SKIN | Essence of Humanity skincare

Essence of Humanity Nourishing Moisture Cream and Softening Cream Cleanser

With natural skincare brands proliferating in New Zealand it’s sometimes hard to care about new ones—so your brand uses natural plant oils, like every other brand on the market? Congrats.

That’s not the case with Essence of Humanity. They’re a social enterprise, and 100% of the surplus proceeds from their products go to a charitable trust working against poverty. It’s a great concept, especially if you’re not keen on your beauty dollars going to multinationals.

Essence of Humanity aren’t the first brand to have a socially-conscious aspect—in March Seed + Soul donated $10 from every sale to NZ charity I Got Your Back Pack—but they’re going all-in in a way I haven’t seen before. All of their surpluses go to “some of the world’s most vulnerable communities“.

One thing I did trip up on while reading the Essence of Humanity website: they talk about helping “Africa” and “learning from African people”. Africa is a big place! It’s an entire continent, home to over 1.2 billion diverse peoples. Saying that buying these products will help “communities in Africa” is so vague that it’s virtually meaningless. They do talk more specifically about what communities and countries they help on the So They Can site, but I think having clearer and more transparent information would get more buy-in.

The second thing about this is where you want your charity money to go. That’s a personal thing. I prefer to give my money to causes that help women and children in New Zealand before it goes overseas. So if I loved these products I’d keep buying them and the charitable part would be a bonus, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy them.

All that said, let’s get on to the products themselves…

Essence of Humanity Softening Cream Cleanser*, $35

This cleanser arrived at the perfect time, as I’m running low on the Burt’s Bees cleanser that’s my current favourite. It’s a fairly traditional non-foaming cream cleanser, and gives an efficient cleanse but I don’t think it would be effective removing a whole face of makeup. It smells lovely, thanks to the sandalwood, patchouli and other extracts in the ingredients, but for that reason I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive skin types.

Essence of Humanity Nourishing Moisture Cream*, $40

The Nourishing Moisture Cream is a standard moisturiser you could use morning and night, or just at night if your skin leans toward the oily end of the spectrum. Its natural plant oils give it a load of antioxidants, which I’m a fan of, but no major active ingredients.

Essence of Humanity is also stocked by Oh Natural so if you shop there already, or want to purchase other products at the same time, I’d recommend checking them out.

What do you think about social enterprise brands? Will you be checking out Essence of Humanity?

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