Richard Parker A Day in the Life
Our Founder's Day
Our Founder and Director of Research and Development, Richard Parker, takes you inside his day. Filled with Laboratory research and formulation science, a 5am piano concerto performance, some Issey Miyake… And of course, lots and lots of RATIONALE.
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 use a high-tech “brainwave entrainment” app used by NASA to train astronauts in focus and calm. It’s called “Brainwave”. 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. (Oli and Cec train everyone at RATIONALE – one of the wonderful benefits of our beloved company). Cec has customised a yin yoga programme for me designed to lengthen and strengthen my body.
A morning bath has been an indulgent ritual since childhood…my poor family of seven could never get access to our one tiny bathroom! My skin is extremely sensitive, so I cannot afford to miss a single step. 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 apply my Immunologist and Antioxidant Serums, then PhotoDynamic Day Cream and B3-T (or one of the new advanced sunscreen prototypes we’re working on in The Lab).
Getting dressed is such a pleasure as I exclusively wear Issey Miyake’s PLEATS PLEASE line now, so I just think about 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 “Huddle” I head downstairs to The Lab, where I serve as Director of Research and Development.
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 and how our Medical Agency team can help. I cannot tell you invaluable I find these precious interactions.
Afternoons are devoted to developing, analysing, testing and documenting product prototypes. We have specialist scientists working on each Essential Six category – Immune Protection, Antioxidant Protection, Sun Protection, Barrier Repair, pH Repair and DNA Repair. Each day we develop new formulations based on our research in these interrelated areas of skin health, and I love to work across categories. I LIVE to make prototypes! I also love being involved with our super-talented Creative, Medical, 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. He’s worked in our warehouse since he was 13, and he’s earned his way up to become a much loved IT Assistant at RATIONALE now!
I’m definitely not a night person (so 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 ProCeramide Cleanser followed by Catalyst Cleanser, then apply my Catalyst Serum, DNA Serum and DNA Night Cream.
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...”