What They Do and When To See One

What They Do and When To See One


An esthetician is a licensed professional trained to perform esthetic services, which are various cosmetic techniques to improve the appearance and health of your skin. Esthetic treatments may include facial steaming, body treatments, and hair removal treatments such as waxing. When you go to an esthetician, they may also share skin care tips after treatment to help you maintain vibrant and healthy skin.

A person may choose to visit an esthetician to improve their skin’s appearance or help manage a particular type of skin concern, such as aging or acne. When to see an esthetician and what you want out of the experience is completely up to you. Just keep in mind that while estheticians can improve the appearance of your skin, they cannot medically treat skin conditions.

Estheticians are licensed to perform various in-office services that benefit your skin. What an esthetician is licensed to do varies based on qualifications in each state in the United States. Your esthetician will first ask you what you are looking for in your treatment before suggesting what to do during your visit.

Here are some of the services an esthetician may be able to provide:

Facial Treatments

Facial treatments are a deep cleansing of the face. The treatment typically involves steaming and may include exfoliation (removal of dead skin cells) and extractions to remove sebum (oil), dead skin cells, and other debris from the skin follicles. A deep cleansing is usually the first step in your visit to the esthetician before they apply a mask, peel, or cream to your face.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive treatment that uses a device to improve the texture of your skin. For instance, the treatment can improve skin that has sun damage, fine lines, stretch marks, or wrinkles.

Microdermabrasion gently exfoliates your skin to remove dead skin cells and trigger cell turnover to stimulate blood circulation and collagen production. Having more collagen in your skin helps your skin appear elastic and more youthful.

Your skin may feel some sensitivity or develop redness temporarily after having a microdermabrasion treatment.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels diminish the signs of aging on the face, neck, and hands by making the skin appear smoother. During treatment, acids are applied to the skin to stimulate your skin’s natural healing response. Skin rejuvenation (improving the appearance of skin) after a chemical peel helps reduce scarring, uneven skin textures, and acne. Chemical peels can also improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation (a condition that causes some parts of the skin to appear discolored).

Waxing

Some estheticians can wax hair on your face and other parts of the body. During a wax, an esthetician applies warm wax to your skin using a wooden stick with hardened wax on the end. Once the wax becomes firm, the esthetician quickly removes the patch of wax so that the hair is removed from the follicle.

An esthetician may recommend exfoliating the day before a waxing appointment. You may feel pain as the hair is being removed or after the wax.

Body Treatments

Estheticians offer a variety of body treatments, such as body polishes and scrubs. Body polishes use salt, sugar, and other moisturizing substances to smooth and exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells.

Chemical exfoliants with alpha and beta hydroxy acids may also be present in body scrubs to remove dead skin cells. Body scrubs are applied using a dry brush or by hand.

Mud masks are another body treatment commonly used during esthetician visits to make the skin appear glowy and smooth.

Permanent Makeup

Permanent makeup is a service that involves permanently tattooing eyeliner, lip liner, or eyebrows on the face. Some people may get permanent blush and eyeshadow. The procedure is known as micropigmentation. While commonly used as a cosmetic procedure, permanent makeup may also improve or hide the look of scars on the face and body.

Although both perform similar services, an esthetician is different from an aesthetician. An esthetician is licensed to perform cosmetic procedures that are not medical in nature while an aesthetician is a professional trained to perform cosmetic medical procedures. However, some estheticians may be trained in both.

Aestheticians can assist medical providers in facial plastic surgery offices. They may assist with pre- and post-operative care for people who have had surgery.

Estheticians are trained and licensed to help improve the look and health of your skin.

There are many potential benefits to seeing an esthetician, including:

  • Smoothing out the texture of your skin
  • Addressing signs of aging
  • Improving the appearance of your skin
  • Learning how to manage your skincare concerns

One small study of 63 people found that facial treatments may improve your psychological health too. Facial treatments produced positive emotions that helped improve well-being among study participants. Researchers believe positive emotions came from the relaxing effects of the facial treatment.

When looking for an esthetician, it’s important to do your research on their background, experience, and training. A qualified esthetician should be licensed by the state in which they are practicing. Licensed estheticians are required to complete a certain amount of training hours, which vary by state. Required hours range from 250-1,500 hours.

While estheticians can provide support and complementary therapies to dermatological treatment, they are not able to diagnose skin conditions or prescribe medications. If you suspect you might have a skin condition and want medical insight, you should see a dermatologist (a doctor specialized in conditions of the skin, hair, and nails) or other healthcare provider.

In some cases, an esthetician may refer you to a dermatologist or other healthcare provider. For instance, if an esthetician notices signs of sexually transmitted infections on your skin while they are waxing you, they may recommend medical treatment.

An esthetician is a trained and licensed professional who administers esthetic treatments. They provide a variety of services to improve the appearance of the skin, including facial and body treatments, microdermabrasion, and waxing. After an esthetic treatment, your skin may appear smoother and glowy. Treatments that estheticians are certified to perform vary state to state.

Estheticians are not certified to treat skin conditions. If you have a skin condition, speak with a dermatologist for long-term care as well as their advice on what services you should consider getting or avoiding from an esthetician.

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