Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for January, 2011

Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Board

Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Board

My new years resolution of making more of an effort to eat more & build up my appetite has been going well. I’m surprised how I’ve managed to spend more time in the kitchen, experimenting with cooking.

I decided that I needed to buy a few things for the kitchen, and one thing I bought was this index chopping board that first caught my eye on a recent perusal of John Lewis’ website (but I bought off amazon as it was cheaper, only £30). Housed in a very stylish storage case with a non-slip rubber base, inside are four different colour-coded chopping boards with tabs (fish, meat, cooked food, vegetables). This makes chopping soo much easier 🙂

It must be a sign of getting older, me getting excited about kitchenware!




I’ve always been interested in learning more about the chemicals used in products. In fact, Chemistry was my favourite subject at school. I’d spend hours reading Chemistry related books, the easiest exam I’ve ever done was A-Level Chemistry, I left after an hour and knew I absolutely nailed it. I was offered a scholarship to study Chemistry with a year at Glaxo, but opted for Physics at university instead. Having sensitive skin meant that working in a lab full of chemicals wasn’t for me – shame as I would have absolutely loved it!


Skincare is a minefield. Something as simple as researching the best skincare products for sensitive skins is more complex than I thought. All I was looking for is a reputable brand which combines simple, nice smelling products that work, and don’t have an ingredient list as long as my arm! So, I read through the list of popular brands such as Clinique, Clarins, Dermalogica, Avene, Liz Earle, Neals Yard… The list goes on… I thought my search had stopped when I came across New Zealand brand Trilogy. Their sensitive skin range looked perfect, and had glowing reviews. I read through the small list of ingredients and came across Phenoxyethanol. I hadn’t heard of this so after a little googling found that it’s used commonly as a preservative in organic skincare (a replacement to parabens). Fair enough, I understand that preservatives are required to pro-long the self-life of products. However, after reading more info on Phenoxyethanol on the cosmetics database, it’s actually classified as a known irritant, in fact Japan restricts its use in cosmetics.


Although the concentrations of Phenoxyethanol used in cosmetics are normally less than 1%, I felt a little hesistant to purchase products for the face that contain it. Sometimes it can be easy to overlook terms used to describe products like ‘sensitive’ or ‘hypo-allergenic’ as fine, until you read the ingredients list – I like it when some websites actually provide that information before you buy.

I questioned whether I would come across a high-end skincare range that was kind to skin. Luckily I heard about MV Organics – their gentle cleanser and moisturiser looks more like what I am looking for, shame there aren’t many reviews for the brand just yet…


Trilogy Sensitive Skincare

Skincare is a minefield to me. There are soo many different brands, it can be somewhat difficult to know what the best facial cleanser and moisturiser are for your particular skin.

I wouldn’t say that I have ridiculously sensitive skin, but I am mindful about all the chemicals that goes into products, especially when using them on the face. One female colleague swears by Decleor, my boss says his wife loves Liz Earle and the beautican that threads my eyebrows recommends Dermalogica, as does a male colleague who suffers from skin irritations after shaving – he’s only started using Dermalogica’s pre-shave guard and says its really made a difference, even if he moaned after coming back from their Kensington store that he spent about £50 on two products! I once dated a guy who spent lots on skincare, he was a fan of Clarins, and I admit that for a guy in his early forties he had very few visible signs of ageing.

The internet is a useful tool to get advice and reviews of different branded products. After a lot of research, I knew that I wanted a brand that uses natural certified organic ingredients. I came across a brand called Trilogy – created in 2003 by two sisters from Wellington, New Zealand. Trilogy is carbon neutral, has recyclable packaging for all products and sources ethically-traded and where possible, certified organic ingredients. I’d never heard of them before, but they’ve won quite a number of beauty awards, and their products are highly praised in the reviews that I’ve read. So, I was pleased to read that they have created a range for particularly sensitive skin which includes:

Trilogy Very Gentle Cleansing Cream, £22.47 at Boots

Trilogy describes their very gentle cleansing cream as: “An extremely gentle cleanser designed to care for even the most sensitive and easily irritated skin. Delicately cleanses and thoroughly removes all make-up. Combines natural spring water, Camellia oil and Chamomile, ingredients chosen for their non-sensitising and soothing properties with pure plant oils to thoroughly cleanse without drying and protect the weakened skin barrier of sensitive skin”

Ideal for:

  • Sensitive Skin
  • Cleansing
  • Calming
  • Soothing
  • Non-sensitising
  • Fragrance Free
  • Alcohol Free

Next up is their very gentle moisturising cream:

Trilogy Very Gentle Moisturising Cream, £24.51 at Boots

“A particularly gentle moisturiser, designed to nourish, hydrate and comfort even the most sensitive and easily irritated skin. Combines natural spring water and soothing Calendula with calming Chamomile, Evening Primrose and a plant derived Hyaluronic Acid to help smooth and hydrate your complexion. Also formulated with antioxidant Green Tea to help protect your skin from visible signs of ageing”

  • Sensitive Skin
  • Hydrating
  • Replenishing
  • Calming
  • Soothing
  • Non-sensitising

The range sounds good to me, now all that’s needed is to try them out and see whether they live up to the hype! I even like the sound of Trilogy’s botantical Coconut treatment masque for hair – bet that would smell yummy 🙂


* Update – after reading the ingredients list of their sensitive range, I’m a little hesitant because they use a preservative (I understand it’s needed to prolong the shelf life of the products), Phenoxyethanol, which is a known irritant. Its use in cosmetics has been restricted in Japan. Such a shame really wanted to love this range 😦

Read about Phenoxyethanol via the link below: