Unilever buys into J-beauty

Unilever, the owner of over 400 brands including Murad and Dermalogica, has signed an agreement to buy prestige skincare brand Tatcha in a deal reportedly worth US$500 million.

Founded in 2009 by Victoria Tsai in San Francisco, Tatcha is “a modern skincare brand rooted in classical Kyoto rituals” with an innovation centre in Japan.

The company’s products are based on “a trinity of anti-ageing superfoods (green tea, rice and algae) featured in traditional geisha beauty rituals”.

Unilever Prestige CEO Vasiliki Petrou said the company is delighted to have Tatcha join its brand portfolio.

“Inspired by Japanese pure beauty rituals, Tatcha is one of the best performing beauty brands in North America, famous for its exceptional product experience and unique combination of natural ingredients and high product efficacy,” she said.

“Thanks to Victoria’s passion and expertise, iconic products like The Water Cream and The Silk Canvas have become the cornerstone of long-term consumer loyalty.

“We are really looking forward to working with this amazing team and to continuing to grow the brand globally.”

Victoria created Tatcha after acute dermatitis led her to travel to “the East in search of a more evolved, holistic approach to beauty”.

During a visit to Kyoto “an encounter with a modern-day geisha changed her life”.

She “learned classical Japanese beauty secrets passed down by the generations”.

“This ‘less is more’ skin care philosophy and time-tested ingredients were captured in an ancient text widely considered to be the oldest beauty book written in Japan, and perhaps the first such work of its kind.

“Within its three delicate, thread-bound volumes are seven chapters devoted to beauty and elegance in both appearance and spirit.

“This special guide informs and inspires the Tatcha collection.”

Victoria said that she was overjoyed with the sale to Unilever.

“When creating Tatcha, our dream was to make a brand that would live for at least 100 years; that dream can come true in our new home with Unilever,” she said.

“We are overjoyed to have found a parent to grow globally with, and to have a purpose-driven partner to ensure we can have a positive impact in our communities as we grow.”

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