Debbie Tan, RATIONALE Luminary

Meet Debbie Tan


“You’ve got to do what you love because life is short." Debbie Tan is sharing some life advice; wise words that she sticks by and instils in her children. “You don’t want to spend any time schlepping it; you want to live it and enjoy it and be happy.”

It’s an illuminating conversation that took place on set of our new campaign shoot, in which Debbie features as one of our RATIONALE Luminaries. When pressed for the advice she’d give her 20-year-old self, however, Debbie is much more forthright: “wear more sunscreen.” 

In between frames, we chatted to the mother of two about the best gift you can give yourself, what getting older means to her and where she discovered heaven on earth.

How did you discover RATIONALE?

Two ways: my mother-in-law was using the range and raved about it. She’s 75 and has amazing skin. So she was telling me about it and, secondly, I saw the [Flagship] in Woollahra because I was working in the area at the time. I think the first time I went in, I had a Skin Consultation. And then started using the products immediately afterwards. Once you use them, I mean, within days, your skin looks amazing.

What your ethos on ageing?

I think it’s a beautiful thing to age. For me, I just think that if I have good skin, I don’t mind all the wrinkles; they’re kind of like your little tracks from where you’ve been and what you’ve experienced. So I don’t mind embracing that part of being a woman and ageing, as long as you’ve got a good base. And I think it’s the best gift you can give yourself—to just take care and look after your skin.

How do you choose to take care of yourself and your skin? Any favourite rituals?

Since I started using RATIONALE, I’ve been seeing Emily at the Woollahra Flagship regularly and she basically maps me a schedule whereby I probably have a treatment once a month to once every six weeks. I don’t even ask her—I just book it in and tells me what my skin needs. 

And I think that’s the beautiful thing about RATIONALE, it’s not just the products but the whole experience. So the Brand becomes like your little skin family. And you just don’t need to worry about it again; I trust her. Every time I come out of having a treatment, I feel like I look 10 years younger, it’s incredible.

What does your at-home routine look like?

“I do my Essential Six routine each day and use #1 The Mask once a week, sometimes even twice a week. I’ll do a mid-week and then on the weekend, just to give that skin a little extra glow.

I must admit I probably wasn’t as diligent with my skincare until I started RATIONALE. But since entering my forties, it’s become one of the most important things to me. Exercise, what you eat and how you care for your skin—they’re kind of my three top priorities when it comes to me anyway.”

They’re good priorities to have! As a counter to that, do you have any guilty pleasures?

I’m mad about chocolate. Having two wild animals for boys, I love, like most mums, having a glass of wine at the end of the day. They’re like wild animals, my boys.

I surf with my kids and my husband a lot, so that’s probably a bit of a guilty pleasure—being out in the sun too long. I am careful in the sun, though! I’ll be coated in my Beautiful Skin Superfluid SPF50.

Any words that you try to live by?

Do more of the things you love. That’s the motto my husband and I have together. We have our own business, so when we had our kids, we just made a kind of promise to each other that we’d make time do more of the things we love. I don’t know if it was a piece of advice that was given to us but that is our mantra for life.

And what piece of advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

To wear more sunscreen. Because I’ve realised now just how damaging it is if you don’t. Wear more sunscreen and not…what was it back in our day? Coconut oil? Reef oil… Gosh, that was so bad.

How would you describe your style in three words?

I’m a beach girl. So I don’t wear shoes. I spent many years as the Sales Director at Harper’s Bazaar and I used to strut around in the highest heels you’ve ever seen, now I’m always in flats or boots. Or no shoes, preferably. In three words? I’d say, polished-bohemian chic.

Where is your favourite getaway place?

A couple of years ago, my husband and I started having two weeks away together every year without our kids. We go to the Amalfi Coast. It is so beautiful. We don’t stay in Positano but in Praiano. It’s 15 minutes down the coast around the headland and we stay at one place in particular called Casa Privata—it’s owned by an Austrian girl and an Aussie guy. It’s amazing. You’ve got your own private swimming area and the food is incredible, the culture—it’s heaven on earth. We’re going again this year. I can’t wait, it’s so good.