TATCHA Beauty Vicky Tsai

Tatcha Founder Vicky Tsai reveals her Geisha-approved beauty tips, wellness routine and more

Inspired by her travels and Japanese culture, Vicky Tsai designed her J-beauty empire

Culture and beauty play such a special role for many women, including Vicky Tsai the Founder of TATCHA. The J-beauty skin care products were inspired by the ancient beauty rituals of Japanese geishas to achieve a smooth, porcelain complexion. From the elegant lavender sleek packaging to the natural formulations with rich antioxidants, this brand’s mission is adored in the skincare world. We caught up with the woman behind the brand’s commitment of providing clean beauty to everybody.

Tatcha Founder Vicky geisha©Tatcha
Vicky’s brand pays homage to traditional geisha beauty practices

On Geishas' beauty routines and the brand’s inspiration
I began travelling looking for a more authentic way of living, and along the way I found myself in Kyoto. While I was there, I was introduced to the geisha, who not only healed my skin by introducing me to the traditional Japanese beauty rituals and time-tested ingredients they had been using for centuries, but also the kindness and mindfulness of the people healed my soul. I created Tatcha as my love letter to Japan and to share all that I had learned in the hope that what had resonated and healed me would do the same with others.

The first product we launched were our Original Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers as an homage to the geisha and their wisdom. Originally used by gold leaf artisans to protect the gold they hammered for Imperial Japan, the geisha noticed how these strong, soft leaflets removed excess oil from skin without disturbing makeup.

On the Kyoto beauty ritual within TATCHA:
Tatcha is based on traditional Japanese beauty rituals, and every piece of our collection is built around Hadasei-3, our proprietary complex of double-fermented actives derived from Okinawa Red Algae, Akita Rice and Uji Green Tea. These three time-tested ingredients are the cornerstone of the Japanese diet and are attributed to longevity and health.

While studying in Kyoto, the geisha also taught me the traditional Japanese belief that beauty begins in the heart and the mind, and that it’s something that’s gained with age - not lost. This resonated with me as it was counter to everything I had learned about beauty and self-worth growing up in the United States, where there is such a fear of aging and so much importance put on women’s outward appearances. In creating Tatcha, my goal was to share this message with the world, and through our Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures Program, which funds girls’ education around the world, we’re able to help the next generation of women discover that their own self-worth is more than just skin deep.

Tatcha Founder Vicky mediate©Custom
On social post, the founder explained, “My time in Japan healed me from skin to soul. I created Tatcha as a way to share the treasures I find on my journeys from San Francisco to Kyoto; a journey that started with me and continues with you.

On challenging moments birthing change in business mindsets:
As a businesswoman, it can be hard to find role models because we are still relatively few and far between. I was fortunate to meet Leslie Blodgett, the founder of Bare Escentuals, and Cristina Carlino, the founder of Philosophy, early on in my journey to starting Tatcha. I admire them both so much as both business leaders and mothers, but also as women who are trying to make a difference in the community. They were my sounding board when I was struggling, and they made me feel less alone by sharing the stories of their struggles as well. We hear a lot about the success stories, but we don’t hear about the challenges, so now when people ask me about the best parts of starting Tatcha, I prefer to share the hard parts because that’s where my experiences can help those who will follow. I hope many women follow in my footsteps because if I can do it, anyone can.

Tatcha Essence©Tatcha
Tatcha The Essence, $95, tacha.com

On why she’s only taking this TATCHA product on a desert island:
It would have to be our Essence, which has transformed my skin. It’s 98.7% pure Hadasei-3, a proprietary complex of pure Japanese actives derived from twice-fermented green tea, rice and algae. It plumps skin immediately, increases the skin’s hydration by almost 150% in moments and makes all other skincare work better.

Tatcha products©Custom
Left to right:

On her connection to Japan and wellness practices:

While studying in Japan, I discovered the relationship between our inner health and our skin, and this has stuck with me ever since. At Tatcha, we believe in caring for ourselves from skin to soul, and that skin care is self-care. Having a skincare ritual allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the day. I also love meditation and try to find time for it throughout the day whenever possible, and in the evening, I have a series of meditations that I do as I’m going through the steps of my skincare ritual:

  • Purifying with the Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil - I close my eyes to think of anything in the day that stuck to me, and imagine it melting away along with my makeup and the physical residue of the day.
  • Polishing with the Rice Polish Classic - I think about anything during the day that I didn’t hit the mark on and remind myself that I can always begin again. With our skin, as with ourselves, we can always shed the old and start anew.
  • Applying The Essence - As I press the Essence in and replenish my skin, I think about replenishing my energy. As women, we spend so much of our time taking care of others that we can deplete ourselves. It’s my reminder to give back to yourself as much as you give to others.
  • Nourishing with The Dewy Skin Cream - As I seal in moisture for my last step, I envision also sealing myself into a cocoon of care that’s given to me by the people in my life. This reminds me that for all I give throughout the day, there are always people who are caring for me in return.

While it may be only for a few minutes, it allows me to set my intentions, reset my mind and get ready for bed so that I can approach the next day with an open and clear mind.