Profile: Celebrity Favourite Skin Specialist Ingrid Seaburn

For more than 20 years Ingrid Seaburn has been on the speed dial of global celebrities and Sydney’s A listers to help maintain their glow – she lives and breathes beauty. She chats to Anita Quade about the science of skincare.

You have such a loyal following as the go–to specialist from celebrities around the globe – how did you establish such a following?

“I have always had a real passion for skincare and my training in California came at a time when I wanted a change in career having moved from Australia where I had been in the music business for many years. I wanted to bring a sense of connection, nurturing and results to the experience of having a facial with me and I worked very hard to establish and gain trust and always bring my A-game. There was some luck involved in an opportunity to work on some celebrities and for those celebs trust and respect and maintaining privacy was key. Literally by word of mouth my client list grew!”

How do you establish a great relationship with your clients?

“The ability to connect with a client happens in the first five minutes and that is all in the touch and the conversation to establish skin goals. The client’s experience is so important to me whether you are a celebrity or a regular client. It is essential in the way I operate that every client feels nurtured and literally together we are starting the journey to better, healthier skin. To this day, I transfer that energy to every treatment.”

Tell us about your time in LA as a facialist?

“LA is an exciting place and I had such a wonderful time there. I never looked at what others were doing in terms of business, I really just did my thing. I was younger and starting out but very lucky to have clients like Teri Hatcher and Rachel Griffiths as well as being part of that glamorous world was never boring. The most exciting times were around awards season when you are part of that prep for a red carpet moment. My focus was always on learning , working hard and being grateful for opportunity. I never took that for granted. LA can be a really tough place but it can also be really fun and if you love the craziness of Hollywood you pinch yourself in those moments which I often did!”

You have been in the beauty business for more than 20 years. How have you seen it evolve over time?

“I have definitely seen it evolve, as it should! The science of skincare has really become more sophisticated for the client and consumer and I am as obsessed today with anti-aging as ever. The most significant change has been the introduction of dermal actives into more products, the fusion of wellness and skincare as a more holistic approach and the introduction of more sophisticated modalities like radio frequency and ultrasound incorporated into treatments to enhance results. There is a huge difference between a spa treatment and a clinical treatment and like any science, skincare will continue to evolve.”

Ingrid Seaburn

Any big changes that you have noticed in treatments?

“Yes! The biggest changes would be our understanding of trauma based treatments and the long term effects of not balancing those with protecting the epidermal lipid barrier. A trauma based treatment is a treatment that triggers a wound healing response in skin in order to stimulate collagen. Things like hard core AHA peels and intense ablative laser to wound the skin need to be minimised in order to protect the barrier.”

Do you think Australia is on par with other salons when it comes to luxury facials and advanced techniques?

“Yes I think Australia has become just as sophisticated in its approach to skincare as any country in the world. The necessity has been in protecting our skin from the harsh UV we have here and the incredible damage it does to skin. We have been forced to address that.”

Tell us about your beautiful Bondi-based studio. How did you choose the location and set up the vibe?

“Thank you so much for saying that! I call it a studio rather than a salon as the space is purposely intimate to create an opportunity for me to work one on one with each client to create their skin journey. Because I live and work in Bondi I wanted something that was a part of the beach community with a warm, ocean vibe with a hint of LA. I offer clinical treatments but I wanted the experience to be nurturing at the same time. I wanted it to be a place where clients felt they were making an investment into a good skin programme and seeing results.”

Was it always a dream to have your own business?

“Yes, I absolutely love my studio.”

What do you love most about the serene space near the ocean?

“I hope that the vibe and the decor feels really welcoming for all my clients and that there is a mix of beach and glam but that it’s not pretentious!”

You have many beautiful treatments – what is the most popular in your salon?

“I would say maybe my Signature Facial because it’s a blend of customised actives and lots of facial massage to oxygenate skin to create a beautiful glow.”

What inspired you to get into the skincare business?

“When I moved to LA I was newly married and looking for a change in career. I had always loved anything to do with skincare but it wasn’t until I turned 30 that I wanted to create a business and do it my own way. LA was the mecca of inspiration to me at that time to learn as much as I could and I loved it.”

Are there any important business lessons you have learnt along the way?

“Yes! That the person who cares most about your business is you. Create something that is genuine and be prepared to work very very hard. Appreciate your clients loyalty and trust and thank them for choosing you. Also know your strengths and where you need to be. For me it’s doing the treatments. I am not great at paperwork!”

“The ability to connect with a client happens in the first five minutes and that is all in the touch and the conversation to establish skin goals. The client’s experience is so important to me whether you are a celebrity or a regular client.”

You have been noted as one of the top 10 treatment destinations in Australia – how important is this to you and how hard is it to keep ahead of the game?

“I don’t think too far ahead to be honest, I try to focus on a daily mindset of giving 100% and having a long term plan and relationships with clients to make sure we work together to achieve their skin goals! It is such an honour to be noted as a great destination for skin, that makes me super motivated and happy to keep doing things my own way and to remember to believe in myself!”

Is there a celebrity that you think embodies your idea of glowing skin?

“I just adore Jennifer Aniston. She embodies a natural beauty that comes from within. Glowing skin not only is topical but it is such a holistic process and I think she understands the combination of lifestyle, healthy eating, happiness and science based active skincare and treatments to look that good in her 50’s. I am in my 50s so she is an absolute icon to me!”

What is your general approach to skincare?

“I treat my skincare on par with the importance of overall health and wellbeing. I try to educate clients on the fact that good skin is an accumulative process, not an overnight fix. You do not just wake up one day with good skin, especially at my age, you have had to put in the time and effort to slow ageing and maintain more youthful functioning skin.”

You look absolutely glowing – can you share with us your top beauty secrets?

“My top beauty secrets are not that secret! The basis of good skin is consistent use of effective active products with retinol, Vitamin C, peptides, growth factors and hyaluronic acid regular skin boosting treatments like skin needling, micro current and the use of modalities like radio frequency and ultrasound to firm and tighten skin and of course tweaking with anti-wrinkle injections where needed.”

Ingrid Seaburn

Any favourite products that you can’t live without?

“All of my Osmosis Skincare Serums (especially the Vitamin A ) and my own formula HYDRATE which is a Hyaluronic Acid based gel to hydrate and plump my skin daily.”

Is there a favourite destination that you have in your black book to rejuvenate?

“I really don’t travel a lot. My rejuvenation destination has always been Byron Bay. Something happens when I land there, I can let go of all my stress and responsibilities in that moment!”

What is your motto in life?

“If there was a way to go back in time I would be so much kinder to myself. I was very unforgiving of what I thought were failures or times I was just not good enough. I really struggled with that and it held me back a lot in confidence. I would say back yourself, be as kind to your inner child as you are to others and let go of the idea of perfection, that is not the definition of happiness!”

What’s next on your agenda?

“I am toying with the idea of a book on that subject. I am also looking at how to collaborate with more brands that target the more mature woman, something that I identify with and have the expertise to do.”
If we didn’t find you in the skincare business where would we find you?
“Fronting a rock and roll band (in my dreams!)”

This article originally appeared in the July-August 2022 issue of Professional Beauty.

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