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The Fascinating True Story Behind Tatcha's New Serum

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    Photo: Courtesy of Tatcha.

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    We hear a lot of talk these days about small-batch beauty, as many brands try to emphasize the handcrafted, sustainable practices their lines have adopted. But, how many companies can say the ingredients for their products are handpicked from the bottom of the sea by a lone fisherman in one of the most celebrated beauty destinations in the world?

    Japanese skin-care brand Tatcha, for one. Its beloved Luminous line is getting two new additions: a hydrating serum and an under-eye mask. And, like the Dewy Skin Mist and Deep Hydration Mask before them, these two new offerings feature a precious red-algae extract from the coast of Japan's Okinawa Islands. Referred to by the locals as the "treasure from the god of the sea," this unique algae was treasured by the geisha as a deeply hydrating treatment that keeps skin looking luminous and dewy.

    Combined with rice bran and green-tea extracts, this anti-aging trifecta helps give the mask and serum their intense nourishing and hydrating properties. The serum, in particular, is made with a blend of 40% of that precious red algae and hyaluronic acid for superior skin-plumping power. It also has 24-karat-gold flakes to add to that lit-from-within glow it bestows.

    Tatcha founder Vicky Tsai is so in love with this algae that she's willing to go to great lengths to get it into her products. She gave us an inside peek into how this ingredient is harvested, and it's one of the more fascinating origin stories we've ever heard. Ahead, Tsai shares some breathtaking shots of the harvest, plus some personal narration on how she came across this amazing ingredient and why it's so revered in Japanese culture.

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