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When it comes to skincare, I’ve always felt the most important investment is in a quality moisturizer, for a multitude of reasons, but it’s been a challenge finding one that works under my makeup. Tatcha Water Cream has generated plenty of hype over the past couple of years, so I finally decided to give it a whirl — and I’m glad I did.

Tatcha Water Cream is unique in every way, right down to its botanical formulation and lightweight consistency. It even contains a touch of 23 karat gold, which only adds to its luxurious appeal. After using it in place of my regular moisturizer, I now see why Tatcha Water Cream has earned its cult-favorite status and is sold out on a regular basis. Here’s what it did to my skin after a few months of daily use. 

What is Tatcha Water Cream?

Tatcha is a Japanese skin care brand that draws inspiration — and a fair amount of ingredients — from centuries-old Japanese beauty practices and treatments. Since its arrival in 2009, the brand has earned numerous awards and accolades from beauty and skin care enthusiasts.

Tatcha Water Cream has emerged as the brand’s best-selling product. As its name implies, it’s a water-based cream moisturizer that is well received for its lightweight consistency. This is what appealed to me the most, as I’ve discovered that rich, thick moisturizers aren’t doing me any favors lately — with or without makeup. 

How Tatcha Water Cream works

According to Tatcha, the Water Cream contains tried-and-true Japanese ingredients that nourish and hydrate skin, leaving it with a silky-smooth finish. 

Japanese wild rose, for example, is a powerful antioxidant that boosts circulation and calms skin. Hadasei-3 complex, another antioxidant-rich ingredient, is made with blended superfoods that detoxify skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines. Japanese leopard lily, perhaps my favorite ingredient, controls oil production and soothes easily irritated skin. 

While Tatcha Water Cream often receives praise for ingredients that work in near-perfect harmony, this noncomedogenic formula also deserves credit for what isn’t in it. It’s made without ingredients that often trigger breakouts on my face, including artificial fragrances, mineral oil, sulfates, parabens and phthalates. 

How to use Tatcha Water Cream

Tatcha Water Cream fit into my morning skin care routine seamlessly. After using facial cleaners, exfoliators and occasionally acne treatment products, I applied a pea-sized amount of the cream to my face. It spread more easily than expected, which meant I didn’t need to slather on more for full coverage. Tatcha Water Cream absorbed quickly, creating a smooth base for foundation.

What you need to know before purchasing Tatcha Water Cream

Tatcha Water Cream is formulated for combination to oily skin. I found it was successful at controlling excess oil production, particularly around my T-zone. To some extent, my skin felt more “balanced” with the right amount of oil control and hydration without the greasy residue.

Because it’s lightweight and absorbs quickly, Tatcha Water Cream works well under most liquid and cream foundations. It coordinated well with other products in my skin care routine, including a gentle exfoliator and topical acne treatments.

While Tatcha Water Cream is a suitable everyday moisturizer for some, it didn’t deliver the deep hydration my skin needs during the winter months to compete with dry air from heating systems. For me, Tatcha Water Cream is better as a spring and summer moisturizer.

Where to buy Tatcha Water Cream

Tatcha Water Cream

Tatcha Water Cream comes in two sizes: a 1.7-ounce jar for $69 and a travel-friendly 0.34-ounce jar for $20. It’s available from TatchaAmazon and Sephora

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.