Esse Organic Skincare: Cream Mask Review

Esse Organic Skincare is not a brand that we often hear of. It's a South African skincare brand that embraces natural and organic ingredients.

I had a look at its website and the impression I get is that it's one perfect natural skincare brand, assuming you can believe everything you read. It's a pretty well-crafted website with smooth marketing talk. Don't take that as sarcasm though. The website is rich with information and advice about skincare. Even though there isn't much information about the origins of Esse, there is a great deal about its accreditations and its ethics - all good.


• harnesses the amazing plant diversity of Africa
• subscribes to the organic standards of ECOCERT
• is an accredited partner of PhytoTrade Africa (a Fair Trade movement)
• does not test on animals
• is endorsed by the Vegan Society
• uses no parabens, no petrochemicals, no synthetic fragrance and colourants
• uses recyclable glass packaging

I'm all ears!

I got this jar of cream mask from a friend who bought it but discovered that she didn't like its scent soon afterward. The mask is housed in a dark glass packaging. I got it a while back and my jar has a black cover. There is a new version of this mask on the website and it has a silver cover. It's priced at €37.50 for 50ml.

According to Esse

A mask to feed and nourish the most dehydrated skins.
Contains stable and available sources of vitamins A, B, C and E which have been shown to improve skin structure, reduce pigmentation and aid cell regeneration.

Additional uses:
Use to reduce pigmentation marks – apply thin layer and leave overnight. Use twice weekly for this application.

98.5% of the total ingredients are from Natural Origin
69.6% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming

I cross-checked the ingredients list on my box with that of the current version on the website. There were slight differences: two are no longer there, and a new ingredient (Radish Root Ferment Filtrate) has been introduced. Here's the current list:

Water, Coconut Oil*, Glycerin, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Olive Fruit Oil Unsaponifiables, Jojoba Seed Oil*, Rooibos Extract*, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Panthenol, Olive Leaf Extract*, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Aloe Leaf Extract, Kigelia Africana Fruit Etract, Hyaluronic Acid, Geranium Leaf Oil*, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil*, Rosemary Leaf Oil*, Lavender Flower Oil*, Sutherlandia Frutescens Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid.
* certified organic ingredients

The names Kigelia africana and Sutherlandia frutescens are new to me. Both the plants are native to Africa where they are used for medicinal purposes.

My Thoughts
My friend didn't like the smell, but I do! Ain't that funny? It has a typical herbal scent, delicately sweet. It's a kind of aromatherapy for me.

It is a non-sticky, non-oily, thick, smooth paste of a light caramel colour.

As always, I did a patch test first before proceeding.

I've tried this cream mask as it was intended to be: applied a generous layer, left on for ten minutes, then washed off with warm water. Twice a week. It's a cream mask, so it won't dry on the face like clay masks would.

When I got braver, I started using this as a kind of night moisturiser, first, twice a week and subsequently, on alternate nights: applied a thin layer on the whole face, left on overnight like a normal moisturiser.

I have combination skin and where it's dry, it's very dry. As a mask, I thought this cream mask was so-so.

That's why I switched it up and started using it as a night moisturiser on alternate evenings (and also because I really love the herbal scent). In the morning, my skin feels soft and hydrated. I've been doing this for about three months now and while it hydrates my skin well, it didn't do anything to reduce my pigmentation spots.

Last Words
I'm using this as much more of a moisturiser than Esse intended it to be. Well, if it works for me as a moisturiser and it doesn't cause any problems, why not? I do recommend this cream mask, but problem is, I'm wondering where one can buy Esse products outside of South Africa and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, they can be purchased through its online shop and, I think, also some beauty salons. In South Africa, it's also through beauty salons, but I couldn't find any information on its accessibility in other parts of the world. Esse has body care products in its range too, by the way.

More information:
Esse Organic Skincare website (South Africa)
Esse Organic Skincare website (Netherlands)


sugar sugar said...

this seems to be a great product! i don't think this is available in my country though. thanks for the review! =)

Michelle said...

• does not test on animals
• is endorsed by the Vegan Society
• uses no parabens, no petrochemicals, no synthetic fragrance and colourants
• uses recyclable glass packaging

Those pretty much sold me. I hope they can work on international shipping though. It seriously sounds amazing!

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this brand, but it sounds wonderful. Great review my dear. Take care, Nicole x

Rentu said...

the ingredient list seems to be good, nice review

Witoxicity said...

@sugar sugar
My pleasure! :) Yup, accessibility to this brand seems to be an issue here. [shrug]

Hmm, I have no idea at all if they would ship internationally, but yes, Esse's practices as stated on the website do tick all the right boxes! :)

Thanks, Nicole! That's yet another new brand to learn about, I suppose. :D You take care too!

Thank you, Rentu. Oh, I'm drawn to the very agreeable ingredients list too. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post, very informative. Seems to be a good moisturiser. Good to hear you can use it without causing problems. Have a nice weekend "KTee" xx

Alexander said...

Hello dear people,

Thank you for this review.
Very interesting to read the various applications of the cream mask. Did you know it works very well to calm you skin after a sunburn too? Or after a wax. Really soothes the skin.

About the shipment:
From the Netherlands, we ship throughout Europe.
We are in our second year in Europe and are expanding rapidly.
If you are interested in buying Esse in your country, please let us know so we will update you as soon as the products are available locally.
In the meantime, yes we do ship international, so please go ahead and check our shipping fees by sending us an e-mail. All mails are very welcome with your questions, requests or order.

Kind regards and thank you again,
Esse Organic Skincare

Witoxicity said...

Thanks, KTee. Meant to be a mask, used as a moisturiser. Haha, who would have thought! I'm really pleased that it worked out well here. :)

Hi, Alexander! How lovely to get input from a representative of Esse Netherlands! Thank you for the extra advice on its use and for the shipping information. It's certainly good news for my readers that you do ship internationally. :)