Tag Archives: Esse

My latest Little Green Box treat!

It’s been a while since I posted about a beauty review – and whoa, do I have a cracker for you! Recently I went to my fave little eco salon (The Little Green Box), which, if you’re concerned about chemicals on your skin at any beauty therapist – you don’t need to worry here! I was treated to the NEW Esse Age Defying Facial. Yes. Please.

If you haven’t read previous experiences that I’ve had with Peta, you can do so here and here (she is so very wonderful, and sooooo much in line with how I think and what I love). She is an Esse expert and beams organic, wholesome, holistic and non-judgemental light as soon as you walk into her space. She also told me I had little live friendly pac-man type creatures crawling all over my skin during the exfoliation… intrigued? Read on…

EVERY TIME I have a facial I think I need more facials because they are so goooood for my skin.

Here is a little about the facial itself: 

Esse products are (in my opinion) some of the best natural products out there. Formulated under incredible minds, these products are creme de la creme.

Esse is USP certified organic, they use natural and organic ingredients as well as live probiotics, and is considered a cosmeceutical (because of the delivery system and how the ingredients penetrate the cellular membrane). No nonsense here guys…

Probiotics are for the skin, like water is for a thirsty soul! They protect, hydrate, improve barrier function, skin firmness, slow the rate of aging and detoxify. Esse’s philosophy includes providing skincare that is ethical and sustainable. They care about being carbon neutral, committed to the Fairtrade movement and are Phytrotrade Africa accredited which monitors plant diversity. Esse are also cruelty free, and vegan.


Have you heard of the Human Microbiome Project? Basically it will challenge everything you thought about healthy bacteria and (extreme) cleanliness, and how desperately our skin microbiome needs attention.

In 2013, the Human Microbiome Project concluded that “microbes contribute more genes essential for human survival than humans do”.

What is the Microbiome?

The Microbiome is the sum total of all the microbes in and on your body.

What is a Microbe? 

A Microbe is a single celled organism.

What is a Probiotic?

Probiotics are beneficial microbes.

What is a Prebiotic?

Prebiotics are food sources for beneficial microbes. By giving them food, they proliferate and thrive thereby excluding the pathogenic (harmful) ones.

Microbes are essential for health. Esse treats the skin as an ecosystem, and every ingredient is carefully considered for its impact on the microbiome. Back in 2015, Esse launched their revolutionary Probiotic Serum. This serum contains 3 species of lactobacillus microbes. These probiotics are only activated on contact with water on the skin. They then seed the skin with billions of live probiotics which help to rectify imbalances in the skin as well as repair barrier function for a firmer, fuller and more radiant skin.

Sooooooo, back to where my experience came in… Peta gave me Esse’s Age Defy Facial (because I’m no spring chicken anymore guys, and well, my cross-face lines, they’re sinking in deep…).

The Age Defy Facial by Esse Organic Skincare:

  • It enhances preservation from probiotic and botanical actives, restores the skins vitality and promotes collagen and elastic formation (so, you see, those cross-lines are a goner).
  • It also boasts an advances skin smoothing mask with muscle relaxing properties.

A few things to note from the facial:

The Beta Hydroxy Exfoliation:

  • This is a light peel for getting skin back on track
  • Gently dissolves (Peta described this as little pac-man friends eating away at my old, dead skin and) the ‘cement’ that binds skin together.
  • It is very gentle. Not a ‘scrub-type’ exfoliation.

The Intensity Mask: 

  • This is a skin smoothing mask contains Marfane Extract – this is the crucial main ingredient. Considered as a natural alternative to botox (YES please!), it has a strong relaxing effect on muscles and takes 2hrs to activate.
  • It also gives an intense moisture boost.

We took before and after photos (but my phone died a slow and painful (for me) death and had to be wiped clean, l so I can’t show you the final result) but I dared to go out to do the school run with my naked face and felt amazing. It was soft and plump and healthy-looking. I will absolutely be back for another treatment!

I am constantly amazed at the current and on-going advancements in technology when it comes to organic skincare and how THIS is where significant discoveries are being made (such as the importance of our microbiome, keeping the skin of the pH accurate and feeding it, as opposed to scrubbing, smothering and simply ‘cleaning’ it).

Peta is a wealth of knowledge, (she clearly LOVES this stuff) and I’d highly encourage you contact her if you have ANY questions about any skin concerns. She has numerous facial options for those wanting age-defying, or a hydrating, or a intense facial treatment.

The Little Green Box has become such an obvious spot to stop for any skincare need, as well as for gifts and gift vouchers (ask my friends). Besides all this, vote with your money. Support small, ethical, local business. Always (okay, or as much as you can…)

Check out the full The Little Green Box Price List and don’t forget that Gift Vouchers and Spa Packages are also available. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates and more info.

Contact Details:

41 Meadow Way, Constantia Meadows.

Tel: 074 816 7794 (or whatsapp)
Email: littlegreenboxskincare@gmail.com
Web: www.greenboxskincare.co.za

The Little Green Box – Eco Skincare 

Monday to Friday: 08:30 – 16:00
Saturday: 08:30 – 13:00
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

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.

Your Local Eco Salon – The Little Green Box

Christmas came early for me this year. I never knew that right around the corner from where I live (about 5km’s – no jokes) there is a beauty and skincare therapist called Peta who, after being involved in the industry for over 10 years, started asking questions about how she could move towards a more eco-friendly way of treating her clients.

Amazing right? Think about it: a professional in the industry, with a heart to treat her clients with honest and natural products – promoting health, contemplating her environmental impact, and supporting local brands – all the while PAMPERING YOU. Now come on. I might need to outsource this blog writing to her because she is on the money. I’m full-on inspired.

Peta invited me to her Little Green Box, a bespoke eco-friendly skincare clinic that offers professional treatments using organic products. Her salon sits cozily on her property in quiet Constantia Meadows, Cape Town.

Little Green Box Salon Mirror

Not only did she treat me to an Esse Anti-Aging Facial, but I was able to relax, be pampered (and my lucky face and neck were cleansed, exfoliated, loved on and and and for an HOUR), and I was able to chat with her about her story.

After working in the salon industry for many years, she came to the realization that the traditional skincare products she was using on her clients every day had many dangerous chemicals in them. She found that this affected both ones skin health and general overall health, and not only was she using these products on her clients but as a therapist she was being exposed to them every day. After the birth of her daughter she decided to launch her own salon, and in doing so she made a huge (and pretty brave) change – she went green.

And here’s how she did it… (are you ready for this?)

The Little Green Box – Eco Skincare uses LED lighting, flow restrictions on the basin and shower, dual flush toilets and even eco-friendly laminate flooring. She installed a solar geyser and tries to keep as much plastic out of the clinic as possible. All of the packaging of the products that she stocks is recyclable(!). Her and her husband have a well-point for their garden to offset the water that she uses in the clinic, and she takes great pride in being eco-friendly by supporting South African brands like Esse (a brand for which she is the Western Cape Trainer). The wax she uses is also eco-friendly and contains no petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrances or animal by-products and is cruelty free.

“I love knowing that the products that I am using on my clients are amazing, clean, green, results-driven-products that really work. I believe in ethical and sustainable skincare as well as having a holistic approach to skincare and ageing”.

Are you as completely flawed with inspiration as I am? Her salon is beautiful, fresh and inviting. I’m a green-ish person (hence the blog name). I love playing around with making things, going homemade, growing food, rethinking how we do things and supporting local, but this is another level. Peta has dedicated her day-to-day work (read: livelihood) and has courageously committed herself (and her earning potential) to this cause.

I’ll also tell you what she’s not: she is not a green-freak who will look down on you if you don’t encapsulate your own placenta, or water your garden any other time besides between the hours of 2am-4am (exaggeration added). She is remarkably down to earth for someone who has taken such a bold move. She is warm and open, easy to talk to and really approachable. Her clients are a mix between those who moved along with her (and have embraced and found real benefit from the eco-style) and those who are thinking about what she is doing and appreciate her eco-efforts.

Little Green Box Salon

Peta is a huge fan of Esse. I’ve recently come to know this brand quite well and hearing Peta talk about it made me that much more excited. Peta, being a trainer for the product, knows what shes talking about, and you know your face is in good hands (ha ha – get it?).

Prior to the facial, she took some gizmo and checked the hydration levels on different parts of my face. After thinking my skin was quite dry, she reassured me that my levels weren’t too bad (especially around my eyes). About 5 minutes later the penny dropped (I was obliviously way too relaxed) and remembered I had been using Esse’s Eye Contour Cream around my eyes. I kid you not. Even I was amazed.

So let’s get back to the facial. It was the Esse Anti-Aging Facial R370 (60min)

She started with the Esse Triple Cleanse which included Eye-make up Remover R170 (100ml), Cream Cleanser R300 (200ml), Gel Cleanser R280 (200ml).

After the cleanse, she did a gentle exfoliation with the Enzyme Exfoliator for 10 mins under steam for a brighter, clearer complexion and to remove dead skin cells. I then sunk deep into the bed as she continued with a facial massage with the Facial Massage Cream. She then massaged my feet (I LOVE foot massages) for 15 mins while the Eye Mask and Omega Mask did their thing. The Omega Mask is an intensive treatment mask formulated to feed the skin as well as sooth, relax and calm. And calm I was.

Peta also offered to tame my eyebrows with some threading. I was really appreciative of the offer (plucking is such a shlep) but initially hesitant as my previous experience with threading had not been all that great. I used to pop down to 4th Ave in Vancouver and some tiny little lady would have a good go at my eyebrows and exactly 17 seconds later, I’d be $9 poorer with blood spots framing my newly shaped brows. She gently encouraged me and I obliged – and I’m SO glad I did. For the first time I had no blood spots and very little redness. I’ll be back. For sure.

She wrapped up my facial with a spritz with Toner Plus R370 (100ml), she applied Serum to my entire face R295 (20ml), Eye and Lip Cream to the eye area R285 (20ml) and finally the Omega Deep Moisturiser R430 (5x10ml pots). AMAAA-ZING. This was my jumping into the Esse world, and she’s given me tips on how to continue with a healthy skincare regime (which I’m happy to report I’ve kept up and am loving!)

Little Green Box Salon Esse

My hydration levels were checked again after the facial and it was obvious to tell that Peta and Esse make a winning combination. My levels were optimal and my skin felt incredible. Full stop.

Other Treatments and Products on offer include:

•  Esse Organic Skincare (certified organic by ECOCERT)
•  Bt-micro and Bt-analyze
•  Kalahari Ancient Desert Secrets
•  Hello Nature Organic wax (certified organic by ECOCERT)
•  Manual Lymphatic Drainage
•  Threading
•  SpaRitual Vegan Nail Laquers

The Little Green Box Salon

You can purchase any of the Esse products above from The Little Green Box. Chat to Peta about what she thinks will be best for you skin – she’s a wealth of info!

Check out the full The Little Green Box Pricelist and don’t forget that Gift Vouchers and Spa Packages are also available. With Christmas coming up – this is a great Christmas present idea. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates and more info.

Contact Details:
41 Meadow Way, Constantia Meadows
Tel: 074 816 7794 (or whatsapp)
Email: littlegreenboxskincare@gmail.com
Web: www.greenboxskincare.co.za

The Little Green Box – Eco Skincare 

Monday to Friday: 08:30 – 17:00
Saturday: 008:00 – 14:00
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays