If you love high-quality skincare, swoon over shelfie-worthy packaging, and constantly strive to achieve the hydrated, dewy skin that social media makes seem effortless, it’s high time you learn about Tatcha. The Japanese-inspired skincare brand is beloved for its efficacious formulas, chock-full of the purest ingredients on the planet. Plus, the brand’s products make skin look and feel instantly better. Whether you use the cult-favorite Water Cream or complete your routine with the pore-blurring Silken Sunscreen, one thing’s for sure: More often than not, it’s love at first use.
Founded: Vicky Tsai, 2009
Based in: San Francisco
Best known for: Providing high-quality, Japanese-inspired skincare products
Most popular products: The Water Cream Moisturizer, Liquid Silk Canvas Primer, The Silk Powder
Fun fact: Despite being a Japanese-inspired skincare brand, Tatcha was actually founded by Tsai, who is a Missouri-born Taiwanese-American.
Other brands you’ll love: SK-II, Elemis, Sulwhasoo
Tatcha isn’t like many other massive beauty brands, though. Rather than being built solely around what consumers want, Tatcha was born out of founder Vicky Tsai’s personal complexion concerns.
“At the start of my career, I worked in the corporate world, which required me to travel around the globe, allowing me to be exposed to beauty in many forms,” she tells Byrdie. “While I was grateful for the experiences my career allotted, the constant stress and travel had wreaked havoc on my skin and my mindset.”
As a result, Tsai developed a painful case of acute dermatitis, and despite everything she tried it lasted for years. “Doctors prescribed strong antibiotics, which I was on for extended periods without success, and my skin became so sensitive that the only product I could apply was Aquaphor,” she says.
Eventually, Tsai quit her job to search for more meaning and balance in her life—and ways to heal her skin. One thing led to another, and she found herself in Japan. “In Kyoto, I was introduced to the timeless ingredients and rituals that would give me so much purpose. That inspired [the idea for] Tatcha, which I created so that I could share with the world the philosophies of Japanese beauty that greatly impacted my life,” she says.
As adored as Tatcha products are, for many, $68 for a moisturizer seems like a stretch. But given the moisture-quenching, skin-soothing, jaw-dropping results, we firmly believe the products are well worth the investment. (Plus, many bestsellers are available as travel-friendly minis, a great option if you want to try a product without committing to the full-size price.)
Read on for our favorite Tatcha products.
The Water Cream Moisturizer
This is one of my all-time favorite moisturizers. Despite being super lightweight, this cream is so hydrating that it literally feels like a splash of water on your face. Thanks to its lightweight, oil-free nature, it’s best for folks with oily or combination skin types. And since it’s formulated with soothing wild rose, green tea, and red algae, it helps to calm skin on contact. Best of all, it immediately sinks into skin, and unlike so many other moisturizers, it never causes pilling.
The Liquid Silk Canvas Primer
While all of Tatcha’s complexion products help to shrink the appearance of pores, the Liquid Silk Canvas puts forth the ultimate effort. The oil-free formula goes on smooth to lightly mattify the skin while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and pores. Best of all, it helps your makeup adhere to your skin without sinking in or rubbing off, so you won’t have to worry about an uneven appearance by midday.
The Silk Powder
To ensure your makeup really stays—or if you prefer post-powder to pre-liquid primer—Tatcha’s Silk Powder is a must. The talc-free powder is ultra-finely milled, so it blends effortlessly into skin to set makeup and minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores. It even helps shield the skin against blue light, so it has anti-aging effects, too.
If soft, smooth, dewy skin is your goal, The Essence should be in your skincare arsenal. What seems like a bottle of water is actually a gentle resurfacing treatment designed to smooth, plump, and hydrate skin. The trick is to know how to apply it. While many people think of essences as toners, this product shouldn’t be applied with a cotton round. Rather, pour some in your (clean) hands and pat (don’t swipe) it onto your face. Apply it immediately after cleansing and before any other products.
The Dewy Skin Cream
The Dewy Skin Cream is another of Tatcha’s top-rated moisturizers. Where the Water Cream is super lightweight, the Dewy Skin Cream is a bit thicker, and more suitable for dry, normal, and combination skin types. (Thanks to its texture, I like to use it as my nighttime moisturizer.) A key ingredient in this cream is Japanese Purple Rice, which is known for its rich antioxidant properties and ability to bring balance back to the skin.
The Dewy Serum
Here we have one of my favorite Tatcha products. The Dewy Serum is an extension of the brand’s Dewy Cream. The 3-in-1 serum works to pump up the dew factor by gently smoothing skin with lactic acid, plumping it with hyaluronic acid, and hydrating it with squalane. While it’s made with an exfoliating acid, it’s safe to use daily—my sensitive, redness-prone skin proves it, considering it’s one of my daily must-haves. And remember: A little goes a long way. You only need a pump (max two) for your face and neck.
The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream
The Silk Peony Eye Cream is another under-eye must-try. The silky cream smooths and blurs the appearance of fine lines surrounding the eyes and keeps the area hydrated and radiant all day long. Like any eye cream, it’s best applied like moisturizer.
Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers
Tatcha’s blotting papers are adored for their oil-absorbing abilities. It’s because of this that they’ve earned a permanent spot in so many purses and kits, including that of makeup artist Daniel Martin, you know, the genius behind Meghan Markle’s bridal makeup. “My introduction to the brand was when Vicky reached out to me via direct message on LinkedIn and sent me the original blotting papers to try,” Martin, Tatcha’s global director of artistry & education, tells Byrdie. “That was over 10 years ago, and they (and Tatcha) have remained my go-tos for myself, clients, and in my kit ever since!”
The Rice Polish: Deep
Tatcha’s Rice Polish is sold in Classic, Gentle, Calming, and Deep formulas. The latter is among the most sought-after of Tatcha's products thanks to its ability to slough away dead skin cells, as well as transform any cleanser into an exfoliating wash. Oftentimes, though, people aren’t quite sure how to use the polish, which pours out like a powder. The trick is to pour a little in your hand, mix it with water, and gently massage it into your face before rinsing it off.
Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen
This is my go-to sunscreen. I adore the silky feel of it, the fact that it blends effortlessly into skin, and that it doesn’t smell like sunscreen. Plus, it’s not the slightest bit sticky and never leaves your skin shiny, which so many sunscreens (even those specifically formulated for your face) do. One word to the wise though: The tube looks an awful lot like toothpaste, so make sure you’re paying attention during your beauty routine. One time I accidentally ended up brushing with it. And trust me, once you see how this SPF makes your skin look, you won’t want to waste a single dollop.
Violet-C Brightening Serum
Looking to treat and prevent dark spots and welcome an overall radiant complexion? It’s time to add Tatcha’s Violet-C Brightening Serum into your routine. Just know that this vitamin C serum is unlike any other you’ve tried—it’s more of a water consistency than serum. As such, it works especially well after The Essence and before moisturizer.
The Rice Wash
Last but not least, it's Tatcha’s The Rice Wash. The gentle creamy cleanser is great for all skin types and leaves skin looking luminous after rinsing any and all dirt and debris from its surface. No wonder thousands of shoppers swear by it.