Several years ago, after a decade of big city living and working for large corporations, I began yearning for simplicity and authenticity in my life. It seemed that the more I acquired, the more I needed to feel whole and beautiful.
I traveled to Asia and eventually Kyoto, where I had the rare opportunity to immerse myself in a world of pure beauty, craftsmanship and heritage. There, a chance encounter with a modern-day geisha changed my life.
The beauty secrets I learned from the geisha introduced me to a different approach to beauty—that less is more. Their skincare philosophy and time-tested ingredients were captured in an ancient beauty handbook, which inspired our collection. I am deeply honored to share this wisdom with you today.
I hope that TATCHA can make your day a bit more beautiful. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey.
Founder and Chief Treasure Hunter
From the geisha, I learned of a 200-year-old text called Miyakofuzoku Kewaiden, or “Capital Beauty and Style Handbook.” This handwritten text is widely considered the oldest beauty book written in Japan—and perhaps the oldest surviving such book in existence. Within the three delicate, thread-bound volumes are seven chapters devoted to beauty and elegance in both appearance and spirit. The ingredients beloved by geisha have now been proven by science and re-mastered for you.
The three ingredients referenced most often as skin care treatments in our beauty book—Green Tea, Okinawa Red Algae and Japanese Rice Bran—are also at the core of the Japanese diet. This brings new meaning to the phrase “Beauty from the inside out,” since skin is the body’s largest organ.
Today, we know these extracts provide essential antioxidants, nutrients and moisturizers to the skin. Together, the time-tested ingredients help enhance the skin’s natural beauty, promote nourishing moisturization and help reduce the signs of premature aging for truly Pure, Polished, Radiant and Supple skin.
When I began my journey, I was searching for the original facial beauty papers, which I had heard referred to as “beating papers.” I learned that the papers had originally been created by goldsmiths to protect the precious metal as it was hammered into whisper-thin sheets. The geisha learned that the papers absorbed oil without disturbing their iconic makeup, and the first facial beauty papers were born.
These blotting papers hold a special place in my heart because they led me to my first meeting with a geisha. Although no one knows how they discovered the papers’ astounding properties, they remain an indispensable part of the geisha’s daily ritual.
This absorbent paper lifts away excess oil without disturbing makeup or stealing moisture from the skin. Created with 100% abaca leaf, prized for its strength, softness and absorbency. Free of powder, fragrance and oil for naturally petal-fresh skin. $12, 30 sheets
One of the first lessons the geisha taught me is the importance of ritual. To perform a ritual is to pause time for a moment to find peace. Geisha enjoy a skincare ritual that is as elegant as it is simple; four simple steps for Pure, Polished, Radiant and Supple skin. The Japanese have a term for the baby-soft quality of the geisha’s skin—mochi hada.
Skin can be a bit like the weather, changing with the seasons and with the passing of time. The brilliance of the geisha’s ritual is that the treatments are as efficacious as they are customizable. Each piece of the TATCHA Core Collection has been crafted to provide targeted benefits and work in harmony with the other steps of the ritual.
For me, cleansing has always been an afterthought, so I was surprised when the geisha told me that properly purifying the skin is an essential step in the skincare ritual. For centuries, they have relied on oil from the winter-blooming Camellia to melt away their famed performance makeup, without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.
Native to Japan, the Camellia, or tsubaki, is prized for its many benefits to skin and hair. This is because its oil is rich in oleic and linoleic acids, antioxidants and essential vitamins such as A, B and E. It is luxurious yet lightweight, providing exceptional hydration and restoring skin’s balance as it lifts away impurities.
This light blend of botanical oils gently dissolves waterproof makeup, long-wearing formulas, sunscreen and the daily build-up of perspiration and environmental stressors. Nourishing Camellia oil emulsifies completely when rinsed, leaving skin fresh and pure without stripping away natural moisture. $48, 150mL / 5.1 fl. oz.
Geisha prepare their bare skin with an invisible layer of wax primer before applying their iconic white makeup. This provides a protective barrier and a poreless finish, but proves difficult to remove without stripping the skin.
The geisha honed a brilliant but simple solution, cleansing and exfoliating daily with komenuka, or Rice Bran. This age-old ingredient is prized for its skin soothing and smoothing enzymes and is a rich source of gamma oryzanol, a potent antioxidant.
This effective but gentle daily exfoliation is a core part of the geisha’s ritual, lifting away impurities and polishing skin to a pearly luster, like a jewel. The toner, cleanser and exfoliator in one allows for daily cleansing without leaving skin tight or dry.
While geisha are famous for their historic performance makeup, I was struck most by the porcelain quality of the skin beneath. When all the makeup is removed, the color, clarity and evenness of a geisha’s skin is dramatic. Even the more mature geisha have a creamy skin tone, free of age spots.
I learned that the unblemished quality of their skin is the result of Licorice Root and brightening botanicals working together to create an even and radiant complexion. Licorice Root is rich in glycyrrhizate, an effective tyrosinase inhibitor to help prevent hyperpigmentation without sensitizing the skin.
This two-in-one spot corrector and hydrating serum quiets overactive melanocytes to target existing and future hyperpigmentation. Nourishing Squalane replenishes the skin, resulting in a naturally radiant glow. Ideal for all skin types. Does not contain hydroquinone; won’t sensitize skin to the sun. $185, 50mL / 1.7 fl. oz.
In Japan, silk workers have long been admired for their seemingly ageless hands—thanks to the protective layer created by the silky liquid in which their hands are often immersed. Geisha, ever observant, evolved this knowledge and began using silk extract in their beauty waters, leaving skin moisturized and supple without the heavy oils and waxes so often found in the West.
Scientific research has shown that silk is comprised of proteins similar to the keratin in our skin, explaining its popularity as a fabric. In its liquid form, the protein creates a multi-functional protective film, dramatically increasing skin’s native moisture retention.
This lightweight, anti-aging gel cream absorbs effortlessly, creating a weightless veil of silk to protect the skin from the environment. TATCHA’s HADASEI-3™ Bioactive Complex of Green Tea, Okinawa Red Algae and Japanese Rice Bran protects the skin from premature aging with potent antioxidants. $150, 50mL / 1.7 fl. oz.
The first pages of our ancient beauty text attribute the geisha’s porcelain skin to microcirculation. This simple but sophisticated discovery rejuvenates and revitalizes the skin, creating a youthful glow and radiant complexion.
The sumptuous Peony helps boost vital microcirculation. The flower’s active compound, Paeoniflorin, encourages collagen synthesis and contains a similar antioxidant effect to vitamin E. Together with a rich combination of botanicals, Peony improves elasticity and offers protection from free radical damage.
This anti-aging eye cream is luxuriously rich, yet is absorbed quickly into the delicate skin around the orbital area without clogging pores. Peony extracts promote microcirculation to reduce puffiness and dark circles. Ideal for all skin types. $135 / 15mL / 0.5 fl. oz.
Just beyond the southern tip of Japan’s mainland lies a collection of islands with rare and enduring beauty. White sand beaches lead to translucent waters, where precious Okinawa Red Algae thrive. Rich in nutritious benefits and water-retaining qualities, this natural wonder is regarded as a "treasure from the god of the sea," and considered one of the sources of Okinawans’ incredible longevity.
Centuries before modern treatments, geisha harnessed the vital benefits of Red Algae—and other botanicals—with an alchemical still. This distillation technique was remarkably sophisticated for its time, boiling and steaming the botanical to capture its essence for use in masks and facial sprays.
Red Algae is a vital source of Beterhelin, a natural polysaccharide proven to enhance the skin’s barrier function. This essential active creates long-lasting moisture retention and texture improvement.
This biocellulose-derived sheet mask forms an occlusive barrier on the face, boosting skin’s moisture content by up to 200 percent in fifteen minutes. The Red Algae-based serum delivers highly efficient hydration, creating a natural reservoir for skin. Ideal for dry and combination skin types. $28 for one / $95 for four, 20mL / 0.68 fl. oz.
This delicate mist is rich in moisturizers and humectants to leave skin hydrated and dewy. It does not contain high levels of alcohol or fragrance, which can dry the skin upon evaporation. Instead, nourishing Red Algae offers a boost of weightless hydration for glowing skin. $48, 40mL / 1.35 fl. oz.
The benefits of the precious Camellia were employed hundreds of years ago by Ama, the female free divers of the Izu Peninsula. The women coated their bodies with Camellia oil to protect themselves from frigid ocean waters. Centuries later, the resourceful geisha began to apply nutrient-rich Camellia oil to their skin and hair after bathing as part of their daily ritual.
More recently, science has shown us that Camellia is rich in oleic acid and vitamins A, B and E. It also contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids, helping to seal in moisture and restore the skin’s natural balance.
Distinctive in color, Indigo has long been regarded for its deeply soothing and restorative powers. During the Edo Period, Japan’s noble Samurai wore a layer of Indigo-dyed cotton beneath their armor to help heal injuries. In Japan, the color is often referred to as "Samurai Blue."
We now know that Indigo’s benefits come from two essential actives. Tryptanthrin is a nitrogen-rich compound prized for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties; it helps to soothe and comfort dry, irritated skin by flushing away toxins and inhibiting harmful enzymes. Indirubin is a deep-red, dynamic compound that inhibits irritation-causing proteins and strengthens skin’s barrier function.
This weightless cream melts into the skin, delivering the anti-inflammatory powers of Indigo and essential moisture of olive-derived Squalane. Natural Japanese Indigo lends the cream a sky-blue hue, which disappears upon application. Ideal for all skin types, especially dry skin. $48, 200mL / 6.7 fl. oz.
Rich in anti-inflammatory Indigo and moisturizing silk extract, this velvety cream nourishes and protects skin, leaving a layer of hydration that feels like an elegant pair of silken gloves. Natural Japanese Indigo lends the cream a sky-blue hue, which disappears upon application. Ideal for any skin type, especially dry skin. $38, 60mL / 2.0 fl. oz.
One of the greatest beauty secrets I learned from the geisha is that beauty truly begins with the heart and mind.
To fulfill our mission of creating both beautiful faces and beautiful futures, we are honored to partner with Room to Read, a leading organization with a mission of world change through children’s education. With each full-size skincare purchase from TATCHA, you will send an incredible girl to school for a day.
To learn more about this partnership and the difference that you are making, please visit tatcha.com/giving.
In Japanese, there is a phrase: “ichi-go, ichi-e.” It means “Just this moment, once in a lifetime,” and speaks to the preciousness of experiences and interactions in our lives. We are inspired and humbled by this principle and have adopted it as our service philosophy. At TATCHA, our highest priority is to make you feel treasured. As a part of this principle, we promise to formulate without parabens, mineral oils, phthalates or synthetic fragrances. It is our honor to play a small part in making your day a bit more beautiful.
We are delighted to offer shipping on us for all standard domestic orders.
Enjoy three samples on us with every full-sized order—the best way to discover your new favorite products.
We will happily accept a return or exchange—every time, no matter what.
As our thanks to you, we are delighted to offer a free gift with your next order over $75. Simply enter the code INDIGOMINIS with your order for a complimentary travel size duo of our INDIGO Soothing Silk Hand Cream and INDIGO Soothing Silk Body Butter—a perfect way to keep your skin glowing from head to toe, no matter where your travels take you.
*One per household, while supplies last.