Here’s a short list of things I’ve tried to combat my dry winter skin: I’ve consumed more water. I’ve exfoliated once a week. Heck, I’ve even tried twice a week. I’ve invested in fancy schmancy devices (like the Foreo Luna, which did help a little bit). I’ve tried countless products, some oil-based, some cream-based. I feel like I’ve tried it all.
But toward the tail end of 2019, I found a product that finally made a difference: The Water Cream from Tatcha.
Yes, it’s a brand beloved by Meghan Markle—who, pre-Prince Harry, talked about her love of the Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder—but that’s not how I found it. A friend sang it’s praises and I decided to test the cream out. Simple as that.
Before I go on, it’s worth providing a mini-explainer on what water-based actually means. While this moisturizer is creamy in texture, it kinda feels like you’re splashing water onto your face when you use it. (Tatcha describes it as a unique “water burst” that hits upon application to better hydrate your skin without leaving it feeling greasy or sticky.)
It’s also worth calling out the bathroom test at my office. Bottom line: the LED lights in there are bright. Like, photo shoot bright. You can see every imperfection and stray eyebrow hair—even if you're a good six inches from the mirror. It’s the best and truest way to evaluate the efficacy of any beauty product. Challenge accepted.
A peek at my complete skin care routine using Tatcha’s Water Cream: Every morning, before I apply my makeup, I spritz a bit of toner (like this one from Josh Rosebrook) onto my clean and freshly washed face. I wait a few seconds for the toner to absorb, then apply a light layer of the Water Cream. One of the best parts about it being water-based is that a little really does go a long way. (It feels like it melts into my skin.) I give that about a minute to soak in, then I go about the rest of my routine—applying foundation, concealer, eye shadow, blush, etc. as needed.
Cue the bathroom test at work: After using the Water Cream for a month, I’ve noticed a remarkable difference. Not kidding, sometimes I do a double take, thinking: ‘Wait, where's my dry and flaky and sensitive skin?’ Instead, my complexion looks hydrated and healthy. Makeup glides on. I don’t grimace when I look in the mirror at 4 p.m. on a workday.
I still exfoliate once or twice a week because, well, you gotta. But let’s just say I’ve added the Water Cream to my arsenal of beauty staples—and at $68 a jar, that says a lot.