Global Glam with a Conscience: Bay Area-Born Yetunde Beutler Brings Clean Wellness to the World

Mother Earth has an ally—and her name is Yetunde Beutler. 

CEO and founder of Essènci, a brand of organic, sustainable skincare, the Paris- and Milan-based entrepreneur, mother of two, and clean living advocate grew up in Berkeley. She credits her childhood in Northern California as a leading influence in her ongoing commitment to sustainability and where she jumpstarted her desire to live life as cleanly as possible. Essènci manifests her efforts to inform and support the public about cleaner living. Her products not only work, but they also help make the world a better and greener place. They are recommended by leading dermatologists such as Dr.Barbara Bopp in New Orleans and dermatologist to the stars, Dr.Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD in LA.


Mother Earth has an ally—and her name is Yetunde Beutler. 

With a BA from Williams College, a master’s in business from both the Presidio Graduate School and France’s L’INSEEC, this polylingual French American is “a strong believer in the power of nature as it pertains to health, longevity, and the environment.” Throughout her career, she’s lived in both France and the United States working in skincare. She collaborated with Gavin Newsom during his tenure as mayor in San Francisco and created a fashion trade organization in the Bay Area focused on sustainability. Today, back in Paris and married to a sustainability and luxury lifestyle expert and influencer, Yetunde seeks to enhance awareness, model clean living, and provide the tools by harnessing the plant-powered Essènci to boost wellness and thoughtful consumerism. 


HL: How did a childhood lived in the Bay Area impact your journey?

YB: The Bay Area has a unique blend of culture and strong values around free thinking, innovation, and caring for others. I grew up not only in that context around those values.

HL: When did you first become aware of wanting to live a cleaner life?

YB: Growing up in Berkeley, I did a lot of sports competitively, especially swimming. I noticed, as a woman of color, that the chlorine dehydrated my skin and hair. The search for a product with long-lasting hydration continued throughout my life. At the same time, I was very health conscious, partially thanks to my parents who advocated eating well with minimal amounts of sugar. For example, my parents only bought whole grain bread rather than the super popular Wonder Bread, and sugary cereals and sodas definitely weren’t allowed. By 13, I had stopped eating fried foods and sweets; by 16, red meats; and by 17, I eschewed all meats. I’ve followed a pescatarian/Mediterranean diet for the last 33 years. I love to cook gourmet French, Italian, and California-style cuisine, and still have one of the first cookbooks that my father gave me at eight years old.

HL: Tell us about Essènci.

YB: With Essènci, I fused my rich life experiences and Northern California sustainable values. Essènci means “essence” in the ancient dialect in Provençal. And Essènci is a skincare brand that is about the essentials. We believe that a person does not need 20 products to have beautiful skin. They need just the essentials— pure and effective ingredients—to age beautifully.


HL: That’s amazing. Tell us more.

YB: Essènci was inspired by the same philosophy that drove me as a young child to eat healthy and avoid hormones, I wanted to create a pure and effective line using only nature’s most powerful ingredients, void of any additives. Also, I think it important to note why I chose to go beyond just using ”botanical/natural” ingredients to consciously select organic ingredients without any pesticide residue. Sadly, these residues can be absorbed into your blood and therefore into your different bodily systems. They can contaminate watersheds and critical ecosystems. They can contain endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. 

HL: Rather than using plastic for your containers, you’ve chosen luxurious porcelain from storied Limogé, the embodiment of clean luxury.

YB: Clean luxury is about quality and purity that create an effective product that’s a pleasure to use. Of course, when we speak about luxury, we speak about craftsmanship, so it was an obvious choice to produce our in-house-designed vessels in Limogé porcelain from the Maison Bernardaud. They are one of the most prestigious porcelain makers in the world—and they share my values of excellence, craftsmanship, and beauty. The containers are limited edition, reusable, and handmade. Our skincare also comes in beautiful glass bottles and jars, which was a conscious choice. We could have chosen plastic rather than glass because it is definitely cheaper to produce, but for the environment and its ecosystem, it would have been the wrong choice.

HL: We’d love to hear about your favorite Essènci, products, what they do, how to use them.

YB: Because our line is about the essentials, we only have four products: L’Immortela Elixir and our three Renouvèla creams (La Crème, La Crème riche, and La Crème extra-riche). It’s hard for me to give you my favorite, as I love them all, and use them all throughout the year. L’Immortela is amazing: it’s nomadic. That is, it’s easy to carry wherever you go and gives you that glow. It works well for all skin types, from oily to dry. It absorbs easily, is aromatherapeutic, smells divine, and is multifaceted. It’s a living life force on your skin. Its strength is the synergy of all the organic, pure ingredients working together. There isn’t just one active ingredient, but many. As a powerhouse antioxidant and anti-inflammatory elixir, it can be used on the complete face and neck, including eye contour and lips.

The Renouvèla creams smell beautiful, natural, and spa-like. They may be used also on the complete face. I switch from the lightest to the most hydrating cream, depending on where I am, the time of year, and if I am traveling. Right now, with the cold climates of Paris and Milan, I am using the extra riche. I also forgot to mention, because the products are anti-inflammatory, the elixir is a perfect soother after the sun or ski. And you can pop it in your pocket or bag.

HL: What’s next for you?

YB: My life now is focused on longevity and wellness via exercise, healthy eating, prime gut and mental health—all of which result in beautiful, glowing skin. I hope to spread this philosophy and way of living to those who embrace Essènci, their well-being, and all-over beauty. I am in the process of creating Essènci-curated experiences, centered on wellness and culture.


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