This tiny bottle of oil is sold as a multipurpose product for face, body, and hair—but Tatcha should've provided more product. If you are using this on your face, body and hair you'd be lucky if it lasted a couple of weeks which makes this ultra-expensive for what is a fairly basic formula!
Even if you were only going to use this on your face (where the product's size makes more sense), it's still a questionable choice. That's not because camellia oil is a problem for skin; instead, it's because the amount of fragrance. Fragrance poses a risk of irritation that could lead to problems for your skin, as we explain in the More Info section.
This product also contains gold, and although that sounds as though it would be a luxurious treat for skin, gold is more likely to cause a sensitized response.
Getting back to the camellia oil: Research has shown that the seed oil (which is what Tatcha uses) is a good source of oleic acid (a fatty acid) that's chemically similar to the fats found in olive oil. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits and can stimulate collagen production in skin (Journal of Food Science, October 2012, pages 1055–1057; Molecules, June 2012, pages 6716–6727; BMB Reports, March 2012, pages 177–182; and Journal of Ethnopharmacology, May 2007, pages 127–131). That's excellent, but less so when a great ingredient like this is mixed with a lot of fragrance, because fragrance isn't skincare.
In the end, while this oil contains some tried-and-true emollients plus the novel, yet effective, camellia seed oil, it's simply too fragrant to recommend, and too expensive compared to many other oils, if you also want to apply this to your hair and body.
Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This leads to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's healthy appearance, worsening dryness, redness, depletion of vital substances in skin's surface, and generally keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see the negative influence of using products that contain fragrance has on skin, the damage will still be taking place even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering. This negative impact and the visible damage may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1-43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446—475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789-798
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191-202
A light and rich beauty oil for face, hair and body. Infused Licorice Root Extract gently calms skin, while young Bamboo and Green Tea fragrances offer transport to a Kyoto countryside.
The allure of ancient beauty treatments coupled with modern science is tempting for many people—and 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 Tsai’s 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 hasn’t 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 don’t, but it’s quite likely that when unadorned and viewed close up, these women have the same types of skin issues as women the world over—save 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, it’s 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 Tatcha’s promises, your skin will be left wanting more.
For more information about Tatcha visit www.tatcha.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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