Rationale's newest product has a very long history.
Simply titled, The Tinted Serum, this product is a serum/skin perfector/primer/sunscreen - yes it does a bit of everything.
The product itself is a thin beige-coloured liquid, that when applied to your face, evenly blends, smooths and perfects your complexion - and offers 50+ SPF protection. Think of it as an all-in-one. The final step in your skincare routine and the first step in your makeup routine. You can apply foundation over the top, but why would you want to when you have a product like this? As far as I'm concerned, it top it with brow gel and cream blush and I'm good to go.
The history of The Tinted Serum
Of course such an unusual and innovative product has a story. Rationale's founder, Richard Parker explains The Tinted Serum is a 30 year labour of love - a product that took him almost his whole career to perfect. Richard is quite unlike anyone I've ever spoken to, warm, open and incredibly intelligent. It's only fitting that he would be the driving force behind such an avant-guarde product.
"30 years ago, I was working with a group of dermatologists on looking after the skin after laser resurfacing. So laser resurfacing was new. And we knew they needed to take care of this skin because it was highly sensitised. And they knew they needed to protect from the sun. But we ran into huge problems.
"Every sunscreen we put on these patients they would have allergic reactions to, because the skin was so sensitive. The only thing I found that they could tolerate was those old fashioned zinc sticks. And I noticed a few other things about about that
"The zinc seemed to calm their skin down. So the red went away, it covered the redness well and somehow neutralised it. Their skin looked happier, it was more hydrated. And also they had the sun protection from zinc oxide. I guess that started my love affair with with zinc.
"And I had this vision, one day I'm going to create a surface serum with zinc oxide that does everything."
Thus the idea for The Tinted Serum was born.
But it took decades to come to fruition, because the technology that Richard envision had not yet been invented. Zinc used to be crude, thick particles that did nothing but make the skin white and shiny. In fact, the Rationale Team worked with Japanese pigment producers, specialising in the field of optics, to get it right. These specialists created pigments for sunglasses and optical lenses; and together they were able to create something Richard calls 'zinc fusion' - a combination of particle zinc oxide particle sizes that gives you UVB, UVA, visible light and infrared protection.
Does it work on all skin types and tones?
Upon my first experience with the product, I wasn't immediately sold. I opened the bottle to find a pale beige liquid, a colour lightyears away from my own skin colour. As someone with skin firmly in the medium to medium-deep part of the spectrum, I was convinced this would be another product that washed me out and left a white cast, as almost all zinc products do. How wrong I was.
The silky serum blended evenly into my skin, neutralising any undertone imbalance, leaving a soft-focused and barely perceptible finish.
I told Richard about my experience, of course he wasn't surprised.
"That's the technology," he explained. "We've tested this on all human ethnicities, on every single human skin type and colour. We've found that is transparent on every human skin type."
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What does The Tinted Serum do? And how does it wear?
And it's here that Richard reached the last stage in his product development, creating something that people want to use. He cites a study from that American Academy of Dermatology that showed women were much more likely to use sunscreen if it was in their foundation. People love double-duty products. People love convenience. So naturally, The Tinted Serum had to do more than offer sun protection.
"I knew that the most important brief for this was it had to look beautiful, and feel beautiful, and the skin be good for your skin," he says.
And this product really does. It's probably why he included it as part of the Brilliance range because it does, in fact make your skin look brilliant. Sort of softly lit from within. And it's non-oily, non-greasy and in my opinion, a wonderful alternative to having to wear foundation.
This unusual, skin-loving serum has changed the way I get ready in the morning, and has certainly made my skin healthier. The essential but breakout-triggering SPFs I was using are a thing of the past. It's a product I never knew I wanted, and yet now couldn't imagine my routine without.