Tatcha Launches Skincare Based on Geisha Beauty Rituals
Tatcha, the brand that made a business selling luxe blotting papers, just added a line of skincare to its repertoire. The brand's founder, Vicky Tsai, and her team discovered a 200-year-old Japanese text, Miyakofuzokukewaiden, which roughly translates to "Capital Beauty and Style Handbook." Geisha from centuries ago used the documented rituals and ingredients in their grooming, and Tatcha set out recreate them for modern skincare. Vicky talked to Beauty Blitz about the Eastern philosophy and the "original beauty bible."
Vicky Tsai, Tatcha's founder
What made you first start the Tatcha brand?
From an early age, my vanity overflowed with products that promised total transformation and as with many women, my beauty rituals have been a metaphor for every stage of life. Later, as a professional, I sought confirmation and lined my bathroom with expensive products. With each stage of life came a new arsenal of products and it seemed that the more I acquired, the more I felt the need to feel beautiful. I started traveling to Asia and rediscovered a different approach to life and beauty — less is more. Now I am on a humble quest for less. I yearn for enlightenment, simplicity and authenticity in my life and in my beauty rituals. Tatcha is my way of sharing things I learn and find along the way – from the playful to the inspirational.
How did you find out about the 200-year-old text?
My team and I spent years researching texts on Eastern beauty rituals and Asian botanicals. During our studies, we kept seeing references to this book, noted as the original beauty bible but it had been all but lost to the modern world. Historians recognize it as the oldest beauty book written in Japan, so we knew we had to find it and set out to do just that.
What were some of the surprising things you discovered?
The book is full of incredible insight into the foundations of Eastern skincare but perhaps the most interesting takeaway for us has been that sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer. The ingredients in the book are similar to those of the Japanese diet. This antioxidant-rich diet is what scientists often credit for Japan's incredible longevity. So, it makes sense that the foods that keep their bodies healthy are also what keep the body's largest organ (the skin) healthy.
How did you translate these centuries-old beauty regimens to something for the modern woman?
The ritual we have brought back to life is a faithful recreation of the originals. We didn't have to do much to make it relevant for the modern woman. The ritual only has three steps - four if you need to take off your makeup - and each item has multitasking benefits. For example, the Enzyme Powder is an exfoliant and cleasner in one, and the Silk Moisturizer doubles as a primer. As a modern woman, I'm always on the look out for easy multi-benefit solutions that save time and work.
Why do you think these historical beauty traditions still resonate today?
I think the idea that something which has been honed for hundreds of years and is steeped in authenticity and heritage resonates with women because they know that the ritual has withstood the test of time.