WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Every few decades, a scientific discovery is made that changes the way that we see ourselves and the world around us.
In 2008, the Human Microbiome Project set out to discover the makeup of the human microbiome. The discoveries made have remodelled our approach to skin care and offered us new techniques to slow the effects of ageing and inflammation on the skin.
Your microbiome is the sum total of all the microbes living in and on you.
It is now clear that skin is an ecology, with more than 10 microbes for every human cell. These microbes are essential to the optimal functioning of the skin, a basic fact that current skincare regimes tend to ignore.
Microbes are single-celled organisms including bacteria, viruses and yeasts.
Most people associate probiotics (live beneficial microbes) with maintaining a healthy gut, but the Human Microbiome Project has discovered that an optimal skin condition is also dependent on the probiotic microbes living on, and in, your skin.
Your microbes permeate deep into the skin structure and work with your human cells to perform the complex chemistry that keeps your skin radiant.
Microbes defend and protect the skin from pathogens, they maintain effective barrier function, and they prevent premature ageing. Without your microbes, your skin can’t perform its basic functions.
THE ESSE APPROACH
We focus on preserving microbial diversity and promoting the colonisation of healthy microbes through rewilding of the skin.
Rewilding is the concept of bringing nature back to the skin in the form of microbe application.
We use prebiotics to selectively feed beneficial microbes and we incorporate probiotic extracts or LIVE probiotic microbes to make functional changes to the skin’s microbiome.
Esse creates an environment on the skin that favours the growth of beneficial microbes.
Your skin is a healthy partnership between human cells and microbes. In a healthy state, it is a stable ecosystem. Ecosystems do not respond well to pollution. This is why we choose to certify our products as organic with Ecocert and use ingredients that do not pollute the skin’s microbiome.
We use mild preservatives; gentle surfactants and we keep the pH of all of our products between 4 and 5.
Esse believes in rewilding the skin through green chemistry and wild science.
Research carried out during the human microbiome project has shown that healthy human skin is an ecosystem. It is home to a rich diversity of microbes that, when healthy, maintain their habitat. The partnerships we share with them are irreplaceable.
As with other ecosystems, the health of our skin’s ecology is a delicate balance and can be threatened by some aspects of our modern lifestyle.
Through exposure to products and artificial environments, we shift the balance, threatening the partnerships that have developed over millennia.
Thus, we damage our skin’s microbiome and often find ourselves in an ever-unsuccessful search for solutions to problems that are caused by our own actions.
Preservatives in skincare products, treated water supplies, soaps, sanitizers and home cleaning products all kill microbes – even the microbes we rely on for skin health and balance.
It is in this space that we can be cognisant of the role microbes play in skin health.
Choose to only use products designed with the skin microbiome as a top priority, while at the same time practicing habits that bolster and enhance a healthy microbiome.
Our top tips:
Tip 1: Take it easy with cleansing. Your skin produces valuable oils at a great metabolic cost, do not wash them away twice a day.
Rinse in the morning with luke-warm water only, for a microbiome-friendly start to your day.
Tip 2: Turn towards the sun. Spend at least 15 minutes in the sun everyday if you can – without sunscreen. Yes, that’s right! Vitamin D is essential to your health on every level, including skin health.
Tip 3: Exercise is good for you, period. It’s also great for skin health. Sweating releases toxins that build up over time and getting your heart rate up, coupled with good breathing techniques, increases blood flow to your entire body, skin included.
Tip 4: Getting out into nature reseeds your body and skin with an abundance of nature’s best medicine – good microbes. The side effects of rewilding are also great for reducing stress levels, elevating happiness and so much more.
At Esse we do not believe in damaging skin in pursuit of short-term results.
We believe in optimising skin health to slow ageing in the long-term.
Since our inception in 2002, we have remained true to our core principles: we are certified organic through Ecocert, vegan and cruelty-free. We support fair trade and we are also a carbon and plastic neutral company.
We believe that mindful products are a step toward an indefinitely sustainable, richly diverse, and beautiful future.
Ecocert audits twice annually to give our consumers assurance that the products adhere to their strict organic standards at every level.
We are accredited by PeTA and Beauty Without Cruelty and all our products carry certification from the Vegan Society.
Esse fights every year to minimise its carbon emissions. Nobody’s perfect though, so Esse purchases carbon credits to offset the company’s carbon emissions.
Esse has partnered with Cleanhub to collect plastic waste in developing countries before it can reach the ocean by going plastic neutral. Esse is committed to protecting our ocean – with every product we sell.