Monday, August 13, 2012

TATCHA - Superb Skin Care from Japan

I want to introduce you to TATCHA, a beauty company that is inspired by ancient geisha skin-care traditions. I think you're going to love it as much as I do.

For over 300 years, Japan’s geishas have been held in awe for their breathtakingly beautiful, porcelain skin. Perfected through centuries of timeless rituals, the beauty secrets of the geishas had been passed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth - that is, until TATCHA rediscovered their coveted daily regimens in a 200-year-old manuscript, written in the twilight of Japan’s Edo Period.

Traveling back to the City of 2000 Temples (Kyoto), TATCHA worked with teams of scientists, scholars, and geisha themselves to decipher the rituals and ingredients from this text. What they uncovered is the very foundation of Eastern skin care and beauty.

TATCHA’s formulas pay homage to the icon of Eastern beauty and their own storied heritage. Now the secrets of the geisha live on through a proprietary process involving the most precious green teas, Okinawa red algae, rice bran, and other time-tested ingredients.

Until TATCHA contacted me and sent me a few product samples, I had no knowledge of the company. TATCHA skin care is available exclusively at Barneys, online at, and in a variety of boutiques around the world. The products are made in Japan. They launched over two years ago with their signature beauty blotting papers, which were originally created and used by gold craftsmen, and they recently announced the availability of a full skin-care line.

TATCHA has received great coverage recently by respected media, including Vogue (US, Brazil, Great Britian, and Australia), Marie Claire, Allure, and the Today Show, but remain largely, I believe, an undiscovered gem. Maybe we can change that!

What did I get to try? Let's start with TATCHA Radiant Deep Brightening Serum ($150). This serum is the ultimate luxury serum. Considered a brightening serum (huge in Asia, becoming more and more popular in the United States), Deep Brightening Serum is composed with time-tested Asian botanicals and TATCHA's proprietary HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex for radiant looking skin. The serum hydrates my skin nicely, while adding a brightened, even-toned appearance. It is very lightweight in feel, so a little goes a long way on application. While I was using it over a period of about four weeks, I often had to remind myself to top it with TATCHA's moisturizer. It made my skin feel nice and moist, with absolutely no residue or stickiness that some serums leave behind. If you want to see all the ingredients, just click on the link above, which will take you to the serum's page at the TATCHA site.

I had a deluxe sample of TATCHA Supple Moisture Rick Silk Cream ($150), and I nearly cried when I swept the last cream out of the jar after three weeks.  This weightless-feeling gel-cream of liquid silk, squalane, royal jelly, and HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex is absolutely perfect for summer. It leaves my skin beautifully moisturized with no feel of a heavy cream (heavy moisturizers are a staple in my routine). It's perfect under makeup. It's formulated with natural ingredients. Even better, it has no mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, parabens, PEGs, PPGs, urea, DEA, TEA, or phthalates. They weren't in the skin-care secrets of the geishas, and you won't find them in TATCHA. Again, just click on the link above to see the ingredients. I plan to order this moisturizer. If I can have only one of the products - given the obscene amount of money I've spent on makeup and perfume this month - it's this one. I haven't had the opportunity to try it in the harshest winter months, but I'll bet I like it then just as much.

I'll pause and remind you that my skin ranges from dry to very dry and is sensitive. In my opinion, these products from TATCHA will perform equally well on all skin types, mainly because they are so lightweight on the skin, even though they are packed with good stuff for your skin.

The third product I tested was TATCHA Polished Rice Enzyme Powder ($65). The exfoliating grains come in three variations: Gentle, Classic, and Deep. Even though my instincts told me to start with Gentle, I started with Classic. Why was I hesitant? Physical exfoliators and I have a rocky relationship. My skin is very thin and tears (micro-tears leave red, raw-feeling skin) at the slightest provocation. Not with these!

The water-activated enzyme powder of rice bran, papaya, and TATCHA's HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex will reveal your skin's natural gleam, exfoliating without harsh abrasives for effortless baby-soft skin. These rice enzyme powders function as a 2-in-1 cleanser for those who aren't wearing makeup and would like a nice deep clean. I was impressed. I mix the powder with water, and a paste forms. The paste thoroughly cleanses my skin, leaving it soft and clear.

My overall verdict is that TATCHA is a keeper. I love the products I tried, and I'm looking forward to a long-term relationship. I'm already coveting the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, which I discovered online.

You really need to check out TATCHA's Web site, especially if you can't get to a Barneys. TATCHA is a "find," and I recommend a visit. Those geishas were onto something.

Photos courtesy of TATCHA


Neo said...

Oh wow, what a coincidence!

I just placed an order on Tatcha's website last night, for some blotting paper (I don't re-powder during the day, but like to blot :)). They offer free shipping on all orders, and if you register for their newsletter, they immediately send you a coupon code for a free VIP sampler set (I'm not sure what's in there though), as well as the choice of 3 free samples (as it happens, I went for their camellia cleansing oil, the regular rice enzyme peel, and the brightening serum).

I'm now even more excited to get the chance to try their products after reading your review!!!!! And almost more excited about the included freebies than the supersized blotting papers I ordered to start with!

Anahita said...

I tried out the sampler set from Tatcha a few months ago and I had the worst reaction to it. I have combination skin and I erupted in severe systic acne all over my chin and cheeks. I am not sure whether is was the enzyme peel, the camellia oil or the serum and moisturizer that was the culprit. I have never had such painful, unsightly pimples in my life. It took weeks for them to subside. I was so disappointed as I really liked the idea behind it and it seemed so simple and uncomplicated. I am glad you had better luck with them.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Neo!

Too cool. I saw that they send you a coupon for the sampler set and thought that was a very generous offer. Clearly, they know the products will most likely sell themselves.

They are known for those blotting papers. Enjoy!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anahita,

There are several potential causes for the reaction you had.

1. It was purely serendipitous and coincided with TATCHA use (unlikely, but possible - happened to me once or twice).
2. Your skin does not take well to natural products. Only you can answer that one. One SA we both know can't use Sisley for that reason.
3. More than likely, it was the oil. That would be especially true if you have combo skin and broke out in the T zone.

I went through phases of adult acne with hormonal breakouts, and when I got those undergrounders, they were so bad I'd go get them injected with cortisone by my dermatologist. Unsightly and just awful.

Just on the suspicion that it was TATCHA, I would encourage you to pass by the brand, but also keep an eye on those same ingredients in other products you might try. Also, I believe TATCHA, just like a drug company, would like to know. I'd recommend you write them.

Thanks for the info!

Leigh said...

Yay, another one discovers TATCHA! I've been singing its praises almost from the day it came out.

I have combo/oily skin and I use TATCHA's full line for my nighttime ritual. My face adores it.

I suspect you'll love the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist as much as I do.

Charlestongirl said...

Good to know, Leigh!

Eileen said...

My first morning back from vacation and what do I read? A review of one of my new favorite lines! A dear friend, knowing my penchant for Japanese skin care, gave me the sample kit for my birthday and it was instant love. Because I've long used Japanese cleansing oils and enzyme cleansers, my skin took to Tatcha like a duck to water :-) Like you, Charlestongirl, I also have mature, dry, sensitive skin which means it can become easily congested and irritated if the wrong products are used. So far, I've had no problems with Tatcha.

I'm particularly fond of the cleansing oil. The combination of camellia and rice bran oils does a wonderful job of removing makeup, cleansing the pores, and leaving the skin feeling silky soft and looking smooth and refined. Yes, I'd say those geishas were definitely on to something! Some cleansing oils can leave your skin feeling stripped, but not Tatcha. It does a thorough but gentle job of removing makeup much like my beloved SKII.

Hi Leigh,

I just purchased the skin mist and can hardly wait for it to arrive.

For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is not a standard facial mist like Shu Uemura's and the like. It is actually more like a super lightweight moisturizer that you can spritz on for an extra helping of moisture without any drying agents. When I tried it at Barney's, I was very impressed and kicked myself for not purchasing it at the time.

I think we're going to hear more and more about Tatcha as the word about this relatively new line gets out.

Meredith Swezey said...

I'm so glad you featured Tatcha! I have dry sensitive skin, like you, and I absolutely love this line. I feel very pure and clean when I use any of these products. I have very sensitive skin and cannot use other natural lines, such as Sisley or Tata Harper and often things from the health food store but Tatcha is different. Everything works so well. I love the cleansing oil because it's gentle and rinses off completely. I have everything they make and love it all. The Silk Cream is to die for, so wonderfully hydrating without being sticky or greasy. I hope this line really catches on because I am hooked on it. The new moistening facial spray feels so good too. I usually use Evian Mist instead of toner which is too drying. I also love the serum because I can't wear other brightening serums, too stingy. Not Tatcha's. It softens, moisturizes and brightens my skin with no drying or stinging. I can't say enough about this line!

alrenwald said...

Thank you for featuring this product line which I've never heard of until today. But that said I do love using Asian beauty product (I use Shu Uemura cleansing oil, Shiseido cleansing foam and a few lipsticks, just recently added Paul And Joe makeup...and of course BB creams!!!!). I look forward to trying Tatcha. And thanks as usual for steering me in yet another good product!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

Welcome back! I wondered where you were.

You are lucky because you have a Barneys!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Meredith!

That mist is on its way to me. I can't wait to try it!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Alrenwald,

TATCHA is definitely in the same league as some of our favorites from Japan. Gorgeous "stuff."

Mabel said...

Like Anahita, I really wanted to like this line but it totally broke me out like crazy. A few days in I started noticing my pores were clogged and then I started getting huge pimples all over. I don't know what in the regimen it was but I am pretty sure it was the products. Thank god I was able to try it out first before spending a ton of money on the full size regimen!

VancouverChic said...

I've tried the cleansing oil - absolutely incredible. I've tried the gentle rice polish - and I am blown away!!! I have very sensitive rosacea skin and I am under the care of a cosmetic dermatologist and usually only use products she recommends. I have now ordered the Tatcha cleansing oil and the gentle rice polish because it leaves my face absolutely glowing without redness. Whatever is in the Tatcha products is literally a miracle worker on my skin. I give these two products by Tatcha my highest recommendation.
Thanks to you C-Girl for recommending these products to me.
Warm Regards,

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on this post after researching TATCHA. Thank you for the wonderful review!

I'm dying to try the brand (even just for the packaging! It seems so sophisticated!). I just ordered my sample kit this morning. I have been a bit worried that it might potentially break me out- it's got so many nice natural ingredients but I saws the ingredients lists on the boxes when a friend purchased it and there is talc and alcohol, two things everyone always says sensitive complexions should avoid.

So I am a bit worried, but my friend said TATCHA has wonderful customer service and would very likely provide a refund/take back the items if I have a terrible reaction.

I'm not convinced talc is totally one of my sensitivities. I don't think it's ever actually been in a product I've used, I've just avoided it because everyone kept saying I should ("everyone" being people at cosmetic counters, estheticians, etc.).

BUT, I've also read that talc is usually only extremely bad when it contains other additives/fillers that are toxic. So...maybe.

I'm very excited to try TATCHA though. I love natural skin care but keep trying to find something that suits my frequently dry, sensitive and occasionally breakout prone skin.

Here's hoping!

Angel said...

Can you use this product for acne and dark marks ?