The Days of Our Lives: Richard Parker, Rationale Skincare

Richard Parker Rationale Skincare

Rationale Skincare

In The Days of Our Lives we meet some fascinating and creative folk and take a look at what their typical day holds. Far from being about the mundane, it is a celebration of what it takes to juggle the day-to-day with big ideas, a successful business and a full home life. It’s about keeping all the balls in the air – what is important and what isn’t. It’s about (extra)ordinary moments that fill our every day.

Let me introduce you to Richard Parker, the Founder and Formulating Chemist at Rationale Skincare. For more than twenty years, Rationale has been the go-to skincare brand for top Australian Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Physicians.

Going well beyond “hope in a jar”, Rationale formulations deliver the right concentration and combination of vitamins, minerals and botanicals that Dermatologists agree skin needs for optimal health and vitality. Richard also ensures that his formulations not only work wonders on the skin, but that they push the design envelope too!

From rising at 3:30 am and making the time to share lunch with his family every day,  to spending hours in the lab and working to the Four Disciplines of Execution philosophy, this is a day in Richard’s life.


3.30 am

Wake up. This is always when my best ideas come to me so I jump out of bed and write them down. Then I mediate for 30 minutes.


4.00 am

Drive to Rationale HQ in Richmond to work on new product prototypes in our Lab, write research papers and reply to emails. I’m very much a morning person, so this is when I do most of my creative work.


7.00 am

Drive back home to have breakfast with my partner Greg and our 12 year old son Ezra. Always the same – our own organic granola (we became addicted to making our own when we were living in the US), a poached egg, fruit and coffee.


7.30 am

Take a bath. This is the quietest and most peaceful time of the day and how I like to start the whirlwind awaiting me back at Rationale HQ. I run a hot bath filled with my own bath oil concoction. It’s heavy on patchouli, lemon and basil. Simultaneously relaxing and stimulating!


8.00 am

Our son Ezra is home-schooled so we prepare his work for the day in consultation with his tutor Laura. She’s Finnish, has a phD in educational psychology, speaks 5 languages, is a math whizz and an accomplished violinist. She’s very impressive!


9.00 am

Arrive back at the office for a quick round of WIP meetings with my section managers – R&D, Production, Marketing, Digital, Retail, Finance. Everything happens so quickly here – it’s critical everyone is up to speed. We follow the Four Disciplines of Execution philosophy that requires us collectively to focus on just one wildly important goal then align everything and everyone to make it happen. The results are incredible not just for the business, but on a deeply personal level too.


9.30 am

In my office. I follow a simple work format – I dedicate the morning to working on our future, and the afternoon to working on the present. It’s how my mind works best. I spend the first 30 minutes alone in my office focusing on my wildly important goal and planning out the rest of my day.


10.00 am

I am usually back in the Lab with my R&D team developing new product prototypes. Right now we’re working on a new product for pigmentation, which is a very complex condition to treat, and we’ve made hundreds of prototypes. There are so many factors to consider – efficacy, safety, aesthetics etc. We estimate the product will be ready to launch into clinical trials in a few months. But now it’s back to the lab equipment and research papers…


12.00 pm

Greg and Ezra usually come and meet me for lunch. I really treasure this time with them, hearing about their morning and telling them all of the exciting things going on at work. Our current favourite lunch spots are Baby, Top Paddock and The Meatball and Wine Bar in Richmond.


1.30 pm

This is usually when I talk with our team of doctors and nurses. This might take the form of education in skincare formulation science at Rationale with a group of Melbourne Dermatologists, or Skype training with a Plastic Surgeon in Perth. I love teaching – it’s when I learn the most!


4.00 pm

Personal Training with Hamish Cramer. Health and Fitness is very important to everyone at Rationale. We have our own company gym and everyone here receives one on one personal training sessions. A healthy body is a healthy mind! But Hamish is a killer – we call him “The Smiling Assassin”!


4.45 pm

Meeting with my Art Director to review new design work such as packaging, website or educational materials. For example, we’ve just opened our first two Rationale Flagship Clinics in Sydney (Woollahra) and Melbourne (Toorak) so we’re currently working on refining our retail design.


5.30 pm

Meeting with my Marketing Director. Our major focus is on getting the word out there that the doctor’s office is the place to go for the best skin advice. We have two international launches coming up in the next few months – the US and the UK. So we’re working hard to develop entry strategies for those markets that focus on our educational messages – great skin starts with knowledge!


7.00 pm

Head home for dinner and time with my family. We don’t have TV, so after dinner we might play Scrabble or do a play reading together. Music is a big part of our lives too, so we might spend some time jamming around the piano.


10.00 pm

International phone calls. Working with a very famous US dermatologist on our US launch, and a Plastic Surgeon to the Stars in London about our debut in the UK. .



Read myself to sleep. Devouring Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” on my Kindle – it’s 4,500 pages long!


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