When we explored the centuries-old beauty book that inspired our collection, we kept coming across reference to something called “beauty waters.” I immediately asked our geisha friends what that meant.

They explained that geisha have been using beauty waters for generations, gently patting a handful into their skin after cleansing but before applying any treatments. These botanical-infused waters are an essential step to restore and soften their skin.

This beauty secret has spread far beyond the geisha community—today, 97% of women in Japan use an essence (modern-day beauty waters) as part of their daily routine.

I asked our Tatcha Institute scientists about what made this step so vital, and they taught me a new secret to skin health and making anything you put on your skin work better.

They explained that treatments and moisturizers need to be able to penetrate the skin to be effective. Oftentimes, this can be hard for two reasons:

  • Firstly, the top layer of the skin is comprised of dead skin cells. These protect the delicate skin beneath, but can prevent active ingredients from penetrating deeply, where they are most needed.
  • Secondly, the channels that carry ingredients down to the deepest parts of the skin are like trickling creeks, and often not sufficiently hydrated. This means the active ingredients that do make their way past that top layer of skin get stuck before they reach their destination.

This is why an essence is core to any skincare ritual.

Our newest discovery, The Essence, is the modern evolution of this Asian beauty skincare secret: a pure, powerful formula of 98.7% anti-aging Japanese superfoods. Uji Green Tea, Akita Rice and Okinawa Mozuku Algae are fermented, yielding amino acids, the building blocks of baby-soft skin, and lactic acid, which gently resurfaces skin. The water-light formula instantly doubles the hydration of skin above and beyond using a moisturizer alone, flooding skin with hydration to deliver treatments more deeply and amplifying the performance of all skincare that follows.

This simple, seven-second daily ritual provides the ultimate skin superfood diet to reveal soft, youthful skin. We’re honored to bring you The Essence, inspired by geisha and remastered by scientists for you.



Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published December 2016

Ingredients, Beauty Secrets, Geisha, Kyoto
share this post
back to t house