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.

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