Esse Please!

Whenever I go for a facial I always dread that question:

“So… what product are you using on your skin currently?” … because I know I’m going to fumble over the answer.

Should I say:

a) (The truth) BUSTED. I use nothing.
b) Well… it’s been tricky because after I gave birth (blah blah) my skin did this weird thing with the… thing… and then I ran out of the whats-his-name and I just haven’t managed to get back into the groove with that other one I had… and so… (fumble, stutter, more fumbling)
c) I have a bottle of Environ at home (since 2003).
d) I swap between the free hotel travel size bottles, leftover soap goo and magazine sachets of nonsense.


And so the last time I went for a facial at The Little Green Box my skin was pampered with a brand I’ve had my eye on for a while, Esse (pronounced Essss). It was my 32nd birthday and I thought RIGHT. It’s time.

Starting a proper skincare routine is a bit like opening up a retirement policy. The earlier you do it the better the reward, and the less guilt you have to deal with later on. So, Happy 32nd Birthday me – Esse, welcome to my world.

esse logo

Here’s why I LOVE Esse (and why you should too):

  • They’re local, certified organic, vegan, cruelty free and support fair trade.
  • They launched the worlds first LIVE probiotic serum (which is on my face this very minute).
  • Esse aim to create an environment on the skin that favours the growth of beneficial microbes so that they can out-compete pro-ageing species (I’ll take that – thank you).
  • They use prebiotics to selectively feed good microbes and have included probiotic microbes in some products to deliver specific results.
  • Their packaging is fully recyclable.
  • They have chosen the best of Africa’s plants to deliver potent new actives in their products. Their ingredients include Baobab, Kalahari Melon, Kigelia and Marula (and they smell amazing!).
  • PhytoTrade Africa oversees the sustainability of their wild-harvested ingredients and ensures that the rural communities that gather plants are paid fair trade rates.
  • They believe your skin is a complex ecosystem (and I love this way of thinking).

Long story short, I launched myself into the regular Esse range – which I loved… but my skin… well it was a tad unsure. Maybe it was the new regimented discipline of cleansing which knocked my skin off kilter (it had never been so loved on before) but something wasn’t happy. I wanted so badly to love Esse, but my skin was playing tug-of-war with me. So I chatted to Peta (Western Cape Esse trainer) at The Little Green Box and she suggested I try the newly launched Sensitive Range.

And now we’re on the money. This range is amazing. Amazing amazing. More than amazing. I’m currently using the Sensitive Cleanser (R360), Sensitive Serum (R650), Hydro Moisturiser (R480) and Nourish Moisturiser (R550) on my skin and I feel like a princess. I’m sure Kate Middleton uses this stuff.

If I’m honest – this range does come with a price tag I’m not used to paying – see point d) above (the whole thing about hotel bottles and magazine sachets). But I wholeheartedly believe that this is a range where the cliche ‘you get what you pay for’ rings very, very true. Should we not be paying a decent price when the products we’re buying and using are local, organic, of an incredibly high quality and have LIVE probiotic microbes in them? Not to mention the fact that they last a good while as you need to use so little of them with each wash. Retirement policy remember?

Here are my newest bathroom besties: 

Esse Hydro Moisturiser Esse Nourish Moisturiser Esse Sensitive Cleanser Esse Sensitive Serum

I particularly love the Sensitive Serum. This serum contains more than one billion live probiotic Lactobacillus microbes per millilitre. These microbes are activated on contact with water on the skin. Once active, they equip the skin to rectify imbalances and strengthen barrier function. I honestly don’t think it can get much better than that. This has to be the creme-de-la-creme of South African Organic Skincare products and it’s hard to imagine what can top it. Little eco, green, minimalist Debbie is well and truly overwhelmed with these goodies.

For more info on what Esse are up to on this beautiful journey. You can keep in touch with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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