New Esse Probiotic Foundation – Tried, Tested & True

I have NEVER found a foundation that has matched my skin… until now.

My skin type is fair in colour and is somewhat problematic with breakouts. It’s a never ending cycle of wearing foundation to cover up breakouts and breaking out because of covering up with foundation. Crazy right?! I’m sure some of you out there understand the struggle. I have battled all throughout high school and into my adult-ish life with finding a foundation that actually matches my skin tone, doesn’t promote breakouts and covers me well enough to feel, well, covered without being “cakey“. Big ask, am I right?

As you probably know, I love to try out a product for a while to understand how it works for me, what I like about it and what I don’t. I was fortunate enough to have received this product at the KZN Bloggers Meetup and I only got around to using it fully a couple weeks ago. I had another foundation that I was busy with at the time. On the day they had a representative from Esse Skincare give an introduction to the company and the product. I loved hearing about what goes into the formula and how much they really care about your skin and not just about plastering your face with product.

Introduction to Esse Skincare:

The founder, Trevor Steyn studied organic chemistry and completed a Masters degree in 1996. Trevor formulated and founded Esse. Work on Esse began in 2000 with research into Kigelia africana, the African Sausage tree. After two years of formulating, Esse was born in 2002. Trevor is passionate about the skin microbiome, sustainable living and preserving Africa’s biodiversity. РFrom the Esse Skincare website here.

First Impressions:

I have never used this product before or even seen it really but my honest first impression of the product while walking up to the counter was, “Do they only have that one colour? That is NOT my colour.” I giggled to myself a little when I realised that it was just the packaging! I was the lightest skin tone of the day, once again. Ha! I matched with the F1 tone, which is literally the fairest of them all. (Snow White much?) When I got around to testing it out on my face, I found that it was a bit light, in a powdery porcelain tone way. But I didn’t realise until later that my face was a bit more tan than usual, if you can believe that! I tried it again a couple weeks later and I really enjoyed the illuminating finish.


I hate being aware of makeup on my face. I usually just want to wash my face off at that point. I have combination skin so it is a struggle between dry cheeks and oily T-zone. I trialled the foundation by itself first. I found that it became a little to oily on my t-zone, which made me feel uncomfy. I then tried it with setting powder (like I usually do) and it felt better throughout the day, but I still did a little blot in between my eyebrows and just around my nose. Then I tried it with setting powder and setting spray. While it held, the setting spray enhanced the glow a bit. Overall, I was happy with the illuminating finish and lasting wear.

What I love:

  • I love that it is super lightweight and doesn’t feel “cakey” on your face. It allows for your face to breathe a bit.
  • It’s probiotic, which helps moisturise, slows ageing, protects, maintains pH and reduces sensitivity on your skin.
  • It’s organic. No harmful chemicals going into your skin and it’s healthier for you and the planet. Clean makeup is the way to go.
  • It has SPF 30.
  • It’s vegan and cruelty free.
  • The product doesn’t waste at all with the airless pump.

What I didn’t like (for me):

  • While it is a lightweight foundation (which I love), I have breakouts that I like to cover, not all the time, but when it’s needed. I found that I can layer the foundation to cover up problematic areas. Which then fixes that problem for me.


It’s really good to know what you are putting into your skin. Read up on the ingredients of the products that you are currently using and be wise about what you are using.

  • Aloe Vera, which soothes and evens skin tone.
  • Jojoba Oil, which is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Sunflower Seed Oil, which contains vitamin E.
  • Glycerin, which absorbs the moisture from the atmosphere and binds it on the skin.
  • Squalane, which improves the barrier of your skin.
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is a skin conditioning agent.
  • Prebiotics and Probiotics.
  • Natural fragrances with added properties.

For the detailed list of ingredients, click here.


As I said before, my first impression of the packaging was a bit strange as I thought it was the colour of the foundation. The bottle is a thick plastic with an airless pump. It is super easy to use. It’s great for seeing the product usage and getting the full use of the product. I usually use 1 pump for my whole face but to cover breakouts, I will use 1 and a half pumps.

Shade Range & Pricing:

They cater for all skin types, with even coverage for ten different shades.

For a 30 ml, it’s yours for R595. Worth it!

Where to find them:

To view a total list of stockists, click here.

If you are local to KZN, you’re in luck! You can visit the Esse Concept Store in Ballito.

Let me know your thoughts or if you have tried the Esse probiotic foundation before! I’d love to hear from you.