How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Esthetician?

certified esthetician working with a client

Do you enjoy telling your friends and family about tips you learned about skin health and makeup application? If so, you might already be an amateur esthetician. Now all you need to do is graduate from a diploma program and pass the certification exam and you will have a brand-new career as a certified esthetician. As an esthetician, you will help your clients look and feel great. Are you wondering how long it takes to be a certified esthetician? You’re not alone.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Esthetician?

Did you know it takes as little as 5 months to graduate from an Esthiology program at a vocational school? They teach you everything you need to know to become an esthetician and start a rewarding career. Once you graduate from a diploma program, you must be certified before starting your first day of work.

What is Taught in an Esthetician Program?

Most esthetician programs teach to the test. Meaning they teach you what you need to know to take the certification exam. The esthetician certification exam will prove to employers that you are ready to handle clients as an esthetician. From setup and client protection to facials and hair removal, the certification will prove your proficiency in Esthiology.

Client Assessment

As an esthetician, you will learn anatomy and physiology in order to understand how the body works, especially the integumentary system, the many layers of skin, and anatomy of a hair follicle. You will also need to know the disorders and skin conditions that are common. This will help you better assess a client’s skin and create a treatment plan for them.

During the assessment phase of the appointment, you will use a standard intake form to identify the client’s skin type, whether normal, oily, dry or combination skin. You will also figure out whether the client has skin conditions like acne, wrinkles or sun damage? An assessment is important for every appointment but especially for the initial consultation. As you work with the same clients, you will learn more about the seasonality of their skin and better help them care for it.

Client Protection

Protecting the client is the esthetician’s number one responsibility. From sanitation and infection control to water temperature and draping. You will also need to understand the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions as some of your clients will be allergic to latex and certain chemicals. Knowing where the first aid kit is, and learning exposure procedures are important to keep everyone safe.

Proper client protection as an esthetician includes sanitation and infection control. When it comes to sanitation, there are levels of protection for different surfaces or instrument. You will cleanse many surfaces like the chair and countertops. You will disinfect anything that touches the client’s skin and sanitize instruments that are reused in between clients. As an esthetician, you will also be responsible for infection control procedures. This will help minimize the risk of infection to your clients and yourself.

When working with clients, it is also important to protect yourself from chemicals and other irritants. Proper safety procedure dictates wearing protective gear like gloves, facemask and/or eyewear. OSHA is a great resource for employee safety and will educate you on the proper safety precautions your employer will need to implement to keep you safe. One of the important OSHA guidelines involves the use of chemicals. There is proper procedure for labeling and storage of chemicals. There is also a safety sheet that employees must fill out anytime an accident or injury occurs.

Cleansing the Face

As an esthetician, you will learn how to clean away dirt, makeup and dead skin cells to make your client’s skin look vibrant. You will learn how to use different types of face cleaners, in liquid and foam formulas. It is also important to teach your clients proper skin cleansing techniques. Cleansing the face is important to maintain healthy looking skin. Cleansing also helps remove build up of dirt, oil and makeup. It helps hydrate your skin, maintaining proper pore size. During an esthetician program, you will learn about skin type and what cleansers are a good match for each of your clients.

Massaging the Face

Part of the cleansing process involves massaging the face. This helps relax your client after a hard day. Massage helps stimulate pressure points on the face and increase blood flow to remove puffiness around the eyes, liven up the cheeks and smooth wrinkles on the forehead. Facial massage also helps promote healthy skin and offers a rejuvenation effect.

Hair Removal

Unfortunately, we grow hair in many different places on our body. Whether it is on the upper lip, arms, legs or underarm, there are many different hair removal techniques that you will learn in esthetician class. During an esthetician program, you will learn how to shave, pluck, wax, tweeze, and laser unwanted hair. Each hair removal procedure has a unique technique that must be mastered to properly remove the hair without damaging the skin. Whether your client shaves every day, waxes once a month or uses laser hair removal for a long-term reduction in hair, as an esthetician you learn the many different ways to help your clients safely remove unwanted hair.


When performing facials, it is important to consider the skin type and any issues the client may have that need attention. During the facial, you will use what you learned about cleansing and massaging the face to help your client exfoliate, relax and cleanse their skin. Proper technique will be learned during an esthetician program.

Makeup Application

There is a specific sequence to applying makeup. Wither it is moisturizer, foundation, blush, or eyeshadow, there are specific tools that help apply the makeup to your client’s face. There is also a routine for makeup removal.

Final Thoughts

As an esthetician, you will help your client look and feel better about themselves. You will learn about skin and hair anatomy so you can cleanse skin and remove unwanted hair. By helping your clients with skin care, hair removal and makeup application, you give them the confidence to start a new career, meet new people or just relax after a hard day. However, what you offer your clients is more than just skin care, you offer a friendship. Take the time to become an esthetician and start making life-long friends.

Are you ready to help others stay healthy and improve their confidence? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

How Long is Skin Care School?

Woman at a skin care school

Interested in learning more about becoming a skin care specialist? Did you know that you can graduate with a degree in Esthiology in five months? If you attend full-time, you can be working in months, rather than years. What skin care school should you choose and what are the benefits of becoming a skin care specialist? These are all important questions to ask and we will try to answer them below.

Choosing a Skin Care School

Before enrolling in a skin care school, ensure the program suits your career goals and lifestyle. Attending skin care school is a big commitment. The right school or program is accredited to ensure it meets the requirements for licensure.

Online student testimonials also help when determining if a program suits you. See first-hand from actual attendees, and what graduates think whether the program’s reputation holds up. Visit the school in-person or sign up for a counseling session before enrollment. These are all great ways to help you choose a skin care school.

Benefits of Becoming a Skin Care Specialist

There are many benefits to becoming a skin care specialist. Having the opportunity to work with regulars helps to build lasting relationships and trust. Skin care specialists also help clients feel better, look their best, and build their confidence. Another benefit of this career path, is that it affords flexible hours since you typically work by appointment. From salons to doctor’s offices, skin care specialists have many diverse careers available in an upwardly mobile growing industry.

What Do You Learn in Skin Care School?

Skin care specialists typically enroll in a certificate or diploma program that requires less than a year to complete. The school prepares you for the required state licensing exam and eventual employment as a skin care specialist in salons, spas, dermatology clinics, and resorts. The number of training hours and licensing requirements vary by state. However, Esthiology programs must include hands-on experience utilizing mannequins, live models, or a combination of the two. Some of the courses you will take at a skin care school include:

Skin Care

Skin care classes teach common skin conditions and how to recommend routines or treatments. A combination of classroom, laboratory, and hands-on practice prepares you for performing spa treatments, including body wraps, scrubs, and massages. You will learn to use lighted mirrors, magnification tools, lotions, astringents, and other topical applications.

Anatomy and Physiology

These classes teach basic human anatomy and the skin’s physiology, including the circulatory, endocrine, respiratory, digestive, and muscular system’s functions. This course also focuses on the conditions and common disorders of the skin.

Makeup Application

You will explore color theory, identify skin types, and perform makeup applications, including how to properly apply concealer, foundation, blush, lip liner, lipstick, eye shadow, and eyeliner in a hands-on setting. Coursework also teaches the application of eyelash extensions.

Hair Removal

The temporary removal of facial or body hair commonly accompanies skincare treatments. A hair removal class teaches you hair removal techniques like wax, depilatory cream, and tweezing on the face, arms, underarm, legs, back, and bikini areas. You will replicate classroom demonstrations in labs and clinical practice.

Sanitation and Sterilization

In this course, students learn how to protect clients and meet state requirements regarding decontamination and infection control, including proper workstation sanitation and tool sterilization.

Salon Management

Salon Management class is usually one of the last Esthiology courses in a diploma program. It emphasizes sales, marketing, professional ethics, communication skills, building client relationships, and developing professional interpersonal skills. You will learn salon management as well as merchandising and selling retail products.

The Skin’s Layers

When you embark on your journey to become a skin care specialist, you will become familiar with the skin and all its layers. There are seven layers to the skin in all. The skin is the body’s largest organ, which maintains body temperature, prevents water loss, and serves as the initial line of defense against germs, UV light, chemicals, and injury. The first five layers together form a thick outer protective layer of the skin called the epidermis:

Layer #1: Stratum corneum – This layer is made of keratin and is the skin’s topmost layer. The stratum corneum’s thickness is different depending on its body location.

Layer #2: Stratum lucidum – This thin transparent layer is only present in the palms and sole’s thicker skin.

Layer #3: Stratum granulosum – The stratum granulosum secretes a chemical called glycolipids, which keeps the skin cells glued to each other.

Layer #4: Stratum spinosum – This layer, also known as the prickle cell layer, contains antigen-presenting dendritic cells that possess the ability to stimulate naïve T cells.

Layer #5: Stratum basale – also known as the stratum germinativum, this is the epidermis’s deepest layer. In this layer, the cells continuously produce keratinocytes, which play an essential role in making Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Keratinocytes also produce protein, keratin, and lipids, which contain protective properties. The stratum basale layer also contains melanocytes that produce melanin, a natural pigment responsible for skin color.

Layer #6: Dermis – The dermis is connected to the epidermis and made from collagen, which gives skin its flexibility and strength. This layer houses sweat glands, oil or sebaceous glands, hair follicles, muscles, nerve endings, blood vessels, and other dendritic cells.

Layer #7: Hypodermis – The hypodermis, known as the deepest skin layer, is also referred to as the subcutaneous fascia or subcutaneous layer and sits just below the dermis.

Varying Skin Thicknesses

All over the body, thickness of the skin varies significantly depending on its location. The palms of the hands and soles of the feet have the thickest degree of skin, vital to protection, as the epidermis contains an extra layer called the stratum lucidum, absent in other regions. The thinnest (0.05 mm thick) skin’s location is over the eyelids and behind the ears. Skin thickness differs among sexes, with males bearing the thicker skin due to testosterone stimulation. Age also determines the thickness of the skin with children and the extreme elderly having the thinnest.

Types of Skin

Each skin type contains a distinct set of characteristics and requires individual care. Skin gets classified by factors including hydration, sebaceous secretion, and sensitivity. Although changes in the skin occur with time, health, diet, genetics and weather also helps determine skin type. The five skin types you should know as a skin care specialist include:

Type #1: Normal Skin – The normal type displays a radiant complexion, very few imperfections, barely visible pores, and no severe sensitivity. A normal skin type shows a rosy glow, smooth texture, good elasticity, and no blemishes, flaky areas, or greasy patches.

Type #2: Sensitive Skin – easily irritated and more reactive than the normal skin type. This skin type’s appearance often presents itself as delicate, fragile, and red, accompanied by feelings of discomfort, tightness, or itching. Sensitive skin loses its protective function, creating a breeding ground for microorganisms, increasing the possibility of having an allergic reaction or infection.

Type #3: Dry Skin – In many cases, dry skin is caused by external factors like weather, low air humidity, or hot water, and is typically temporary. However, some people experience an extremely dry skin type condition or may have drier skin as a lifelong problem. This skin type is generally characterized by a tight, rough, itchy feel accompanied by an ashy gray color and small cracks.

Type #4: Oily Skin – has a perpetual shiny or greasy appearance. Oil becomes excessive because of an overproduction of sebum by sebaceous glands, usually determined by genetics. However, hormones play a big role in young people under 30 years old and are typically related to acne.

Type #5: Combination Skin – presents the characteristics of dry and oily skin. The oily area is on the forehead, nose, and chin, also known as the T-zone. In contrast, the cheeks remain in the normal to dry range.

Common Conditions of The Skin

Millions of Americans have common but severe skin disorders or conditions that require immediate attention. As a skin care specialist, you need to know how to identify any client’s skin changes that indicate common skin issues. Here are some common skin problems:


The most common skin problem in the United States is acne. This skin condition often appears on the neck, face, chest, shoulders, and upper back. Breakouts occur due to clogged pores from excess sebum and dead skin. Acne typically makes its debut during puberty and can last well into middle age.

Cold Sores

Many people between the ages of 14 and 49 carry the contagious herpes simplex virus, or HSV, the most common cold sore. Cold sores look like blisters on the lip or mouth, are not severe, and clear up within a few weeks. Carriers should avoid close contact with others during a cold sore breakout.


Rosacea is a disorder that starts with a tendency to blush or flush easily. Redness, dryness, sensitivity, and red bumps typically spread beyond the nose and cheek area to the chin, ears, forehead, chest, and back.


Eczema is typically long-lasting and characterized by dry, scaly patches on the skin. This skin condition, often appearing on the scalp, forehead, face, cheeks, and hands, is more common among children. Care for eczema consists of creams and antihistamines to relieve itchiness.


The most common of the psoriasis conditions is plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis causes the body to generate new skin cells within days that pile on the skin’s surface and create scaly patches. Plaques most often appear on the elbows, lower back, knees, and scalp.

Final Thoughts

A doctor can’t diagnose illness without an examination, and skin care specialists can’t get to the bottom of ailing skin without a complete skin analysis. It’s an essential skill for a successful practice. Now that you know how long it takes to graduate from skin care school, are you ready to learn more?

If you have a passion for performing skin analysis and improving skin health, you could begin your career as a skin care specialist at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our Esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a skin care specialist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

Why Do Estheticians Do Skin Analysis?

Esthetician performing a skin analysis on a client

Skin is an esthetician’s canvas. Like artists, they need to understand their medium type, texture and characteristics to perform skin analysis. If coaxing the beauty out of any skin is an esthetician’s goal, then skin analysis is the key to creating a masterpiece.

What is Skin Analysis?

Skin analysis is the process of identifying a client’s skin type, advantages and flaws, so you can recommend the best treatments. You will take a medical history, understand what the client is doing for their current skin regimen and identify goals to improve their skin.

How Does an Esthetician Perform a Skin Analysis?

The skin analysis begins when a client walks through the door with a visual appraisal of their appearance, evaluating their cosmetics, and looking for clues about lifestyle habits that affect their complexion. An ivory-skinned client not wearing a wide-brimmed hat on a bright day may need to learn more about sun damage. Clients with acne wearing thick, oily foundation might benefit from lighter options. Experienced estheticians glean a lot from just a look.

The second stage of a skin analysis is typically a questionnaire. The goal is to learn about your client’s daily habits, their concerns and their skincare products. You’ll review each point together after. Topics may include:

General Health

Skin is the body’s largest organ, so if your client is unhealthy, it shows. Learning more about a client’s well-being gives you a good sense of how receptive they are to making lifestyle changes that would benefit their appearance.


Smoking starves skin of oxygen, accelerating its aging process and contributing to wrinkles. It can also yellow the skin, making it leathery and causing age spots.


You are what you eat. While much of skin’s quality is genetic, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables supports elasticity. Diets lacking in essential nutrients are often inflammatory and lead to redness or dryness.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions can directly impact skin’s health. People with diabetes, for example, suffer from glycation, a process that impairs circulation and cellular regeneration. This can also make someone more susceptible to infection, so treatment precautions are a must.


Allergies are a common cause of redness and rashes. It’s also critical for you to know if your client has allergies, especially to sunscreen or other ingredients in skincare products.


Dozens of medications can exacerbate sun damage. Others may react with ingredients in skincare products. Estheticians need the full picture before they choose what to apply.

Hours Spent Outdoors

The amount of time your client spends outdoors can cause wrinkles. Knowing the reason behind why a client has wrinkles or other signs of again will change how you treat the issue. You should always take into account whether your client has leathery skin because of smoking or long-term exposure from working outside as this will affect treatment choice.

Skincare Routine

Using the wrong cleansers, scrubs and moisturizers for your skin type, or using the right products at the wrong consistency, can be irritating. Knowing what products clients use regularly helps you determine if they’re to blame for redness and what changes to recommend. It also offers insight into what types of treatments are a good fit for someone’s lifestyle.

The final step in skin analysis for an esthetician is a close-up examination. Technology is evolving, and today’s skincare specialists can choose from a wide range of equipment to refine their exam, from devices that measure sebum to 3D facial analyzers. But an esthetician’s primary tools remain touch, assessing texture with your fingers helps find subtle irregularities.

Magnifying lamps can make it easy to see the smallest irregularities that you might be feeling on a client’s skin. Equipped with cool bulbs that don’t distort skin tone, these lamps come in several configurations from stationary floor models to wheeled styles maneuverable around chairs during an examination. Some come with storage and vaporizers to make easy work of cleaning the client’s face.

What Does an Esthetician Look for During a Skin Analysis?

Skin rarely fits neatly into one category, but characteristics like skin type, texture, redness, rashes and clogged pores help guide treatment choices.

Skin Type

Skin type is genetic, but environmental factors can influence it. The four basic categories include normal, dry, oily and combination skin.

Normal – this skin is well-balanced, moisture and oil production are average, pores are refined, circulation is optimal, and blemishes are rare. Treatments are preventative, emphasizing products and lifestyle changes that prevent premature aging and enhance the look and feel of skin.

Dry – skin that is a frequent complaint. A result of genetic and environmental factors from pollution to extreme weather, dry skin lacks natural moisture and produces less protective sebum. Prone to redness from UV rays, a dry complexion looks dull and is less resilient. Fine wrinkles are exaggerated, and skin texture looks rough, leaving clients with fast-aging skin. Treatments focus on restoring the balance of moisture without causing greasy skin.

Oily – overactive sebaceous glands cause oily complexions. Called seborrhea, it leaves clients vulnerable to blemishes, including acne. It has a greasy feel and a shiny look over the forehead, chin and nose. Like dry skin, oiliness is influenced by genetics, but stress, hormonal changes and diet play a role. Treatments should reduce redness and irritation.

Combination Skin – the most common type of skin and requires special consideration. A blend of oily and dry areas, combination skin is characterized by excessive sebum in the T-zone, the forehead nose and chin while cheeks tend to be dry. Pores are often large and visible. Treatments are geared toward reducing pore size and balancing the look of dry and oily areas. It demands an individualized approach.

Some estheticians also consider sensitive skin, skin prone to inflammation, a distinct type. It requires careful handling and the mildest products.

Fitzpatrick Skin Type

The Fitzpatrick skin scale classifies skin’s sensitivity to sunlight based on someone’s genetic characteristics, according to DermNet NZ. It helps estheticians identify which clients are at the highest risk for sun damage to recommend products with the right SPF level.  There are six categories, differentiated by these genetic characteristics:

Type 1 — blonde or red hair, green or blue eyes, pale or freckled white skin that burns without tanning

Type 2 — blue eyes, pale complexion, burns easily, rarely tans

Type 3 — fair skin with brown eyes and brown hair, burns first and then tans

Type 4 — light brown skin, dark eyes, dark hair, skins burns first but tans readily

Type 5 — brown skin, eyes and hair, rarely burns, tans quickly

Type 6 — dark brown skin, hair and eyes, never burns, tan only deepens


Texture refers to the skin’s surface condition. Healthy skin texture is soft, elastic and feels tight under your fingers. Coarse skin feels less firm and is usually uneven due to dryness or rashes.

Feeling for texture is important because the epidermis can look smooth but have enough subtle imperfections to affect how it scatters light and dims the complexion’s luminosity.


Redness is a symptom of inflammation. Clients with chronic skin conditions that cause it, such as rosacea, may consult estheticians to lessen its effects. It can also be a clue to sensitivity and will help guide treatment choices.


Rashes can be reactive, an inflammatory response to environmental factors like air pollution. Or they can be symptoms of underlying conditions that require medical treatment.

Clogged Pores

Clogged pores are caused by a combination of excess sebum, dirt and dead epidermal cells. When darkened by oxidation, they’re called blackheads. If bacteria get trapped inside, and they get infected, pus forms and creates a whitehead. Each requires a different type of treatment, followed by a maintenance regimen that minimizes pore size and reduces surface sebum.

What is the Goal of a Skin Analysis?

The goal of skin analysis is to collect the information you need to improve the client’s appearance. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make recommendations.

How Does Someone Become an Esthetician?

Almost every state awards a license to estheticians. Most require a diploma or certificate in cosmetology or esthetics, but the number of mandatory credit hours varies. Some programs offer more training than others at a higher cost, but it’s only a good value if it applies to your career plans.

There are two types of esthetics practices to choose from, spa and medical. A spa esthetician offers services that promote relaxation while enhancing personal appearance. For example, combining a face and scalp massage with a detoxifying peel and cosmetic application for a special event. Medical estheticians work with physicians, such as dermatologists or cosmetic surgeons, complementing their work. For example, teaching corrective skincare and cosmetic techniques to patients with facial scars.

Both types of esthetician might want additional training. Spa estheticians often branch out into massage while medical estheticians might want additional training in microdermabrasion or electrolysis. Either way, getting a vocational school diploma is the fastest way to get out of the classroom and earning a paycheck. In only 5 months, you could be gaining practical experience while discovering where you want your career to go.

Final Thoughts

A doctor can’t diagnose illness without an examination, and estheticians can’t get the bottom of ailing skin without a complete skin analysis. It’s an essential skill for a successful practice.

If you have a passion for performing skin analysis and improving skin health, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

Macronutrients & Micronutrients: An Esthetician’s Guide

Esthetician  holding a fruit

Eating well is vital for inner health and also helps outward appearances. A nutritious diet can assist in keeping skin healthy. A new field called nutricosmetics follows the use of micronutrients and macronutrients to boost skin health. The basis is simple, proper nutrients equal better skin health.

Why are Micronutrients and Macronutrients Important to an Esthetician?

The micro and macro of nutrients work in harmony to maintain the barrier functions of the skin. Micronutrients and macronutrients can be helpful for a healthy diet and play a role in maintaining healthy skin. An esthetician must familiarize themselves with the effects of macronutrients and micronutrients as some can harm the skin. For example, a diet high in sugar can ultimately lead to wrinkled or sagging skin. An excess of sugar in the bloodstream can contribute to acne flare-ups. The mineral zinc protects the skin from photodamage by UV radiation absorption, limiting radiation penetration into the skin.

A Look at Nutrients

Nutrients are compounds present in foods essential to regulating chemical processes, maintaining energy, repairing the body, and perpetuating growth. Nutrients get broken down into seven classifications: minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, dietary fiber, proteins, and water. These classifications, further divided into two groups: micro (minerals and vitamins), required in smaller amounts, and macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, fiber, proteins, and water), needed in larger amounts, are both vital to maintaining a healthy body.

The seven nutrient classes and their functions:

1. Minerals (micronutrient)

Minerals, broken down into trace and major, are inorganic nutrients found in foods essential for optimal growth and health. To obtain the right amount of minerals, typically provided by a regular, healthy diet, a client may require additional supplements in exceptional cases. A table known as Recommended Dietary Allowances or RDA was compiled by a committee that serves the United States government, the Food and Nutrition Board.

The major (required in larger amounts) and trace (required in smaller amounts) minerals and their relevance to nutrition in alphabetical order:

Calcium (major) – Calcium is stored in bones and teeth for strength, helps in the expansion and contraction of the muscles and blood vessels, assists in sending messages via the nervous system, and aids in the release of hormones and enzymes. When there is a calcium deficiency, your hair, skin and nails will weaken.

Chloride (major) – Chloride, considered an electrolyte, aids in keeping the fluid inside and outside the cells in balance, maintains proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH (power of hydrogen) of body fluids.

Copper (trace) – Copper, combined with iron, enables red cell formation, assists in maintaining healthy bones, nerves, blood vessels, immune system, and contributes to the absorption of iron. Copper works with vitamins and other minerals to provide the skin with strength and elasticity.

Chromium (trace) – Chromium improves the body’s reaction to insulin and helps metabolize proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates.

Fluoride (trace) – Fluoride, often found in toothpaste, mouth rinse, and tap water, often reverses the onset and progression of tooth decay and assists in forming new bone matter.

Iodine (trace) – The body requires iodine to produce thyroid hormones, which controls the body’s metabolism and other related functions. Iodine is also important to developing a fetus’s bones and brain during pregnancy and into infancy.

Iron (trace) – Iron, part of hemoglobin, is a protein responsible for transporting oxygen via the lungs to the tissues and muscles. This mineral is also imperative for development, cell growth, hormone production, and connective tissue repair.

Magnesium (major) – Magnesium aids muscle function, nerve function, blood pressure regulation, and blood sugar levels. It also assists the body in producing bone, protein, and DNA. When applied topically, magnesium has been known to help retain skin elasticity.

Molybdenum (trace) – Molybdenum assists in activating the enzymes that break down harmful sulfites and prevents the body from building up toxins.

Phosphorus (major) – This mineral helps keep the body’s bones, blood vessels, and muscles healthy.

Potassium (major) – The body requires potassium for cells, nerves and muscles to function properly and aids in regulating heart rhythm, digestion, blood pressure and water content in cells. Potassium deficiency can impact the amount of water within your cells and lead to loss of hydration in the skin.

Selenium (trace) – Selenium is vital for conception, thyroid function and production of DNA. This mineral also protects the body from infections and free radical (unstable molecules) damage.

Sodium (major) – The body requires a small amount of sodium to keep the right balance of fluids and maintain nerve and muscle function. When the body receives too much sodium, that can lead to puffy skin.

Sulphur (major) – Sulphur, one of the body’s most abundant minerals, contains an antibacterial effect on bacteria that causes acne and aids in promoting the shedding of skin cells believed to treat seborrheic dermatitis or acne.

Zinc (trace) – Zinc aids in making proteins and DNA, and assists the immune system in fighting off bad bacteria and viruses. Zinc also helps control some acne-causing hormones and has been believed to fight signs of premature aging.

2. Vitamins (micronutrient)

Vitamins, 13 in all, are organic compounds vital as micronutrients, which organisms require in small quantities for their metabolism’s proper functioning but cannot synthesize themselves. Vitamins get divided into fat-soluble (stored in the fatty tissues) and water-soluble (deletes leftover vitamins through the urine). Most humans receive vitamins through a healthy diet or daily supplements.

The following is a breakdown of the 13 types of vitamins:

Vitamin A (fat-soluble) – Vitamin “A” helps form healthy teeth, skin, soft tissue, bones and mucous membranes. Vitamin “A” is also an antioxidant.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – Vitamin “B1” is vital for healthy heart function and helps cells derive energy from carbohydrates. Thiamine is important in collagen production, promoting supple skin.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – Vitamin “B2” works together with other B vitamins to produce red blood cells and maintain body growth. Aiding in cell turnover, it also assists in preventing inflammation of the skin and healing wounds.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) – The “B3” vitamin maintains healthy skin and nerves and assists in lowering cholesterol when administered in higher doses.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – Vitamin “B5” is essential in metabolizing food and plays a significant role in producing hormones and cholesterol, helping to prevent acne and improve moisture.

Vitamin B6 – “B6” is also known as pyridoxine, which aids in forming red blood cells and maintaining a well-functioning brain, and helps the body use and store energy from proteins increasing the body’s ability to deal with chemical reactions.

Vitamin B7 (biotin) – Vitamin “B7” helps to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates, and like with vitamin “B5”, assists in producing hormones and cholesterol. Biotin deficiency has been found to be linked to hair loss and a lack of moisture in the skin. While biotin supplements are not a proven way to strengthen your hair, nails and skin, increasing your B7 intake can help keep these strong.

Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid) – “B9”, combined with vitamin “B12” helps red blood configuration and the production of DNA, controlling cell function and tissue growth for healthier looking skin.

Vitamin B12 – Vitamin “B12” aids in healthy nerve and blood cell function and DNA (genetic material in cells) production. Daily vitamin “B12” helps fight anemia, preventing the body from getting tired and weak.

Vitamin C – Considered an antioxidant, vitamin “C” is necessary for healing, iron absorption, healthy skin, connective tissue generation, and proper bone growth.

Vitamin E (fat-soluble) – Vitamin “E” plays an essential role in the immune system and metabolic processes. Vitamin E can also be used when applied to the skin in a topical formula such as a moisturizer. When applied to the skin, this vitamin may help protect skin from damage caused by free radicals.

Vitamin K (fat-soluble) – Vitamin “K” aids the body in its ability to clot blood and make proteins for healthy bones and tissues.

3. Carbohydrates (macronutrient)

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are sugar molecules and the body’s primary source of energy. These sugar molecules are among the three primary nutrients found in foods and consist of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen atoms. Carbohydrates come in three main types: sugar, starches, and fiber.

The following are the three types of carbohydrates:

Sugars – Sugars are the most basic carbohydrates; hence, they are simple carbohydrates. They commonly get added to foods, such as candy, desserts, processed foods, and non-diet soda, and are typically found naturally in fruits, milk, and vegetables. When added, processed sugars are added to the diet, it can cause inflammation.

Starches – Starches, or complex carbohydrates, are described as many simple sugars strung together. The body must break starches down into sugars for energy.

Fiber – Fiber, a complex carbohydrate, cannot get broken down, so eating foods with fiber helps the stomach feel full and aids in overeating, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. Fiber also helps prevent some stomach and intestinal issues, such as constipation.

4. Fats (micronutrient)

Fats give the body energy and aid in the absorption of vitamins. Many foods naturally contain fats, including dairy, poultry, red meats, seafood, pork, eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts. Omega-3 fatty acids are important in keeping skin supple and moisturized.

5. Fiber (macronutrient)

Again, Fiber is a complex carbohydrate, and cannot get broken down.

6. Protein (macronutrient)

Protein is a complex group of molecules that does more than one job for the body. Proteins create building blocks that help produce hair, nails, bones, and muscles, give tissues and organs their shape and help those organs work properly. Some hormones get produced using amino acids, a significant part of the protein. Protein hormones regulate the body’s cell function and metabolism. When muscles work vigorously, the muscle’s tiny fibers sometimes tear, and repairing those tears requires protein. Structural proteins known as keratin make up the structure of hair and nails. Protein falls under two main categories: Animal proteins and plant-based proteins.

The following are the two main categories of protein:

Animal Proteins – These proteins include animal proteins but are not limited to whey, casein, eggs, beef, and chicken. Most animal proteins fall under the header of complete proteins, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids: histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, threonine, valine, and tryptophan. Amino acids are used by the body to make other proteins that keep the skin supple – collagen and keratin.

Plant-based Proteins – These types of proteins include but are not limited to soy, pea, brown rice, and chickpea. Most plant proteins, or incomplete proteins, lack at least one essential amino acid. However, eating multiple sources of plant proteins creates an effect of eating a complete protein.

7. Water (macronutrient)

Water is an essential nutrient because our bodies require water in amounts that the body cannot produce quickly. All biochemical reactions occur in water, fill in the spaces between cells, and form large molecules such as glycogen and protein. Water also acts as a solvent for ionic compounds (composed of two or more ions held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding).

When the body does not receive enough water, your skin will show it. Too little water leads to the skin losing its plumpness and elasticity. Without water, the body is unable to flush toxins that can lead to acne

Final Thoughts

Estheticians know the key to enhancing skin quality is to improve wellness. Once they understand the effects of various macronutrients and micronutrients, they can help their clients improve their skin.  It takes a clean canvas for artists to work their magic. Beauty begins and ends with good health.

If you have a passion for improving skin health, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

6 Ways to Improve Skin Health: An Esthetician’s Guide

Estheticians specialize in skin care, they make clients look and feel their best with services from moisturizing and hair removal to exfoliation and cosmetic application. But science shows there’s a complex relationship between health and beauty that’s more than just skin deep. Successful estheticians know a beautiful glow and skin health require an inside-out approach.

What Does Skin Do for Our Bodies?

Skin is the body’s largest organ and the first line of defense against a hostile environment. It’s a rugged but flexible semi-permeable barrier that protects soft tissue from damage.

It has three layers, the dermis, the epidermis and the subcutis that protects us from:

  • Changes in Temperature
  • Moisture Loss
  • Microorganisms
  • UV Light
  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Injury

Why is Good Skin Health Important?

Skin works hard, and it’s vulnerable to damage, protecting it is as essential as caring for our bones, muscles and organs. Healthy skin is our primary barrier against infection-causing microorganisms. Keeping it in good condition helps us stay safe.

What Can Cause Skin Damage?

Skin damage can be genetic, environmental or a combination of both. Top causes include sun exposure, tobacco use, free radicals, harsh weather conditions, genetics, and skin disorders.

Sun Exposure

The most common cause of skin damage is the sun. It may seem counterintuitive that what brightens and warms our days can be so destructive, but ultraviolet light causes genetic damage to the cells just below the superficial layer of skin where most cancers begin. It also breaks down collagen and elastin, the structural proteins that give skin its smoothness and elasticity.

Sunlight also triggers melanocytes, the cells responsible for the skin’s color, to overreact. When we’re young, it gives us a youthful glow, but as we age, it results in liver spots and patches of dark discoloration.

Tobacco Use

Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, limiting their ability to deliver vital nutrients to the epidermis. As a result, skin loses elasticity and resists healing. Smokers have a higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of cancer affecting the lips.

Smokers are also prone to yellow discolorations and heavy wrinkles around the mouth. Smoking is associated with premature aging and worsening of skin disorders, including rosacea and psoriasis.

Free Radicals

Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules produced by the body in response to environmental stress from pollution to junk food. Missing a needed electron, these rogue cells circulate through the body where they damage healthy cells’ DNA, causing premature aging and cancer.

Harsh Weather Conditions

Without proper protection, repeated exposure to harsh weather from blistering heat to bone-dry cold causes dryness and surface irritation. Excess humidity can result in superficial yeast infections in skin folds where conditions are dark and moist.


The balance of moisture and fats in the skin that determines its resiliency is, in part, genetic, related to hormone levels and the immune system. While a healthy lifestyle can enhance or detract from the quality of skin’s appearance, little can change its character. Estheticians help clients by educating the client about their individual skin and how to keep it well maintained

Skin Disorders

Millions of Americans suffer from skin disorders ranging from mild to severe. You may see some of these skin disorders as an esthetician including acne, rosacea, and eczema.

Acne – the most common skin disorder in the US. Located on the face, neck, upper chest and back, it causes a pimply rash that if left untreated, can leave permanent scars. Pores clogged by dirt, oil and bacteria are thought to be the culprit.

Rosacea – a red skin rash that makes the face look flushed. Rash is triggered by alcohol, sunlight and stress. There are millions of cases in the US annually affecting both men and women.

Eczema – there are a few types of eczema that cause symptoms from open red rashes to greasy, crusty skin. Researchers believe it’s an autoimmune condition in which the body overreacts to external irritants. Like rosacea, it’s exacerbated by stress and typically needs medical intervention. But clients often see estheticians for help camouflaging its effects.

Ways to Improve Skin Health

Since skin quality correlates directly to health, estheticians should recommend these lifestyle measures like sunscreen, sun protection clothing, proper nutrition, moisturizing, improved sleep, and stress reduction.


Dermatologists recommend wearing water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher for most everyday activities and up to SPF 30 for extended outdoor exposure. People with fair skin, outdoor jobs or a history of skin cancer should use SPF 30 or higher regularly.

Estheticians should warn clients to wear sunscreen rain or shine since some UV rays penetrate cloud cover. Recommending cosmetics and daily moisturizers with sunscreen built in may improve compliance.

Sun Protection Clothing

If wearing a sleeveless top on a sunny day sounds like a good idea, think again. The body is as vulnerable to sun damage as the face. Since reapplying sunscreen over the limbs and torso throughout the day can be impractical, a better solution can be to wear UV protective clothing. Tops brands are fashionable, breathable and block most sunlight. A wide-brimmed hat protects both the skin and eyes and is critical for clients with thinning hair.

Proper Nutrition

Aging occurs at a cellular level, it’s something no skin care product except sunscreen can prevent. The foundation of radiance is healthy habits beginning with sound nutrition. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables with vitamins A, C, E, and K promotes beautiful skin, but for a boost of radiance, nutritionists recommend adding specific foods to the diet.

Tomatoes – shown to cut skin cancer rates, that’s no small benefit for outdoor workers and beach lovers. Tomato products such as sauces count, but as always, fresh is best.

Olive Oil – an anti-aging powerhouse, diminishing the effects of long-term UV exposure such as dark spots and crow’s feet as well as combating dryness caused by free radicals. A tablespoon per day drizzled over salad is all it takes.

Walnuts – zinc is essential for skin repair, but it’s hard to get with an average American diet. One ounce of walnuts contains 10-percent of the recommended daily allowance, plus antioxidants that fight free radicals and inflammation.

Green Tea – compounds in green teas have shown to restore aging skin cells and speed the healing of wounds including skin conditions like eczema. Drinking it fresh brewed is preferred over taking supplements.

Cocoa – As if we need more excuses to each chocolate, new research suggests the flavanols found in cocoa improve the of structure of skin. A one-ounce serving of high-cacao, low-sugar dark chocolate three times a week strengthens its resiliency and smooths away light wrinkles without adding too many calories. Telling clients to improve their diet by eating more chocolate is guaranteed to make you their favorite beauty professional.


Moisturizers improve hydration in the top layers of skin, sealing in moisture. Most formulas contain humectants to attract moisture, light oils to seal it in and emollients that smooth rough spaces between skin cells for a smoother appearance. Choose products with antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, to help fight free radicals.

In addition to protective treatments, these tips can help to keep skin moist:

  • Limit showers to 10 minutes or less and avoid very hot water.
  • Use gentle cleansers. Harsh brands strip away valuable skin oil, leading to dryness.
  • Avoid excessive exfoliation. It gives skin a fresh look but is damaging.
  • Moisturize immediately after bathing to trap in moisture.
  • Use non-fragrance lotions, they’re the least irritating.
  • Run a humidifier during dry winter months.
  • Launder clothing with mild, hypoallergenic detergent.

Improve Sleep

Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to health conditions from diabetes to cancer, but did you know it’s also associated with premature skin aging?

Getting less than the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep nightly can impair the skin’s ability to heal from daily stress. During the deep sleep cycle, the body goes into repair mode and produces more collagen for skin repair. Without it, wrinkles and sags form well before their time.

Stress Reduction

Stress has a negative impact on skin. In the short term, it worsens conditions including acne and rosacea, it’s not uncommon for estheticians to get panicked phone calls from clients breaking out the day before their wedding or a big job interview. Long-term, it causes chronic inflammation that impairs healing.

Stress can increase cortisol, a fight or flight hormone the body produces to give us a physical and mental edge in emergency situations. But when it’s chronically elevated, it prompts the body to create more skin oil.

Estheticians should advise clients to avoid stress and offer services that promote both relaxation and skin repair. A quick afternoon facial detoxifies skin while offering much needed down time.

Final Thoughts

Estheticians know the key to enhancing skin quality is to improve wellness. It takes a clean canvas for artists to work their magic. Beauty begins and ends with good health.

If you have a passion for improving skin health, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

What is Nutritional Cosmetics?: An Esthetician’s Guide

Image of natural products that can be used in nutritional cosmetics

Do you have a holistic approach to skin care? Interested in learning more about nutritional cosmetics? Many estheticians understand that skin care is about more than the topical ointments and the makeup someone puts on the outside of their bodies. Skin care also involves the diet and nutrients someone puts inside their body. This is called nutritional cosmetics.

What is Nutritional Cosmetics?

Nutritional cosmetics involve a holistic approach to healthy, glowing skin. The concept is based on how our diet affects our appearance. It focuses on certain dietary ingredients that are marketed as products that improve the skin’s appearance and health.

Traditional care of the skin involves choosing the best makeup for your skin type as well as the level of SPF protection your skin needs when you’re out in the sun. Taking excellent care of your skin is essential for your well-being and overall good health. The skin creates a protective barrier against toxins that can be harmful.

What Does Skin Do for Our Bodies?

The skin is the largest organ in the body, encompassing approximately 20 square feet. The skin allows the sensations of touch, cold, and heat. Our skin helps to regulate our body temperature and protects us from the elements and microbes. There are three layers to the skin, including:


The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. The epidermis creates our skin tone and provides us with a waterproof barrier. The color of the skin is created by melanocytes, which are cells that produce the pigment known as melanin. The melanocytes that produce pigment are located in the epidermis.


The dermis is beneath the epidermis hair follicles, sweat glands, and has a tough type of connective tissue. The dermis contains blood capillaries, hair follicles, connective tissue, oil and sweat glands, and nerve endings. The types of tissue that are within the dermis are elastic tissue, collagen, and reticular fibers. The special structures and cells that are within the dermis are apocrine and endocrine glands, nerve endings and blood vessels, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles. Lamellar and Meissner corpuscles transmit sensations of touch.


The hypodermis is also referred to as deep, subcutaneous tissue, constructed of connective tissue and fat. The hypodermis or subcutaneous layer is constructed of collagen and fat cells. This layer of skin also contains nerves, larger blood vessels, connective tissue, and fat. The hypodermis layer protects the internal organs from injuries. This layer of the skin absorbs shock to the body and retains heat. The reason that the skin begins to sag as we age is due to the deterioration of the collagen.

What Is Our Skin Made Of?

Our skin has many different components that include chemicals, lipids, minerals, proteins, and water. The epidermis is made up of five different layers.

Stratum basale is the bottom layer of the epidermis. The cells in this layer push up to the surface of the skin, where they die off and shed.

Stratum spinosum is the thickest layer of the skin. This layer contains proteins known as keratinocytes that are designed to strengthen the skin. This layer of the skin also contains cells that are meant to ward off infection.

Stratum granulosum contains even more keratinocytes that gradually move to the skin’s surface.

Stratum lucidum is the layer of skin that’s only on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands.

Stratum corneum is composed of dead cells that shed approximately every two weeks.

What Are the Effects of Aging on The Skin?

As we age, our skin is more susceptible to various forces including time spent in the sun. Harsh weather conditions and our dietary habits can be contributing factors. How the skin ages depends on several different factors, including personal habits, heredity, diet, and lifestyle. Nutritional cosmetics focuses on these factors in an effort to reduce the effects of aging on the skin.

Aging biomarkers can provide a true biological age rather than the chronological age. Biomarkers of aging could more accurately predict how functional cells will be at a later age rather than using chronological age as a benchmark. The factors that may contribute to skin that’s wrinkled or has age spots include exposure to the sun, the loss of the fatty tissue between the muscles and the skin, sleeping positions, obesity, and stress. Some of the changes that happen as a result of aging are:

  • Rough skin
  • Loss of collagen and elasticity
  • Thinning of the epidermis
  • Fragile or transparent skin
  • Skin that bruises easily

Ultraviolet rays from the sun can break down the elastin fibers in the skin and cause it to sag. As we age, the skin is more susceptible to tearing, bruising, and takes longer to heal. It’s possible to delay damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays by limiting the amount of time spent out in the sun.

Changes that occur below the skin may include the loss of fat beneath the skin. The result in the skin becoming loosened makes the eyes appear to be sunken and gives the face an overall appearance of being extremely underweight. The areas most affected are the temples, chin, cheeks, eyes, and nose areas.

As we age, we experience some bone loss, especially around the chin and mouth areas. Bone loss can usually occur sometime after the age of 60 and has a puckering effect in the skin. When there’s also loss of cartilage, the bony structure around the nose is affected.

Additional factors on the way we age include our facial movements, sleeping positions, and gravity. Lines that appear due to facial movement are usually become evident when people are in their 30s and 40s. The skin begins to lose its elasticity, and lines may appear on the forehead, around the cheeks, and the temples. Gravity causes fullness and loose skin beneath the jaws and cheeks and makes the eyelids and eyebrows droop.

The way people position their head on the pillow causes sleep creases that are more visible when the skin begins to lose elasticity. The creases commonly appear along the sides of the forehead and in the middle of the cheeks.

Inflammatory Network

The term anti-inflammatory is used a lot in conjunction with our nutritional needs. However, many people don’t understand why inflammation is harmful. When the body is injured or is suffering from an infection, inflammation is the natural response of the body. However, sometimes inflammation can spread and become a chronic condition. Nutritional cosmetics understands that chronic inflammation puts us at risk for disease.

One way to fight the effects of aging in the skin is to use skincare products with serum. These products are designed to hydrate and moisturize the skin and give it a brighter appearance. Whole plant foods contain the nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. The best way to reverse the effects of aging in the skin is to consider nutritional cosmetics and eat whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruits and veggies.

Doctors and nutritionists agree that processed foods aren’t healthy. Food that’s fried, cereals, and drinks that contain a lot of sugar all contain a lot of fats that contribute to inflammation. Menus that contain beans, grains, whole fruits, and veggies can cut down on inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in regulating how the body responds to inflammation. Foods high in Omega-3 may help to control the pain that’s associated with inflammation. Fresh fish and smaller servings of soy, flaxseed, pecans, and walnuts all contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Soy-based proteins, nuts, and fish are a healthier alternative to red meat. If you love burgers, you might substitute one of the other options several times a week.

Different Nutrients and Their Effect on Skin Health

There are many different nutrients that have an effect on skin health in the field of nutritional cosmetics. These nutrients include vitamin C and E, zinc, selenium, coenzyme Q10, antioxidants, whey protein, rosemary, soy, green tea, and milk thistle.

Vitamin C and E

Vitamin C and E are both antioxidants whose purpose is to protect the skin from harmful rays of the sun. Both vitamins protect the skin from free radical damage. When the body absorbs vitamin E, its antioxidants protect the cells from damage. Vitamin E is beneficial in treating inflammation and helps to prevent wrinkles. Vitamin C is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s found in many healthy foods, including citrus fruits like oranges, strawberries, spinach, and broccoli.


Zinc aids in transporting vitamin A from the liver to the skin. The use of this is beneficial in reducing inflammation, damage from free radicals, and aids in the production of collagen.


Selenium, especially when used with vitamins C and E, can protect the skin from damage from the sun and help to reduce the signs of aging.

Coenzyme Q10

When we’re young, our skin cells use oxygen to get energy from mitochondria. As we age, our metabolism changes. CoQ10 aids mitochondria in making energy for the skin cells.


Antioxidants are an excellent way to prevent damage to tissue and cells. In some cases, they may be able to repair the damage that’s already done. Avocadoes, beets, berries, leafy, green vegetables, and colorful fruit all contain antioxidants. Other sources of antioxidants include green tea, turmeric, ginger, lentils and beans, and whole grains.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is a polypeptide that’s high in amino acids and aids in rejuvenating the skin. Using this can also restore the Ph balance in the skin.


Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties that can lighten dark spots on the skin and improve the complexion.


Soy contains amino acids and proteins that improve the texture of the skin and enhances photoaging.

Green Tea

Green Tea rejuvenates the skin and is an excellent skin toner.

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is an excellent treatment for acne and rosacea. It provides antioxidants to fight free radicals.

How to Keep Skin Hydrated?

One of the most effective ways to hydrate the skin is to drink a lot of water. Drinking fluids helps vitamins to get absorbed into the body. It also helps to remove toxins from cells. Using a serum on the skin that contains high concentrations of Cassia Angustifolia Seed is excellent for hydrating the skin.

Final Thoughts

As an esthetician, you have the power to help your clients improve their skin health and reduce the signs of aging. Taking a holistic approach to skin care is important to healthy skin, and nutritional cosmetics can be the cure.

If you have a passion for skincare and nutritional cosmetics, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

What Can I Do with an Esthetician Diploma?

Woman who has received her diploma in esthiology performs spa services

Do you enjoy watching videos on YouTube about beauty and wellness? Do you find yourself helping family and friends with their skin issues like residual skin blemishes, consistently dry or oily skin, and reducing the appearance of scars? These are all challenges an esthetician helps their clients with and is a career you can obtain in as little as five months. Are you asking yourself, “What can I do with an esthetician diploma?” Let’s start by looking at what Esthiology is and what an esthetician does. This will give you a better understanding of what you can do with an esthetician diploma.

What is Esthiology?

Esthiology is a part of the beauty industry concerned with the integrity and presentation of the skin on both the body and the face. To put it in simple terms, it focuses on beautifying a body’s skin. Though there are elements of health and wellness involved with Esthiology, it is primarily concerned with aesthetic appearance and should not be confused with medical skincare services from a dermatologist.

What Does an Esthetician Do?

There are a variety of treatments and services that an esthetician is qualified to provide. Here we will take a look at some of the service options and specializations that you will be able to explore through this beauty and wellness career.

Hair Removal

Hair removal will be the most common service that you provide as an esthetician. A client’s options for hair removal depend on their skin needs. Clients are typically looking for a temporary hair removal solution that isn’t as harsh as shaving or at-home chemical hair removal methods. This is why waxing (of the body and the face) is a highly requested service.

However, some clients are in search of more permanent solution to remove unwanted hair. For this you will use laser, thermal, or other technical hair removal treatments. These options require multiple sessions before the peak results are reached. It depends on the area of the body, hair growth, and general health of the client’s skin. These methods utilize highly specialized tools and equipment, that you will learn how to use during an esthetician diploma program.

Skin Smoothing and Firming

Wrinkle reduction and skin rejuvenation are highly sought-after services in the Esthiology industry. An esthetician has many options for clients looking to make their skin firm and youthful. Smoothing and firming skin can be done by relaxing and mild services or more invasive and extreme treatments.

A client may come to you requesting a specialty body mask to help balance moisture and skin nutrients. They may want an exfoliation treatment or a product recommendation to fight blemishes that won’t be harsh or irritating. On the other hand, you may have clients that are looking for more aggressive forms of treatment. These treatments can include chemical peels that stimulate growth beneath the surface of the skin using stimulants such as light and sound waves.  During an esthetician diploma program, there are many different ways that you will learn to smooth and firm a client’s skin.

Evening Skin Tone

There are different ways to even the color or tone of a client’s skin. They can be invasive and harsh. However, there are also less harsh topical solutions that can help gradually even skin tone and discoloration over time. A client may want help picking a makeup brand that benefits their skin and evens out their skin’s tone. It is important for you to understand all of the options available for evening out skin tone, so you can pick the one that is right for your client.

Skin tone, pigmentation variation, freckling, and coloration in general are personal for a lot of people. What some consider to be “discoloration” can be exactly what someone else is proud of about their appearance. Remember, it is best to let the client lead the conversation about their look and what they want help “fixing.” Don’t assume you know another person’s definition of beauty if you don’t already know them well.

Reducing Blemishes

Sure, there are some people who are blessed with naturally flawless complexions who don’t need any more than a basic skincare routine. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most of us. Most of us suffer from outbreaks and skin challenges. As an esthetician, you will learn about treatments that can help clients overcome these unsightly obstacles and choose the right products for their skin type. You can even help clients come up with an at-home skincare routine to help them deal with any on-going or recurring issues between appointments. Reducing the appearance of certain scars is also something you will learn during an esthetician diploma program.

Health and Wellness

Along with making sure that your client’s skin is looking its best, part of the job of an esthetician is keeping a client’s skin healthy. While earning your esthetician diploma, part of your training will include the anatomy of the skin. Training will include basic biological information as well as nutritional knowledge that will help you better serve and advise your clients.

What Can You Do with an Esthetician Diploma?

After graduating with an esthetician diploma, it is time to start your career. Exactly what your career looks like will depend on the choices you make and the opportunities in your area. Here are a few of the professional options to choose from when starting down this exciting new path.

Working at a Spa

Spas deal with the relaxation and wellness aspects of skincare such as masks, wraps, steams, soaks, and specialty scrubs. There are variations of atmosphere and services offered, so you should research any spas you consider working at to see if it’s a good fit.

Working at a Salon

Salons are fast-paced and geared toward curation rather than rejuvenation. At a salon, clients book appointments for hair removal, wrinkle reduction services, and technical skin firming treatments. Some salons offer a selection of wellness treatments, but salons are more heavily focused on maintaining appearance than relaxation or balance.

Independent Services

Most entry-level estheticians start their career working at a spa or salon. With some experience, you can start an independent business offering esthetician services. With more online advertising, marketing, and scheduling options it is easier than ever to start your own business. These widely accessible platforms and features have created a simple way for you to create your own client base, order supplies, and master your own schedule. You can choose to rent, lease or buy a space, work out of your home, or work out of your clients’ homes. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are aware of any permits and other official permissions that are necessary in your area before becoming an independent esthetician.

Endorsement Marketing

Being an esthetician isn’t the only thing you can do with an esthetician diploma. Online influencing, video skincare tutorials, product reviews, and other viral marketing methods are an increasingly popular way to create product and brand awareness. With an esthetician diploma, you can secure an official position with a brand and promote their skincare online.

What are Some of the Qualities of a Good Esthetician?

It takes a variety of qualities and skills to achieve lasting success in the Esthiology field. Let’s take a look at some of the most important qualities you can obtain to be successful. They include Esthiology diploma training, a passion for learning, attention to detail, basic social skills, and some creative problem solving.

Esthiology Diploma Training

Getting your Esthiology diploma is the first step on your way to success. Make sure to pick a program that is comprehensive. You should also select a program that is taught by experienced instructors. Pick an Esthiology diploma program that fits your needs and is flexible to the demands and obligations of your life. These considerations will help ensure that you see your education through to the end.

Passion for Learning

A passion for learning and continuous improvement are vital to success as an esthetician. Therefore, it is a good idea to know what is going on in the industry and how it can help your clients. What are the latest trends? Have there been any recent product innovations? Are there any new techniques you need to be aware of? Staying up to date on what is happening in skincare will help you better serve your clients.

Attention to Detail

Some of the procedures and treatments that an esthetician performs can cause harm to a client if done incorrectly. Even something as simple as waxing can go wrong if you don’t pay attention to the temperature of the wax. As a result, paying attention to even the smallest details can help you avoid any problems down the road.

Basic Social Skills

The ability to hold a conversation and how to ask good questions are important to serving your clients. Active listening and engaging can help make a client feel comfortable and prioritized. Basic customer services skills will ensure that you have many repeat customers.

Creative Problem Solving

There will inevitably be a time when you come across a challenge that requires creative problem solving. A client may have a skin sensitivity that requires a more customized skin treatment. A client may come to you with a physical difficulty that needs accommodation for a specific service. Being creative in your problem solving can help you come up with complex solutions for clients that need extra help.

Final Thoughts

Getting an esthetician diploma can open up many doors in the beauty and wellness industry. You can work at a spa or salon, become an independent esthetician or promote yourself and other brands on the Internet. There are many opportunities to carve out your own space as an esthetician.  Starting an esthetician diploma program is the first step in this adventure.

If you have a passion for skincare, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

How to Sell Professional Skin Care Products

Woman selling professional skin care products

Are you interested in working as a skin care specialist? Selling professional skin care products is part of what an esthetician does. However, for some, making a sale is both difficult and emotional. The idea of confronting a client and trying to convince them to purchase what you’re selling can seem overwhelming. Trying to sell something, particularly skin care products, can be challenging. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome your emotions and move forward toward a successful career selling professional skin care products.

Part of any Esthiology program is anatomy and the function of skin. Understanding how skin functions and the products needed to keep it healthy will help you have a long, successful career selling professional skin care products. This knowledge will help you relate to, engage with, and make informed recommendations to all your clients.

Having a Basic Understanding of the Skin

When selling a skin care product, it can help to know how the human skin functions. You don’t need a doctorate in dermatology to be an effective esthetician or skin care specialist. However, you do need to know enough to give sound advice and informed presentations. It is important to understand the anatomy of the skin, common skin conditions, and topical skin reactions.

Anatomy of the Skin

A lack of understanding can be a large part of what drives sales anxiety. When you know what you are talking about it is easier to engage your clients. With confidence in your knowledge and security in your information it can be easier to get someone you don’t know to listen to you or take you seriously. Skin care is all about concentrating on the integrity and appearance of one organ, the skin. It is your first line of defense against illness and the first thing people see when they look at you. Learning the different layers of the skin, how the cells develop, how they are damaged, and the skin’s relationship to the rest of the body is crucial knowledge that will help improve your confidence when selling professional skin care products.

Common Skin Conditions

As a skin care specialist, you should be able to tell the difference between a serious dermal condition and a common cosmetic issue. This is important for the safety and confidence of your customers. This basic knowledge will help you protect your professional reputation against giving bad advice. When you know what the problem is you won’t make misguided recommendations. Recommending the right treatment starts with identifying the issue. Once you understand your customer’s problem you can recommend the right skin treatment and products to address it. You won’t know every single dermal condition, but you should at the very least be familiar with the most common ones.

Topical Skin Reactions

Even when you are fully informed, things can take an unexpected turn. When a client has an adverse reaction to a skin care product that you sell or endorse, your client should be able to approach you with this problem. They need to feel confident that their concerns will be heard and that their problems will be addressed.

A client may not always have faulty products or a failed treatment. People have varying degrees of skin sensitivity and there are many environmental factors that play a part in how skin reacts to a skin care product or treatment method. Two clients can have starkly different reactions to the same exact product or process. It is vital that you are aware of the differences between a skin irritation, an allergic reaction, and issues brought about by user error.

Have Good Skin Care Product Knowledge

Understanding what you sell is another important key to good sales. Charisma and personality are helpful tools that can increase your earning capacity, but they are not the foundation your sales career should be built on. If a client trusts you, then they are likely to return as a repeat customer. Answering someone’s questions about the condition of their skin, current available treatments, and the skin treatment products you sell can help you create loyalty with your clients. Skin care knowledge includes: the effects and uses of skin care products, the various skin care brands and companies, and the ingredients in skin care products.

Effects and Uses of Skin Care Products

You will have customers that have questions concerning the skin care products you sell. You should be ready to answer their questions and address their concerns. Some skin care products have more than one use, while others are highly specialized to treat a very specific issue. Products can be applied with a variety of techniques, while others have to be performed very methodically with specific tools. Some products are safe to use along with other treatments, while others may have more strict guidelines for use. Being able to convey this information to your client will help establish you as a reliable source for skin care product recommendations.

Skin Care Brands and Companies

Educating yourself about the brands and companies you represent can be more helpful than you might initially think. For instance, knowing whether a company tests their products on animals can be useful for customers who are cruelty conscious. Being able to tell clients whether a product is vegan, if a product uses certain chemicals, or if a brand has a history of customer dissatisfaction can help you proudly endorse reputable products. Being informed about what you sell can also help you avoid the pitfalls of representing irresponsible and unreliable brands.

Ingredients in Skin Care Products

There is no way that you can research every single ingredient in every single product you sell. However, you should at least be familiar with the main active ingredients so that you can help your clients understand how the product works. You should pay special attention to the more controversial and dangerous ingredients that can be found in skin care products. This information will keep you from selling harmful products. Ultimately, helping your clients better protect their skin from damaging ingredients.

Make a Meaningful Sales Pitch

Once you have the knowledge, talking to clients about skin care becomes easier. It is easier to start a conversation and make recommendations if you know what you’re selling. After obtaining your skin care knowledge and product information, it is time to focus on the social aspects of sales. Be sure to listen to what the client is saying and apply your knowledge while making the sales pitch.

Listen to What the Client is Saying

It is important that you pay close attention to clients that bring you an issue with their skin. This is the information that will guide your conversation and ultimately dictate the recommendations you make. Give the customer your full attention by facing them, making eye contact, and asking good questions. Once you are fully informed of the issue, you will then be able to suggest products, treatments, and/or services. This will help boost your revenue and help your clients at the same time. Listening to your clients can also assist in building trust and confidence, to establish customer loyalty.

Apply Your Knowledge

Your understanding of skin and extensive product knowledge is only helpful if you use it. Use everything you know about the industry and skin anatomy when helping a customer. The more information you have, the more helpful you can be. So, make a point to keep up to date on common skin conditions and stay current on any new trends in the industry. Continued learning will give you an advantage over your competition. You can also help keep your sales numbers strong by brushing up on the basics. Keeping information readily available helps your confidence and makes selling professional skin care products easier.

Make the Sales Pitch

Asking your client if they would like to buy something can be an awkward part of the sales interaction. Don’t be shy. Ask them if they have something specific they are looking for. Let them tell you if they are having a skin issue, don’t assume. If a client is quiet, you can try making a recommendation for a general skincare product. Recommend a cleanser or moisturizer to try and engage them, to get the conversation started. The more information you have to discuss, the easier the sales pitch becomes.

Did learning about how to sell professional skin treatment products interest you? If you have a passion for skincare, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

Is Waxing Better Than Shaving?

Esthetician waxing a woman's legs

As with any cosmetic procedure, hair removal is all about personal preference. The most common hair removal methods are waxing and shaving. We will take a more in-depth look at what each method entails as well as the pros and cons of each. Then we will talk about the other hair removal techniques including manual removal, electrolysis, and laser hair removal. Consulting with a professional esthetician is important to help you choose whether waxing or shaving is best for you.

How Does Shaving Hair Work?

Shaving removes hair by running a razor (or series of specially stacked razors) along the surface of the skin to cut unwanted hair follicles down to surface length. There are many razors to choose from if you decide to shave your body hair. Each razor offers something different. For example, electric razors are great for avoiding slips and cuts. Electric razors are also great for casual maintenance or those just starting out. However, they don’t necessarily cut the hair all the way down to surface level. So, they don’t always give the closest shave effect. They can also be abrasive and rough on the skin, depending on the model of electric razor you decide to use.

The other type of razor is a straight razor. While using a sharp, singular blade gets a very close shave, you need a high degree of skill in order to avoid cutting the skin. It may even require a professional. There are many shaving products that can help reduce friction and protect your skin, but it is best to get a professional esthetician’s advice before choosing which ones to use. An esthetician can guide you toward effective, gentle products and away from ones with harsh chemicals that can damage your skin. You can also discuss any skin sensitivities or challenges that might be an obstacle toward hair removal.

Pro/Con: Shaving is affordable and widely accessible on all economic levels, but you should be careful about the way you shave and what you shave with in order to avoid razor burn, ingrown hairs, cuts, and skin infections.

How Does Waxing Hair Work?

Waxing, like shaving, is another popular method of removing unwanted hair from the face and body. Warm wax is placed on the area of unwanted hair, smoothed out with special fabric, and then quickly removed. The wax adheres to the hair follicles as well as to the waxing parchment. When the parchment is removed the wax and the hair come with it. Using warm wax to remove hair removes the entire hair from the hair follicle rather than just cutting it down to the surface. By removing the hair completely, the smooth effects last longer because the hair takes longer to develop and grow out again.

There are home waxing kits available, but they can be risky and have some negative effects on your skin. An esthetician uses special equipment and specific tools to monitor and maintain the temperature of the wax used for waxing. If you attempt to do this at home you have a chance of either under heating the wax, thereby making it ineffective, or over-heating the wax, which can cause serious burns and skin damage. It is always best to leave the waxing to an esthetician, no matter how small the area.

Pro/Con: The smooth effects of waxing lasts longer than shaving, but it is not something that should be attempted by novices and should be taken seriously for the health and safety of your skin.

Which Hair Removal Technique Do I Choose?

At the end of the day, everyone has different body hair preferences. We also have different skin, hair growth patterns, and hair textures. Not to mention different kinds of lifestyles with varying demands that require different considerations. It makes sense that we would all need different procedures to get rid of our unwanted facial and body hair. No matter what you ultimately decide is right for you, be sure that you always make good cosmetic decisions with your health and safety in mind. Talk to your esthetician about different products and/or procedures that you are considering. Be open about any concerns you have or skin health challenges you might be facing. An esthetician can offer you informed advice about how to prepare and protect your skin for whatever you decide is right for you.

The Many Ways to Remove Unwanted Hair

Waxing and shaving are certainly the most common techniques used for removing unwanted hair, but they are not the only ways. There are more than two ways to get those unwanted hairs to disappear. Here are just a few of the many innovative ways that an esthetician can help you remove hair on your body.

Manual Removal

Manual methods of hair removal refer to techniques that employ a person’s hands and selected hand tools to remove errant stray hairs. This helps to create a much more uniform look. These processes deal almost exclusively with small areas, as removing hairs one by one is a time-consuming process. Tweezers or thread are used to remove the entire follicle from the skin to clean up edges, define lines, or create an entirely smooth area. These processes often follow other hair removal methods as a support. However, on small areas such as the eyebrows and upper lip, it is not uncommon for these manual removal techniques to be used. It all depends on the area and the situation.


Electrolysis is a process that involves a highly trained advance practice esthetician using a needle to deliver an electric current to your hair follicles. The current kills and removes the unwanted hair from the area for a substantial amount of time. While this is not a permanent solution to unwanted hair, it is a long-term solution. The more electrolysis you do, the more effective it becomes and the longer it lasts. It can take some time and several appointments to build up the cumulative effects.

There are two different types of electrolysis for different skin and hair types. Galvanic electrolysis uses a process to chemically destroy the hair follicle while the thermolytic electrolysis method uses heat to destroy and remove hair. You will need to consult a fully trained professional to get a full understanding of the procedure, to understand each variation, and to determine which one would be best for you. It is also important that the electrolysis is performed by a certified esthetician to avoid damage and injury, as it requires special training.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal uses a pulse of light to destroy the follicle bulb below the surface of the skin. It is one of the longest lasting options available for long-term hair removal, but as with electrolysis there is a certain amount of build-up that is required in order to deeply disrupt the growth and regrowth of unwanted hair. These laser hair removal appointments should take place over a period of several weeks to achieve the best results. While electrolysis can be used on all hair colors and types, laser techniques are only effective on darkly pigmented hair follicles. You will need a professional evaluation in order to determine whether this treatment would be effective on your color and type of hair. Make sure to book your consultation appointment with an experienced advanced practice esthetician who is fully trained and has experience in laser hair removal equipment and procedures.

Areas of the Body Where Hair Removal is Common

We have hair on different parts of our bodies, but that hair doesn’t all grow the same way or in the same texture. Genetics, diet, lifestyle, and even clothing choices can have an effect on how and where hair grows on our bodies. The hair on your eyebrows is different from the hair on your legs. Some hair is fluffy and fuzzy like peach fuzz. Other hair is course and wiry. Some areas have thick, dense hair. Others have fine, whisky patches of hair. Let’s take a look at some of the most common parts of the body that people want hair removed.


Eyebrows, upper lip, and jawlines are all facial areas that can grow unwanted hair, and it’s different for each person. Each area can have different hair growth patterns and textures, even on the same person. There are also many different preferences on how people prefer to wear their facial hair. Some prefer thick, shaped brows. Others prefer thin or angled eyebrows. Some want the hair on their upper lip completely gone where some might just want it professionally shaped. Your face is a highly visible part of your body and an integral part of your personal style. Find an esthetician who is going to be supportive of your preferences, takes your health and safety seriously, and is fully educated in Esthiology.

Arms and Underarms

The hair on the exterior of your arm is often a different texture and color than the hair that grows in the pit of your arm. Typically, these areas are handled with professional waxing or frequent home shaving maintenance. These options allow for a smooth look to transition from hairy and back again. This means you can change your body hair based on your mood and/or current trends. However, it depends on how your skin and hair handle each method. It also depends on how often you like to change the style of your body hair. Laser and electrolysis are both more permanent options.

Intimate Areas

This hair removal subject is a sensitive one. How people present their most private parts is a highly personal choice. It is also one that needs a lot of consideration because of how sensitive and highly absorbent the skin in that area can be. That is why it is vital that you only seek the services of a qualified esthetician, if you decide you want to remove any of the hair from this area. It is important to get an esthetician’s advice and assistance for any hair removal. It is particularly helpful if you can consult an esthetician you feel comfortable with and who is already familiar with your skin and/or skin challenges.


Waxing and shaving are the most common ways to get rid of the hair on your legs, but they are usually prime candidates for the more elaborate, technical, long term solutions like laser hair removal and electrolysis. The skin on your legs is usually thicker and tougher than other delicate areas, so there are more options available to get rid of your leg hair. Talk over your options with your esthetician. There are quite a few options to choose from, with pros and cons to each.

Did learning about the different types of hair removal including waxing and shaving interest you? If you have a passion for skincare, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

How Do UV Rays Affect the Skin?

College students wearing clothing that protects them from uv rays

Interested in becoming an esthetician? Curious about skin care health and UV rays? Becoming an esthetician is a great way to help others, while learning new techniques and technologies to keep client’s skin healthy. So, what are UV rays, and how do they impact skin health?

What are UV Rays?

The term UV Rays refers to ultraviolet radiation. It is a kind of electromagnetic radiation that occurs naturally through sunlight. This particular kind of radiation is capable of penetrating Earth’s atmosphere and make up approximately 10% of the sun’s total electromagnetic radiation. All UV rays are not created equal, however. There are three different kinds of ultraviolet radiation. There are UVA, UVB, and UVC radiation. The primary differences between the three are their varied wavelengths.

UVC Radiation

These UV rays are the shortest of the three. They are able to reach our planet from the sun but are then absorbed by the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere. They are too short to reach humans or affect our daily lives through our planetary protections.

UVB Radiation

This ray classification has a longer wavelength than UVC and is able to reach and affect human beings. UVB rays are able to radiate through the top layers of skin, also known as the epidermis. This kind of ultraviolet radiation is most prevalent during warmer months at times of day when the sun is out.

UVA Radiation

This kind of radiation has the greatest effect on humans because it has the longest wavelength of the three types. These radiation waves are able to make it through Earth’s atmospheric defenses, through the top layers of skin and into the deeper layers of skin tissue. These layers are more clinically known as the dermis or referred to as subdermal layers. UVA radiation is also strongest when the sun is highest in the sky but is constant year-round. UVA rays are so strong, in fact, that they can penetrate untreated glass.

Where are UV Rays Found?

The sun is without question the primary source of the ultraviolet radiation that we experience in our daily lives. While it is the overwhelming natural source of ultraviolet radiation, it is not the only source that affects us. We have created bulbs and lamps that also emit this kind of radiation. There are even specially designed bulbs able to approximate and concentrate the kind of UVA rays found in natural sunlight. Let’s take a look at some of the unnatural sources of UV rays we expose ourselves to.

Minor Exposures

There are some every day, common sources of ultraviolet radiation that you might not have considered as a source of UV rays. It may not have occurred to you to consider them because typically exposure to these kinds of synthetic lights are often fairly minimal, and the amount of radiation is usually pretty low. Still, it is good to know what kinds of lights can give you a prolonged exposure over a long period of time. For example, mercury vapor lighting, the kind commonly used in stadiums and school gyms, give off UV rays. Certain types of halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights are also slight sources. Even some types of lasers emit ultraviolet radiation. So, whether it is a sunny day or a well-lit sports event, it is good to have skin protection in mind.

Concentrated Exposure

While most manufactured UV exposure is minor, we have developed bulb technology that purposefully concentrates UVA radiation. Concentrated ultraviolet bulbs are found in either tanning lamps or tanning beds. These lamps and beds are primarily used to deepen or darken the shade of a person’s skin through a timed and controlled exposure to highly concentrated UV rays. Tanning beds, also referred to as sun beds, use this UV light to stimulating melanin production, which darkens the skin.

How Do UV Rays Affect Your Skin?

Ultraviolet radiation waves are able to do significant damage to your body if you aren’t careful. Prolonged exposure to these intense rays can compromise the appearance and integrity of your skin. It can even mutate the genetic code of your skin to cause skin cancers, depending on the intensity of the rays and the amount of time spent in them. UV rays can also damage your eyesight and cause painful, uncomfortable burns on your skin.

Effects of Different Types of UV Rays

UVC radiation is the only type rendered inconsequential on humans thanks to our crucially important ozone. However, UVB and UVA rays are not blocked by our planetary atmosphere, so both have an impact on us. There is a key difference in the effects of UVB and UVA exposure, and that is their intensity.

While both classifications of radiation can cause many of the same effects, the more severe damage is done by UVA rays because of their ability to more deeply impact the human body. UVB rays often cause things such as minor eyesight damage, prematurely aging or wrinkling skin, discoloration of the skin, and sunburns. UVA rays are usually responsible for things like severe sight impairment and melanomas, while also causing things like painful burns and elasticity damage.

Tanning and UV Rays

The tanning effect of this radiation can also produce some extreme consequences. Your skin is able to repair some of the damage done by ultraviolet radiation, but it can only repair up to a certain point. The more frequently and consistently you are exposed to UV rays the less your body will be able to defend against the damage being done by them.

Which is Better, Sunlight or a Tanning Bed?

It should be noted that both options carry the cosmetic and health risks that are associated with ultraviolet radiation because they are both significant sources of it. However, you also have to consider that with a man-made UV bulb the exposure is more highly concentrated than casual exposure to natural sunlight. Essentially what the ultimate risk factor boils down to is a matter of time. Deciding what the least dangerous option is comes down to balancing act between how time is spent in exposure, and the UVA concentration from each source. What you really need to know is that while synthetic tanning often carries greater risks, both options can be potentially harmful to the health of your skin.

What are Some Ways to Help Avoid the Harmful Dangers UV Rays?

Now that you have a better understanding of what UV rays are, you may be wondering how you can best protect your beautiful skin from this damaging radiation. It should be noted that UV exposure, UVA in particular, affects all races and skin tones regardless of whether you are trying to tan or not. Here are some of the ways you can help protect yourself without locking yourself inside 24/7.

Give Up the Tanning, Not the Tan

Do you want that golden, skin tone without the wrinkles and the risks? Do you enjoy the ritual or social aspects of regularly visiting a tanning salon, but don’t want the consequences of the tanning process? Luckily, there are options. If you are someone who wants their skin to glow you may want to consider a self-tanning spray, foam, or cream that you can apply in the privacy of your own home at any time, day or night. There are a lot of tanning product options to choose from and it might be a bit overwhelming at first glance. So, it is important that you make sure to consult a trained skincare professional such as an esthetician, cosmetologist, or dermatologist, to find a product that is safe and effective. If actually going to the tanning salon is part of the appeal, you will be happy to know that many tanning salons offer precision airbrush tanning that gives you the sunny color you want without the damage. Call your esthetician for recommendations or to book an appointment.

Full Spectrum Sunblock

Being out in the sun can help boost your mood and connect you to nature and your community. Living your life in a full and healthy way means getting outside every once in a while. But when you go out to enjoy the day you are exposing yourself to the harmful effects of UV rays. Since you can’t hide your skin from the sun’s radiation it is important that you help protect it by wearing a full spectrum sunblock with a high sun protection factor, or SPF. Be thorough and generous when you are applying your sunscreen and if you have any questions, consulting an esthetician will get you headed in the right direction. You will also want to choose a lip moisturizer that has sun blocking power.

Clothing Barriers

Clothing barriers such as long sleeves, skirts, long pants, sun hats, and sunglasses can all help protect your body from UV damage by adding a literal layer between you and sun’s dangerous rays. While clothing cannot fully protect you from all of potential sun related threats, or cover 100% of your skin, it at the very least helps minimize the effects and decreases the likelihood of burns and eyesight impairment when you are out in the blazing sun. Some clothing is specifically designed to increase its UV ray protection, and these garments are great choices when facing long periods of exposure. These are especially important if you reside in a desert climate.


Umbrellas are useful for more than just keeping you dry on rainy days. They can also provide a shield against the sun in any season or type of weather. Even on particularly sunny days you can’t always plan what you wear around the weather. That is why it’s important that you come prepared to defend against ultraviolet radiation no matter what the day has in store. Carrying around a small collapsible umbrella in your bag or keeping one in your car will ensure that you are prepared to create your very own sunshade regardless of when or where you happen to find yourself outside.

Structure Shade

Outdoor events and get-togethers are opportunities to spend time with the people you care about while doing the things you love. It is also a real source of sun exposure for most, particularly during the warm and hot months of the year. Awnings, table covers, cabanas, and other outdoor structures that provide roof shading will help you and your loved ones keep the backyard and outdoor fun while also helping you stay clear of sun damage. It is worth considering how to increase the available shade at you next outdoor event.

Plan Your Adventures

Cutting sunlight out of your life is unrealistic. Avoiding the sun altogether is not a healthy plan of action to combat UV damage. However, you can help manage the risks you do take by taking the time of day into account and considering the position of the sun. If you like to exercise outdoors perhaps choose a time early in the morning or in the early evening when the sun is not directly over you. If you are someone who likes going out and being social, you may want to look for the nightlife in your area instead of relying on outdoor, daytime activities. No one will restructure their life to avoid sunlight, but remembering other options and changing up your plans is realistic.

Final Thoughts

UV rays occur both naturally and artificially. There are some sources that can be avoided, but ultraviolet radiation is not something that can be fully avoided by any of us. No matter where it comes from this kind of radiation can have caustic effects on both the health and appearance of your skin if the exposure happens often or for long periods of time. Prioritizing your skin health by taking the necessary precautions against UV damage will help give your skin the support it needs to repair the incidental damages that may be done while you’re out living your life.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about how UV rays affect the skin interest you? If you have a passion for skincare, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.