Tatcha The Essence Instantly Plumps Up My Tired, Stressed Skin

My skin goes from looking dull to dewy in a matter of seconds, thanks to a hydrating formula consisting of Japanese green tea, algae, rice, and much more.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Tatcha the Essence on a red background
Bella Geraci/Allure
Best of Beauty
  • Best of Beauty
  • 2020
TL;DR:
  • What It Is: A lightweight essence packed with Japanese green tea, algae, and rice
  • What It Does: Hydrates and plumps dehydrated, tired skin and preps the skin to better absorb subsequent products
  • Who It's For: Skin-care aficionados who prefer a more thorough routine; any skin types, but especially those with dry skin

Some might ask, "Is an essence really necessary?" To that I say, to each their own. But personally, I've deemed essences as a non-negotiable step in my skin-care routine. Yes, I do see them as a "treat," but one that boasts so many skin-care benefits, including helping your subsequent, actives-infused serums and creams absorb better. 

My all-time favorite essence is none other than Tatcha's The Essence. And I'm clearly not alone in my praise, because Allure just stamped a 2020 Best of Beauty seal on this plumping and softening product.

Courtesy of brand

Cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson previously gave Allure the low-down on essences, which "hydrate [skin] without the waxes and emollients that make creams and lotions thick, so they don't clog pores or feel greasy or heavy." While she was speaking to all essences, it rings especially true for Tatcha's formula. As soon as you pour The Essence into your hands, you immediately notice how lightweight and barely-there it feels. But don't be fooled: It's loaded up with hydrating ingredients, like a special concentrate of green tea, rice, and algae, as well as glycerin

In other words, it's my skin's favorite concoction.

The Essence also contains yeast, of which the fermentation process naturally produces lactic acid that speeds up skin-cell turnover and renewal for overall smoother skin, as Ranella Hirsch, a board-certified dermatologist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, previously explained to Allure. No wonder it leaves my skin looking like it took a page straight out of the glass-skin handbook, and it feels extra-soft to the touch.

Sarah Han/Allure
Advertisement

Besides the fact that The Essence is housed in a luxurious bottle that makes me feel oh-so-fancy, the physical act of patting and pressing it into my skin is extremely calming, and the liquid is completely absorbed just a few seconds later. All I need is a few drops for my entire face and neck, which the "spout" dispenses perfectly, so you never accidentally pour out too much. 

If my skin is feeling especially parched, I might go up to seven layers à la the 7 Skin Method, but three layers of the essence is typically my Goldilocks-like sweet spot. (To be clear, one layer is totally fine. I'm just, as they say, extra.) My skin looks noticeably dewier and plumper post-application, so in addition to my daily nighttime application, it's also the perfect pre-Zoom skin refresher.

Most of my skin-care routine is already made up of Asian (or Asian-inspired) products and The Essence fits right in with that lineup, as it's incredibly gentle but effective. I've tried many essences over the years, but I keep going back to this version by Tatcha. No matter what sort of state my complexion is in (clear, healthy, dull, breaking out, or just plain stressed), it leaves my skin feeling soft, plump, smooth, and dewy in a matter of seconds. My skin-care routine truthfully doesn't feel complete without it.

Check out the full list of Allure's 2020 Best of Beauty winners.