Esmi’s passion is to feed your skin the highest quality of ingredients and deliver results. The brand is committed to providing healthy skin regimes with a 'less is more' approach – leaving out the harsh chemicals, parabens, SLSs or filler. At the same time the products contain high levels of actives, antioxidants and vitamins for skincare that delivers results.

The brand was founded by Evette Hess McEwan, who also founded Poni Cosmetics, with their first products being the Esmi Liquid Mineral Foundation. Esmi is Vegan friendly, Cruelty Free, Paraben and Sulphate free and Made in Australia.

Makeup Cartel were kind enough to send me one of the serums from the Esmi brand to try out. I chose the Detoxifying Exfoliating Charcoal Serum as I do have combinational skin - more oily on my T-Zone area and suffer from blackheads and some dry skin on my nose and cheeks.

I also wanted to give this a try because I havn't seen a Charcoal Serum before and this was new to me. The Charcoal Serum is said to gradually exfoliate, smooth skin and draw out impurities. Using it regularly reduces dead skin on the surface which can also assist in reducing the appearance of blackhead and increase the effectiveness of other active ingredients.

The Detoxifying Exfoliating Charcoal Serum is water based and infused with 24k Gold that gives it an extra lux look and feel. The serum obviously contains Charcoal and has 10% Fruit Acid Combination, 5% Glycolic Acid and 5% Lactic Acid. The serum is suitable for most skin types and also for those mothers who are breastfeeding; or if you are pregnant.

So the Serum works slightly different to your usual, you don't actually massage it fully into the skin - you use the dropper to apply a pea sized amount onto freshly cleansed skin and use the flat charcoal brush which comes with it to massage on to the skin. You leave it on for about 5-10 mins , before wetting the brush and massaging the skin to help to lift away the dead skin cells and buff the area and then rinse off.

The serum can be used for up to 5 consecutive night with a 2-day break in between and then decreases 1-2 times per wk. The serum may also give you tingle sensation which can vary from mild to intense or you may not even feel anything. ( but doesn't mean the serum isn't working though!) You must also be careful and use with caution if other products you use contain AHA or BHA Acids. As with any acid toners/ products you must wear SPF during the day to protect your skin.

My Review

The serum feels a lot like a mask mostly because of the way its used, although it has the texture of serum! Its gloopy and is a translucent grey when on the skin which actually can’t be rubbed completely into the skin. I did feel a pea size amount wasn’t enough to cover the whole face so did use a little extra for better coverage. It is said that you can use the serum for 5 days straight but I was too scared to dry out my skin, so I used it every 2 days starting with just my Tzone and then incorporated the rest of my face too. I didn’t use a physical scrub too often either, just once a week and avoided any other acid based products.

I did get a tingle when using, which wasn’t too bad – unless I had a spot or a scratch where It would sting. The brush it comes with is gentle and helps with covering the face. Some days I found it a little easy to apply with clean fingers and then wash/rub off with the brush so that it could also catch away dry skin. As the serum is water soluble it was easy to rinse off.

I instantly felt and saw a difference in my skin and with regular use noticing that even my nose was smoother as the mask helped draw out lumps from the under the skin and refine the texture. Although the serum isn’t going to remove existing blackheads, it did help with refining and clearing away dead skin , so that extracting my own blackheads was easier and then reducing the time they reappeared in.

My skin has looked more radiant and I saw the difference as soon as I stopped using it for a week! One thing you do have to remember is that you don’t skip the sunscreen in the day time. I think the only thing I didn’t realise when I chose to try this serum, was that It had to be left on for 10 mins and then removed , which can add to your skin routine time – so if you’re in a rush or time poor , you can be put off using it. Otherwise putting in the time has paid off for my skin.

I also want to mention the design of the serum bottle. It actually has a dip at the bottom where the pipette end sits, so when you get to the end of the product the remaining serum will fall into the dip where it can be suctioned out, for less wastage!

This 30ml serum retails at $65 which you can also purchase using Afterpay. Check out the other serums/ bundles available on Makeup Cartels Site .

Sal x


Aqua, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Cocoglycerides (Coconut Oil derived), Charcoal, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Capryl Glycol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Gold