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Esse Skincare

Esse Skincare

Why we recommend Esse as part of your skincare routine

At Pfeffer Sal we love Esse Skincare a brand known for its focus on the skin's microbiome and barrier function, and on the use of probiotics and prebiotics to help support these. 

While we're not brand affiliated, the skin barrier is integral to our approach at Pfeffer Sal, and we trust Esse's products to complement a skincare routine that keeps it in check!

The history of Esse and their founder Trevor Steyn

Esse was originally founded by scientist Trevor Steyn in 2002 in South Africa. His initial plan was to offer certified organic skincare using the chemistry of muthi plants, but this evolved into something closer to what we have today after the Human Microbiome Project published its first results in 2010.

Trevor realised that this new knowledge around the skin's microbiome was a game changer.

“When the first findings of the Human Microbiome Project came out, I understood that every person is a walking ecosystem of human and microbial cells. That was when I started to apply new lines of thinking to skincare products. Single chemicals are risky, so we focused our research on shifting the ecosystem to support diversity.”

“Since its inception, my goal for Esse has been to optimise skin health by creating effective and sustainable skincare solutions. We are privileged to partner with Pfeffer Sal, who share our passion for promoting underlying skin health to improve long-term ageing outcomes.” Trevor Steyn

What is the microbiome and what does Esse mean by rewilding?

The skin microbiome is made up of diverse microbes living in and on your skin. Just like in your gut, these are in part “good bacteria” that help to protect your immune system.


The modern approach to germs and cleaning doesn't do our microbial partners any favours. For those who live in cities, we certainly have less contact with nature. Lots of beauty products these days are formulated with surfactants and parabens which can strip the microbiome.


Without a healthy skin microbiome, your skin barrier can be compromised, it can become sensitive and age prematurely.


Esse's method is to keep the microbiome in a good state through its product formulations and approach to skincare.


"Rewilding" is what Esse call the use of probiotics and prebiotics in organic formulations, which help restore the balance of the skin's microbiome.

Understanding Probiotics and Prebiotics in Esse Skincare

Probiotics are live microbes that can shift the skin’s ecology to favour a diverse ecosystem healthy enough to resist attacks from pathogens. They also slow the skin’s rate of ageing by reducing inflammation. Esse seeds the skin with probiotics and feeds the skin with prebiotic nutrients to ensure a microbial intervention that balances the skin’s ecology​.

Probiotics are a low risk but effective option for manipulating the skin microbiome. We favour using live probiotics that can form colonies. The strains that are used make a big difference to efficacy and safety.


Frequently asked questions about Esse

Are Esse's products suitable for all skin types?

Yes Esse's products are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. We curated a range of their products to ensure that all skin types are catered for.

Is Esse eco-friendly?

Esse are carbon neutral, plastic neutral and certified organic.

Since inception, Esse has subscribed Ecocert’s organic standards and percentages. They’ve omitted ingredients deemed unsafe or unsustainable, which is verified through production facility audits to ensure full traceability of all raw materials.

They've also worked with Cleanhub to ensure that the plastic equivalent of their usage is collected and recycled. Cleanhub collects plastic waste in the world’s most highly polluted locations, through a global network of local Collection Hubs, before it enters the ocean.

Are Esse's products tested on animals?

Esse does not test products on animals, and will not source ingredients from suppliers who do. They are accredited members of PETA’s cruelty-free company programme and Beauty Without Cruelty, who educate the public about the exploitation and abuse of animals.

Their products are all vegan and they are accredited by The Vegan Society – the worldwide standard for products free from animal ingredients and animal testing.

Our bestselling Esse products

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