The Silk Canvas Filter Finish Protective Primer
Tatcha's The Silk Canvas Filter Finish Protective Primer is a "prime" example (pun intended!) of a product that would be just about perfect if not for a couple of minor missteps.
Housed in a flat, round container with a twist-off top, this primer has an interesting balm-like texture that's somewhat like a spackle, but not quite as thick and not at all tacky.
This primer smooths easily across skin, setting to a very soft matte finish that's good for all skin types except very oily. The initial color of this primer looks and applies light pink, but it sheers out entirely once blended.
The blurring effect this delivers works to soften the look of pores, blemishes, and other imperfections plus creates a smooth canvas for makeup. It also helps foundation last about an hour longer than usual.
As for the claim of it preventing makeup from getting into skin, that's a bit silly, as makeup doesn't invade pores in quite the way that Tatcha seems to think, and all primers provide some form of barrier between your skin and makeup (your regular skin care does too, for that matter). Besides, makeup isn't meant to absorb into skin, it's formulated to stay on the surface. Otherwise, why bother applying it?
That aside, our most significant issue with this primer is that it contains fragrance. It's not present in great amounts, and it dissipates quickly, but any amount of fragrance has the potential to cause skin irritation. Were it not for that one misstep, this would rank among our best primers.
One more comment: This primer isn't made of "pressed silk" as claimed; rather, its first ingredient is cyclopentasiloxane, is a synthetic silicone that feels incredibly silky on skin. It isn't a bad ingredient but given the (unfair) bad wrap silicones tend to get, we can see why Tatcha chose such phrasing. The formula does include two forms of silk, but for certain what makes it feel so silky is the silicone, not the actual silk.
- Smooths easily on to skin.
- Blurs pores, blemishes, and other imperfections.
- Creates a smooth canvas for makeup and helps it last longer.
- Claims of preventing makeup from getting into skin are overstated.
- Contains fragrance, which isn't the best for skin.
Velvety priming balm of pressed silk smooths and makes makeup last longer while keeping it out of skin, helping to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.
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.