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Rationale: we put Australia’s cult skin care brand to the test
As a beauty editor who is exposed to hundreds (possibly thousands) of brands and products every year, it is easy to become a sceptic. With the term ‘holy grail’ being thrown around left, right and centre it is remarkably hard for a beauty brand to live up to its own claims, let alone consumer expectations. Rationale is the exception. An Australian skin care brand, developed by Richard Parker, Rationale is unique in its commitment to reversing current and preventing future sun damage, holding UV as the primary cause of facial ageing. With an Essential Six line of products and a low-key but hugely influential following, made up almost exclusively of beauty editors, models and influencers, the brand has become one of the beauty industry’s best kept secrets.
I recently had the opportunity to have a consultation and treatment at the brand’s Rosebery clinic. Keep reading for my experience.
THE CONSULTATION & TREATMENT
The consultation step of the process is extremely thorough. Step one involved ticking all the boxes (on an iPad - no pen and paper here), alerting my therapist of possible injuries, medications or other conditions that would not be conducive to some of the skin care actives in the treatment. The second step involved an extensive conversation about my current skin care routine, the products I was using and what I thought were my major skin concerns. While a skin care consultation is nothing new in the realm of facial treatments, the next step is the aspect that really separates the brand. With a machine called a VISIA, I was shown scans of my skin that showed my therapist and I everything from where I had excess oil, where I was particularly dehydrated, where I had the most sun damage and what particular areas were suffering from congestion. This step is particularly interesting as it a) scared me half to death as far as how much sun damage I had already had sitting under the surface and b) my skin concerns weren’t exactly what I thought they were.
After reviewing the VISIA images and having them explained to me, my therapist and I decided on a treatment, which was going to be focusing on hydration and brightening. This involved a deep cleanse and using products focused on sloughing off dead skin cells.
The Rationale Essential Six is made up of (as I mentioned before) a combination of products that work to correct current sun damage and prevent further damage. They are two serums and a day cream in the morning, a cleanser, a serum and a night cream in the evening. What I liked at this point was that, while the Rationale products work best when used all together, the therapist doesn’t necessarily recommend buying or using them all at once. I was recommended that for the time being (also based on how much of my current products I have left), that I invest in the ProCeramide cleanser, Catalyst Serum and the DNA Night Cream to use in the evening. To start with, my cleanser hadn’t been working as hard as it should have been, meaning whatever actives I applied afterwards also weren’t working as well as they could be. By double cleansing with the ProCeramide cleanser, I was ensuring I was effectively cleansing my skin, before applying the night time serum and cream, which worked together to speed up the cell renewal process. I also took home the B3-T Tinted Superfluid SPF50, as based on the sun damage I had already experienced, which I saw in my VISIA scan, my SPF30 wasn’t providing quite as much protection as I needed. The benefit of the Superfluid is that it doubles as an SPF50 and a daily tinted serum with active ingredients such as niacinamide. However, while the Essential Six are the most well-known of the brand, there are other products including boosters that can be added to your routine or recommended in place of one of the six. As a result, I wouldn't recommend investing in the products without a consultation.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Overall, my Rationale experience was extraordinary, and I don’t say that lightly. The treatment was up there with the best I have had (I was so relaxed I fell asleep - that has NEVER happened to me before). My therapist was extremely experienced, professional and had a knowledge base that meant I felt completely confident in her recommendations. While I have never had issues with acne or considered myself to have bad skin, post treatment I received an outrageous amount of comments about my ‘glowing complexion’, which is something else I have never experienced before in my life.
While it is recommended to use all six products to see the raved about Rationale results, the four that I have taken home and started using have extended my post treatment glow by weeks. I am also now working towards building up to using all the products as I finish the other products in my routine.
Disclaimer: Though I have seen amazing results and am a huge fan of the Rationale process and products so far, it is worth noting that a consultation and treatment don’t come cheap - nor do the products. The Essential Six will set you back around $1000, however using these six products mean that no other skin care products are necessary. In my opinion, the cost is well and truly worth it if you have suffered from bad skin and need a kickstart or ahead of an event such as a wedding, the results are unparalled if you commit to the program. On the other hand, if you are currently happy with your current routine and don't have a disposable income to spend on skin care, maybe sit this one out.
Main image credit @rationale
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