11.07.2016
3
INDIGO Soothing Silk Body Butter
6.8 fl. oz. for $48
Expert Rating
Community Rating (0)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:11.07.2016
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:No

This pudding-textured body butter doesn't contain enough indigo to support the "rich in" claim Tatcha makes, so you're getting a fairly basic, overpriced body butter for dry skin.

Research has shown that indigo is a rich source of a type of antioxidant known as flavonoids. That's encouraging, but it's only one of many plant-based antioxidants for skin (Phytomedicine, March 2014, pages 453–460; and Natural Product Research, ePublication, January 2014, pages 492–495).

It's a shame Tatcha didn't give indigo more prominence, but even if they had, the choice of jar packaging wouldn't have kept it stable and effective for long, as we explain in the More Info section.

As for "liquid silk," they're referring to the ingredient sericin, which is one of the two proteins that make up silk; the other is fibroin. Sericin is the minor portion (approx. 20–30%), which makes the "liquid silk" name a bit misleading. Still, sericin is a beneficial ingredient for skin due to its amino acid content and smoothing texture, and it does have some impressive research behind it (Journal of Scientific & Industrial Research, volume 63, April 2004, pages 323–329).

Although this body butter contains some intriguing ingredients, it's disappointing that the formula contains more fragrance than antioxidants, silk, and soothing ingredients. Fragrance isn't skincare; in fact, it's an all-too-frequent source of skin aggravation, as we explain in More Info.

In the end, this body butter isn't one we can't recommend highly, even if the price doesn't faze you.

Pros:
  • The core ingredients and pudding-like cream texture moisturize dry skin.
Cons:
  • Lingering, eucalyptus-like fragrance poses a risk of sensitizing skin.
  • Contains far more fragrance than exciting ingredients to benefit skin.
  • Jar packaging won't keep this product's best ingredients stable once opened.
More Info:

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

Jar Packaging & Anti-Aging Moisturizers: This anti-aging formula is packaged in a jar, which means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable for long once it's opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients are air-sensitive and begin to break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective.

Jars are also unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, contaminating the product. This leads to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

When shopping for an anti-aging moisturizer, the ingredients that provide the most benefit for addressing visible signs of aging among many other concerns need to be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging.

References for this information:

Pharmacology Review, July 2013, issue 14, pages 97-106

Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, issue 3, pages 252-259.

Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, issue 9, pages 4676-4683

Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, issue 6, pages 640-660

Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82-88

Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1-10

Community Reviews
Claims
A body moisturizer designed to hydrate and soothe even the most sensitive, irritated skin. Rich in natural Japanese indigo, a legendary botanical prized for its ability to soothe irritation and support skin’s natural healing abilities. The blue hue of this formula varies as a property of natural Japanese Indigo and disappears upon application.
Ingredients
Water, Glycerin, Squalane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol Diisostearyl Malate, Myristyl Myristate, Xylitol, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Natural), Colloidal Oatmeal, Polygonum Tinctorium (Japanese Indigo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Indigofera Tinctoria Leaf Extract, Sericin (Silk Extract), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Inositol (Rice Extract), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (Licorice Extract), Hydrogenated Lecithin, Calcium Carbonate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Polyacrylate Starch, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Potassium Sorbate, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Sorbitan Tristearate, Beheneth-20, Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Wax, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Mica, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol
Brand Overview

Tatcha At-a-Glance

Strengths: Good cleansing oil; the eye-area mask is an intriguing formula.

Weaknesses: Often shockingly overpriced for what amounts to basic formulas; several products claim to lighten or brighten skin, but don’t contain ingredients that can do that (or such ingredients are present in such small amounts they’re unlikely to be effective); jar packaging; the enzymes in the face scrubs have zero effectiveness for skin; several of the serums and moisturizers are either highly fragranced or contain alcohol, or both.

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.

We’re all for studying, learning from, and being fascinated by history, but relying on what someone (even a geisha) knew about beauty hundreds of years ago is like using pencil and paper to write a message versus using your mobile phone or computer.

If anything, what makes this marketing “story” even more ludicrous is that historically, geisha’s made their skin white by using a thick lead-based paint! Those are not the kind of beauty secrets to emulate! Simply put, what we know about skincare now wasn’t (and couldn’t have been) known back then, and what we know now fills volumes!

The hallmark ingredients Tsai and her team seem most interested in are of course 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, call (888) 739-2932 or visit www.tatcha.com.

About the Experts

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.


Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!

See all reviews for this brand

Tatcha At-a-Glance

Strengths: Good cleansing oil; the eye-area mask is an intriguing formula.

Weaknesses: Often shockingly overpriced for what amounts to basic formulas; several products claim to lighten or brighten skin, but don’t contain ingredients that can do that (or such ingredients are present in such small amounts they’re unlikely to be effective); jar packaging; the enzymes in the face scrubs have zero effectiveness for skin; several of the serums and moisturizers are either highly fragranced or contain alcohol, or both.

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.

We’re all for studying, learning from, and being fascinated by history, but relying on what someone (even a geisha) knew about beauty hundreds of years ago is like using pencil and paper to write a message versus using your mobile phone or computer.

If anything, what makes this marketing “story” even more ludicrous is that historically, geisha’s made their skin white by using a thick lead-based paint! Those are not the kind of beauty secrets to emulate! Simply put, what we know about skincare now wasn’t (and couldn’t have been) known back then, and what we know now fills volumes!

The hallmark ingredients Tsai and her team seem most interested in are of course 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, call (888) 739-2932 or visit www.tatcha.com.