art directors perform and how the pages [of the magazine] start working in terms of the design and layout.

If the packaging of a product was not attractive enough the art directors wouldn’t want to put it in even though the product had integrity.

I knew the packaging needed to stand up in a magazine. My background made me think like that. But obviously how it looks on the shelves was important as well.

I wanted a modern image for aromatherapy. In England, anything to do with aromatherapy was always sold in brown bottles in health food shops and had a cottage industry feel. I didn’t want my products to look too handmade.

Being a beauty editor I knew it needed to compete with Chanel on the shelf and to perform as well as products like that. All the things I thought of and wished for as a beauty editor I put into my products.

What are your favourite products in the range?

I love Breathe In, which is a blend of eucalyptus and is incredible for when you fly as it prevents you from getting a cold.

The hero product of the range is the Skin Deep Dry Leg Oil. The story behind it is that I had every product on my desk to try but I still couldn’t find something that truly moisturised my legs.

I used to get my aromatherapist to blend this oil for me to take on holiday to prevent them getting dry and chapped after being in the sun. It was the only thing that worked. Nothing moisturises the skin as deeply as essential oils.

Are the products anti-ageing?

Well, what is anti-ageing? We are all going to age at some point. There is no such thing as hope in a jar. The miracle product for anti-ageing is discipline.

The French way of wheeling their 13-year-old into a beauty school to learn about facials and how to look after their skin really does pay off.

I know from my own experience that the women that look good are the ones that have been slowly but diligently looking after their skin by having a daily skincare regime.

But yes, because my products are of high quality then of course they will help people age gracefully. My products are 30 per cent essential oils as opposed to 2.5 per cent in most other aromatherapy products.

That’s a big percentage. I liken our products to good wine or olive oil. Sure you can drink cheap wine and dip your bread into cheap olive oil, but it is never going to taste as good as the real deal. The essential oils I use are off the highest quality, which make them more effective.

What do you love the most about being a beauty director?

Meeting the most innovative people. I have been lucky enough to meet the most stimulating, interesting people – the greatest practitioners and the most talented make-up artists.

I love getting to see how they transform women. It’s very inspiring. I love the minds of the people who drive this industry. Hearing what the cosmetic sciences in the labs are working on – genetics, cell transformation and so forth fascinates me.

They are people who are on the cutting edge of future technology. I get to meet those at the top and that is what I love.