There are quite a few fields in the beauty industry – with the advent of modern developments(such as esthetics) in cosmetics and beauty science, and a society both concerned about looks(who doesn’t want to look fabulous, right?) and increasingly accessible means to achieve better looks, the beauty industry is booming – bring esthetics along with it.
When you go to a beauty school such as the Paul Mitchell institute, you’ll have an option to choose career paths such as a cosmetologist, make up artist, nail technician, or esthetician.
So what exactly is an esthetician?
What does an esthetician do?
In the beauty industry, an esthetician is someone who is trained and qualified to improve the health and beauty of the skin. Learning to become an esthetician trains you in the techniques of steaming, waxing, extraction, chemical peels, and pore cleansing, to name a few.
Estheticians differ from cosmetologists because estheticians are focused solely on the skin and nothing else. The training is also quite in depth, because you’re dealing with human skin, with procedures that will directly affect it using chemicals and physical means, so a practitioner must be well trained in what they do.
There are also medical estheticians who work in clinical settings.
Professionals in the esthetics field help their clients find vitality and relaxation through various skin treatments. After all, there is nothing quite as rejuvenating as seeing a younger, fresher you in the mirror!
As such, it can be said the esthetics is a field that is tied to the mind and body – since the way you treat your body has a direct effect on your mind, too.
Most esthetician treatments are skin related, designed to help combat aging, wrinkles, lines, discoloration, and improve complexion, but many estheticians offer massages and make up as well as hair removal, sugaring, waxing, and the like , combining the complementary services into a neat package.
You can imagine that a bride just before her wedding would find it very convenient if she could get a massage, a skin treatment, and her makeup done at the same place instead of having to go round and round!
Since esthetics deals directly with human skin, estheticians in most states(a few rare exceptions like Connecticut aside) are required to undergo licensing before they can legally practice.
This is sound policy, since you don’t want someone unqualified to be pulling at your hairs and rubbing chemicals on your face! That’s why estheticians undergo between 200-600 hours of training and a written and practical exam before being able to see clients for procedures.
Some states also license out what are known as Master Estheticians, who have permission to do more advanced treatments like lymphatic drainage.
It’s important to note that while estheticians are sometimes found working in dermatologist offices, they are not medical practitioners, and it is illegal for them to diagnose or treat any skin conditions. Esthetics treatments are strictly external only and they are not licensed for invasive procedures.
In such an event, you must seek medical help, and if an esthetician is willing to give you medical advice, turn around and run as far as you can.
Each state has their own licensing requirements for estheticians.
Treatments performed by estheticians
- Laser skin rejuvenation
- Light therapy
- Manual or mechanical extraction
- Pore cleansing
- Face and body masks and wraps
- Makeup application
- Moisturizing treatments
- Acne treatments
- Body scrubs (salt and sugar scrubs) and other types of exfoliation
- Chemical peels
- Laser resurfacing
- Waxing/threading/chemical hair removal
- Scalp massage and treatments
As you can see from the list above, many of these procedures are overlapping dermatology in some way, so many dermatologists do employ estheticians as a part of their team to offer skin treatments and procedures that go hand in hand with usual dermatological practice.
What should you see an esthetician for?
- If you have mild acne, you can certainly see an esthetician. They can suggest and implement treatments, but if your acne is severe or bordering on severe, then you should go get professional medical help.
- You can also see an esthetician for blackhead removal, and a variety of hair removal methods such as waxing, sugaring, and some even do threading, laser removal and electrolysis – though the last two requires extra training and certification.
- Estheticians are also very well versed in cosmetics – if you need advice as to which cream to get or what face care regime to start, they can point you in the right direction.
- For overall skin care, estheticians are the people to go to – light treatments, full body treatments, microdermabrasion(gently exfoliating and removing dead skin) are all present in an estheticians repertoire
Are you considering becoming an esthetician?
If so, then you probably want to know three critical things: how much does an esthetician make, where can you find a job, and how are the hours!
How much does an esthetician make, and how many hours?
On average, an esthetician makes $13.81 per hour, with a $37,000 salary for full time positions. Hours are really going to be up to you and your employer, but you’re looking at a typical 9 to 5 job.
Where can you find a job?
Estheticians can find jobs at spas, fitness centers, department stores(in the skincare and makeup section), in a dermatology office, or you can even open your own business!