Tatcha The Essence Review: My Thoughts On This Vegan Essence After A 30-Day Trial

By Liis Hainla. Updated: May 2023.
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Wondering if Tatcha The Essence is worth the hype? I tried this vegan face essence for 30 days. Here is my Tatcha The Essence review.

Our rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.6/5

Best vegan face essence so far. Clean ingredients, good hydration.

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

The Essence Specs

Tatcha The Essence Specs
Courtesy of Tatcha

The Essence is a hydrating water-based vegan face essence designed to plump, soften and brighten the skin. The Essence also aims to boost the effectiveness of your entire skincare regime. The product is dermatologist tested, oil-free, and fragrance-free.

The Essence uses a trademarked Hadasei-3 Complex of double-fermented Akita rice, Uji green tea, and Okinawa algae. Rich in amino acids, the natural ingredients should promote cell turnover and offer hydration for every skin type and age group.

About Tatcha

Tatcha is a luxury skincare brand from Japan. Founded in 2009 by Taiwanese-American businesswoman Vicky Tsai, Tatcha is best known for its clean and gentle ingredients and a mindful approach to skincare.

Though acquired by Unilever in 2009, Tatcha remains a cruelty-free brand with a good selection of vegan products. They do not test their products on animals but occasionally use animal-derived ingredients such as silk.

Next to The Water Cream, The Essence is one of Tatcha’s most sold and highest regarded vegan products. That is why we were eager to try it out for ourselves.

The Essence Pros

Tatcha The Essence Pros

Here is what we like about The Essence:

  • Clean ingredient list: We are happy to see such a short and simple ingredients list. It’s just rice, algae, green tea, propanediol, ethylhexylglycerin, and phenoxyethanol.
  • Effective naturals: Not every natural extract works, so we are happy Tatcha has chosen natural ingredients that show science-backed results. Green tea balances and detoxes the skin whereas algae and rice have considerable anti-aging benefits.
  • No harsh chemicals: The Essence has no fragrance, mineral oil, silicones, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. Even though chemical-free formulas are becoming a standard in the skincare industry, it is still commendable.
  • Dermatologist-tested: The formula is dermatologist-tested and irritation-free which is great for sensitive and blemish-prone skin.
  • Non-comedogenic: The formula is oil-free which means that oily and combination skin can enjoy the product without clogged pores, excess shine, or breakouts.
  • Low pH: The fermented ingredients in this essence are low pH. This means our skin absorbs them better. Low pH is one of the key things for essences to work well, especially in symbiosis with your other skincare products.
  • Rich in amino acids: What can we say, our skin loves amino acids and this essence has plenty of them.

The Essence Cons

Here is what we don’t like about The Essence:

  • It’s very expensive: The $100 price is steep, especially for an essence.
  • It’s not certified vegan: With no official vegan certification from an outside organization, we just have to take the brand’s word for it.
  • It is lacking actives: While we appreciate the simplicity, it would be nice to see some plumping actives like hyaluronic acid or niacinamide in a plumping product – we are otherwise just paying for green tea and rice.
  • Tatcha itself is not vegan: It’s not the product’s fault but as value-based shoppers, we prefer to buy skincare from fully vegan brands. That poses less risk of a brand changing its formula for something not vegan.
  • Plastic packaging – At a luxury price point, we would prefer glass packaging. So would the environment.

Our 30-Day Trial: First Impression

Tatcha The Essence Unboxing

The Essence leaves a great first impression:

  • Texture: fine silky liquid, very lightweight and luxurious
  • Absorption: absorbs fast, feels fresh, no sticky film, doesn’t tingle
  • Smell: mild and natural scent (fragrance-free)
  • Packaging: comfortable dispensing system. Gives our just a few drops of liquid at a time. Not messy at all and lasts for a long time.

Results Over Time

Tatcha The Essence Results

I’ve been using The Essence for 30 days now, every morning and evening after cleansing and toning. Even though I didn’t have much faith in face essences, I love The Essence. While risking bankruptcy, I’m definitely keeping it in my routine.

My dry skin feels much more hydrated and softer. It also leaves a nice subtle glow. I’ve experienced no breakouts or any kind of irritation or redness. If anything, it soothes the skin. I also like that I need to use less of my moisturizer thanks to the essence.

If you are looking for a really brightening and smoothening essence, then exfoliating acid-based essences and toners would perform better. But if your main goal is to boost hydration and overall skin health – The Essence is great for that.

My Ratings For The Essence:

Hydrating: 5/5
Plumping: 5/5
Softening: 5/5
Brightening: 4/5
Even texture: 4/5

FAQ About Tatcha The Essence

Is Tatcha The Essence vegan?

Yes. Tatcha The Essence is vegan.

Is Tatcha The Essence worth the money?

While it is quite expensive, we believe it is the best essence out there and thus is worth the money.

What are Tatcha The Essence pros?

The Essence hydrates and softens the skin well and it is only made from natural skin-friendly ingredients.

What are Tatcha The Essence’s cons?

The Essence is quite expensive (around 100 dollars) and it does not brighten the skin as much as promised.

Where to buy Tatcha The Essence?

Tatcha The Essence is sold on Amazon and Sephora. You can also order the product directly from the company’s own website.

Why Trust Us

At Vegan Avenue, we commit resources each month to get in line with the latest vegan skincare products. We make sure to try all the bestselling products on our skin to help our readers find objective information online.

This review has not been incentivized. We strive to objectively review luxury skincare products like The Essence so that people would not have to spend money on expensive products that may not work. Read more about how we review products and brands.


Tatcha has made a beautiful vegan essence from natural ingredients. The Essence feels good on the skin and the skin seems to love whatever it does to it. This vegan essence is especially good for hydration and fits into your overall skincare routine well.

Do you need to use an essence at all? Not necessarily, especially if you are using a good serum and moisturizer. But if you are going to try out an essence, The Essence is your best bet. It is expensive but in our opinion, worth the investment.

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

My name is Liis. I have been a vegan for a long time and I advocate for the vegan lifestyle. Through Vegan Avenue, I aim to provide quality information about vegan products and bring attention to amazing vegan companies.