This Japanese skincare brand makes some of the best products I’ve ever used — here are the ones to buy for clear, glowing skin



  • Tatcha is a Japanese skincare brand that takes inspiration from centuries-old skincare routines of geisha.
  • The founder, Victoria Tsai, still works with geisha and Japanese scientists to formulate the products, which prioritize calming ingredients like camellia oil, green tea, and silk extracts.
  • It’s one of my absolute favorite brands, and I’ve tested hundreds. You can find it at Sephora, or Tatcha.
  • Many of the product formulas are offered in variations for specific skin types, which allows you to customize your routine based on very specific concerns (for me, it’s dryness).

There’s something particularly gentle about practicing a morning or evening skincare routine with multiple steps. The careful massaging of cleansers and serums, the soft swipe of toners and essences on cotton pads, the precise application of hydrating creams – it’s an act of meditation and intentionality.

My routine has ebbed and flowed over the years, rarely staying the same from week to week – the consequence of a job that requires a lot of product testing. But there’s one brand that, among the hundreds I’ve tried, has been a consistent part of my daily ritual for the better part of a year, filling in the multi-step process I enjoy as a form of self-care.

Tatcha makes products that combine two qualities nearly everyone touts but almost no one gets right: gentleness and effectiveness. I know these two words sound annoyingly cliche when used together to describe skincare (like a food blogger describing their meal as “delicious” and “so good” over and over), but when you have sensitive skin that takes a beating from city pollution, makeup, and sun, those are qualities that actually matter – and they’re hard to come by sincerely.

Founder Victoria Tsai, a graduate of Harvard Business School, founded Tatcha on the principals and traditions from a 200-year old beauty manuscript on the beauty routines of geisha in Japan.

She now works with modern-day geisha and Japanese scientists to continue developing skincare and beauty formulas that speak to women around the globe, but that are based in centuries-old traditions.

I’ll be honest – what appeals to me about Tatcha has never had to do with the company’s backstory or its celeb-favorite status. Instead, it has everything to do with how great their products are, which, sure, is a direct result of how they were conceived and developed, but ultimately hinges on how well they’ve performed for my skin.

So far, I haven’t met a product I didn’t like. Here’s a breakdown of my favorites, and the ones I recommend starting with if you’re new to the brand.

The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder


The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder, $65

Made from a base of finely ground rice bran, this foaming enzyme powder is the only exfoliator I use anymore. Of the four options you can choose from, I have the “gentle” variation, which was specifically formulated for dry skin, and though I don’t use it every day, it’s not so abrasive that you shouldn’t.

The polish comes out in a fine powder, which can either be rubbed directly onto your face, or lathered between your hands to create more of a creamy foam than an exfoliating treatment. The papaya enzymes and rice bran help to lift and remove dirt, makeup, and dry skin cells to create a clean and pure canvas. Either way you use it, your face will be left feeling soft and completely devoid of lingering grime.

The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment


The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment, $48

The Pearl is somewhere between a concealer and an under-eye cream, with a gel-like consistency that makes it super blendable. You can layer additional concealer on top of it, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it covers and brightens my dark undereye circles. I use this, along with an SPF-laden BB cream for what I’d consider medium coverage through the day.

The formula itself is meant to treat and improve dry and dull undereye skin over time, and though I can’t say I find it’s made a difference in the appearance of my circles, I can say that it keeps my skin hydrated when it’s on and blends well as an illuminating concealer. The one downside is that the color variety isn’t stellar.

The Deep Cleanse


The Deep Cleanse, $38

Though it won’t remove a full face of makeup, this exfoliating gel cleanser can still do some serious work on grimey pores. I use it as a daily face wash because it doesn’t dry my skin out or leave a film behind, which is the issue I take with most other cleansers. I pair it with the Tatcha Rice Polish exfoliator when I need something that goes a little deeper into my pores or when I’ve worn stubborn makeup like waterproof mascara.

The Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen


Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen, $65

Similar to a primer, this sunscreen gives your face what looks and feels like a silky, poreless slate, making it easy and smooth to apply foundation or any other sort of makeup on top. I’ve started using it in place of my primer on top of another moisturizer or serum for maximum hydration.

It doesn’t leave my skin feeling clogged or unable to breathe, which is the downfall of most facial sunscreens. The formula is thick and creamy, but comfortable enough to wear even on hot, sweaty days.

The Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil


Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, $48

To be honest, I haven’t tried this one yet – but I’ve heard so many good things about it (namely that the editor-in-chief of beauty magazine Allure swears by it) I thought it’d be a shame not to mention this bestseller.

The Camellia Cleansing Oil is known for being an excellent combination makeup remover and cleanser. Swipe it over your face with a cotton pad or just rub it directly on with your fingers and rinse away with warm water. You’ll be met with a milky soft texture as it dissolves off your skin, and left with a super-soft finish.


The Serum Stick: Treatment & Touch Up Balm, $48

Tatcha’s solid serum is my go-to for travel, but also for those days when I don’t want to take the time to do a full routine. It’s as hydrating as a buttery moisturizer, so I’ll wash my face and just swipe this all over, not even bothering to rub it in before I get in bed at night or leave in the morning. You can use it in a more targeted way around your eyes, or go for a full-face application. It leaves a nice sheen behind, but if you already have oily skin, I recommend rubbing it in so as not to make your face look slick.

The featured ingredients are squalene and hyaluronic acid, both of which are ultra-hydrating and keep even the dryest skin feeling healthy and replenished.

Shop all Tatcha products at Tatcha or Sephora.