Little Wonders

Esse Probiotic Serum

Most of us are aware of the benefits of probiotics – live bacteria and yeasts that promote good health, especially in the gut/digestive system. And the importance of gut health to achieve overall good health was a key wellness theme of 2015.

Now probiotics are being harnessed to strengthen the skin and slow the ageing process, with certified organic skincare brand Esse producing the world’s first live probiotic serum.

“Most people associate probiotics (good microbes) with maintaining a healthy gut, but new research is revealing that synergistic microbes are also fundamentally linked to skin health,” says Esse founder, chemist Trevor Steyn.

“The Human Microbiome* Project** has discovered that optimal skin health is dependent on the presence of trillions of microbes living on, and in, your skin.

“We have invested considerable research to ensure that our products maintain a balance of microbes to slow the ageing process.

“We aim to create an environment on the skin that favours the growth of beneficial microbes so that they can out-compete pro-ageing species.

“To do this, we use prebiotics to selectively feed good microbes and have included probiotic microbes in some products to deliver specific results.

“The skin is a complex ecosystem. It needs microbes – don’t try to kill them with anti-microbials unless absolutely necessary. It will disrupt the skin’s sensitive ecosystem and open the door to harmful pathogens.

“We have identified a spectrum of probiotic species that are integral to skin health and incorporated them into this groundbreaking formulation.

“As the Esse Probiotic Serum touches your face, 50 million live probiotics per drop are activated by the moisture on the skin, complementing its natural microbial diversity and helping to create the ideal microbiome to slow the ageing process.”

Established in 2002, Esse is certified organic, vegan and cruelty free, supports fair trade and is a carbon-neutral company.

“Our unwavering belief in nature has resulted in a fierce desire to protect our natural resources,” says Trevor.

“South Africa is home to almost a quarter of the world’s plant species and we have chosen the best of Africa’s plants to deliver potent new actives in our products.

“These plants are wild-harvested to maximise the potency of the extracts. PhytoTrade Africa oversees the sustainability of our wild-harvested ingredients and ensures that the rural communities that gather plants are paid fair trade rates.

“We believe that mindful products are a step towards an indefinitely sustainable, richly varied and beautiful future.”


* The microbiome is the genetic entirety of the invisible ecosystem of an individual’s microbiota – bacteria, viruses, archaea, eukaryotes and fungi – that congregate in co-existing “communities” such as in and on the skin, in crevices like the vagina, mouth, armpits, but mainly in the gastrointestinal tract.

* The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) was a US National Institutes of Health five-year initiative launched in 2008 with the goal of identifying and characterising the micro-organisms that are found in association with both healthy and diseased humans (the human microbiome). The ultimate goal was to test how changes in the human microbiome are associated with health or disease.

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