In the year since launching its Probiotic Serum, which contains 1 billion live probiotic microbes per milliliter, South African brand, Esse, has established itself as the leading probiotic skincare line in the world.
The World Health Organization defines a probiotic as a live microbe that is beneficial to humans. Extracts of probiotics have been used extensively in skincare but the “holy grail” of incorporating live probiotics has proved elusive. This is because conventional products contain preservatives … and preservatives kill microbes. Esse has used innovative production techniques, airless glass packaging and a preservative-free formula to launch the world’s first live probiotic serum and it’s taking the world by storm. The probiotic microbes are encapsulated and suspended in an oil base, reanimating and starting to divide when they come into contact with water on the skin’s surface.
The efficacy of topical probiotics has been a hot topic in science with more than 5000 literature references on the “skin microbiome” in 2015. Testing in Germany has shown that the new serum from Esse has the ability to improve skin firmness by an average of 16% in 28 days, with 100% of the 20 test subjects showing an improvement. This opens a new avenue for anti-aging research.
The founder of the brand, Trevor Steyn, is emphatic about the impact of probiotics … “Genetic sequencing techniques have allowed us to view skin through a new lens.” he says, “It’s now clear that skin is an ecology … an intricate interplay between human cells and microbes. Trying to optimise skin health without considering microbes is archaic. We consider the skin microbiome in every product that we formulate.”
With the cost of genetic sequencing falling rapidly, the company envisages a time where the skin microbiome could be fully characterized. Personalized probiotics could then be formulated to maximize anti-aging results.
Esse focuses on the salon and spa sector and over its 15-year lifespan has earned a reputation as one of the most ethical brands on the market. Just for starters, it’s certified organic with Ecocert and accredited Vegan. “If skin is an ecosystem, then we’d better not pollute it”, says the founder.
This brand will be one to watch as the probiotic trend expands from health care into skincare.