A confession: it was only a few years ago that I started regularly washing my face. I know, I know. This is a safe space so I feel comfortable telling you that I used to be monumentally disinterested in taking care of myself. It wasn't until I discovered the extremely satisfying oil cleansing method and, eventually, my all-time favorite pull-it-from-my-cold-dead-hands cleanser, Tatcha's One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48), that I realized how effective skincare can be as a form of self-care.
Considering a single product essentially transformed my morning and evening routines forever, it's safe to call me something of a Tatcha loyalist now. And when I was given the opportunity to try out their just-released The Dewy Serum ($88), excited was an understatement. Over the course of a few weeks, I tried the serum out on its own and under makeup (it can be used both ways) to see if it delivered the juicy, dewiness promised in the packaging. And Byrdies, if I was loyal to Tatcha before, it's nothing compared to now.
Like all their products, The Dewy Serum is the result of years of development and testing. Something of a passion project for the team's product engineers, the then-unnamed serum was actually codenamed "The Secret Serum" before finalization. The development goal was always the same, though: to deliver the plump, smooth, soft skin we're born with before aging, pollution, and other societal and biological factors set in.
Three star ingredients conjunctively yield the serum's best benefits, including a 73% Hadasei-3 blend for radiance, plant-derived hyaluronic acid promoting hydration and volume, and sugarcane squalane for even more moisture. If you've spent any time scanning product labels (or our site, hey!) then you're probably familiar with hyaluronic acid's water-retaining properties and squalane's humectant ones. Both ingredients are commonly found in moisturizing cleansers, serums, and creams.
What you almost certainly don't know about, however, is The Dewy Serum's special 73% Hadasei-3, a trademarked blend of three Japanese specialties (fermented Uji green tea, Akita rice, and Okinawa Mozuku algae). This is the true "secret" in the serum that naturally promotes healthier skin thanks to the natural lactic acid and amino acid content. In other words, the Hadasei-3 helps exfoliate skin, the hyaluronic acid grabs moisture, and the squalane locks it all in. That three-part combination results in smooth, hydrated skin ready for the final steps in your routine or, according to the brand, makeup.
Akita rice, when fermented, is packed with skincare ingredient favorites like tone-evening, line-reducing Niacinamide as well as being a potent natural antioxidant. In fact, the rice's anti-aging properties were realized when sake brewers in Akita, Japan retained smooth, youthful hands despite facial aging, thanks to years of working with it.
In Real Life
Like most serums, Tatcha recommends using The Dewy Serum towards the middle of your routine so that's what I did. After cleansing and toning, I massaged a pump of serum into my dry face and waited a few minutes before following it up with moisturizer.
Daniel Martin, celebrity makeup artist and Tatcha's Global Director of Education & Artistry, uses the serum in a similar fashion with adjustments for his skin and time of day as needed. "I use it both morning and night," Martin shares with Byrdie exclusively. "I have combination skin, so during the day, I'll apply it as the third step in my routine after I cleanse and apply The Essence ($95), followed by an oil-free moisturizer...and finish with an SPF. At night I'll apply The Dewy Serum in the same order, but swap in a richer moisturizer."
If your skin is looking a little dull, Martin recommends following up The Dewy Serum with one that specifically targets radiance. "This creates a super-hydrating cocoon and really envelops and feeds the skin with moisture, so you'll wake up looking like you just got a facial."
I followed Martin's own routine using some products I already had and he's right—my skin feels significantly more hydrated in the morning after using this serum before bedtime. If you don't like that super-moisturized, vaguely sticky feeling that typically comes with a hydrating serum (I personally love it) then you might be averse to using this daily. While my skin feels extremely moisturized and dare I say dewy, I think I have to use this for a while longer to reap visual rewards. My skin is finally coming around after three months of prescription tretinoin so while the Tatcha serum definitely makes a difference in how my skin feels and how makeup applies, I still have a ways to go before achieving that visibly juicy skin I'm questing after.
All in all, the bottle definitely earned its hard-fought spot on my counter, delivering that spongey, moisturized skin feeling I love from a serum. As my skin continues to improve thanks to daily attention (at long last), this is something I'll keep close by—the results just feel so right.