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Image courtesy of Victoria Tsai


The cult brand’s founder unveils the secrets of geisha beauty

There are a few beauty brands in this world that are seemingly untouchable – word-of-mouth success stories and social-media darlings that always end up on editor’s picks lists and whose new releases spark a fire among beauty mavens. Tatcha is certainly one of these brands, and it’s not just because its pretty pastel packaging looks great in a post. Its products are built to be gentle yet effective, based on ancient wisdom handed down by geishas but fortified by modern technological innovations.

Tatcha’s founder, Victoria Tsai, was a Harvard MBA grad with her own skin problems who travelled to Japan, where she discovered the pared-back beauty routine that healed her dermatitis. She now splits her time between California and Japan, working with scientists in both countries on the formulations that have captured so many hearts. We spoke with her about her journey and her own routine.

What was it about the geisha beauty routine that so captivated you in the first place?

When I first met the geisha, I learned that they’re the living embodiment of centuries of beauty traditions and heritage. It was amazing to me that the ingredients and rituals they use today are the result of generations of women honing and sharing their knowledge. Tatcha was created out of my desire to share the culmination of this work.

How has the Tatcha line evolved and grown beyond this initial inspiration?

The foundation of our skincare collection is a book written in 1813 called Miyakofuzoku Keiwaiden that captured Japanese beauty rituals. Our Tatcha Institute creates each formula from scratch, like a couture dress, by marrying the timelessness of these traditional Japanese rituals with modern technology. The inspiration and active ingredients are the same as you would’ve found in Japanese skincare decades or centuries ago, but with advanced extraction techniques and delivery systems.

What are the most popular products in the line?

Our core collection is a four-step ritual with any four of the following: our Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, The Rice Polish, The Essence, The Silk Cream, The Satin Skin Mist and The Silk Canvas.

If you could recommend one Tatcha product which would it be and why?

The Essence. For years, I didn’t believe what an essence could do, but our skincare scientists created this and gave it to me to try. It was transformative. The ingredients are pure Hadasei-3 — a superfluid concentrate of fermented Okinawa algae, Akita rice and Uji green tea — which plumps your skin with hydration to help any product you use afterwards work better. I won’t go without it.

What’s your own personal beauty routine?

My ritual changes with my skin, and my skin changes depending on my diet, the weather, hormones or anything else happening in my life, but it never exceeds more than four steps. In the morning, I’m currently using The Rice Polish Classic, followed by The Essence, The Water Cream and The Silk Canvas. In the evening, I cleanse using the Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil and The Rice Polish Classic to purify my skin from the day, followed by The Essence, the Violet-C Brightening Serum and The Silk Cream.

What’s your absolute no-no when it comes to beauty?

Never go to bed without washing your face.

What’s your ultimate beauty secret?

Skincare is self-care. When I learned that your skin is a reflection of your mental, physical and spiritual health, it completely changed my relationship with it. I started trying to work with my skin instead of fighting against it.

2019-08-21 00:07:00.0

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