How Do I Become a Skin Care Specialist?

Skin care specialist working with a client

Did you know that skin is our body’s largest organ? It’s no wonder why skin care specialists are in such high demand. If you are interested in helping clients improve their skin health, then becoming a skin care specialist may be the right career path for you.

What Do Skin Care Specialists Do?

Licensed estheticians or skin care specialists primarily focus on skin cleaning, hair removal and cosmetic solutions. They help their clients to get the best results using safe, science-backed products and technologies.

Frustrated by “drugstore” skin care products, clients turn to certified estheticians for professional-level treatments. Many people are surprised to discover just how many different services skin care specialists can offer. While the specific functions you can perform may vary based on local and state regulations, these are the services that can be performed by licensed professionals:

  • Facials and exfoliation treatments
  • Facial masks
  • Blackhead extractions
  • Topical acne treatments
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Superficial chemical peels
  • Body wraps
  • Waxing
  • Hair removal
  • Makeup application
  • Airbrush makeup
  • Eyelash extensions
  • Brow services

Are you interested in becoming a skin care specialist? It’s important to become familiar with the path to being a certified esthetician capable of helping people to correct skin issues, explore the latest treatments and enjoy long-lasting solutions for hair removal. So, how do you become a skin care specialist?

How Do I Become a Skin Care Specialist?

That passion for skin care and beauty that drives you to obsess over product labels, create online tutorials or try every new product that hits the market on your own skin today, can propel you to a satisfying career tomorrow. First, you must channel your natural aptitude for beauty into an educational path. This means finding a local vocational or training school that offers an Esthiology program.

Once you graduate from this program, you’ll be required to pass an esthetician license exam. This is what allows you to legally work as a paid esthetician. Keep in mind that reputable salons and spas won’t be able to hire you unless you’re licensed. One of the most exciting aspects of becoming a skin care specialist is that you can work in a wide variety of settings. Here’s a look at just some of the places where you can work as a professional esthetician:

  • Medical spas
  • Resorts
  • Salons
  • Hair-removal boutiques

You can also consider working for yourself once you have your certification. This is a field where you can use the power of social media to show off your skills, network and build a client base. Many licensed skin care specialists who go the independent route, market themselves as skin wellness experts. Some even make careers out of offering online consultations to people looking for tailored skin advice.

Also, you have many exciting settings to consider working in. Unlike most careers, it’s perfectly normal to work at a sunny resort near the beach when you’re a trained, licensed esthetician. You can also decide to take your talents on the road by offering beauty services for things like weddings, proms, and social events in your local community. Additionally, skin care specialists are often employed in the media world. A job as a “celebrity” esthetician can include providing makeup, skin support and hair removal for photo shoots, movie sets and red-carpet events. Alternatively, if you choose to work close to home at a clinic or spa, you can enjoy predictable hours. Once you graduate and get licensed, the sky’s the limit.

What Will I Learn in an Esthiology Program?

Esthiology is a mix of science and art. First, you’ll learn all about skin chemistry. This is what helps you to understand why the epidermis needs to be nourished. While getting an esthiology degree takes just a fraction of the time of becoming an actual board-certified doctor, you’ll still be equipped to help people solve many of their skin issues by helping them to find the right skin products.

Diseases and Disorders

Esthiology programs devote time to dermatological diseases and disorders. As a result, most skin care specialists can spot telltale signs of common skin diseases. While skin care specialists can’t treat all skin issues due to regulations, they can offer cosmetic and topical treatments for common dermatological diseases like acne, eczema, and rosacea. Keep in mind that a skin care specialist cannot offer a diagnosis for a dermatological disease or disorder. In this industry, the norm is something called “prescriptive retailing.” This means that you’re simply suggesting non-prescription products to clients to help improve their skin.

Anatomy, Physiology and Histology

You’ll also be trained in anatomy, physiology, and histology to know how skin will react to certain ingredients and stimulants. As a skin care specialist, you understand how different ingredients react with the skin to treat common issues like dryness, oiliness, and breakouts. While making sense of product labels is one of the most frustrating aspects of finding the right beauty products, skin care specialists understand product technology. This enables you to help clients make sense of what ingredients are, what they are formulated to do and how they may interact with the client’s skin.

Building Rapport

Of course, part of completing your program is gaining an understanding about how the beauty industry works. It’s important for skin care specialists to know how to have good rapport with their clients. If you’re planning to build your own client list as an independent skin care specialist, coming across as a professional is important for instilling confidence in the people that trust you with their skin. If you’ll be representing a spa or clinic, it’s also important to understand the norms of this industry to ensure that you’re making a positive impression on clients. While the emphasis is on skin in this field, the reality is that being a skin care specialist is a person-oriented, service-oriented career role. It’s important to balance the personal with the technical.

Good Chairside Manner

Having a good “chairside” manner is essential for successful skin care specialist. In many cases, clients are feeling frustrated and discouraged by embarrassing skin issues when they visit skin care specialists. They may have tried countless drugstore products with poor results before finally booking an appointment to get professional help. In addition, many people seek esthetic services for hair removal. This is an area where the skin care specialist must be sensitive to the needs of the client.

Client Interaction

Another aspect of learning the “business side” of skin care is simply learning about the day-to-day tasks that need to be managed in a spa or clinic setting. Hygiene and safety are two very important aspects of running a successful business. In your training program, you’ll learn proper techniques for encountering a client’s skin, disposing of used materials and tools, handling chemicals properly and reducing risks. This becomes especially important when administering treatments like chemical peels, facial waxing, and eyelash extensions. Here’s a look at some of the duties a skin care specialist might perform in a typical day:

  • Greeting clients
  • Setting up client appointments
  • Maintaining records detailing the services provided for each client
  • Recommending or selling products
  • Sanitizing and sterilizing workstations

If you work for a branded salon, the emphasis may be on becoming an expert at using certain products. You may also become something of a product evangelist for the brand that you’ve decided to align with. That means showcasing the benefits of the products at your salon by showing clients how to use them on their skin.

How Long Does an Esthiology Program Take?

 You may be wondering how long it takes to go from wanting to be a professional skin care specialist to actually working as a professional esthetician. While the training for this career is intensive, it doesn’t require a long-term commitment. If you decide to enroll in a full-time Esthiology program, you can expect to get your diploma in as little as five months.

Once you’ve graduated from an esthetician training program, it’s time to apply to sit for your state board licensing exam. This is a comprehensive test covering everything that you learned during your training. You’ll need to submit proof that you completed your degree program before you’ll be permitted to register for your state board licensing exam. Finally, it will be time to take the exam. Once you pass your exam, you’re officially ready to work as a professional skin care specialist in any type of setting you choose. If you should fall in love with a specialty once you begin your career, there are many opportunities for continuing education in this field that will allow you to study skills and techniques related to specific beauty treatments like lash application, waxing and chemical peels.

Final Thoughts

Helping people love their skin is all in a day’s work for a licensed esthetician. Entering this field ensures that you can channel a natural passion for skin and beauty into a highly technical, in-demand career. The reason why so many people are eager to pay skin care specialist to help them figure out how to achieve the healthy, resilient skin they want is because the science of skin care is complex. For this reason, future estheticians devote hundreds of hours to learning the biology, chemistry, and technical aspects behind safely applying cosmetic treatments to produce the best results. Training programs that develop tomorrow’s skin experts are paced to help you go from a beginner to an expert as long as you bring the commitment and dedication needed to succeed.

Ready to gain the training you need to be a successful skin care specialist? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC). Our Esthiology Diploma Program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field. Through MSC’s esthetician training courses, you will gain a solid foundation in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the skin so you can provide individualized care for each of your customers based on their skin type, conditions, and concerns. 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.

What Training Does an Esthetician Need?

Esthetician standing in front of skin care products

Interested in becoming an esthetician? Wondering what training you need to start working in this field? In the state of Minnesota, an esthetician must be licensed by the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners. Estheticians must complete a minimum of 600 hours of training in skin care and Esthiology to apply for an esthetician license in Minnesota. This 600 hours of training is completed at a cosmetology school.

What Training Does an Esthetician Need?

To become an esthetician in the state of Minnesota, you must complete an esthetician program at a local cosmetology or vocational school. This formal education allows you to learn everything about skin care and esthetics, starting a new career, while helping clients keep their skin healthy and combating any skin disorders.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Licensed Esthetician?

A typical esthetician program can be completed in as little as 5 months, for those that are committed to attend full time.  These programs offer a complete education on skin care without all the electives and extra courses you may find at a traditional 4-year college. Once you complete the esthetician program, you will be able to sit for the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners esthetician license exam. Not sure if you will be ready to take the exam? Well, the good news about completing an esthetician program, is the curriculum teaches to the test. Meaning, you will learn everything you need to know to not only start working from day one, but you will be prepared to take the licensing exam with confidence.

What is Taught in an Esthetician Program?

During an esthetician program, you receive a complete education on skin care, cosmetics and the fundamentals of dermatology, anatomy, and physiology. Further, you will learn about skin analysis and understand the symptoms of skin disorders.

Client Assessment

During an esthetician program, you will learn how to assess a client’s skin health and come up with a skin care treatment plan. The most important part of any esthetician appointment is the initial assessment. To help the client manage skin health you must understand the client’s health history, allergies, and the specific goals that they want to accomplish with their skin care. Take the time to ask open ended questions that allow the client to talk about themselves and share information that can help you better prepare a skin care treatment plan for them.

Each additional appointment should also start with an assessment to understand how the treatment plan is working and whether changes to the plan are necessary. A client may not be responding to a specific technique and further assessment needs to be completed to offer them the best skin care possible.

Client Protection

The protection of the client is your most important responsibility. Are they allergic to certain substances? Do you sterilize all the equipment that you use in between clients? Making sure the work area is sanitized and all instruments are sterilized is crucial to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses and to protect the client properly.

During an appointment, you may use draping to keep the client’s clothes from getting oxidated. You should also wear gloves to stop the transfer of bacteria while touching the client’s skin and face. You must also know how the client’s skin will react to different skin care products so that they do not have any adverse reactions to the treatment. Knowing what is in the skin care products you use, and the possible side effects of skin care products is vital to keeping the client safe during treatment.

Cleansing the Face

As an esthetician, you will use different skin care products and facial masks to help cleanse the client’s face. During an esthetician program, you will learn about the structure and function of skin. Skin is the largest organ in the human body and can come in different skin types. Understanding whether a client has oily, dry or combination skin will help you make the right choice of the skin care products that you use. During an esthetician program, you will also learn the proper technique and tools used to cleanse a client’s face. Whether it is creams, facial masks, or lotions, you will have a whole arsenal of products and tools at your disposal to help the client take care of their skin.

Massaging the Face

Part of the technique that you will learn during an esthetician program is how to massage the client’s face while it is being cleansed. Light massage can help open pores on the face allowing these pores to absorb skin care lotions and creams that will moisturize and remove oils and other debris. Massage also helps to circulate blood flow in the face, remove toxins and restore a natural glow to the client’s face.

Hair Removal

There are numerous ways to remove hair from the human body and you will learn the many techniques during an esthetician program. From shaving, waxing, and plucking to laser treatment, hair removal creams, and electrolysis. Different types of skin and how permanent the hair removal will be helps shape the decisions you make for a client’s hair removal treatment. Do they want a pain free technique? What part of the body is the hair being removed from? Are they looking for long-lasting hair removal? Depending on the answers to these questions, you can create a plan to remove the hair from your client’s body.


There are many different facial techniques that you will learn about in an esthetician program. From a classic facial that cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes to Microdermabrasion and chemical peels, there are a variety of facials that a client may consider and that you will decide to use based on the client’s skin assessment. Some of the techniques that you will learn during the esthetician program include cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, extracting, administering a facial mask, treating skin issues, moisturizing, and finally massaging the face. Each step in the facial process helps to create healthy and glowing skin.

Makeup Application

Another important skill that you will learn during an esthetician program is how to properly apply makeup. You will learn the different types of makeup and how they all work together to enhance the client’s beauty. You will also learn the proper technique to remove makeup so the client can keep their skin healthy. Removing makeup can help the skin breath and allow the skin to restore its natural balance while the client sleeps.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know you want to become an esthetician, it is time to enroll in an esthetician program. If you attend full time, you can be out of the classroom and taking your license exam in as little as 5 months. If you have 5 months to commit to becoming an esthetician, you can start a rewarding career and help others in the process. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Ready to gain the training you need to be a successful esthetician? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field. Through MSC’s esthetician training courses, you will gain a solid foundation in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the skin so you can provide individualized care for each of your customers based on their skin type, conditions and concerns. 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.

What are the Benefits of Beauty and Wellness?

4 women who understand the benefits of beauty and wellness

Beauty begins from within. It’s a reflection of good health. As an esthetician, you will understand how wellness affects personal appearance and how beauty enhances wellness, counseling clients on how to look their best by taking care of themselves inside and out.

Beauty, Wellness and Skin Care

Beauty, wellness and skin care are inseparable. Skin is our largest organ, protecting us from the environment. It’s vulnerable to damage from both internal and external forces.

Taking care of your skin helps keep you healthy contributes to overall wellness. It’s a win-win you can promote by recommending treatments and lifestyle changes, including:

Sun Protection

Among the many causes of skin damage, sun exposure is the most common and the easiest to prevent. Avoiding the outdoors during peak sun isn’t always possible, but wearing sunscreen and protective clothing block the majority of harmful rays.

If reapplying sunscreen is impractical on the job, or clients think they’ll forget, wearing sun protection clothing is an effective alternative. The latest styles are breathable, fashionable and can block most UV rays. Add a wide-brimmed hat to protect facial skin, eyes and hair from damage.

As an esthetician, you should counsel clients to use sun protection year-round, rain or shine since some UV light penetrates clouds. Many cosmetics, including lipsticks and foundation, now have added sunscreen for convenience.

Proper Nutrition

Sound nutrition is the bedrock of radiant skin. No topical product can reverse aging but eating right can delay its effects. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables with antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E supports a radiant complexion by combating free radicals, organic molecules associated with inflammation.

Fats in the diet are also crucial, the body can’t build cell walls without them. Skin gets a healthy glow from the Omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in olives and avocados. They also block a chemical that contributes to skin cancer. The right balance of nutrients helps fight premature aging.


Moisturizers hydrate the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. Better formulas contain humectants, ingredients that attract moisture, plus emollients that smooth rough skin cells for a softer, smoother appearance. Products enhanced with vitamins C and E help fight free radicals at the surface level. With proper nutrition, it’s a one-two punch.

Make-Up Removal at Bedtime

After a long day, taking off make-up is a hassle. It’s easier to wash your pillowcase in the morning than cleanse your face when you’re exhausted. But skin needs a break from even the healthiest products, pores need to breathe to rid themselves of toxins.

Leaving make-up on overnight suffocates cells, interrupting natural exfoliation and impeding collagen production. Clients should be advised to never let it be a habit.

Stress Reduction

Stress worsens a wide range of skin conditions from acne to dryness. Over time, it causes inflammation and impairs cellular regeneration. Stress can increase cortisol levels, prompting the body to overproduce skin oil that can clog pores and cause breakouts.

As an esthetician, you can help clients manage stress both through lifestyle counseling and by suggesting treatments that enhance the skin and promote relaxation.

Regular Facials

Regular facials have lasting benefits for the body and mind. Using steam, facials cleanse the skin while minimizing the look of scars and blemishes. Pores are detoxified of toxic substances, leaving a fresh slate for moisturizers and make-up. It’s an easy way for clients to get the pampering they deserve. It’s a rejuvenating experience.

Smoking Cessation

The chemicals in cigarette smoke cause blood vessels to constrict, hampering the delivery of essential nutrients to the skin. The resulting loss of elasticity gives skin a leathery look. Most smokers develop yellow discolorations around the mouth and heavy wrinkling as they age. Worse, blemishes are slower to heal, and they have a significantly higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the lips.

Choosing the Right Skincare Products

Using the wrong skincare products can be a disaster, especially for clients with sensitive skin. With hundreds of over-the-counter cleansers and moisturizers to choose from, many can do more harm than good.

Few clients understand which ingredients will improve their complexion and which to avoid. Selecting make-up is also tricky without understanding its effects on skin tone and texture. You can counsel clients on the best products for home use, so they get a picture-perfect look every time.

What Are the Benefits of Beauty and Wellness for the Skin?

When you look and feel good, it shows. Beauty treatments improve clients’ health and wellness with these benefits:

Benefit #1: A Healthier Body

Our skin protects us from environmental dangers. It shields us from UV light and protects us from disease-causing pathogens. Protecting the epidermis is critical because cuts and rashes can allow bacteria to enter the body and cause illness. Proper skin care keeps us healthier from the outside in.

Benefit #2: Clearer Skin

Clean skin glows. Treatments like facials pull toxins from pores, minimizing their appearance while clearing blackheads and whiteheads. Anti-aging treatments work better when they can penetrate the skin, so removing oil and dead skin cells boost their effects. It’s a refreshing feeling.

Benefit #3: Lower Risk of Skin Cancer

It is thought that one in five Americans may get skin cancer before age 70. Most types are treatable, however many die from melanoma, and millions suffer facial scarring where lesions are removed. Sunscreen and sun-protective clothing are the best defense against the sun, decreasing the incidence of skin cancer by blocking most UV rays. They’re crucial health and safety measures affecting both beauty and wellness.

Benefit #4: A More Youthful Appearance

Nothing can prevent aging, but healthy lifestyle habits and regular skin care diminish the signs. Recommend to your clients to get an early start with sunscreen. Anti-aging moisturizers reduce fine lines and treat the eventual wrinkles. Topical serums lighten age spots by exfoliating the skin.

Benefit #5: Better-managed Skin Disorders

As an esthetician, you don’t treat medical skin disorders, but you can help manage the symptoms. Clients who live with conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis need the advantages regular skin care offers. Treatments that target inflammation soothe redness and control breakouts.

Benefit #6: Greater Self-confidence

How we look affects our self-confidence. Whether it’s camouflaging blotchy skin or smoothing out wrinkles, you can help clients feel better about themselves by minimizing flaws in their complexion. With beautiful skin, they can take on the world.

Benefit #7: Comfort

Sun, rain, wind and cold exposure can leave skin feeling dry and itchy. Beauty care helps protect it from the elements, so it’s less vulnerable to irritation. Moisturizers soothe symptoms of dryness, and skin looks less flaky, making your clients more comfortable in their own skin.

Getting Clients on Board

The wellness benefits of beauty care are real, but too many clients still think they’re a luxury. It’s your role to explain the advantages of skin care and recommend services that have tangible value. Explaining these concepts will help get clients on board:

The Importance of Early Care

Skin changes over time. As we get older, it thins, and cell renewal slows. Sun damage and environmental pollution take their toll, affecting skin’s texture and elasticity.

Collagen production decreases with age, causing fine lines first and then the deep wrinkles for which clients often seek treatment. But late-stage symptoms are challenging to reverse. The key to maintaining a youthful appearance is routine preventive care.

Why Maintenance Matters

The benefits of a single beauty treatment are limited. However, treatments build on each other, each supporting the last and creating the foundation for the next. As a professional esthetician, you should educate your clients about the importance of maintaining healthy skin, explaining how it keeps them looking their best while contributing to their long-term goals.

It’s a Team Effort

It’s the balance of lipids and moisture in the skin that determines its quality. A healthy lifestyle can make it better or worse, but its basic characteristics are genetically determined. Your job is to help clients make the most of it.

Everyone wants to look their best, but esthetics isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Few people are born knowing how to enhance their appearance, it’s a skill they have to learn, and you are the perfect educators.

You can put your training and experience to work on your clients’ behalf, you’re an ideal wellness advocate. You should reach out to clients, letting them know that they’re never alone. Beauty and wellness are a team effort.

Final Thoughts

There’s more than a casual relationship between health and esthetics, it’s more than skin deep. Beauty and wellness are one and the same, a work in progress that always has room for improvement. But it’s a lifelong journey you can take with your clients together.

Did learning about the benefits of beauty and wellness interest you? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field. Through MSC’s esthetician training courses, you will gain a solid foundation in the anatomy, physiology and chemistry of the skin so you can provide individualized care for each of your customers based on their skin type, conditions and concerns. 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.

10 Skills of a Successful Esthetician

esthetician helping a client

Do you have an interest in beauty and wellness? Have 5 months to work full-time toward a diploma in Esthiology? If you have the passion for beauty and the drive to help others look beautiful inside and out, then becoming an esthetician may be the right career path for you. There are several skills that you will master during a Esthiology diploma program that will set you up for success when you start your career as an esthetician.

10 Skills of a Successful Esthetician

There are many skills that help an esthetician become successful. From empathizing with customers to good people skills, the ability to communicate with different types of people and a strong sense of attention to detail. Having this set of skills will ensure that the esthetician creates loyal customers, is the go-to for skin care and everyone’s favorite coworker.

Skill #1: Empathy

Those estheticians that understand the emotions of others are more effective in engaging with customers, coworkers and the public. They draw people in and can talk to complete strangers to find common ground even for those outside their social circle. This comes in handy because estheticians work with many different people with all types of backgrounds. The ability to find conversation topics with any customer is an important skill for an esthetician to build a clientele.

Skill #2: Customer Service

In business, the bottom line is important, and customers heavily influence a business’s bottom line. However, offering good customer service is just the start. It takes more than a clean and inviting atmosphere, a smile and a listening ear. Good customer service can anticipate what the customer wants, before they even know they want it.

Part of an esthetician’s job is to assess a customer’s skin and recommend products and services that will enhance their look and confidence. The customer looks to the esthetician as a skin care expert and wants them to advise on a proper skin care regimen. With good customer service, an esthetician can increase customer loyalty. Why is this important? Because retaining customers is often more cost effective than trying to obtain new customers. With good customer service, an esthetician can create loyal followers.

Skill #3: People Skills

An esthetician works with people as a function of their job. Whether it is customers, coworkers, vendors or managers, an esthetician must be a people person and have the knack to interact with others. An esthetician must draw people to them, offer an approachable demeanor and build trust throughout their interactions.

Skill #4: Communication

In order to offer good customer service, a people person must be able to communicate exceptionally well, being clear and concise so that no errors occur. A successful esthetician can also communicate with different types of customers. Some customers will be open to new options, others will disagree with anything that is suggested. Customers may come to the esthetician having had a bad experience and not trust the process. As a good communicator, an esthetician must recognize what communicate style is needed in order to provide the customer with the best service.

Part of communication in an esthetician practice is the communication they have with customers through advertising. Whether it is a social media post, blog article, video, brochure or letter announcing an important milestone, the esthetician must understand the needs of the customer and properly communicate them to entice the customer to become loyal and pass on the positive experience they had through word-of-mouth. The best advertising for any business is the positive testimonials that a friend or family member can offer to someone they know.

Skill #5: Attention to Detail

A customer may come to an esthetician not knowing about the severity of a skin condition and it is up to the esthetician to ask the right questions and assess the customer with attention to detail and in an organized manner to identify those severe conditions before they become a serious problem. Whether it is a discolored skin spot or dry patches, an esthetician with attention to detail can find even the most minute skin issue and bring it to the customer’s attention.

Skill #6: Organization

A successful esthetician will have a checklist for customer skin assessments. Everything will be in order and every question asked. Nothing is left to chance or inspiration. Organization is key to offering a consistent appointment every time customers come for skin care advice.

An organized workspace also means that the esthetician is not stumbling around looking for something or sitting behind a stack of samples sitting on their desk. A clutter-free work area shows a customer that the esthetician is in control and ready to help.

Skill #7: Problem Solving

Customers turn to an esthetician with a skin problem, and it is their role to find the proper solution to the problem. Whether a customer has acute acne or dry skin, the esthetician must assess the problem, weigh all the risks and come up with a solution that best helps their customer.

A good problem solver will be able to discover an answer to a problem with concrete facts and actual data rather than a hunch or assumption. They focus on finding the right solution, are open to new ideas, look for opportunities within the problem, have a clear understanding of the problem, can identify the many options available, and come to a solution that is beneficial for all parties involved.

Skill #8: Time Management

A successful esthetician can manage their time wisely, prioritize what is most important to be completed first, and respect others time more than their own. For an esthetician to have good time management, it is important for them to keep appointments and not let customers sit in the waiting room passed their scheduled time. Letting a customer wait means that the esthetician does not respect their time and that they are more important than the customer. The ability to keep an accurate and timely schedule is important and sometimes that means wrapping up with a customer so the esthetician can move to the next appointment scheduled. A customer left waiting for too long has the potential to leave before the appointment or not schedule a follow-up.

Skill #9: Patience

It is too easy to hurry through an assessment of a customer’s skin, come to a quick conclusion or gloss over some important information in the moment. With patience, an esthetician can be thorough, complete and exhaustive in their assessment of a customer’s skin. It is important to be patient with customers and take the time to identify any problems to come to the right solution, so the customer gets the best possible service, keeping healthy skin in the process.

Skill #10: Business Savvy

Part of being an esthetician is running a business, doing light bookkeeping and performing customer marketing services. An esthetician that wants to start their own business will need a business license, zoning permits, bank loans, advertising budget and QuickBooks skills to succeed. Fortunately, an esthetician program at a vocational school will start graduates off with a cursory knowledge of how to run a small business and the procedures needed to succeed.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t have all the skills to be a successful esthetician, the good news is that you can learn much of what you need to know in a Esthiology program at a vocational school. Every journey starts with the first step. If you have 5 months to learn everything you need to know about Esthiology, then it may be time to take the first step toward a rewarding career as an esthetician.

Ready to gain the skills you need to be a successful esthetician? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field. Through MSC’s esthetician training courses, you will gain a solid foundation in the anatomy, physiology and chemistry of the skin so you can provide individualized care for each of your customers based on their skin type, conditions and concerns. 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.

What is the Importance of Knowing the Functions of the Skin?

Three women with health skin smiling

Are you interested in becoming an esthetician but not sure why functions of the skin are so important? This is because our body’s largest organ is the skin. It serves more than one function and is essential for shielding the body from trauma, regulating the body’s temperature, synthesizing vitamin D, and providing the proper balance between electrolytes and water. Your client’s skin also senses stimuli that generate painful or pleasurable responses in their body. If this is all new to you, don’t worry, you will learn the function of the skin during an esthetician program at your local cosmetology school.

Skin and Its Function

The body’s skin also serves the function of keeping necessary nutrients and chemicals in the body while providing a shield so that certain toxic substances can’t enter the body. Without skin, our bodies would have no protection from the ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. The texture, folds, and color of the skin also help establish individuality in the world. Any substances or conditions that interfere with the body’s skin function can lead to a change in appearance or have serious consequences on a person’s mental and physical well-being.

Many issues that are evident on the skin are only limited to the skin’s surface. However, the skin can show symptoms that indicate a problem that is present within the body. As an esthetician, you will have to consider several possible conditions when assessing your client’s skin.

The Skin’s Layers

Now that you know the function of the skin, it is time to get technical. The three layers of the skin are the epidermis, dermis, and the subcutaneous layer. Every layer performs a different role. Under the surface of the skin, we find the nerves and nerve endings, hair follicles, glands, and blood vessels.

The epidermis is the skin’s tough, thin outer layer. The majority of the cells in the epidermis are keratinocytes which originate from cells in the basal layer, or the deepest level of the epidermis. The new keratinocytes slowly move up toward the epidermis surface where they shed and are replaced with new skin cells.

The stratum corneum is the outer portion of the epidermis and is naturally waterproof. When the stratum corneum is undamaged, it serves as a barrier against viruses, bacteria, and toxic substances. The epidermis, along with the skin’s other layers, shield the nerves, muscles, and blood vessels from damage. For other parts of the body that require extra protection, such as the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, the stratum corneum is especially thick.

Melanocytes are spread through the basal layer. These cells produce melanin which is the pigment that contributes to a person’s skin color. However, the main function of melanin is to filter UV radiation from the sun which can damage human DNA and lead to health conditions such as skin cancer.

Conditions That an Esthetician Will Assess

There are many things that you will be looking for when assessing a client’s skin. Does the client suffer from the effects of aging skin, sun damage, wrinkles, discoloration, acne or other skin disorders that may be serious enough to be seen by a dermatologist?

The Effects of Aging Skin

Nearly everyone wants to find ways to keep their skin from aging. Not only is this a desire that is often rooted in vanity, but there are also health benefits associated with keeping the skin as youthful as possible.

Aging is often evident in the dermis and epidermis. The underlying layer of fat can be lost as a person ages, which leads to hollow or sagging skin. Aging can lead to a loss of volume and elasticity and the skin naturally becomes dryer with age, making it easier for wrinkles to form. Some people also begin to lose sensation since there are less nerve endings in the skin as the body ages.

With age, the number of blood vessels and sweat glands a person has decreases, which means they may not always respond to heat exposure immediately. This may seem like a good thing, but if a person builds up a tolerance for staying outdoors for long periods of time without protecting the skin, the chances of skin cancer are higher. The body doesn’t produce as many melanocytes as a person gets older which means there is less protection against ultraviolet radiation. These significant changes make it easier to determine skin issues.

Sun Damage

Sun damage is accountable for most of the skin issues people undergo as they age. If your client is exposed to free radicals and UV rays without protection for years or even months at a time, there is a greater chance that they will experience fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, red or brown spots, and rough texture. The easiest way to reduce the effects of the sun is to wear suntan lotion, cover up with clothes or wear a hat.


Wrinkles are a product of age and are usually unavoidable. However, as an esthetician, you can help your clients reduce the signs of aging on their skin by treating wrinkles, circles around the eyes and discolorations. Why does our skin wrinkle? As we age our skin cells divide slower and slower. This causes the dermis to thin. The function of the dermis is to offer elastin and collagen fibers to support our skin. As we age, the dermis loses its primary function, and the result is wrinkles. To prevent wrinkles, have your clients protect their skin from the sun. They can also moisturize their face, drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and eat food rich in vitamins.


Sunspots, age spots, sunburns, and rashes can cause discoloration of the skin. Depending on the symptoms, it is important to identify the cause of the discoloration and take the steps to reduce the damage.


Acne is common in teenagers and occurs when a hair follicle becomes plugged with oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. There are many creams and cleansers that can help. However, as an esthetician, you can advise your clients on a proper skincare regimen to treat these bumps.

Skin Disorders

Some of the skin disorders that you will see on your client’s skin include eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, ichthyosis, vitiligo and hives. Minor skin disorders can be treated by an esthetician, however if you find that the client has pain, puss or another issue with their skin disorder, it is important for them to see a dermatologist.

Final Thoughts

To ensure a client’s complexion and all the skin on their body remains intact, remind them to moisturize daily. The moisturizer should contain antioxidants such as vitamins E and C to even tone and protect against free radicals. They should drink plenty of water as well since moisture improves elasticity and can flush toxins from the body which can prevent fine lines.

When you know how the skin functions, you’ll be better able to care for your client’s skin and prevent or lower the risk of certain conditions. Healthy skin is not only a sign of overall health, but it can also give your client the confidence they need to look and feel their best.

Are you ready to help clients take advantage of the skin’s functions? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  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.

Hair Removal Techniques: An Esthetician’s Guide

An esthetician is a specialist whose primary function focuses on the skin and its appearance. Our skin is in direct contact with the world. So, it’s no surprise our skin requires regular maintenance and care. For many, maintaining one’s skin includes hair removal. A well-rounded esthetician’s know-how encompasses hair removal techniques to fulfill a client’s skincare needs.

Understanding the Skin and Its Layers

Our skin protects us by helping maintain our body temperature, preventing water loss, and serving as an initial defense against germs, UV light, chemicals, and injury. To understand an esthetician’s job and the hair removal process, you must first possess a knowledge of the three skin layers. The epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.


The epidermis contains five stratum layers called the stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and the stratum basale. Those layers, combined with the dermis and hypodermis layers, are referred to as the skin’s seven layers. However, in other content, the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis are referred as the skin’s three main layers. Regardless, the epidermis is the outermost visible layer of our skin, mainly containing flat, scale-like cells, called squamous cells. For this content, we’ll describe it as one of three skin layers.


The dermis is the skin layer that houses the blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, fibrous/elastic tissue, and glands. These glands are responsible for sweat production, regulating body temperature, and accountable for sebum production. Take a special note that this is the layer where the hair follicles reside. The dermis contains two layers, the papillary dermis and the reticular dermis.


The hypodermis contains fat, connective tissue, and a collagen cell network. This skin layer serves as an insulator, shock absorber, and an energy reserving fat/nutrient store. The hypodermis’ thickness varies throughout different parts of the body, from person to person and gender to gender. The blood vessels, lymph vessels, fibrous tissue, and glands that run through the dermis layer also travel through the hypodermis. The same hair follicles that traverse the dermis also span the hypodermis.

The Hair Structure

As an esthetician, you will need to understand the hair’s structure to perform a hair removal treatment on a client correctly. The shaft is the portion of the hair’s structure that doesn’t anchor to its follicle and consists of three layers: cortex, cuticle and, in cases, a medulla. Much of the hair’s shaft sits above the skin’s surface. The root, anchored in the follicle below the skin’s surface, contains five separate parts: the follicle, bulb, dermal papilla, arrector pili, and sebaceous glands.

A Brief History of Hair Removal

Now that we have a little understanding of the skin and hair, it’s time for a brief history lesson on the origins of hair removal. Although some methods like depilatories and other techniques came much later, there is nothing new about the act of shaving. The practice of removing female body hair goes back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Some of the first razors, used in Egypt and India around 3000 BCE, were made of copper. Buddhist and Christian monks undergo a form of head-shaving or a technique called tonsure.

Reasons People Remove Body Hair

Outside of societal norms, there are many reasons people remove their body hair. The body hair for surgical patients gets removed around the incision area before surgery. Another reason for some clients is for personal hygiene to prevent body odor. Hair removal also plays a big part in sports like swimming because it’s believed smooth legs allow for slicker, smoother contact with the water, improving a swimmer’s speed. A closely-cropped haircut, entirely shaven head, and clean-shaven face are standard practices in military organizations. Facial growth like beards prevents an air-tight fit between the face and breathing equipment, such as a diver’s mask or gas mask. A tip for estheticians broadening their clientele is when advertising hair removal services, ensure you market to both genders. As we read, both sexes have ample reasons for this treatment for different body parts.

Skills Required for Hair Removal

As with any other salon service, clients come to you with concerns, questions, and falsehood regarding the hair removal process. Possessing the ability to explain the process and the technology involved gives the client confidence in you and the method you use. You’ll also examine your clients’ skin, medical history, lifestyle, diet, exercise, and possible questions about personal hygiene habits, then decide how to proceed accordingly. Estheticians possess the proper knowledge and the know-how to talk comfortably to the client about sometimes embarrassing topics. You may not think fluent communication and speech are a plus for hair removal, but the client does.

Different Hair Removal Methods

There are many techniques to remove hair including waxing, laser, chemical, tweezing, and shaving. Each with their own pros and cons.


Waxing is a popular semi-permanent method of hair removal well-suited for larger areas of unwanted hair. Semi-permanent means the process removes hair for lengthy periods but grows back eventually. As an esthetician, many salons use warm liquid wax that’s applied over the treatment area, followed by a strip of paper. The wax adheres to the paper and the hair shaft. As you pull the paper from the skin, it removes the entire hair structure from the follicle’s point.

  • Pro: A wax removes hair for up to two weeks before regrowth appears.
  • Con: The physical technique of ripping the hair out by the follicle is not an enjoyable sensation. However, A well-trained esthetician knows how to minimize the discomfort.

Electrolysis and Laser

Laser removal is a professional technique that uses ultra-concentrated beams of light to remove unwanted hair. During this method, a laser emits a light absorbed by the hair’s pigment or melanin. The light energy converts to heat, damaging the tube-like sacs within the skin, referred to as hair follicles, responsible for the hair’s production. Although lasering inhibits and delays future growth, it is still not considered entirely permanent.

  • Pro: Laser treatments last longer than many hair removal methods, saving time and money in the long run.
  • Con: Laser treatments possibly result in a permanent pigment darkening or lightening of the treated skin area.

Chemical Depilatories

Typically, chemical depilatories use a combination of alkaline-based products like salt, sodium thioglycolate, calcium thioglycolate, and strontium sulfide as their active hair removal ingredients. These ingredients hydrolyzed or break down the protein bonds, and you utilize a technique to wipe away, rinse off, or otherwise remove the mixture. Chemical depilatories often come in creams, gels, or lotions that penetrate through the follicle but won’t damage the root.

  • Pro: Generally pain-free making a difference for people with low pain tolerance.
  • Con: Chemical depilatories contain a harsh odor, a nightmare for clients with asthma or other breathing difficulties.


Tweezing is the hair removal method where individual hairs get pulled out from the root using a pair of tweezers. Quick and cost-efficient, it’s a method of removing a small precise number of hairs. Tweezing is mainly used for eyebrow shaping, odd strays, and ingrown hairs as it carefully removes those troublesome single hairs. There are numerous different types of tip shapes in tweezers, and each has its purpose. However, the three types commonly used for hair removal are slanted, pointed and combination tweezers.

  • Pro: Tweezing is a quick, convenient, and inexpensive hair removal method best for small areas and single hairs.
  • Con: Hair grows back quicker than with any other except shaving.


Shaving is common, the most widely accessible form of hair removal, though not the best option. This practice removes hair by running a razor across the skin’s surface and as close to the surface as comfortably necessary for a smooth feel. Continuous razor use leads to roughness, an imbalance of moisture, and leaving the skin open to bacteria and infection from abrasions. As an esthetician, you should consider advising your clients against shaving or suggesting decreasing the number of times they shave. Estheticians see clients who shave to maintain hair growth between appointments. Some warn against this because it changes hair texture, disrupts the waxing schedule, dries the skin, and causes roughness, especially from stubble and razor burn.

  • Pro: Shaving is an inexpensive and easy way to maintain body hair.
  • Con: Hair grows back the fastest out of the removal methods, ultimately saving money but costing time.

Although these methods of hair removal are safe and effective, dangers do exist. Some skin types are too sensitive to wax and others may present allergies to the chemical hair removal technique. Ensure you do a thorough consultation and possible patch test before determining which treatment best suits your client. While laser hair removal is safe, there is always a possibility of redness, burns, blistering, discoloration, and scarring. A properly trained, well-rounded esthetician understands all aspects of hair removal, including caution.

Are you ready to help clients with hair removal? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  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.

What is the Importance of Beauty Care?

Woman applying sunscreen to her face for beauty care

Beauty is more than skin deep. It’s a reflection of your physical and emotional well-being. When people are healthy, it shows. Estheticians understand the importance of appearance, and it’s their mission to help clients look and feel their best, inside and out, with beauty care.

What Does an Esthetician Do?

Estheticians are skincare specialists. They help identify non-medical skin disorders and provide topical treatments that enhance clients’ complexions. Popular services include:

Skin Analysis

Everyone is unique, so estheticians learn about their clients’ complexions through skin analysis before making treatment recommendations. The process includes an extensive questionnaire reviewing medical conditions and lifestyle factors that affect appearance, such as sun exposure, smoking and eating habits.

A visual examination with magnifying lamps and devices that measure skin’s characteristics from sebum level to moisture content is revealing. Using their fingers, estheticians then evaluate the surface texture of the skin, searching for subtle irregularities that indicate dryness, irritation or clogged pores.


Facials use steam, exfoliation, serums and masks to cleanse and rejuvenate skin. Gentle massage of the face and neck helps clients relax and encourages a healing blood flow. Facials are customized based on skin analysis, so each is as distinct as the client and serves as a foundation upon which to build a better beauty care regimen.

Cosmetic Application

Estheticians specialize in occasion cosmetics, giving clients the once-in-a-lifetime look they want for a big event. But they can also show them how to make the most of their everyday make-up with professional application techniques and products that complement their skin type. Why not be red carpet-ready every day?

Hair Removal

Estheticians remove unwanted body hair using methods from electrolysis to waxing. Sites include the face, arms, legs, chest, back and bikini zones, and the goal is to extract hair down to the follicle for long-lasting results.

Why is Beauty Care Important?

Looking your best requires a holistic, inside-out approach. Beauty care matters because:

Healthy Skin is Important for Good Health

The skin is our largest organ and a barrier against the environment. It shields us from UV light, keeps us hydrated and protects us from microorganisms. Protecting the outer layer of the skin is essential because breaks, cuts, sores, rashes and irritations, allow bacteria and other harmful substances to get into the body and make us sick. Take good care of your skin, and it will take good care of you.

Looking Good Improves Confidence and Self-Esteem

How you look affects how you feel about your body, we’re our strongest critics. For women, in particular, beauty and self-esteem are closely linked. The most important thing an esthetician does is to give clients pride in their appearance by minimizing flaws, whether it’s a shallow complexion or unwanted facial hair. Even the smallest improvements boost confidence and mood.

Skin Care Makes You More Comfortable.

Skin takes a beating. If you’ve ever tried sleeping with a sunburn, you know that exposure to sun, wind, rain, cold, and pollution can leave you feeling itchy, dry and sore. Beauty care soothes the symptoms of dryness and irritation, nourishing your skin, so it’s less vulnerable to damage, and you feel more comfortable.

Beauty Care is Self-Care

We spend most of our time working and taking care of others. But self-care isn’t a dirty word, and the few minutes we spend daily pampering our skin can be rejuvenating. If you can’t take a vacation, treating yourself to a facial is a relaxing break. Estheticians give clients permission to invest in themselves through a range of beauty care services that have both restorative and practical value.

Making Beauty Care Successful

Clients want to look good for more than special occasions; they want it to last a lifetime. Here’s how an esthetician can make it happen.

Emphasize Early Beauty Care

Skin evolves, and it takes consistent care to keep it healthy. As we age, skin becomes thinner and cell renewal slows. Complexion and texture morph over time as sun damage takes its toll, and the epidermis loses elasticity. Collagen and elastin production wane as we get older, causing sagging and wrinkles, and lifestyle factors from sleep, smoking and nutrition to sun and pollution exposure can change.

Minimizing negative effects once they’ve occurred is challenging. The key to beauty is to start caring for skin early so it’s in the best possible condition as the years pass. Like health problems, skin disorders are easier to treat if they’re addressed early.

Encourage Maintenance Services

Everyone deserves an occasional spa day, but the benefits of a single facial don’t last forever. As beauty professionals, estheticians should educate their clients about their skin and the importance of ongoing care, creating individualized treatment plans that meet both short- and long-term goals.

Estheticians can encourage clients to schedule regular appointments by pointing out the many benefits of routine care, including looking their best every day. And many services, such as hair removal, are less irritating and costly when performed regularly.

Guide Clients to the Best Products

The wrong cleansers, scrubs, moisturizers, and cosmetics can be a disaster when used on the wrong skin type, especially sensitive skin. But with shelves full of products to choose from, clients are often confused about which are most beneficial and how specific ingredients interact with their complexion.

Estheticians help clients better understand their skin and offer recommendations for the most appropriate over-the-counter products. Some also sell spa-quality formulas only available to skincare professionals.

Choosing the right colors and types of cosmetics, especially foundation, is also tricky for clients who don’t understand the nuances of skin color, tone and texture. Estheticians help by selecting complementary shades for a perfect finish.

Teach Clients About Proper Skin Care at Home

Lifestyle factors play a significant role in beauty care. In addition to recommending the best products and services, estheticians approach skin holistically, helping clients improve their appearance by suggesting healthy habits, including:

Sun Protection – people with fair skin or who work or play outside are at high risk of skin damage unless they take precautions. Dermatologists recommend avoiding exposure to the sun between 10 am and 2 pm. SPF 15 sunscreen is essential for most everyday activities, SPF 30 or greater is preferable for extended time outdoors. Wide-brimmed hats protect the skin and eyes.

Estheticians should warn clients to wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine, since UV light penetrates clouds. Recommending moisturizers, make-up, and lip balm with added sunscreen offers additional protection for delicate facial skin.

Getting Enough Sleep – not sleeping enough is linked to premature skin aging. Getting the doctor-recommend 7–9 hours helps us recuperate from stress. During deep sleep, the body produces more collagen and repairs skin cells. Without it, unwanted wrinkles can appear well before their time.

Stress Reduction – stress has an adverse effect on the body and worsens skin conditions from acne to rosacea. Estheticians should expect more than one worried phone call from clients breaking out before a big day. Chronic stress contributes to inflammation and redness and slows healing. High levels of cortisol, our fight or flight hormone, causes the body to make more skin oil that can clog pores.

Estheticians should advise clients to avoid stress at home and offer services that are both relaxing and beautifying. Regular facials can improve the look and feel of skin while providing a much-needed respite.

Sound Nutrition – aging happens at a cellular level, no facial or moisturizer can prevent it. Good nutrition supports the body’s efforts to maintain healthy skin. Experts prescribe eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamins A, C, E, and K.

Skin-friendly Habits – skin-friendly personal habits can be the fountain of youth. Recommendations should include:

  • Limit showers to 10 minutes or less daily
  • Avoid very hot water, it strips oils and dries the skin.
  • Don’t exfoliate daily. Skin needs time to heal between treatments.
  • Use only gentle soaps. Harsh brands remove protective oils, causing dryness and redness.
  • Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing.
  • Use fragrance-free lotions, why risk an allergic reaction?
  • Run a humidifier during dry months.
  • Wash clothes with mild, hypoallergenic detergent.
  • Remove cosmetics every day. It gives skin a chance to breathe.
  • Use make-up remover instead of soap and water, excessive scrubbing damages skin.
  • Stick to a facial cleanser for your face. It’s specially formulated to be less drying than soap and helps tone pores.
  • Don’t frown, it causes wrinkles near the eyes and forehead.

Final Thoughts

Beauty is the foundation of self-assurance. Everyone wants their inner radiance to be reflected in how they look. Skin is an esthetician’s canvas, and like an artist, it’s their mission to create a masterpiece through beauty care.

Are you ready to spread the word about beauty care? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  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.

How to Build a Clientele as an Esthetician

Are you considering becoming an esthetician? Find it intimidating to sell products to people or interest them in esthetician services? You are not alone. Sales can be a hard thing to master. Fortunately, you can take a class in esthiology at your local vocational school. Not only will you learn how to perform skin care, but you will also enjoy learning about running an esthetician business and how to create a customer base. So, how do you build a clientele as an esthetician?

How to Build a Clientele as an Esthetician

As an esthetician, you have many different options to create a loyal following. You can work in an established spa or salon or you can start your own esthiology business. Each option has similarities and differences but the main goal is to build a clientele that will become loyal customers and help your business through word-of-mouth.

Work in an Established Spa

The easiest way to build a clientele, is to start out as an entry-level position at an established spa. Most resorts and spas will have high foot traffic and will already have an established clientele. You will work alongside coworkers with a similar passion for skin care and helping others. You can help build the clientele, but the spa will do most of the heavy lifting. The spa will take care of the advertising to bring in the customer, it is up to you to offer a positive experience and good customer service. This will keep the clients coming back, and ultimately ask for you by name.

Start Your Own Business

Once you get some experience and have a loyal following, you can start your own esthetician business. This comes with some extra risks that you don’t have to consider when you work for an established spa. Owning your own business comes with additional costs like rent, utilities, taxes, and licensing fees. You will eventually hire a staff, pay for advertising, and do your business taxes with the help of an accountant.

When you run your own esthiology business, you are in charge of everything and everyone. This can be intimidating at first but if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to succeed, then starting your own business may be the right option for you.

Network with Like Minded Business Owners

Another way to build your clientele is to cross-promote your services with like-minded business owners. A hairstylist or massage therapist can recommend you as a respectable esthetician and vice versa. Building these types of relationships can happen in the real world or on social media. If you are just starting out, you will need to network with other business owners that have a smaller clientele. As you grow your business you will be able to network with bigger businesses that have a larger customer base. You don’t have to stick to beauty and wellness either. Many real estate agents, vitamin shops and gyms could help promote you as well. You can also join the city’s business chamber of commerce for additional opportunities to grow your business and network with other businesses in the community.

Utilize Social Media

Social media is a great way to get the word out about your esthetician services. Whether you work at an established spa or have your own esthiology business, social media can help you build your clientele.

Facebook is the most popular social media, so most of your clients will be using Facebook. This social media platform allows you to become friends with people in the community and promote your business. The only drawback is that you have limited exposure to people that are not connected or don’t know about you. Twitter and Instagram on the other hand are open to the public and anyone can find your business based on hashtags and search terms. Maybe they want to find the answer to a skin care question, and they stumble upon one of your tweets about the exact issue they are having.

All of these social media platforms are important to have in order to build a presence. Try to update your profiles with information once a week by offering tips on skin care, promotions or videos. The Internet is a great place to build a clientele.

Local Directories

Another place on the Internet that your prospective clients are looking are websites like Yelp. Yelp is a community of local brick and mortar businesses where customers can interact with reviews, testimonials and images of your business. Make sure to build a Yelp page if you have an esthetician business and allow your happy customers to give you positive reviews. Everyone that visits the Yelp page will see that you offer great customer service and a positive experience.

Create Word of Month

If you offer good customer service, your clients will be happy. They will have a positive experience and tell all their friends about the great esthetician they just started working with. These happy customers will help your business with word-of-mouth advertising. Whether they tell their friends in person, leave a positive review on Yelp or offer a positive testimonial on social media, happy customers are the best advertising.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know it is possible to create a following as an esthetician, it is time to start learning your trade. A great way to learn how to become an esthetician is to take an esthiology diploma program at a vocational school. The curriculum will prepare you for the licensing exam. Passing the licensing exam will allow you to become certified. Once you are certified you will be well on your way to building your clientele. Invest in yourself and you will thrive as an esthetician.

Are you ready to build a clientele as an esthetician? If so, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  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.

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.