Beauty Boss: The Real Story Behind Tatcha's Crazy Rise to Success
Welcome to Beauty Boss, a reoccurring series in which we spotlight the power players driving the beauty world forward. Consider this your chance to steal their get-ahead secrets, and grow from the real-life lessons they’ve learned on the job.
Tatcha Beauty founder and CEO Victoria Tsai had issues with her own skin that ultimately led her to create her line of skincare products. Below, the entrepreneur walks us through how she created her insanely successful company and what's next for the brand.
How did you fall into the beauty space?
I always loved beauty; when I was a girl, my mother ran a luxury skincare boutique and I was mesmerized by the fancy packaging and the promise of transformation. I never thought it could be a viable career until I found myself working for a big beauty care company in business school. An unfortunate bout of acute dermatitis took me down the path to find something that would work for me.
How did you come up with the concept for Tatcha?
It’s the outcome of a journey that healed my skin and soul. I worked for a big beauty company and treated my face like a science experiment, leading to three years of acute dermatitis. Even when it was under control, it was sensitized and reacted easily. I traveled to Japan in search of a more evolved approach to skincare, hoping to create something that worked for myself and for others, as well.
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How have you changed the landscape when it comes to beauty products?
If I’ve learned anything from these beautiful rituals, it’s that gentle strength is possible. You can have formulas that support and protect the barrier function of skin while also helping it become more beautiful every day. Before I discovered this approach to skincare, I thought I had to choose between aggressive high tech products that may irritate the skin, or natural products that may leave you wanting. It turns out you don’t have to pick and choose.
What’s the best compliment you ever received?
That my daughter is a kind person, and that Tatcha people are very nice.
What was your “aha moment” when you realized your company had really become a success?
At this point in my life, I define success as a positive impact. We have a partnership with an incredible organization called Room to Read, which works in children’s education—each purchase helps fund girls’ education around the world, and we recently passed the 1 million-day milestone, and I just found out we are closing in on two million. Knowing that we’ve helped send girls to school in places where an education has such an impact was really powerful for me.
What’s your beauty routine?
Most days, my routine is quite simple. In the morning, I cleanse in the shower with The Deep Cleanse, pat on The Essence to deeply hydrate skin, then apply The Water Cream—it helps tighten pores and leaves behind a subtle shimmer of 23-karat gold, so it’s perfect for makeup-lovers. I do a two-second cat-eye, swipe on our Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick, put my hair in a bun and head out the door.
What’s one mistake most women make when it comes to skincare that they could easily fix?
Not washing off their makeup! Properly cleansing the skin takes only seconds out of the day and makes all the difference in the world for your skin. You can apply the most expensive treatments and lotions and potions, but they won’t work effectively if the skin isn’t fresh and pure. Also - using cleansers that strip the skin. Many are based on alcohol or sulfate detergents, which steal the moisture right out of the skin. Many people also use alcohol-based toners, which are drying and irritating. We cleanse all wrong in America!
What one product do you never leave home without?
The Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. It’s perfect to freshen makeup or hydrate skin on the go. I also carry the Original Aburatorigami Beauty Papers with me in case I need to lift away any excess oil without disturbing my makeup.
What’s next for your brand?
The 200-year old beauty book that inspires Tatcha is seven chapters across three volumes, and skincare is Chapter One. We’re also walking into the world between skincare and makeup - there’s a whole liminal space that exists between the two and we’re excited to explore it.