Esse Organic Skincare: Trial Pack Review

Esse says:
A selection of 5 miniature products, ideal for travel, as a gift or to try the range. Presented in a wooden box handmade as part of a community development project in KZN (KwaZulu-Natal - a province of South Africa).

The Esse Oily/Combination Skin - Trial Pack contains

10ml Cream Cleanser
10ml Gel Cleanser
10ml Toner
5ml Cocoa Exfoliator
5ml Deep Moisturiser

Price: €22.50

There is another Trial Pack for Dry/Senstive skin. It contains the same first three products, plus 5ml Cream Mask (full-size version reviewed here) and 5ml Ultra Moisturiser.

I read that the elegant wooden box is made of cypress. All the products are housed in glass bottles and mini jars.

I received this Trial Pack from Esse Netherlands in June and I've been using these cute minis on and off. I decided to spread the use out over a longer period, interspersing these with my usual facial products, instead of using this set intensively for a short period of say, a week. The latter would have meant a total and sudden revamp of my facial cleansing routine and I wasn't brave enough to put my skin through that change (problem skin, remember?).

As these are mini-size products, this will be a simple review, or if you prefer, a feature. However, one of the products has already been reviewed indepth - Cocoa Exfoliator.

Here's a quick look at the individual minis (words in italics are from the Esse website):

Esse Cream Cleanser

- gently and effectively removes dirt and make-up by binding with oil-based impurities allowing them to be rinsed away.

Rooibos Extract*, Decyl Glucoside, Jojoba Seed Oil*, Glycerin, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetearyl Olivate, Leuconostoc/Rasish Root Ferment Filtrate, Baobab Seed Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract, Tragacanth (Astragalus Gummifer) Gum, Geranium Leaf Oil*, Palmarosa Oil*, Caraway Oil*, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Spearmint Leaf Oil*

* from organic farming

My thoughts
• pale caramel colour
• light texture
• not much lather
• smells earthy, sweet and of rooibos
• removes foundation makeup well

Esse Gel Cleanser

A foaming, tingling wash that deep cleanses without drying.

Peppermint and Spearmint oils refresh and improve micro-circulation to aid in the elimination of toxins. pH balanced at 4.5 and uses mild biodegradable surfactants made from coconut oil and glucose. Additional Uses:

• Can be used as a body wash
• Safe to use on acne affected skins

Rooibos Extract*, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Marula Seed Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Spearmint Leave Oil*, Peppermint Leaf Oil*, Honeybush Leave Extract*, Caraway Leaf Oil*, Tocopherol, Rosemary Leaf Oil*

* from organic farming

My thoughts
• brown colour (like rooibos tea)
• thick-ish gel texture
• lathers a bit more than the Cream Cleanser
• smells earthy and like sweetened toothpaste
• cleanses very well, no tightness afterwards

Esse Toner

- completes the cleansing process with actives to revitalize, protect and improve skin texture.

Rooibos Extract provides potent antioxidant activity. Olive leave extract combats the negative effects of pollution and reduces sun damage. Additional Uses: Can be sprayed over make-up to freshen and re-hydrate throughout the day.

Aqua, Rose Flower Water, Rooibos Extract*, Glycerin, Olive Leaf Extract, Vanilla Seed Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.

* from organic farming

My thoughts
• the colour of weak rooibos tea
• watery (like most toners)
• smells very sweet and of rooibos
• worked all right

Esse Cocoa Exfoliator

Please refer to my detailed review of the full-size version of the Esse Cocoa Exfoliator.

Esse Deep Moisturiser

- will moisturise and maintain balance without leaving greasy residues or dry areas.

Ylang Ylang’s balancing effect stabilises both oily and dry skin patches creating an even skin state. Honeybush is included for its anti-aging, anti-oxidant and healing properties.

Rooibos Extract*, Jojoba Seed Oil*, Marula Seed Oil*, Aqua, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Olive Fruit Oil Unsaponifiables, Manketti Seed Oil, Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tragacanth (Astragalus Gummifer) Gum, Geranium Leaf Oil*, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Baobab Fruit Extract, Cape Chamomile Leaf Oil, Sutherlandia Frutescens Leaf Extract, Honeybush Leaf Extract*, Olive Leaf Extract, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil*, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Grape Seed Extract, Vanilla Seed Extract, Citric Acid, Spearmint Leaf Oil*

*from organic farming

My thoughts
• light beige colour
• light, thin-ish, non-oily texture
• smells earthy, mildly sweet and of rooibos
• absorbs into skin quickly (within one minute)
• only mildly moisturising

You would have noticed that there are a few things common across many of Esse's products: the rooibos ingredient, the general colour and the earthy scent. On the whole, I'm fine with these products, albeit it's just a mini trial pack. I especially like both the cleansers. The only one that I was less than satisfied with was the Deep Moisturiser. My skin didn't find it moisturising enough.

About Esse Organic Skincare
Esse Organic Skincare was founded in 2001 by a South African chemist, Trevor Steyn. I've mentioned this before but here's a quick reminder of its ethos for those who are not familiar with Esse (pronounced es).

The South African brand

• harnesses the rich plant diversity of Africa
• subscribes to the organic standards of ECOCERT
• is an accredited Good Partner of PhytoTrade Africa (a Fair Trade movement)
• does not test on animals
• is accredited by Beauty Without Cruelty
• is endorsed by the Vegan Society
• uses no parabens, no petrochemicals, no synthetic fragrance and colourants
• uses recyclable glass packaging.

The beautiful lining in the wooden box

Here's a quote from Esse's Facebook which refers to the wooden boxes used to house the Esse Trial Packs:

One of Esse’s philosophies is to ensure that local communities benefit from the sale of its products. Through the use of hand crafted packaging items and community sourced indigenous ingredients, Esse offers back to communities and the environment through fair trade practices.

I found a two-part video on Youtube which I think is useful and informative if you'd like to learn more about Esse Organic Skincare and the believes of Mr Steyn.

Video Part I
Video Part II

Note: The information provided here is from research carried out on my own initiative.

Further reading:
All my posts on Brand: Esse Organic Skincare
Esse Organic Skincare website

I've been informed that Esse Netherlands provides international shipping.


Stephanie Gauthier-Bujold said...

That wooden box is really cute!

Unknown said...

I love this packaging!!
The products look good too!
Thanks for the discovery!

Anonymous said...

Very elegant recyclable glass bottles and jars in a gorgeous wooden box....I like, I'm a sucker for nice packaging and boxes.

Great detailed post and thanks for doing alot of research, you're a star! "KTee"xx

Witoxicity said...

@Ms Bubu
Yeah, it's a simple and elegant box. :)

I'm glad you agree about the packaging! :)

Oh, me too! I love beautiful boxes, cases and whatnots. A hoarder! :P As always, thanks for your supportive words, my dear. It's good to learn more about a particular brand and since I was doing some reading up anyway, I thought I might as well share the information here, ie. this is not spoonfed information. :)

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Beautiful trial pack, everything looks very stylish. I'm glad to hear that all but one were to your liking. Take care, Nicole x

Witoxicity said...

Thank you, Nicole. In general, I like this Trial Pack as you get to sample more of the Esse skincare line. Perhaps the other one - Dry/Sensitive Skin Trial Pack with the Ultra Moisturiser - would have been more appropriate for my skin now, but never mind. That's the whole point of trial packs, right? :)

Alexander said...

Thank you for this review!
We got so many positive reactions from people that started using Esse through these trial/travel packs.

Here is a tip:
If you like our facebook page, you might be the lucky winner of one! Every month we pick 3 winners out of our fans!

Thank you miss Witoxicity for this, again, well written, objective review. We look forward to sending you some other products in the future!

Witoxicity said...

My pleasure! Thank you for your kind words, Alexander.

Thanks also for letting us know about the possibility of winning the Esse Trial Pack via Facebook! It's certainly a great way to get acquainted with the brand.

For the convenience of readers, here is the link to the Esse EU Facebook page.