Beauty Cruelty Free Empowerment Review

Esse Skincare Part 1 – Cocoa Exfoliator

Imagine how cheated I felt when my research into Esse Probiotic Skincare explained what every single Biology teacher I have ever had, failed to do… The skincare brand is based on the premise that probiotic microbes (think good cops) live in and on the skin. You know the probiotics that you are given to take if you are put on a course of antibiotics? To keep the levels of your so-called good bacteria (and immune system) in tact? Or maybe your mom, like mine, made you eat yogurt, for no apparent reason, if you’re on antibiotics . Well Esse Skincare is based on the same principle…

Esse Skincare products are actually formulated to facilitate the growth of these “friendly” bacteria. It comes down to a simple formula:  acidic skin (low pH:  4.5 – 5) = happy “friendly” microbes = good skin!

Esse is also:

  • Cruelty-free approved by PETA
  • Organically certified by Ecocert (“no synthetic chemicals, genetic modification or hormone mimics”)
  • Vegan approved by The Vegan Society
  • Accredited Partner of PhytoTrade Africa (Fair Trade)

Yvette from Beauty by Yvette spoiled me with an Esse exfoliator and facial treatment (Part 2). Let’s jump into the review, shall we?

Photo by Vano Photography

ESSE Cocoa Exfoliator – R315

Product claims:

“A delectable exfoliation experience for all skin types. Fine Cocoa particles polish and refine the skin’s surface. Wild sourced African oils provide slip and nourishment. Cocoa is used at high levels for its gentle exfoliating action combined with its ability to soften and lubricate the skin.”    – Esse

Ingredients to take note of:

  • Cocoa: High in antioxidants for skin cell renewal and protection from free radicals and premature aging
  • Marula Oil: Hydrating, nourishing and healing properties.
  • Manketti Oil: Hydrating and regenerating
  • Rose Geranium Oil: Restores, replenishes and invigorates skin (used for eczema, dermatitis etc, etc, etc)

My experience:

Words are failing me with this one. I wish you could feel this stuff on your skin and I wish you could smell it. But more than anything else, I wish you could feel your skin after you use this. That’s the addictive part. I’ve tried many exfoliators before, but from now on I will make sure I always have one of these in the bathroom cupboard. I love this product so much that I find myself counting the sleeps until the next time I can use it. If you think that’s ridiculous or hilarious- then you haven’t found the perfect exfoliator to accompany you on your skincare journey yet.

The glass bottle packaging (eco-friendly brownie point) contains a brown paste-like formula. It definitely work best when you apply it to dry skin and just add a drop or two of water to the mix before you use your fingertips to massage it onto your face in circular motions.  I start on my T-zone because that’s where I struggle most with blocked pores, dead skin and breakouts and then work my way outwards. Then I soak my makeup removing face towel in warm water and ‘rinse’ my face with that. The results are instantaneous but also increases the longer you use it. With regular use, my skin is softer, smoother and brighter. I try to use this on days that I know I will be wearing a full face of makeup – it helps create that clean, smooth, non-flaky canvas to work with.

Photo by Lindsay Basson Photography

With my combination skin, it’s always difficult to find an exfoliator that is “strong” enough to get rid of the very dry (aka dead) skin cells without stripping my skin or leaving it drier than a Cabernet Sauvignon. It exfoliates and polishes the skin while simultaneously nourishing and hydrating the skin. You really get the best of both worlds.

Exfoliating is such an important part of your skincare routine; without it most of the products and active ingredients that you use cannot penetrate the skin – what a waste?!! So it really is worth it to invest in a good exfoliator.



A little warning, if you’re planning to buy this as a once off treat – don’t fool yourself, its highly addictive! You will keep repurchasing this, so know that you’re starting a long-term relationship here. The fantastic part though, is that a little bit of product goes a very long way. And because this product must only be used weekly (or twice a week at most) you won’t need to replace this anytime soon.

Let’s talk numbers. The Esse Cocoa Exfoliator is:

  • 100% Cruelty-Free
  • 100% Vegan
  • 99% Natural
  • 29% Organic
  • 8% Fair Trade

Sheer Rating: 5/5

Repurchase? Absolutely

If you are in Port Elizabeth, contact Esse stockist Beauty by Yvette  on 072 291 1333 to get your cocoa exfoliator fix!

Have you tried it? Or are you keen to add this to your skincare collection? Let me know.

Look out for Part 2 where I will be showing you everything that went down during my Esse BHA Boost Facial also by Beauty by Yvette.

With love and light,

Disclaimer: This product was sponsored for test and review. However my thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and were in no way prescribed or influenced by the brand or stockist.m9

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  1. Love this post!! Would definitely love to get be it a try. Thanks for sharing! Xxx

    1. Yolande says:

      Thanks for reading! Let me know if you give it a try! It smells amazing too!

  2. waydee says:

    awesome review

    1. Yolande says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Absolutely obsessed with this exfoliator, and I’ve already been through around 3 jars. Need to actually stock up on more!

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