Three months in and this has to be the most thorough I've ever been in testing a product. In July, I eschewed my usual robust routine (oil cleanser, regular cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, eye cream) in favor of the streamlined Tatcha Beauty Ritual: Pure, Polish, Radiant, and Supple – the four steps to achieving beautiful skin.
Everything about Tatcha - from its origin to its execution - feels exquisite, and I think that's a great strength for the company. Ingredients matter, I'm sure, but I personally believe placebo effect is strong when it comes to skincare. If something makes you feel good (and when something is pretty to look at, the battle is half won), chances are it's going to work too.
Step 1: Pure - One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
The One Step Camelia Cleansing Oil ($48 for 150ml/5.1 fl oz) beats my old HG RMK Cleansing Balm. It's lightweight for cleansing oils (for reference, Shu Uemura Premium A/I is heavy) and gets everything off without stripping moisture. I gauge that I have less than a quarter left, since I can hear air coming out of the pump when I use it now. Since I'm currently on a skincare ban, I dread to hear the squirt of the last drop.
Step 2: Polish - Classic Rice Enzyme Powder
Tatcha has three offerings of this powder according to skin type, and the Classic Rice Enzyme Powder ($65 for 60g/2.1 oz) is for combination skin. It's essentially a very fine exfoliator, so you can use it everyday instead of a harsher one once per week, which may damage your skin. If you're not wearing makeup, this doubles as a 2-in-1 cleanser. To use, you wet your face and hands and pour a dime size amount into your palm. Rub your hands together to create a lather, then work onto face. Leave it on for 15 seconds before rinsing off.
I'm actually very grateful for this. If you've been reading Messy Wands for some time, you'll remember that I have a flaky nose. This solves that problem.
Step 3: Radiant - Deep Brightening Serum
The Deep Brightening Serum ($150 for 30ml/1 fl oz) provides just a tinge of moisture while working as a radiance serum. When I was communicating with the PR rep, she mentioned that this also combats hyperpigmentation and lightens acne scars, and while it sounds way too good to be true, I actually agree with her (seriously, I'm surprised myself). Whatever scars I had are not completely gone, but it's fading.
(Time for the disclaimer: So, even before I used this it's not like I had a gash or anything, but I had some acne scars that were basically one or two tones darker than the rest of my face. They are now the same tone as the skin around it.
Serums are hard to talk about in general because you can't really measure the effects. Is it the serum working its magic or is it the body's natural process? Anyway, my stance is eat well, have enough sleep, drink lots of fluids, and apply serum as the bonus, not the cure.)
Step 4: Supple - Moisture Rich Silk Cream
Finally, my favorite step! The Moisture Rich Silk Cream ($150 for 50ml/1.7 oz) is a gel-cream moisturizer that doubles as a makeup primer. The cream is lightweight and moisturizing without being oily. I remember when I first used this, it felt stickier than what I was accustomed to. Thank goodness I was hell bent on trying out the ritual, or I would have stopped using it right then. It took a few more applications for me to get used to the stickiness. Of course, by now I don't even feel it anymore.
Also, I hate to be all gushy but the primer claim is true! My blushes last way longer over this cream than my other moisturizers. And since I've stopped using foundation and don't like primers, it helps to have something for my blushes to adhere to.
As of writing, I've used the ritual twice a day exclusively for the past three months. The rate of use for each product varies. I'm down to the last quarter for the cleansing oil, 1/3 of the brightening serum, half of the silk cream, and still have at least three quarters of the rice enzyme powder.
Currently, my skin is literally the best it has ever been. I am at a place where I actually don't want to apply foundation because it will make my skin look worse. In the below picture, all I have on is concealer under my eyes and around my nose. Oh, and drawn on eyebrows of course.
The thing that makes me so terribly fond of Tatcha is they sweat the small stuff. On their website, under each product's "How to Use" tab is a short video that shows you how to apply the product (I mean, sure you can just slap it on to your face, but I like knowing how a careful hand would approach it). When you purchase something, in addition to an exquisitely wrapped package, you'll receive a handwritten thank you note from one of the team – and I'd like to stress it's not just because mine was a PR sample. I purchased the Dewy Skin Mist from them (with my personal email) prior to reaching out, and I was accorded the same personalized treatment.
Above all, it's details like this spoon-holding ribbon (as opposed to no holder at all à la Cle de Peau La Creme) that makes me feel the brand cares about the user. My only complaint is I wish they would put their full ingredient lists on the website instead of just the actives. I threw away the boxes because I assumed this information would be online, but I wasn't able to find it.
Tatcha is exclusively available at Barney's New York, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco. Do not fret if you're not close to any of those locations, you get free US shipping if you purchase from their website. For those who are hesitant to take the plunge, they offer a generous sample kit for $49.
Skincare reviews are tricky because it's difficult to pare down the words to make for a concise but comprehensive post. So, be sure to check out Cute and Mundane and theNotice for additional thoughts and an in-depth discussion on ingredients.
The products in this post were provided by the company for editorial consideration