The New Zealand-based company Trilogy and its line of plant-based skincare products, including Botanical Body Wash, are the creations of sisters Sarah Gibbs and Catherine Wells. Gibbs and Wells define the threefold philosophy of their products as "Simplicity, Vitality and Purity", and the company’s broader "trilogy" of values is a balance of ethics, aesthetics, and environmentalism. I have already tried and enjoyed Trilogy’s facial exfoliant and eye cream in the past, so I was looking forward to using the new Botanical Body Wash.
This shower gel is packaged in a generously large bottle that invites you to use it with abandon, although two or three pumps of the gel are enough to produce abundant lather. In addition to a dose of nourishing rosehip oil, the signature ingredient of the Trilogy line, the body wash contains botanical extracts ranging from familiar, calming lavender and chamomile to more esoteric native ingredients of New Zealand such as kawa kawa and amla fruit, all of which are intended to rejuvenate the skin.
While all these plant extracts were chosen for their benefits to the skin, certain other elements have been excluded: the Body Wash, like all Trilogy products, remains free of mineral oil, parabens, and sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates. It also eliminates artificial colors and fragrances in favor of natural ones. This happens, as a matter of fact, to be a wonderfully aromatic product. Its scent is a blend of essential oils, primarily an earthy, grounding frankincense and a refreshing, leafy-peppery geranium. I like this combination of traditional ingredients and an innovative formula, which suggests an herb garden in some space-age biodome, as well as the packaging, which updates an apothecary-like amber bottle with recyclable plastic and simple, modern label designs.
Products like Trilogy's Botanical Body Wash remind me of the shift that has occurred in natural body care over the past decade or two. I can remember the "health food stores" of the 1970s and early 1980s, where I would occasionally spot a shelf of body care products somewhere beyond the slabs of carob and the barrels of bulk granola. To my disappointment, the selection was usually limited to Dr. Bronner’s All-One Hemp Pure Castile Soap and a dusty box of henna hair color. Times have indeed changed. I know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or a bath product by its container, but even when I’m in the mood for a nature-based cleanser, I still want the fringe benefits of a refreshing smell and chic packaging. Using this Botanical Body Wash is like eating a piece of really delicious, ripe fruit: I feel like I’m doing something good for myself, but it’s also a pleasurable sensory experience.