Skincare Esthetician: Who They Are, What They Do, and More Information

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A skincare esthetician is a skin care specialist who specializes in providing professional skin procedures, advice, and products recommendation. If you are a lover of everything skincare, you must have come across the word several times.

You’ll find an esthetician in beautiful houses and spas. Other skin care specialists perform similar and quite different roles from an esthetician. And sometimes the words are used interchangeably but it’s not completely correct.

For instance, an aesthetician, cosmetologist, and dermatologist. This article does not only explain who skincare estheticians are, but it also details the differences between them and other skincare specialists.

Who Is a Skincare Esthetician?

A skincare esthetician is a cosmetic skincare specialist who can give you useful information about your skin type, what products you should and shouldn’t use, and cosmetic skincare tips.

An esthetician must have studied a course like cosmetic chemistry and undergone training to earn the title and function well in this career path.

Although they are sometimes mistaken as dermatologists or aestheticians, you can call them skin doctors out of the medical field.

You’ll find a skincare esthetician in salons or spas. In some cases, you may find one working with a dermatologist in clinics. Estheticians are skin health and wellness experts that work with their clients to help them achieve their skin goals on a very healthy path.

However, they are not licensed to carry out medical procedures or prescribe drugs for treatment (they prescribe cosmetic products instead).

What Does a Skincare Esthetician Do?

Skincare estheticians are very good listeners because they have clients that come to them with different skin concerns and need advice. A skincare esthetician provides useful information on what products and routines to follow to have better skin.

According to what the salon or spa does, an esthetician may perform facials like a face massage and deep facial cleansing, hair removal, skin exfoliation, full body massage, and waxing.

You can also get the best professional services for the removal of blackheads, acne treatment, microdermabrasion, body wraps, application of body masks and scrubs, chemical peels, and skin tanning with an esthetician.

A career as a skincare esthetician is very flexible and can be practiced freelance, from the confines of a small office or with colleagues. You can find an esthetician on a movie set, on a radio/TV program granting an interview, or at a resort.

Estheticians make use of skin care products like creams, lotions, masks, serums, and essential oils.

Is a Skincare Esthetician an Aesthetician?

No, an esthetician is different from an aesthetician. Besides the spelling, although they are quite similar, they carry out their roles in different capacities. An esthetician works from the cosmetic angle of skin treatments while an aesthetician’s role is medical.

Also, while you may find estheticians majorly in spas and salons, aestheticians work in medical centers like a physician’s office, spas, salons, and fitness centers.

In addition, their area of expertise differs from each other. Not limited to this list, a skincare esthetician carries out cosmetic procedures on your face and body based on the services they choose to render.

They include skin analysis to identify your skin type, acne treatment, removal of blackheads, application of chemical peels, makeup, body scrubs, body massages, and microdermabrasion.

On the other hand, medical aesthetics may carry out skin rejuvenation, skin tightening, microlaser peel, laser tattoo removal, laser hair removal, and body contouring.

Is a Skincare Esthetician a Dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a medical doctor. A skincare esthetician is a skincare specialist. Dermatologists are doctors that focus on the health of your skin, nails, and hair. They can diagnose skin issues and prescribe drugs that will help treat these issues.

Estheticians, on the other hand, work to improve the surface appearance of your skin. Morgan Rackley, a licensed esthetician says, “We do a complete skin analysis, go over diet, stress levels, and their current skin-care routine.”

To work in medical capacities, an esthetician must work in conjunction with health practitioners like a dermatologist.

Furthermore, dermatologists go through rigorous, long years of training to become certified doctors. Skincare estheticians can achieve their licenses in a shorter period.

While a dermatologist can carry out operations and even treat cancer, a skincare esthetician can only recommend products and maybe carry out complementary procedures prescribed by a dermatologist.

The expert you choose to see depends on the nature and severity of your concern. For basic cosmetic skin problems, you can visit an esthetician. And if necessary, you may be referred to a dermatologist for further diagnosis.

Is a Skincare Esthetician a Cosmetologist?

If you get close to any cosmetologist, you’ll find that they cover a much wider scope compared to a skincare esthetician.

The areas of specialization of cosmetologists cover hair, skin, nails, and makeup. Estheticians only focus on the skin and maybe the scalp.

Also, a cosmetologist is not licensed to carry out procedures or recommend treatments like an esthetician. A cosmetologist can do things like cutting, styling, and coloring hair; makeup; nails installation and curing; manicure and pedicure.

Additionally, while an esthetician’s job description entails that they help you to maintain healthy skin, a cosmetologist’s job only covers beautifying your hair, nails, and skin. However, with further training, a cosmetologist may be able to do more than just facials.

How Can You Become a Skincare Esthetician?

To become a skincare esthetician, you need more than the love for anything that has to do with skincare. Further steps like attending an esthetics training school should be made.

The training involves attending 300-600 hours of classes (depending on the state) in relevant cosmetic courses. Also, you need a certification (a license) from an authentic state board of cosmetology or health department.

During training, you’ll learn the regulations and safety practices of skincare estheticians, chemistry, anatomy, operation of equipment, client management, and all about cosmetics.

Training and requirements vary according to states, however, some factors like your age (no younger than 16 years of age), a diploma or GED equivalent, and some fixed factors make you eligible to begin a career as a skincare esthetician.

After training, as a certified and licensed skincare esthetician, you should continue learning and taking up courses in cosmetology and skincare to keep you informed about relevant changes.

As a professional who works with clients, you should be mindful of things like your breath, and physical appearance (skin, hair, and nails), be an attentive listener and be good with your time.

How Much Do Skincare Estheticians Make?

How much skincare estheticians earn varies with state, services rendered, where you work, and your level of education and experience.

A recent report from ZipRecruiter shows that skincare estheticians in the US earn an average annual pay of about $44,126.

Moreover, a skincare esthetician that works in a salon or spa earns lower than an esthetician that works with a dermatologist or a clinic. In the same vein, a master esthetician will earn more than those who have received just a license to practice.

To earn more, you’ll need to gain more experience, knowledge and maybe work with more professionals.  

When Do You Need to Consult a Skincare Esthetician?

You should see a skincare esthetician if you have cosmetic issues, and need a recommendation for products. If you need an expert’s thoughts to help identify your skin type, you should see an esthetician.

Additionally, sometimes, it is more comfortable to speak with an esthetician than with a dermatologist. An esthetician can offer more professional facials than you can. If you can afford an appointment with one, you can have a more excellent job done at a salon.

Procedures like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, waxing, hair removal, and full body massage need an expert’s knowledge to be perfectly carried out. You can have any of them done if you book an appointment with an esthetician.

What Should You Look Out for In a Skincare Esthetician?

A skincare esthetician must be hygienic. No one wants to spend money on an appointment and have dirty hands or tools used on them. On your consultation visit, take a good look at their working environment and be sure you like what you see.

In addition, you should be sure about their level of qualification and expertise before you put your skin in their care.

You can also check the licensing body to authenticate their license to practice. From an esthetician’s skin, you should be able to tell whether they live by what they administer or advise clients to do.

What Are the Pros of Being a Skincare Esthetician?

  • It’s a flexible career path. There are no limits to the chances of employment
  • You can be self-employed as a consultant and start up your salon or spa
  • Being a skincare esthetician is an opportunity to make people happy by helping them get comfortable with their skin and complexion
  • There is almost no monotony because you get to meet people with different skin concerns and skin types
  • The career path of skincare estheticians is an ever-learning one. There are no limits to what you can know. There will always be new developments and new things to learn

What Are the Cons of Being a Skincare Esthetician?

  • As a newbie in the field, you’ll face competition because there are experts who were there before you. Clients may rather prefer to patronize estheticians who have been practicing before you
  • Another competition will come when you decide to start up your salon or spa. It takes heart and soul to get on with this
  • You may have to make yourself available to some clients even on your off-days
  • It may take a while to find consistent and faithful clients who will always pay, regardless
  • On some days, it may be very difficult to separate work from emotional stress (home or family)


Do estheticians wear white coats?

Yes, they wear white coats. The coats are necessary to protect the esthetician and client from unavoidable skin-to-skin contact. Also, the white coats help clients to identify staff and know who does what.

Are estheticians in high demand?

Yes, they are. Recent years have statistics reports that show a great increase in the rates of job roles for estheticians.

More people are looking to take care of their skin and use skin care products. Consequently, there is an equal increase in the demand for experts’ knowledge.

Can skincare estheticians do microneedling?

Yes, they can. With proper training, a skincare esthetician can perform microneedling to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

However, according to different states, there’s a level of expertise and experience you need to have to perform microneedling.

Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration guidelines say that estheticians shouldn’t use needles of more than 0.3mm for microneedling.


Visiting a skincare esthetician may sound luxurious or not so necessary. However, you’ll always need an expert’s advice and thoughts to achieve your skincare goals. More so, some cosmetic procedures like peeling and microdermabrasion need to be done by an expert.

Skincare esthetician is a flexible career path that you can follow if you’re fascinated by the world of skincare, making people happy with and about their skin and complexion.

Although it is quite different from dermatologists, cosmetologists, and aestheticians, that does not make it less of a career. If you’re on the other side of the table, be sure about the expert you’re booking an appointment with.

Thanks for reading.

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