Probiotics (the live microbes that are good for you) are often associated with gut health, but they are just as relevant for the skin. This science behind it may be complicated, but the principle is pretty easy to understand. Probiotics shift the microbial ecology on your skin to favour a diverse ecosystem that is healthy enough to protect you from pathogens and slow the rate of inflammation-related ageing. In essence: feed your skin the best food, and it will thank you in return.
When I posted on Instagram and Insta Stories a while back about three ESSE products I was given to try, the response was 100% positive – those who were using it were completely sold on it being THE best skincare range for vegans on the market. I couldn’t form an opinion for two reasons: Firstly I decided I wanted to give it a full month’s test to really be able to give honest feedback and secondly, I am no skincare expert. In other words, I am out of touch with what my skin needs to flourish. If the results were going to tangible, there needed to be a big difference. And there was.
ESSE (pronounced like the letter S) burst onto the scene in 2002 and in 2015 launched its Probiotic Serum which was said to contain 1 billion live probiotic microbes per millilitre. Since then their range has grown extensively, and they gave me their Deep Moisturiser (for normal and combination skin) as well as the Refining Cleanser in addition to the Probiotic Serum that I used as follows:
- Refining Cleanser
- Deep Moisturiser
- Probiotic Serum
- Deep Moisturiser
Their packaging is gorgeous and one gets the sense in handling the products that you are about to apply something really special to your face. The ingredients of each of the products are easily recognizable when checking out the labels, familiar names pop out at you: rooibos, jojoba, marula, sesame seed oil, shea butter, aloe vera, orange peel oil, Kalahari melon, etc. 99-100% of the ingredients of each of the products they gave me were of natural origin and 50-85% were organic. They are obviously all certified vegan.
The first thing that genuinely blew me away (and still does) is the smell of each of the products, particularly the Deep Moisturiser that hits you with its many fruit extracts.
As bizarre as this may sound – the smell of a product immediately sells it for me – I want to LOVE it immediately – and I did! Following that (as a male, who never pays attention to skincare products) I want whatever I’m rubbing into my face to absorb. In the past, I have been given products that feel like they immediately clog my pores, and the next morning I wake up with red, inflamed skin that is clearly not happy with being suffocated. I found that I was applying too much of the moisturiser, and when I held back on it – it absorbed beautifully and worked a charm. This also means (with a less is more approach) that the moisturizer will last you a LONG time.
The Probiotic Serum was probably the product that excited me the most – more in terms of its claims than the results it produced. I am not sure of the results – simply because what happened to my skin (which I will disclose shortly) was more a result of a combination of all three products.
Which brings me to the Refining Cleanser. It has a SLIGHT texture to it, but not enough that I would be able to say that it has any sort of grain or grit which can often end up damaging one’s skin. I’ve used cheap products with exfoliating beads that feel like they have ripped my skin to shreds. This almost felt like it had a slight “clay” feel to it, which, along with the smell, made me enjoy washing my face – a task that I should be paying attention to daily, but that actually didn’t bore me for a change.
I wasn’t noticing much of a change until a few weeks into my skincare routine. Whilst sitting at my desk one day I rubbed my nose (as one does?) and was quite surprised to find it was completely smooth. Pause. I have ALWAYS been plagued with big pores and blackheads (which is gross, but its a fact). For the first time in years, my nose was completely free of any impurities and was absolutely smooth. In addition, it was NOT THE SLIGHTEST BIT OILY. This is a big deal for me because essentially it meant that I had found something that actually did the job. Too often products claim miraculous results and then sadly fail to deliver.
Which product was it that worked best of the three? Like I said before, I can only assume it was a combination of all three.
In conclusion, I will say this:
I am a guy that is lazy when it comes to a skincare routine of sorts. This means I have to be given products and told exactly what to do with them which in this case, I did. I am genuinely amazed at the results as I’d assumed I was destined to a life with an oily nose. I’m glad I assumed incorrectly!
I am not a beauty blogger, and never will be. I can now safely say that I understand what all the fuss is about. The people who have been using ESSE are loyal and it’s easy to see why.
ESSE products are available from Faithful to Nature and if you use the code ESSECTV at checkout, you can get 10% off your order.