About once a month, I Google the correct steps for a morning and nighttime skincare routine. It never changes, and yet I somehow manage to forget. But like they say, old habits die hard, and up until two years ago, I used to only use a Neutrogena makeup wipe before bed. That sentence sends shivers down our beauty editor’s spine.
Even though I’m constantly double- and triple- and quadruple-checking what I should be doing to my face every night, I only realized last week that my favorite skincare step is on none of these exhaustive lists. Right after I cleanse with Glossier’s Milky Jelly, I splash Tatcha’s The Essence on my skin.
Unlike with my serums and moisturizers, which I switch out frequently depending on what my skin needs, The Essence has been a constant since I started using more than just a makeup wipe. Until recently, I hadn’t even known what it was or what it did. All I knew for sure was that it made my skin feel silky-smooth.
As it turns out, that is exactly what essence is supposed to do. (It’s even in this product’s full name: Plumping Skin Softener.) Essence is an overlooked step that not everyone in the Western Hemisphere is even aware of, but in Japan, 97 percent of women use an essence for a more youthful glow, according to Tatcha. It’s essentially the fountain of youth, and us Americans, as always, are late to the game.
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Not just a crucial step for an anti-aging routine, The Essence is, as Tatcha founder Vicky Tsai puts it, a seven-second ritual that will transform your skin. After cleansing and before anything else, all you have to do is pour some drops into the palm of your hand, press them together, and then press into your skin. Since it has the same texture as water, it penetrates easily and floods your skin with hydration, which makes all your other skincare work better.
The Essence is made with 98.7 percent (!!!) pure anti-aging Japanese superfoods, like green tea, algae, and akita rice. In the simplest of terms, the green tea detoxifies to prevent signs of early aging, the algae helps with water retention, and the rice provides nourishing moisturization. It’s no wonder a whole bottle will cost you just under $100, but I find that mine lasts nearly a whole year, since I’m only using a couple drops daily.
Now that I know my skincare routine involves a secret step passed down by actual geishas, I don’t think I’ll need to Google those recommended steps as frequently. I guess that’s what finding out that your beloved ritual is basically the world’s best-kept skincare secret will do. Makeup wipes, who?
Shop Tatcha’s anti-aging essence below to transform your skincare routine.