SILKEN Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35 PA+++
Tatcha's SILKEN Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35 PA+++ is a very good daytime moisturizer for normal to combination and oily skin. Its lightweight cream texture feels wonderful, is easy to apply, and there's no visible white cast even though the formula contains 15% zinc oxide for sun protection.
The zinc oxide is joined by synthetic sunscreen active octisalate, so you're getting reliable broad spectrum protection. The silky, lightly hydrating texture is enriched with antioxidant plant extracts, some of which are notable soothing agents.
We wish this didn't contain fragrance because although Tatcha wants you to believe natural fragrance isn't a problem for skin, whether it's natural or synthetic, the research is clear: Fragrance is a problem. A slight consolation: The fragrance isn't overpowering. Still, this would've earned our top rating if it were fragrance free.
The opaque tube packaging ensures the light- and air-sensitive ingredients will remain stable during use, although we're a bit worried the price might discourage liberal application. The video on Tatcha's website has the model applying tiny dots of this daytime moisturizer to her face, undoubtedly too little to reach the SPF rating on the label. You will absolutely need more than this, so don't invest if you think you'll skimp on application. (We hate when cosmetic companies miss the need for liberal application!)
What of the pore-tightening claim? It doesn't happen, at least not in terms of making pores look smaller. You will feel this product "tighten" a bit as it sets to its matte (in feel) finish. This is due to the high amount of absorbent zinc oxide along with some dry-finish ingredients at the beginning of the ingredient list.
Although this feels matte, it looks satiny, leaving a visible glow on skin that will magnify the look of pores in oily areas. This isn't quite the dream sunscreen for oily skin with large pores, but it can be great for normal to slightly dry or combination skin.
A note on the PA+++ designation: This rating system was developed in Japan to quantify the level of UVA protection a sunscreen can provide. "PA" stands for Protection-Grade of UVA; PA+++ symbolizes high UVA protection. This system has no bearing on whether a sunscreen is more effective, given there are plenty of zinc oxide-containing sunscreens that aren't sporting this designation yet still provide broad spectrum protection. And you certainly won't get optimal UVA protection if you don't apply sunscreen liberally!
- Provides broad spectrum sun protection.
- Smooth application, lightweight matte (in feel) finish.
- Works beautifully under makeup.
- Contains some proven antioxidants and soothing agents.
- Provides light, skin-smoothing hydration.
- Packaged to keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
- No visible white cast.
- Lightly fragranced formula poses a risk of irritating skin.
- Price may discourage liberal application.
The allure of ancient beauty treatments coupled with modern science is tempting for many peopleand the Japan-inspired brand Tatcha plays that combination up to the max. As the story goes, Harvard graduate and businesswoman Victoria Tsai, had a chance encounter with a modern-day geisha on a trip to Kyoto, Japan. What followed was an introduction to a fabled book on the beauty secrets of the geisha, which led to Tsais desire to translate these secrets and tips into a modern-day skincare line.
The hallmark ingredients Tsai and her team seem most interested in are of Japan-inspired such as green tea, red algae, and rice bran which are supposedly mentioned often in the ancient geisha beauty book. Although all three of these ingredients have merit for skin, research hasnt shown them to purify or do some of the other things for skin that Tatcha claims. What you really need to know is none of these are the solution for any skin concern or for any skin type.
One more point, the entire premise of Tatcha is built around Japanese geishas beauty routines, but this assumes that under all of their decorative makeup, geishas have (or had) beautiful, flawless skin. In all likelihood, some do and some dont, but its quite likely that when unadorned and viewed close up, these women have the same types of skin issues as women the world oversave for perhaps fewer signs of sun damage, as most east Asian cultures are careful about avoiding sun exposure.
Enough about the marketing story because what really matters is the quality of the products and whether or not they are beneficial for skin. The short answer is this line has more problematic formulations than beneficial ones.
Chief among the concerns that keep us from getting behind this line are an abundance of fragrance (natural or not, fragrance can irritate skin) and several products housed in jars that expose their delicate ingredients to light and air.
Admittedly, its easy to get swept up in what the ancients knew and kept to themselves for centuries, only to have these seemingly amazing secrets finally divulged. We wish that were a wise way to find the best products for your skin, but despite Tatchas promises, your skin will be left wanting more.
For more information about Tatcha visit www.tatcha.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.