Founded in 2002 by South African chemist Trevor Steyn, Esse Skincare has pioneered a range of products based around the skin microbiome. In this exclusive piece, we find out more about Esse, the first company in the world to launch a live probiotic skincare product, followed by the first professional live probiotic facial treatment. 

Esse is at the forefront of microbiome skincare research, and hold firm to the belief that a balanced skin microbiome is essential for healthy skin. Esse’s products are formulated first and foremost to support and nurture the skin’s microbiome. Furthermore, Esse is one of the few skincare brands that use live probiotics in their skincare products. These beneficial bacteria help restore and maintain a healthy skin microbiome.

One of Esse’s most innovative treatment offerings is the live Probiotic Ampoule, a key part of their professional range. This ampoule is revolutionary when it comes to live probiotic products for skincare professionals. It contains 5 billion live cfu/ml, making it ideal for ageing skin, as well as skins with microbial imbalances.  Further benefits of using this product during a spa treatment include reduction of the rate of collagen and elastin degradation, as well as supressing sub-clinical inflammation, something commonly associated with premature ageing.

The Esse Professional Range is reserved exclusively for highly trained skincare professionals. This professional range is not available to the general public as it has been purposefully designed for those with specialised knowledge – and qualifications – in the field of skincare.

Esse is certified organic by EcoCert to COSMOS standards. This means that all their products are free of harmful chemicals and are produced using sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Esse is deeply committed to sustainability. They source wild-harvested ingredients, engage in fair trade practices, and use biodegradable packaging to minimize their environmental impact.

Esse stockists include a range of experienced skincare professionals from all over the world. One of these experts includes a holistic therapist, Roxair. She studied and lived in Canada for a number of years, after which she returned home to Zimbabwe to see the culmination of almost two decades in the industry come to life in the opening of her own spa. Roxair credits Esse with enabling her to offer her clients first-class, impactful skin procedures.

“My journey started holistically working with organic skincare in Canada. Moving home to Zimbabwe, I ended up working in a medi-spa and seemed to bounce between the two countries – and extremes – for most of my career. When I opened my spa, I knew that I wanted to blend these two worlds harmoniously. That’s when I found Esse, and my dream became a reality: being able to provide my clients with quality, ethically sourced products made in Africa,” Roxair said.

Supplying exclusive spas with their professional range is another step Esse has taken into the global market. The Mount Nelson’s Librisa Spa in Cape Town, the Radisson Blu’s Amani Spa at the Waterfront, and the Spa Mont Blanc in the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Switzerland are just a few examples of spas around the world that Esse has partnered with.

The Librisa Spa is a tranquil retreat where elegance meets world-class standards in spa design. With multiple spacious treatment rooms, steam baths and a plunge pool, Librisa only uses natural products, such as the Esse Professional Range, in their treatments.

Set against a beautiful backdrop of Table Mountain lies the Amani Spa and Wellness. Here, one can experience a range of bespoke, results-driven spa treatments. With 11 treatment rooms, as well as a unique therapeutic salt room, Amani offers tailor-made spa packages for every occasion.

Both these Cape Town spas have incorporated Esse products into their offerings in order to elevate guest experiences where clients can enjoy the highest calibre of South African skincare products, with the assurance that they are both vegan and organic.

The Spa Mont Blanc boasts 30,000 square feet within a glass-enclosed rooftop space and is spread out over the top 3 floors of the Hotel des Bergues, with panoramic views of Geneva and the surrounding mountains. One of the luxurious treatments available at this spa is the Signature Esse Experience Facial, which includes the use of live probiotics and specialised massage protocols to elevate the skin. Guests can choose from an anti-inflammatory or lifting massage designed to enhance results and promote relaxation. Esse products are available for purchase from the Spa boutique, allowing guests to maintain a post-facial glow and build on their results at home.

Visit to find out about becoming an Esse stockist.