The most common question I hear when I tell people that I am an esthetician is whether I “put people to sleep” or not. While that sometimes happens during relaxing treatments, it seems that many confuse estheticians with anesthesiologists. The two, however, have hardly anything in common. Beauty treatments, to which esthetics is largely related to, have been around for thousands of years. Esthetics in the United States has emerged into a separate profession only about two decades ago. Nowadays, nearly everyone tries to put their best face forward. This trend has been driving a tremendous growth of the skin care industry. While a profession of an esthetician is becoming more and more popular, there are many people who still are not aware of who estheticians are and what they do. Esthetician is a skin care professional who performs in-depth skin analysis, recommends proper products for home care, and administers various skin treatments.
To become an esthetician one must complete a special training program, pass State exams and receive a professional license. During the training, future estheticians learn about the anatomy and physiology of the skin. Equipped with this knowledge, estheticians can perform an in-depth skin analysis and identify different skin types and conditions. While Estheticians are usually the first to notice a suspicious spot or lesion on client’s skin, they do not diagnose any medical conditions. Instead, esthetician may refer a client to the dermatologist for further evaluation.
Besides the knowledge of structure and function of skin, estheticians are also very well versed about ingredients used in cosmetics. Estheticians can successfully identify and recommend beneficial cosmetic products. When making recommendations for home care, I personally usually take client’s lifestyle and habits in consideration. I use my knowledge and information gathered from a client to make a comprehensive skin treatment plan, which often includes professional skin treatments.
Professional treatments performed by estheticians range from facials and chemical peels, to waxing and make up application. The field of esthetics is very expansive. Therefore, many estheticians choose to specialize on one or two niche areas instead of trying to be a jack of all trades. Some estheticians choose to work in destination spas performing relaxing facial and body treatments. Others get employed by the dermatologists and medical spas. These professionals focus on laser and other more invasive treatments. Some estheticians find their place among other beauty professionals in salons and day spas, where they can specialize on services like waxing and lash extensions. There is also an emerging group of holistic estheticians. Holistic estheticians, like myself, focus on overall wellbeing of the person. They use botanical skin care products, perform non-invasive skin treatments, and may work in collaboration with other wellness-oriented professionals.
As a holistic esthetician, I find my work extremely rewarding. The ability to educate people about their skin, recommend appropriate products, and perform result-oriented skin treatments is just the icing on the cake. The work of an esthetician goes beyond outer beauty and appearance. Skin therapists, who are passionate about what they do, create an emotional bond with their clients and impact the way clients feel about themselves.