After traveling to Kyoto in Japan, Victoria Tsai came across a modern-day Geisha who shared with her the classical Japanese beauty secrets passed down by generations. Inspired by the simplicity and the authenticity of the ancient Japanese beauty traditions, Victoria went about working with scientists from Japan and the US to develop products and create her own skincare line: Tatcha. Today, her products have become a cult favorite by various celebrities and influencers. Read on more to find out about Victoria and her journey in developing Tatcha:
Briefly tell us a bit about your background.
When I was in business school, I interned for one of the big beauty companies. I tested so many products on my skin that I gave myself acute dermatitis. My entire face was bleeding, blistering and scaling including my lips and eyelids. I was on steroids and antibiotics, but my skin would react to nearly everything I came in contact with. My doctors said that my skin would likely be permanently sensitized. At the same time, I became disillusioned with my corporate work. I woke up one day and decided I wanted to find a simpler, more authentic approach to life. That inspired me to start traveling. Eventually I went to Kyoto, where I learned about the classical Japanese approach to skincare—a completely different way of thinking about skin than I had grown up with in the U.S.
What inspired you to create Tatcha, and what does the name mean?
I created Tatcha to share the treasures I discovered along my journeys. Our skincare collection is built on a foundation of timeless Japanese skincare, the ingredients and rituals that healed my skin after years of acute dermatitis. The brand itself is inspired by the values and philosophies that I learned from my friends in Kyoto. I like to think of Tatcha as my love letter to Japan.
TATCHA is shortened from tatchibana, a Japanese word referring to the beauty of a single standing flower. To us, it represents not only the unique beauty of each person who uses our line, but the inherent beauty within when you strip away all the excess.
Can you tell us a bit more about the products Tatcha sells?
We do our own R&D in Tokyo at the Tatcha Institute, where our skincare scientists create each formula from scratch like a couture dress. Our collection can be adjusted by skin type or a particular skin concern (such as dryness or acne), but The Ritual is always the place to start. It’s a simple four steps to purify, polish, plump and nourish the skin daily: our Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil to melt away makeup and SPF; our Rice Polishes to gently exfoliate the skin each and every day; The Essence to plump skin with hydration and make your skincare work better; and whichever moisturizer works best according to a client’s skin type—we have The Water Cream (for normal to oily skin), The Silk Cream (for normal to dry skin), the Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream (for very dry skin), and The Indigo Cream (for sensitive or irritated skin), all of which can be found on our website (https://www.tatcha.com/).
What differentiates Tatcha from other skincare brands?
For a long time, the skincare that I used was working against my skin instead of with it. I would use an aggressive, drying cleanser and alcohol-based toner that stripped moisture from my skin, then I would overload it with heavy creams or butters to try and make up for it. When we create formulas at Tatcha, the idea is to work with the skin, not against it. We use ingredients that have been beloved for centuries and keep the formulas pure and minimalist for radiant, baby-soft skin.
What is your vision for Tatcha a few years down the road?
Our skincare collection is based on a book written in 1813, which captured the classical Japanese beauty rituals that have remarkably stood the test of time The book covers seven chapters across three volumes, and skincare is chapter one. We are excited to continue exploring its wisdom.
Victoria’s story is truly inspiring, and we love Tatcha not just for its amazing products, but also for its philanthropic model. Don’t forget to checkout Tatcha here: https://www.tatcha.com/