An aesthetician, or esthetician, is a skin care professional who has trained in cosmetology and aesthetics. Aestheticians provide a number of services to help people obtain healthier, clearer or younger-looking skin. They work in spas, facial care clinics, hospitals, beauty salons and similar settings. They offer a variety of treatments and services like skin analysis, cleansing and hair removal. As of May 2010, aestheticians must be licensed in all states except Connecticut.
One of an aesthetician's primary duties is to provide skin analysis. Aestheticians evaluate their clients' skin to determine what services are needed and to recommend treatments, such as light therapy or facials. They do this through client questionnaires, observation and specific types of equipment, such as skin analyzers and imaging machines. After the skin analysis is completed, an aesthetician suggests particular products depending on the client's needs. Products include anti-aging creams or serums to help improve skin texture, tone and appearance.
Medical aestheticians often undergo the same training as aestheticians but choose to specialize in medical aesthetics. They provide skin care services to patients who have undergone medical treatments, such as radiation, chemotherapy or surgery, or who have injuries or other types of damage, such as burns, that affect the skin's appearance. They instruct patients about appropriate skincare techniques, help patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or other medical reasons by teaching them how to stencil eyebrows, or teach clients how to choose makeup based on their skin's needs.
Aestheticians often offer hair removal services that require specialized knowledge and training. Most schools and training programs teach these methods, but some aestheticians choose to complete additional seminars or courses in hair removal, especially if they want to specialize in this field. They learn about the reasons for unwanted hair growth, skin disorders, bacteriology, thermolysis and how to choose the correct treatment approach. Depending on the client's needs, this can include hot or cold waxing, sugaring, laser treatments, electrolysis or microdermabrasion.
Aestheticians also provide a number of body treatments, ranging from manicures and pedicures to back facials and exfoliation, depending on their area of practice. They clean the back and other problematic areas using deep cleansing techniques, exfoliate back and body skin using techniques such as dermabrasion or chemical peels to help remove dead or flaking skin, and apply body treatments like body wraps or mud treatments to help moisturize the skin and promote relaxation.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Skincare Specialists: Summary
- The New York Times: Just Put Your Face in the Little Box and Say ‘Aah’
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Quarterly: You're a What? Medical Aesthetician
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Skincare Specialists: What Skincare Specialists Do
- Academy Canada: Faculty of Esthetics: Electrolysis
- Marinello Schools of Beauty: Programs: Skin Care
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