We Tried Tatcha’s The Water Cream Moisturizer and It's a Savior for Oily Skin

This lightweight moisturizer feels silky smooth

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Tatcha The Water Cream

tatcha water cream

Byrdie / Ashley Rebecca

What We Like
  • Very lightweight texture

  • Feels cooling and refreshing on the skin

  • Works well underneath makeup

What We Don't Like
  • Not for very dehydrated skin

  • Takes a bit of time to absorb

Tatcha’s The Water Cream keeps oily skin feeling fresh, light, and hydrated throughout the day without greasy residue or a shiny finish.


Tatcha The Water Cream

tatcha water cream

Byrdie / Ashley Rebecca

We put Tatcha's Water Cream to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review. 

Moisturizer has been a staple in bathroom medicine cabinets and skincare routines for decades, but is it that essential for those who have oily skin? The answer is yes; regardless of your skin type, moisturizer is essential to keeping the skin healthy and balanced. It gets a little tricky for those with oily skin, though, since richer formulas can make skin look even shinier. That's where Tatcha's The Water Cream comes in. Designed to be lightweight yet hydrating, this formula is a favorite for those prone to oily T-zones and breakouts. To determine if it's worth it or not, we put it through a true Byrdie test and tapped a board-certified dermatologist to weigh in on the formula's efficacy. Spoiler alert: It's fantastic.

Tatcha's The Water Cream

Best for: Oily skin types

Uses: Hydrating the skin

Potential Allergens: Rose, green tea, parfum/fragrance

Active Ingredients: Japanese wild rose, Japanese leopard lily, Hadasei-3 (composed of green tea, rice, algae, 23K gold)

Price: $70

About The Brand: Founded by Victoria Tsai in 2009, Tatcha offers superfood-infused skincare products like cleansers, moisturizers, night treatments, and masks.

About the Ingredients: Gentle but effective

Whether you have oily or combination skin, chances are you're used to a little bit of shine accumulating throughout the day. We don't recommend skipping moisturizer altogether—after all, it's an integral part of maintaining a healthy skin barrier—but we do suggest opting for a lighter cream in lieu of a richer one. Tatcha's The Water Cream is a great option since it's lightweight and absorbs into the skin sans greasy film. And even though it's on the lighter side, board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon Dendy Engelman, MD, says it delivers excellent hydration. "The key ingredients in this moisturizer are Japanese Wild Rose, which smooths the skin and refines pores, and Japanese Leopard Lily, which balances and clarifies," she explains. "It also includes green tea, rice, and algae complex, which provides a suite of anti-aging benefits and antioxidants to boot."

About the Formula: Great for oily, sensitive, and mature skin

Engelman also explains that The Water Cream is great for oily, combination, sensitive, and even mature skin. "The formula is non-comedogenic and provides lightweight moisture while clarifying and balancing, which oily, acne-prone skin types can benefit from," she says. "The antioxidant and anti-aging properties of the cream also make it a nice choice for mature skin, and the fact that it's non-irritating ensures that those with sensitive skin can also use this product."

How to Apply: Fingers or applicator

Use the miniature scooping spoon attached to the lid of the jar to scoop out a pearl-sized amount of cream and rub directly into the face with clean hands—it’s best practice to not dip your fingers directly into the jar to prevent bacteria from spreading. If you’re unsure of where to start with moisturizer, you can dab small amounts on your forehead, cheeks, and chin area and then massage it into the skin.

The Results: Hydrated but non-greasy skin

After each application, you can expect your skin to feel intensely hydrated but not greasy in the slightest. We really love that there's a freshness you feel upon applying The Water Cream—almost like a cooling sensation. There's also no sticky residue, and once the cream absorbs into pores, the skin feels comfortable and not weighed down. Another major plus is that the moisturizer doesn't pill, even underneath makeup.

tatcha water cream

Byrdie / Ashley Rebecca

The Value: Totally worth it

tatcha water cream

Byrdie / Ashley Rebecca

Tatcha's The Water Cream is totally worth the hype. We love how cooling and lightweight it feels on top of the skin and the fact that it comes with a cute (and hygienic!) spatula is just the cherry on top. Engelman agrees, explaining that "between the combination of efficacious ingredients and luxurious texture, this moisturizer is great for skin and is enjoyable to use."

Meet the Expert
  • Dendy Engelman, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at the Shafer Clinic in New York City. She serves as a member of Byrdie's Beauty & Wellness Board. She has published several scientific papers detailing her ongoing advancements and has previously presented at national conventions such as the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery. She also regularly contributes to a number of media outlets and appears on various talk shows.
Final Verdict

Tatcha’s The Water Cream is a must-have moisturizer for anyone with oily skin. An efficient product that targets pore size and anti-aging concerns, this cream is well worth the price for the results you’ll experience.


  • Product Name The Water Cream
  • Product Brand Tatcha
  • SKU 653341121028
  • Price $70.00
  • Weight 1.7 oz.
  • Ingredients Water, Saccharomyces/Camellia Sinensis Leaf/Cladosiphon Okamuranus/Rice Ferment Filtrate*, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Glycerin, Diglycerin, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Gold, Belamcanda Chinensis Root Extract, Rosa Multiflora Fruit Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lecithin, Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Mica, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Phenyl Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium Edta, Tin Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum/Fragrance, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol. *Hadasei-3.

Related Stories