If you’re wanting to switch to an all-natural, organic skincare line, but are unsure which brand to try, I can’t recommend Esse highly enough.

But before we get into why I love the brand so much, I need you to fully understand what the terms “Greenwashing”, “Natural” and “Organic” means in terms of beauty products.

Greenwashing is rampant in the beauty industry. It’s a form of marketing spin in which green PR & green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organizations product, aims & policies are environmentally friendly, and therefore ‘better’.

Believe it or not, when used in beauty, the term “natural” is NOT regulated at all. When buying a product claiming to be natural, I think it’s advisable to study the ingredients. Remember, ingredients are listed from highest percentage to the lowest, so look for a product where synthetic ingredients are listed towards the bottom of the list.

Organic means that ingredients are organically farmed, but here’s the catch: A product only has to contain a certain percentage of organic matter to include “made with organic ingredients” on its label. As far as I know, Esse is the ONLY local skincare brand that has the ECOcert certification.

I have so many people asking me to recommend organic skincare brands that are comparable to international ones like Tata Harper & Dr Hauschka. The ONLY one that comes close is Esse – THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST, just by the way.

Esse has been around for years, and I’ve been a fan for the longest time. They were also one of the FIRST BRANDS IN THE WORLD to include Pro & pre-biotics in their skincare. As mentioned previously, they are one of the few local skincare brands that carry the ECOcert certification (I actually can’t think of any other local brands who do) and each of their products has a listing so you can see the percentage of natural and organic ingredients used. Most, if not all their products are Vegan & 100% cruelty free. They also list the Carbon Offset of the product – something I’ve never seen any other local brand do.

All their products are fragrance free and are free of synthetic colours, chemicals & all the nasties (SLS, Parabens, etc.)

I urge you to go look at their website HERE where the brands ethos is so well explained.

Esse sent me a few products to try and review and honestly, I adore each one!

Esse Sensitive Cream Cleanser R585 – BUY

This Cream Cleanser for sensitive skins gently and effectively removes dirt and make-up. It binds with impurities, allowing them to be easily rinsed away. Jojoba Oil keeps the skin moisturised during cleansing, while Marula oil dissolves oil-based impurities without stripping the skin.

the Esse Sensitive cream Cleanser is: 100% Natural, 70% Organic, 100% Vegan, 100% Cruelty Free with a 561g Carbon Offset

And I love how on the Esse website, you get detailed information like this:
Microbiome: As with all products in the Esse Sensitive line, this product aims to minimize the chance of allergic reactions. The product is 100% natural and the overall fragrance level is below 0,03%. The preservative system is exceptionally mild and the number of ingredients in the formulation has been kept to a minimum.

Esse Restorative Moisturiser R1,485 – BUY

This is an intensely moisturising formulation that is suitable for nighttime repair and restoration or for use twice a day on dry skin (morning & evening). This is a really rich, very nourishing formula that’s been formulated to combat ageing by optimising the health of your skin’s microbiome. The populations of skin microbes are shaped with an extract of probiotic Lactobacillus and two key prebiotics – inulin and alpha-glucan oligosaccharides. High levels of Low Molecular Mass Hyaluronic Acid boost moisturisation and interrupt the cytokine cascade that accelerates ageing.

The Esse Restorative Moisturiser is: 99% Natural, 65% Organic, 100% Vegan, 100% Cruelty Free, and has a 496g Carbon offset.

Esse Cream Mask R695 – BUY

This mask fast became a favourite of mine because it’s SUPER nourishing and wonderfully comforting to very dry skin. It’s IDEAL: for very dry & mature skin that’s looking a bit dull or feeling somewhat stressed. It contains Hyaluronic Acid to boost the skin with an intense moisturising and plumping, as well as Kigelia that increases collagen production for a visible brightening, lightening, and firming effect.

The formula also contains prebiotics to feed beneficial microbes and a probiotic extract to shift microbial populations to favour your skin.

You can use it one of two ways:

  1. I like using it twice a week as an overnight mask. I apply some cream to my face, neck & décolletage and just allow it to penetrate into my skin. It does leave quite a nourishing film on the skin, which I then massage in. I sleep with it on, and wash my face come morning. I would only suggest you try this overnight method if you have very dry or mature skin, sunburn or are battling with dry patches on the skin.
  2. For all other skin types, simply apply a generous layer to clean, dry skin and allow to set for at least 5 minutes. Rinse using a sponge or cotton cloth and warm water.

The Esse Cream Mask is: 99% Natural, 58% Organic, 100% Vegan, 100% Cruelty Free and has a 350g Carbon offset.

Esse Resurrect Serum R1,160 BUY

This serum that addresses the signs of ageing in sensitive skin launched last year.

It’s key ingredient, Myrothamnus, is extracted from the Namibian Resurrection plant and is very high in antioxidants and has a rapid moisturisation effect that lasts for 24 hours.

The formula works to hydrate & plump sensitive skin types without initiating an immune function response. It improves hydration, barrier function and skin sensitivity. Thanks to the addition of Hyaluronic Acid, it also plumps wrinkles, firms the skin, and reduces inflammation. Biome + level 2 and 3 probiotics and prebiotic’s support a balanced skin microbiome, signaling to skin cells to improve barrier function and reduce trans-epidermal water loss.

The spreadability of this serum is great and a little goes a long way. It should be used in the evening on clean skin after cleansing.

The Esse Resurrect Serum is 98% Natural, 86% Organic, 100% Vegan, 100% Cruelty Free, and a 225g Carbon offset.

To learn more about Esse follow the brand on Facebook HERE & on Instagram HERE.

You can check out the Esse website HERE for a comprehensive list of Esse stockists around the country (there are MANY). You can also buy Esse at Wellness Warehouse stores nationwide. Many Spas also sell the brand.


I started using sensitive cleanser about a month ago. Loving it!!

When I moved to EL and fell pregnant with #3 I had the worst eczema one can ever think of. It has left me with hyperpigmentation. My skin is still super sensitive. Esse was the first product I used on my journey back to accepting what my skin looks like now, journey to healing and the hyperpigmentation is not as bad as what it was 6 years ago. I still use Esse facial wash, exfoliator and clay mask.

Hi Pumeza, it’s so interesting how many people have responded with similar comments to yours. Telling me how great the range is for those with eczema or very sensitive skin. I think it’s a combination of the pre & probiotics combined with the fact that their products don’t contain any nasty, skin irritating ingredients like fragrance, SLS or Parabens.

My friend introduced her husband to the face wash! He is now converted 😍😂

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