Archive for the ‘Professionals: Aesthetics & Beauty’ Category
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that explores and studies the nature and form of beauty, along with the creation and appreciation of beauty.
An Esthetician is a skin care specialist, that has been formally educated and trained in skin health and beauty. To become an Esthetician, one must obtain a specific amount of credit hours, typically around 600. Educational requirements, rules and regulations do vary by state. After graduating, an Esthetician will need to pass state board exams, which include a written and practical exam, to obtain a license. An Esthetician may work in a salon, spa, private studio, on location, med-spa or in a medical practice such as dermatology or plastic surgery. An Esthetician may also work as a makeup artist, as an educator or in sales. Many Estheticians obtain additional degrees, certifications or training. This may include things like laser certification, cosmetic tattooing, lash extensions, electrolysis, massage therapy, nursing, oncology esthetics, and holistic approaches.
Estheticians typical provide treatments such as facials, chemical peels, hair removal, makeup application and some body treatments. Estheticians may also be referred to as a facialist, because they specialize in facials. Estheticians are the go-to people when choosing skin care products, they study ingredients and skin care products extensively and can create a complete skin care regime appropriate for your skin. Although an Esthetician is trained to recognize some skin conditions, they do not diagnose or treat medical skin conditions. Many skin lesions closely resemble each other and need to be diagnosed by a dermatologist. Conditions like eczema, psoriasis, allergies or skin cancers, require medical attention.
Esthetician or Aesthetician
Esthetician and Aesthetician may be used interchangeably and both are correct, however the spelling on a license may differ by state. In Arizona, my license reads “Aesthetics” while my text book is Esthetician. Generally, the Esthetician spelling is used when describing someone who works in a spa environment, while Aesthetician is used to describe someone who works in a medical environment. There is no solid rule on which spelling must be used, both are correct.
The term “Holistic Esthetician” is not recognized by the State Board of Cosmotology as a specific license, it does however describe an Esthetician who uses a holistic approach, emphasizing the importance of the whole person, including mind, body and spirit. Holistic esthetics is typically associated with treatments and remedies that are more natural or integrative alternative therapies. Holistic Estheticians usually work with products that contain natural and/or organic ingredient. Some schools offer specific holistic-based esthetician training programs, however there is little difference compared to a general esthetician training, so many Estheticians opt for post graduate holistic eduction and may even obtain a Holistic Skincare Practitioner Certification. There are plenty of Estheticians who do not specifically identify themselves as a holistic provider, but incorporate some holistic approaches.
Medical Aesthetician and Laser Technician
An Aesthetician that works in a medical environment may have additional training or certifications, they may be referred to as a Medical Aesthetician, Paramedical or Clinical Aesthetician, Master Aesthetician or Aesthetician, CLT (Certified Laser Technician) or CMLT (Certified Medical Laser Technician).
Although the terms Medical Aesthetician and Paramedical Aesthetician are used to describe an Aesthetician who works in a medical setting, these terms are usually not recognized by most state boards and do not necessarily guarantee that a provider has met any additional requirements. A “Master Aesthetician” is generally someone who has obtained additional training and credit hours to include laser treatments and aesthetic treatments typically offered in a medical setting. Some states like Utah offer a Master Aesthetic license after completing 1200 credit hours plus additional apprenticeship hours. The majority of states, including Arizona require formal training and additional credit hours to obtain a Laser Technician certification through the state Radiation Regulatory Agency. This requires a minimum amount of credit hours to include didactic and practical hands on training. Usually, specific training and additional hours are required for each modality added to your certification. Laser technicians must work under the supervision of a medical director. In California a laser technician must be an RN or PA and in New Jersey only a Medical Doctor may perform laser treatments.
A Career in Aesthetics
If you are considering a career in the aesthetic industry, research the requirements required by your state. Do a little self-reflection and consider what aspect of the aesthetic industry you feel most passionate about and what things you might want to avoid. For example, if you can’t handle the sight of blood you probably shouldn’t work for a plastic surgeon. If your a “Little Miss Chatterbox” like myself, you should avoid the tranquil day spa. Are you obsessed with make-up, does your heart drive you to work with cancer patients, do you take a holistic approach to life, are you a social media genius or do you have the talent to be an educator. Would you prefer to work in a luxury spa environment, a medical practice, work in management or work as a sales representative. Do you have the discipline to be self employed or the entrepreneur spirit it takes to open your own spa or create a new product. Maybe your a trail blazer, who will create your own niche in the market. Evaluate the job opportunities in your area and inquire about the qualifications employers look for. Not everyone who goes to esthetic school will find success in the industry, but there are ever-growing possibilities. Consider Anastasia Soare, a woman who came to America and took a “waxing job” as an Esthetician. From her brow-shaping method, she built the global beauty empire Anastasia Beverly Hills.
Choosing an Esthetician
Not all Estheticians collectively agree on the best products, treatments or approach, so you should look for an Esthetician that fits your personal goals. If it is important to you, to have an all natural approach, then look for an Esthetician that is like minded. If you want to relax and be pampered in tranquil ambiance, then you may prefer a day spa setting. If you are seeking corrective or more aggressive result focused treatments, then a med-spa or medical practice may fit you best. When selecting an Esthetician, be sure to ask about there experience and training. What ever your goals and personal style is, there is an Esthetician for you.
It is a rare individual who becomes successful without help. I am an aesthetician and laser technician who has been in the industry for nearly 17 years. Throughout my entire career, I have experienced the importance of networking with other skin care professionals. I began to network while still in aesthetic school, leading to a job offer, before I even got my license. At this stage in my career, I still appreciate being able to call or text other skin care professionals for advice. We should be networking throughout our careers. Networking with other industry professionals works to improve the industry as a whole.
It is not always what you know, but who you know! Networking with other skin care professionals is the best way to learn of employment opportunities and possibly gain an introduction, or even a recommendation. This is also true for those looking to hire.
A few years ago I was involved in a private aesthetic group, and one of the biggest topics that came up in the forums had to do with compensation and benefits. It is natural to not want to discuss our exact income, but when we open up about pay structure and benefits, we help each other to negotiate a better income and benefits package. It behooves us all to raise the standard income for our industry. According to the BLS, skin care specialists made a median salary of $29,050 in 2014. The highest-paid 10 percent in the profession earned $58,880, while the lowest-paid earned $17,680 that year.
Peer Input About Purchases
Adding new equipment, treatments, and product lines can be risky business. Vendor reps are in the business of selling their product, not giving impartial advice. Receiving input from others in the industry is invaluable. Anytime we are looking to add something new, I call other aestheticians that use that particular product or device, and gather their thoughts on it. This type of networking empowers us as aestheticians, in the same way online reviews empower consumers. Vendors will work harder to take care of us if they realize the value of our opinion among peers.
Know What Is Going On In The Industry
Networking has helped me to learn more about products, new treatments, and treatment protocols. I have learned about regulation changes in my state, as well as regulation differences in other states. I have also inquired about upcoming events, trade shows, training workshops, seminars, and on-line training.
Smart people surround themselves with smarter people. I don’t care how experienced, educated, or smart you think you are, you can always learn from an alternate perspective. Sometimes we have blind spots or get lost in our own ideas. In our industry, there is always a new study, a new treatment, new protocol, or new information, and it is impossible for anyone to know everything. I have attended many classes and workshops over the years and I ALWAYS find that someone will pick up on something I missed, and vise versa. If I attend a class, I will share what I have learned, and my aesthetician friends will share with me what they learned at another class. This sharing of information has been very helpful. Even the best aesthetician or laser technician will encounter a complication at some point and someone else may know just the solution to your problem. Even things like a challenging client or issues with co-workers can benefit from another perspective.
None of us offer every service, or are experienced with every specific need. We all have our talents and limitations. Sometimes we are limited by our tools, and sometimes by our experience or training. Sometimes, we are even limited by location. I have had clients who have moved out of state, and they want to know if I can recommend someone. It is our job to do what best serves our client, even if it means referring them to someone else.
Doctors commonly refer patients to other doctors, even within their own specialty. Why should any of us have such an ego that we elect not to refer a client to another aesthetician, if we cannot provide what that client needs? If it is not ego, it is fear. We are fearful someone will steal our clients. It is shameful that we cannot trust each other. Are we all a bunch of thieves and back stabbing cheats? I don’t think so! It is possible to refer your clients to another aesthetician for a specific service or product and have them return to you as a regular client. I have a network of aestheticians that refer clients to me if I provide a service which they do not. If I know that a client was sent to me from another aesthetician, I will always speak well of who ever referred them. I will not try to steal that client, or sell them services, that I know the referring aesthetician can provide. I do this because I want that aesthetician to continue to refer clients to me. I also want to be able to refer clients to these aestheticians and trust they will not “bad mouth” me, or steal my client. We have established a mutual trust and respect for each other. Plus, it’s the right thing to do! Never pull a robbery when someone has trusted you with a referral.
Having friends to trade services with and make you pretty is an industry benefit. Having friends with common interests makes life better. Having friends in the industry makes your work more fun and feel less like work. Having friends that you can learn from and trust makes you a better aesthetician.
I recommend to start networking with people you already know in the industry, and branch out from there. You can network with vendor reps, educators, aesthetic providers (such as doctors and nurses), and obviously other aestheticians. Trade shows, training workshops, and seminars are all great networking opportunities. You can use social networking sites to find a local group. There are aesthetic groups and forums online, of which I will share a few links below. If you have found a networking group that you recommend, please share in the comments below.
The Skin Games is a national competition where Estheticians compete for the title of “Best Skin Care Profesional” or for those new to the industry “Best New Artist”.
I was excited to participate in the skin games, this year. It is great for Estheticians, like myself to have this platform to showcase our talents. It has also been a learning experience, to see the methods used by other professionals. After seeing all the treatment videos, I look forward to meeting the other Estheticians at the live show, this April. To up the cool factor, this years show will be hosted by Bobby Brown and Athena from “Ex-Wives of Rock”. Sharise Neil and Blue Dixon from “Ex-Wives of Rock” will also be at the red carpet event, that will be after the award show. You do not have to be a player or even an Esthetician to attend the live show, during the day there will also be an all day event with vendors, live demonstrations and beauty swag. What a great excuse for a girls trip, …. industry guys trip too. As a finalist in this years games, I hope to see some of my Esty friends at the live show.
How To Play
Estheticians may enter in the categories of Hyperpigmentation, Anti aging, Acne / Problematic Skin or Best New Esthetician. The catch is you have to abide by the laws governing the state of California. Regulations differ by state, and in many of the states outside of California, Estheticians do laser and energy based treatments if they have an additional certification or if they are a Master Esthetician. The good news is, for those of us who work in Medical Esthetics, there is an “OPEN” category where Estheticians can follow the scope of practice governed by your state rules and regulations. Medical Esthetics is such a huge part of our industry, with Estheticians working in med-spas or for dermatologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, even gynecologists. I have no doubt that expanding The Skin Games to include Etheticians in the med-spa industry will attract a lot of Estheticians to compete and draw a lot of exciting vendors to the live show.
Each player selects a model,puts together a treatment plan, then submits 8 short videos, one per week to document treatments. Players also submit before and after photos of model to show results. A panel of judges will determine the winner based on photos, treatment plan and results. Friends,family and clients can also vote for their favorite player, the “Peoples Choice” award.
The Live Show
The live show is in San Ramon, California on April 23rd. Players will be awarded during the live show. Before the show, Estheticians can enjoy the beauty festivities with treatment demonstrations and check out the vender booths from various skin care lines. This is also a good opportunity to socialize and network with other professionals in the industry. If you are at this years show, please stop and say hi to Kristy Harris.