As spas have finally found their feet after a series of lockdowns in various countries, skin health and result-driven aesthetics will be higher on their guests’ agenda than perhaps ever before.

For those luxury hotel spas considering ways to enhance their treatment menu or recalibrate their product offering, professional organic biotech brand Esse can provide an innovative and forward-facing approach.

The South African professional spa brand, founded in 2002 by biochemist Trevor Steyn, has adopted a ‘skin wellness’ approach that is built on a highly scientific basis.

Aiming to create an environment in which the skin is ‘rewilded’ to allow the return of its natural biodiversity, Esse specialises in the use of probiotics to deliver optimal skin health.

“We cater for intelligent clients who want to age gracefully through the use of science-driven skincare that also has minimal impact on the environment.” 

Trevor Steyn Founder, Esse. 

Certified organic, cruelty-free and vegan, the bio-clinical challenger brand supports fair trade and operates a carbon and plastic neutral business policy. We asked Trevor to explain how Esse products can form an integral part of a long-term skin health programme to heal a comprehensive range of concerns.

Tell us what makes Esse unique?

We were among the first skincare lines to drive real research into the skin microbiome, and we achieved excellent anti-ageing results from the live probiotic products we developed.

Esse is one of the few brands that take a long-term view on skin health. The industry is driven by instant results, but this approach is seldom best over time. 

For many spa guests, their skin health is now a high priority. How does Esse work in line with this?

Over the last year, we have seen many professional brands moving more into the retail space or online sales. However, we are looking for ways to move in the opposite direction. I think the professional skincare sector has a great future and we’re working on new offerings that are exclusive to therapists and can’t be sold online. Covid-19 has caused a change in the way that people think. There is a greater focus on long-term health now that the consequences of being unhealthy have become more obvious. There is also more attention being paid to the environmental impact of our choices.

How does Esse bring added value to the spa experience?

Over the years, we’ve built a series of protocols that take the skin microbiome into greater consideration. The most recent is the Esse Experience. In the introduction to this facial, the

client can see the live probiotic bacteria being added to their skin as well as to a mask that will be applied. This helps to get the message across that the skin is an ecosystem and we are bringing back microbes that nature would normally have given us. It really is unique among professional treatments.

What is Esse’s ethos when it comes to sustainability?

When Esse was created we wanted to provide an alternative to ‘business as usual.’ Whenever that phrase is used, I just hear everything being justified in terms of profit. Making money is placed

ahead of the environment and the long-term health of the client. Product cost is driven down to a minimum and the money is spent on advertising to increase sales. I don’t think this is necessary. We have been able to remain certified-organic and carbon neutral. We also recently became plastic-neutral, so for every kilogramme of plastic that we use, we recover and

recycle a kilogramme from the ocean.

It’s vital to always develop your hotel to keep up with competition in the hospitality industry. Esse’s core brand principles are: certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free, carbon- and plastic neutral, and support free trade meaning that the brand is fantastic for your spa’s marketing and resonates with the values of a majority of modern customers. With the public placing the spotlight on wellness, elevating your spa facilities will draw attention and increase footfall.