Rationale Skincare

Rationale Skin care

Are you on the lookout for the Rationale skin care brand? We’ve been testing cosmeceuticals for decades and are in a unique position to assess products based on their scientific merit. We first started taking an interest in the Rationale skincare range in 2006, when founder Richard Parker and his team approached us with a pitch for their products – back when “Cosmeceuticals” was the new and emerging craze. The Rationale skin care philosophy was based on its “home grown” skincare appeal catering to clinics on the look for a professional range that works. I think we all knew deep down that the popular luxury skincare brands like Lancome, Estee Lauder, La Mer, Guerlain (the list goes on) were very limiting in their ability to produce real clinical outcomes; but it wasn’t until about this time that the results from professional ranges started to really impress us. And along with that was a flood of scientific evidence to prove we were right.  At the time, other brands like Rationale, Skinceuticals, Environ, Ultraceuticals, Advanced Dermatology and IS Clinical had emerged to fill the market void – produce real results and clinical improvements in the skin on measures that had not been seen before. The term “cosmeceutical-based skincare” was coming into the limelight to describe the new class of powerful science based skincare to fulfill this need.

Today Rationale makes a range that is broken down into: Hydrators, Hydravitale, Enzyme Activators, masks, and body creams. The Rationale essential six skin care line consists of PROCERAMIDE EMULSION PREPARATORY CLEANSER, CATALYST SKIN REFINING SERUM, IMMUNOLOGIST NIACINAMIDE SERUM, SUPER ANTIOXIDANT ACE REJUVENATING SERUM, PHOTODYNAMIC LIGHT ACTIVATED DAY CREAM SPF15 and DNA REACTIVATING NIGHT CREAM.

Our first assessments of the products, almost ten years ago now, were positive.  Dr’s Freilich and Leung from Advanced Dermatology conducted extensive testing for our clinical reviews.  We were particularly interested in their Niacinamide and Retinaldehyde products – whilst the chemistry and compositions were not perfect they were ground-breaking ingredients that came with some very reasonable clinical research. Now we jump to 2014 and the Rationale skincare range now consists of more than 15 products that are distributed in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the USA. These products started by being sold exclusively in medical salons but we’re now seeing them being sold online. A doctors code is required to purchase from their website, but it seems you can obtain the doctors code from other websites without even seeing a doctor.

On the plus side it’s been tremendously fast growth for a company with some very humble beginnings. Founded by Richard Parker, a non-medical professional who claims to have begun his work by teaching himself about cosmetic science at the library, we are impressed.

When looking for a skincare brands it’s essential that you do your research in order to align the brand’s claims and promises with your own needs. We’ve made a lot of progress in the field of Dermatological science over the last ten years and Advanced Dermatology is in a unique position to asses brands like Rationale skin care for their merits and not just marketing hype.

Have you had an experience with Rationale that you would like to share? If so please post your comments about it below.

*All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Rationale and Rationale Skincare are trademarks of Rationale Skincare. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.


29 replies
  1. Julia
    Julia says:

    At my recent visit to my clinic for a skin check up I was introduced to Rationale skincare. I chose not to purchase as I had not ever heard for the brand but according to the clinicians it is very good.

    I looked them up online, came across this article among others however I am finding it hard to find reviews about their products. I have seen a few media publications on their skin care range but I would really like to hear reviews from people who have used the products. They are quite expensive, they seem to be cheaper from their online store but apparently you need a doctors prescription.

    This article also mentions Advanced Dermatology skincare, I have read some great reviews about these products, a lot of media coverage, again I am hoping someone has tried these products as well. I will keep an eye open to see if anyone comments here with their experiences. Thank you!

  2. Queen B
    Queen B says:

    I have heard about this brand and have been wanting to try it out!
    Ive heard that they have a the best moisturiser.

    The issue I found is the prices, so expensive! I was wondering if anyone knew of any discounted skincare stores?
    I have looked at Chemist Warehouse, Myer and even David Jones and I cant find it anywhere?

  3. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    I am have been using all of the products from Rationale their day and night kit!

    It is very expensive however it works like magic! I have been using it for about 4 weeks now and my skin texture has clearly improved. My skin looks brighter and more youthful. I was surprise that skincare could make such a big change to my complexion.

    The only downside is that the products do not last long enough. I was promised it would last 3 months but I cant see that happening. For the price I would expect it would last longer but that might just be me using little too much.
    How cant you when you see results though?! :)

  4. Victoria
    Victoria says:

    I expected more of a review for Rational skin care. This article though talks about the brands history, does not talk about the brands products or how it compares to the other brands listed. I have used Ultraceuticals products as well as Lancome but I haven’t used Rationale skin care products and was hoping to learn more about their skin care as oppose to their brand and founder.

  5. Di
    Di says:

    Interesting article!
    I have heard a lot about rationale, I believe its a clinic only skincare range. They have a few different ranges – gets all very complicated for me so I leave it to my dermatologist to recommend what I should get. I was advised that this is a really good brand and I have tried it out but I was not all that satisfied with the products.
    I think Rationale is overpriced for what it is and clinics must either receive grants from Rationale to sell these products as they seem to push sales for their products as oppose to any other products. If their promises sound too good to be true, it probably is.

  6. Yvonne
    Yvonne says:

    hmm.. I agree with the above comments this is a very interesting and informative article.

    How does Rationale skin care compare to Advanced Dermatology skin care?
    I am looking for a good skin care solution for myself and I have found that both offer a daily kit. It seems like both skin care brands a clinic only brands (I hope that means they will be much better than the rubbish you find elsewhere, promising 10 years off when in fact they make me look older).

    In terms of price compression, I found that Rational Skincare is heaps more expensive than Advanced Dermatology and indeed more expensive than most other brands that provide a daily kits. If anyone has used their skincare I would love to hear more about it and how it/if at all worked for them?


  7. Nameless
    Nameless says:

    This is not the first time I am reading about Rationale skin care, I have read about them in the newspapers and beauty blogs. They do seem pretty good. The real issue I find is that its so expensive. A full kit is almost $900!!! You can pretty much have surgery for that price, it is ridiculous!

    I ended up having a laser treatment and I still paid less than that and got much better results than skincare would have given me. I do however use skincare, I find that Dr Dennis Gross works wonders for my skin.

  8. Sharma
    Sharma says:

    Looking for Rationale Skincare on sale? It is just way to expensive to buy otherwise and I am not willing to spend that much money on skincare.

  9. Zilla
    Zilla says:

    It is impossible to find any rationale skin care reviews. I have spent days looking on different review sites looking for REAL PEOPLE who have tried and tested these products and I cant seem to find any. I would like to know more about their products and if they really actually work. I have read news press releases and some “beauty” blogs but to be honest I don’t really trust everything they say and would rather hear from real people. I certainly do not want to spend a $1000 on skincare products that might not even work!!

  10. Skincaraholic
    Skincaraholic says:

    My secret passion is skincare, I spend a lot of time and money on testing and reviewing different skincare products, predominantly anti-ageing skincare. Rationale is one of my favorite. They feel amazing, I have tried the Essential Six kit, which covers your skin during the day and during the night. The issue with this kit is the price, it is very expensive. If purchasing online (has to be from the Rationale Skincare page), you are requested to have a free consultation on Skype by one of their consultants, they are very friendly and happy to help you with any questions. Rationale has options of buying their day or night kit separately also they have other kits, depending on your skin type or condition. It is all very good until you realise to have the full kit you need to fork out $900. For the smaller kits the price is a little more affordable around $300 – $500 which is very expensive. The bottom line, my choice, Rationale Skincare is just not worth the price. The ingredients used in their products may seem good but you can get similar products for half the price.

    • renae
      renae says:

      Hi everyone,
      I have used Rationale for 3 years now and it is without a doubt the best range of skincare I have used in my life.
      I too am a research-a-holic and have tried pretty much every product under the sun including treatments such as fraxel, BBL, IPL and thermage.
      Rationale is the first range I’ve ever used that gives really noticeable results, keep my skin clear and positively glowing.
      BUT its just WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.
      I came across this forum as I was googling “Rationale too expensive recommend something similar” .
      I am desperate to find a product/range similar to Rationale that doesn’t cost the $1000 every 3 months.

      Skincaraholic – you mention you can get similar products for half the price. Can you recommend anything similar?

      And Rationale if you’re reading this, I know you keep the price high to maintain it as a premium brand, but surely you can re-look at your production process and management and find ways to still deliver the your high standard product for less cost to the consumer. More people should be able to have access to the range.
      Many Thanks

  11. Rationale Skincare
    Rationale Skincare says:

    Thank you so much for your interest in Rationale, since our beginnings at the forefront of the “cosmeceutical” wave 20 years ago through to 2014! We owe so much to the incredible team of Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Physicians who have supported and guided us all these years. Together we have made Rationale the gold standard in medical skincare, prescribed by Australia’s leading medical professionals.

    After years of groundbreaking research and development, we unveiled our Isotropic Formulations; new and original formulations that are 100% synchronised with the skin – efficacy and elegance on an unprecedented scale.

    For those who have been looking for Rationale product reviews, our social media networks consist of some client testimonials (find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RationaleSkincare?ref=hl). We also believe that trying the products for yourself is far stronger than any client testimonial and we invite you to contact us for a complimentary skin consultation where we can prescribe a bespoke Rationale product and treatment plan specific to your unique skin condition and concerns. You can book your complimentary skin consultation via the Rationale website (www.rationale.com) or contact us at info@rationale.com or via any of our social media channels.

    Thank you again, we look forward to hearing from you!


    • Debra
      Debra says:

      Dear Rationale,
      I have used your essential 6 and loved them, but like nearly every other person who has commented, it is TOO Expensive!
      Your response mentioned nothing to justify the high price, nor acknowledge that for many it is prohibitively high.
      Would you care to comment?

  12. skin care treatment sydney
    skin care treatment sydney says:

    I first discovered how effective actives can be several years ago when I tried out the ratational skin care treatments. I had to buy rationale online because I wasnt able to find it at the local spa clinics in my area. Its pretty good.. expensive though.

  13. My Rationale Skincare Review / Experience
    My Rationale Skincare Review / Experience says:

    I battle with acne, even when I am a full-fledged adult, and believe me, the frustration is endless. I read a couple of rationale skincare reviews online, and I read pretty much positive things and changes that people encountered with using these products. I found a way to get to some rationale skin care samples through my dermatologist, who was very kind to recommend them to me. As part of the samples there was their moisturizer.. it must be by far the best moisturizer I have ever used!

    Their essential six skin care line has become a part of my regiment and it is by far the best thing I’ve let my skin feel. It’s perfect for people who have to pay attention to their skin basically every day and night. Since I have such sensitive skin, prone to irritation I was thrilled to find something that isn’t heavy or aggressive. I especially love their day cream moisturizer, which soothes my skin and really protects it from the breakouts. And I do have to stress that my skin is really, really sensitive and demanding and I still have NO complaints about the range at all.

  14. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    I was flipping through a magazine and found some beauty skin care review and they mentioned Rationale and they wrote so highly of them that I’m like what the heck, might as well give it a go. I asked around more, and read some rationale skin care reviews to find out what other people thought about it, because it’s important to me to know other people’s experiences. If it were up to me, I find it hard to recommend it to other people, because you never know if it’s going to work on your skin or not. If you are face some skin issues, than you got nothing to lose. You can just gain if in fact the product works, and it’s always good to try out creams then to go for surgery. Less risk if nothing else.

  15. Anita
    Anita says:

    I have subscribed to the Rationale newsletter and every now and again I get a newsletter from them.. I love how they keep me up to date with their latest research and development. The most recent one was about them launching in Europe. Its great to see an aussie brand doing so well on the global scale.

  16. Stefan
    Stefan says:

    The way I heard about Rational skin care for the first time, while I was researching anti ageing products. I was making a comparison between high-end brands, and the clinical grade ones, and what the differences are when it comes to prices and the results. I read about rationale skincare online, through forums and blogs, and articles like this. In the comment sections, I would always see positive feedback, and everyone would always stress that the results are really amazing. I would love to try it out but they seem to be a little out of my budget :(

  17. Monica
    Monica says:

    I like organic skin care, that is based on plants and not full of chemicals. I always check the labels to see if there are many chemicals that are added, perfumes or paraben. I try to avoid every single skin care product that has these harmful substances. That does no good and sadly every department store carries them. They might claim that they work and claim that they are the best skin care products out there but it’s all part of their marketing strategy. Yet they claim it to be be innovative and revolutionary.

    I just want simple skincare that is natural and safe and not based on chemicals. I don’t want to poison my skin with anything that’s not natural! Skin should be free to breathe and not contaminated with bad substances.

  18. Angela
    Angela says:

    It’s always good to see a beauty brand invest so much into scientific research and clinical reviews. I hate it when I see a brand that’s so hyped about in the media, but when you try it out it turns out to be garbage. I love rationale skin care because it’s based on science and medicine. And really improves the health of the skin, overall. When I first started using it, I had terrible skin. I used organic skin care, and I tried expensive products, but none of them just fit me. I was always breaking out, and had these tiny little pimples all over my face. Especially when I get into the sun, or sweat a lot. I can’t even mention how bad my face was when I use makeup. I just couldn’t find anything that was really good and healthy, and tested out before it was given out to people to use.

    Then I included Rationale into my skin care routine, just by pure accident. I trusted my instincts and I was right. This brand has so much to offer, and I really love that you can buy it online know not just in medicine stores. It’s actually worth every single penny. I would say that it is a great step in dermatology, and a great partner in protecting and healing the skin.

  19. Jade
    Jade says:

    My mum gave me rationale skin care she got from some friend. She doesn’t really use creams and stuff like that, so she gave it to me. It stood on my night table for some time, and then only when I had no moisturiser to use, because I ran out of mine, I tried their hydration status cream. It suited my skin well, made it smooth and silky, and it lasted the entire day. I’d honestly recommend the rationale day moisturiser, but I haven’t tried their other products, but I’m sure I’ll venture into trying most of them. Just because it does provide the results, it claims, and even though some of them can be on the expensive side, it works, so I don’t mind. At least I know that I get what I pay for.

  20. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    I recently went to a skin specialist as I have very sensitive skin, very red faced but not Rosacea, pigmentation, sun damage etc. the skin specialist gave me two samples. The first sample was Elucent, much cheaper and can be brought from Chemist Warehouse. The second sample Rationale. A full set costs $850 approx. Hmm well hoping the cheaper option made by ego would suit me better as more affordable I started using it. My skin was constantly peeling, so much so I was embarrassed but I wondered maybe this is what it needed to do. I then tried Rationale, as luck would have it, it is great and now I will have to save before I can buy it. As with life in general champagne tastes on a beer budget. I have been using Rationale for week and a half making those free samples last as long as I can. My doctor said Elucent won’t do as good as job as Rstionale and for my skin I believe her. My readiness is starting to decrease. I have to have moisturiser on everyday as my skin is so dry, but step 1 & 2 serums are even better.

  21. Anna
    Anna says:

    I have been using two Rationale products for three-and-a-half months now, and I have to say I have seen good results. The products were recommended to me and sold by the Clear Complexions skin clinic in the ACT. I use Immunologist Niaciamide and Super Antioxidant Ace Serum every morning. They feel excelent on my skin – light and absorbing, not oily or heavy. I am 33 and was starting to suffer from tired-looking skin and wrinkles (and I am getting married next year), so I sought advice from the clinic. I think my skin is looking healthier, fresher and even tighter. I had a lovely compliment from a work colleague about how great my skin is, and that is sometimes the best proof. I also bought a high quality moisturiser in a different brand.

    The price really is rediculous. $158 and $152 each for my products – I seem to have paid the same at the clinic as what is charged on the website. They lasted three-and-a-half months (I was told three, pretty accurate), so that’s over $1000 a year just for two products. I will buy them again for now, leading up to my wedding, but beyond that I probably can’t justify the cost.
    The bottles are actually a bit annoying too. They have a squeeze/dropper lid that just does not stay closed tight, if I was to take them travelling they would spill everywhere. And the ’rounded’ base makes them tip over all the time.

    I guess there’s no avoiding the fact that if you want good products you have to swallow the cost.

  22. Klaudia
    Klaudia says:

    I use to use the Rationale range about 4 years ago and it worked wonders. I stopped using it however as the cost was just so high and I was on a tight budget as it was. Recently however I have gone off the pill – where I wasn’t sure if that was helping keeping my skin clear or the product at the time. Since going off the contraceptive pill I had noticed my skin starting to break out and I’m a relatively healthy and active person. I’ve tried using other products and it just wasn’t working with the situation. Ive recently enquired to have samples as this range has only ever been the best! I have now been using it for 2 weeks and even though I can notice a change already(even in skin elasticity) I would give it a month or so to wait for the outcome! Especially as my skin at the moment is just prone to breakouts!

    The cost is a bit high but I also find you don’t need to use the whole essential 6 package! The consultants will even recommend the few products you can do with ! Of-course it is always ideal to use the whole set but is not always necessary. I have recently been given there Sebocyte range – cleansing gel and hydration gel and it feels amazing!

    I was first introduced to this product from a good friend of mine who worked for a plastic surgeon and without a doubt this product is great! You can only ever try it out for yourself and see the results. I hope this advice is helpful to anyone looking into Rationale

  23. Jacqui
    Jacqui says:

    I have tried the Essential Six and yes I have found it prohibitively expensive… BUT it WORKS! If you have sensitive or acne prone skin, the products are gentle yet effective. I have had acne since seven years of age, now I’m thirty and although I try to control it with diet and exercise, Rationale’s products have greatly improved my skins appearance. I have whittled Rationale’s essentials down to my essentials, if you can’t afford them all, definitely try the 5 and 6 at night and use something cheaper for your morning and cleansing routines. I have found these two to have the biggest impact out of the range. If you can afford one other, number 2 Immunologist is my third best pick for the day routine. You really only need to use a tiny amount and you should get 3-4 months out of it. I’m about to give the Sebocyte range a try, will come back and leave a review later on.

  24. cat
    cat says:

    I am now another person who USED TO USE Rationale but have stopped because it’s just TOO EXPENSIVE.
    I was using Rationale Essential Six for 2 years and the price is ridiculous, I have spent $4500 so far, the results are just not worth the price.

  25. Jorje
    Jorje says:

    Agree – the products are just too expensive. I liked the samples and would love to use on an ongoing basis but would not pay the asking price.

  26. Christina
    Christina says:

    I have only praise for the rationale staff at their Melbourne clinic. I had the photogenic facial, I loved the treatment. I am now using super antioxidant serum which I absoluty love. I am also using their spf day cream. I was told it was enough to protect my skin from the sun but I’m not sure if going to the beach its enough? Either way I slip on some extra sunscreen to protect my skin.


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