This Moisturizer Instantly Gives Me Dewy Dumpling Skin

There's no shortage of material possessions that spark joy for me: sweatpants that qualify as daywear, croissants of every variety, LED face masks that double as Instagram props. Moisturizers, even the very best ones, rank somewhere near the bottom of this list. I need them in my life, but they're just not that exciting. The most effusive I'll ever be about a face cream is to say that it does its job without any additional bells and whistles. I have a soft spot for one $23 version you can pick up at Target in the baby aisle. It hydrates and soothes, and it doesn't pretend to have powers beyond those simple tasks. I leave the brightening, plumping, glow-boosting work to flashier things—like power-ingredient-packed serums or resurfacing acid peels.

I would be lying if I said I changed my mind when every beauty editor I knew began raving about the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream. Look, I love Tatcha—the brand has inspired me to set exceedingly high standards for my blotting sheets (if it's not flecked with gold leaf, why are you even telling me about it?) and body lotions (you mean it's not infused with indigo and won't leave me smelling like the spa? Pass). But it was a moisturizer. How life-changing could a moisturizer possibly be? Even the knowledge that it was inspired by Mario Dedivanovic (Kim Kardashian West's makeup artist) and would reportedly give my complexion the texture of a "freshly steamed dumpling" elicited no more than a feeble eyebrow raise at first.

Then one Sunday evening last year, I really did everything you can possibly do wrong for the general well-being of your complexion. In my defense, if you're going to pour me a well-chilled glass of white wine and plop a pint of Ben and Jerry's Half Baked ice cream in front of me, I'm not going to act like they're not there. One fantastic dinner party (remember those?) and way too much sugar and alcohol later, I climbed into bed somewhere around 1:30 A.M., too lazy to go through my usual meticulous skin care ritual. (I did still remove my makeup, though. I mean, I have some standards.)

I woke the following day with a strong suspicion the night's festivities had taken a toll on my face. Four hours of early morning German grammar drills did nothing to help that situation. By the time I got home, drastic measures clearly needed to be taken. Hobbling into my room, I suddenly spied a previously forgotten pot of the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream hanging out under my bed (this job comes with certain perks) and recalled all the fervent steamed-dumpling praise it had inspired. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to put those claims to the test.

This is the part where I admit that everyone was correct, and I now feel as though I've spent my entire life being lied to about the true potential of face cream. The formula is packed with purple rice bran, which does way more than lend the contents a charming lilac hue. The ingredient is rich in anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps your complexion recover from stress and pollution. Other botanical extracts, such as algae, thyme, and marjoram, are added to intensely hydrate, reinforce your skin barrier, and retain more water. There's also ginseng, which contains the same amino acids found in collagen.

Apparently, when you mix this up—and sprinkle in whatever magic Tatcha adds at the end—you get the first moisturizer that has ever made an instant, dramatically noticeable difference to my face. This is not one you have to use patiently for many days and nights in a row to reap the rewards, although you certainly could. And unlike some other products that are billed as "glowy," it doesn't contain microshimmers or light-reflecting particles to accomplish any of these results. I pat it on, my face drinks it in, and then I simply look better. Shadows recede, signs of life come flooding back, and my skin takes on a freshly watered, luminous quality. It's truly miraculous.

The glimmering purple tub, like all of Tatcha's moisturizers, comes with a miniature golden spoon tucked on top. You're meant to use it to scoop tiny amounts of the cream, if you're someone who prefers not to stick their bare fingers in their skin care. I have never once used a spoon for this purpose, but it now serves as an excellent reminder that I can eat a tub of late-night ice cream, chase it with wine, and still appear fresh-faced in the morning. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go root through my freezer.

The Best Moisturizer

See all 249 winners from this year’s Glamour Beauty Awards here. Sarah Wu is a writer in Berlin. Follow her at @say.wu.

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