A Day In The Life: Richard Parker
RATIONALE Founder + Director of Research
Filled with laboratory research, formulation science, and 5am piano concertos, RATIONALE Founder, Richard Parker, takes us inside his day.
4am. Wake Up.
I’m very much a morning person so my day typically begins between 4-5am.
As I wake I’m training myself to focus on gratitude and loving feelings about the people and circumstances in my life. As I get out of bed, I put one foot on the floor and say “Thank You”. And then the other foot and say “Thank You”. Then I go downstairs make myself a double espresso.
My mind is often tumultuous, so I find daily meditation invaluable.
I’ve been using an app called ‘Brainwave’ that’s also used by NASA to train astronauts to focus and calm the mind. You can select what state you want to enter, and I usually choose ‘Focused and Alert.’ Sometimes ‘Problem Solving’ or ‘Creativity Boost’ depending on what’s on for the day.
My first degree was in music, and I am a classical pianist and cellist.
Music is so important in my life, and I love the discipline and peace I find at the piano. I practice every morning, starting with a Bach Prelude and Fugue. The great cellist Pablo Casals said that if you start the day with Bach, you will experience “focused intensity and a profound sense of beauty and wonder” all day. It’s true.
My husband Greg makes me a special chicken soup that I have every morning, followed by fresh fruit and more coffee. Bless him.
I am so fortunate that I have Oliver Cole and Cecily Chun in my life. Oli is my personal trainer and Cec is my yoga teacher. Cec has customised a yin yoga programme for me designed to lengthen and strengthen my body.
8.00am. Get Ready.
A morning bath has been an indulgent ritual since childhood…growing up, no one in my family of seven could get access to our one tiny bathroom!
My skin is extremely sensitive, so I cannot afford to miss a single step in my daily skincare regimen. I rinse my face with lukewarm water (morning cleansing is forbidden at RATIONALE, as we’ve discovered that there is a wonderful synergy between night-time actives and those applied each morning. So a rinse is all that is required). I then apply #1 The Serum, #2 The Serum, and then #3 The Day Crème SPF15, followed by Beautiful Skin Superfluid SPF50 (I use a mixure of shades C1 and C2 depending on the season).
Getting dressed is a pleasure each day as I now only wear Issey Miyake’s PLEATS PLEASE line, so all I need to think about is what colours I’d like to combine. So easy.
My work day begins with our ‘Daily Huddle’ where each Manager runs through the most important thing they must do today to make a quantum difference.
Following this, I head downstairs to the lab, where I serve as Director of RATIONALE Research.
I typically engage in research in the mornings, keeping up to date with developments in dermatologic molecular biology and pharmacology via online journals and research papers. I find deep peace in the lab, with its air of concentrated silence punctuated only by the click of fingers on keyboards. This is my happy place.
I cannot skip lunch, so I alternate between eating leftovers lovingly packed by Greg, or UberEats (Kong Online, so good…). I try once a week to have lunch out with one of my RATIONALE colleagues (taking care to reapply my sunscreen before heading out). Alternatively, I might have lunch or a meeting with one of our doctors to learn more about their skincare practice. I cannot tell you invaluable I find these precious interactions.
1pm. Bench Work and Meetings.
Afternoons are devoted to developing, analysing, testing and documenting product prototypes. Each day we develop new formulations based on our research into the Essential Six Collections—the six facets of skin health and luminosity—and I love to work across categories. I live to make prototypes! I also love being involved with our super-talented Creative, Communications, Educational and Financial Teams to understand and contribute to every part of RATIONALE, so most days usually involve one or two team meetings.
I grew up in a very sporty family, and exercise is still an important part of my daily routine. I unwind by working out with Oli or doing yoga with Cec. This keeps me active and flexible. I subscribe to the Epigenetic Theory of Life…it’s not just what you’re born with, it’s also the daily health choices you make.
This is the one meal of the day I share with my family and it is sacred. Greg is an amazing cook, but we also eat out once or twice a week. Dinner conversations are lively, and I have to stop myself every night from preaching or nagging at our 17 year old son, Ezra. He’s such a wonderful boy.
I’m definitely not a night person (please don’t even try to have a meaningful conversation with me after 7pm), so I have to brush my teeth and treat my skin early. I simply cannot afford to neglect caring for my skin, so I religiously double cleanse with #4 The Cleanser, followed by #5 The Cleanser, and then apply #5 The Serum and #6 The Night Crème.
We don’t have television, and I love to read. Mostly historical or science fiction. I am careful about what I allow into my psyche, and I am not a fan of gloomy, grim or tragic stories. A psychiatrist friend once told me not to watch or read the news or read anything disturbing for 2 weeks and see what happens to your mood. I am now a lifelong convert to ‘Beauty In, Beauty Out’…
Before I fall asleep, I replay my day briefly, ‘correcting’ how I would have wanted adverse interactions or events to play out.
Then I say ‘Thank You. Goodnight...’