What is the Difference Between Cosmetology and Esthiology?

Instructor teaching a student the difference between cosmetology and esthiology.

There are many differences and similarities between cosmetology and esthiology. A diploma can be obtained for cosmetology in 10 months at a vocational school, 5 months for esthiology. Both people may work in a spa, salon or resort, however while a cosmetologist can become an esthetician with additional training, an esthetician is not trained to perform cosmetology services. Esthiology is a branch of cosmetology focused specially on skin care. But before we look at the differences between cosmetology and esthiology, let’s look into what each of these professions entail.

What is Cosmetology?

Cosmetology is the study and application of beauty products for the hair, skin and nails specifically. Cosmetologists are responsible for the beautification of their clients. They use hairstyling, makeup and nail art to improve a client’s confidence and self-esteem.


Cosmetologists are responsible for cutting, styling, coloring, foiling and texturizing hair. They learn different hair cutting techniques including fades, bobs, pompadours, updos and razor cuts. Regular haircuts are important to prevent hair damage, reduce split ends, and create thicker, heathier hair. Cosmetologist learn how to use hair appliances like flat irons, clippers and trimmers and advanced techniques like extensions, sew-ins and weaves. They also learn different braiding techniques, specialty perm wraps and chemical texture services.


Cosmetologists are taught proper make-up techniques for daily and special occasions, runway and photo shoots. Cosmetologists learn the proper way to apply foundation, concealer, bronzer, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. With these skills, cosmetologist can improve the facial features of their clients and offer an overall beautification of body and soul.

Nail Care

Cosmetologists provide manicures and pedicures to clients to keep nails strong and healthy. They will learn about nail structures and growth, nail disorders and diseases and how to provide salon-grade nail care and art.

What Does a Cosmetologist Do?

Cosmetologists provide haircuts, hair styling, hair coloring, makeup, nail care and other beauty services. Cosmetologists:

  • Analyze hair, skin, and scalp to recommend beauty treatment
  • Provide facial treatment and makeup analysis
  • Wash, color, lighten, and condition hair
  • Can provide manicures, pedicures and acrylics
  • Cut, dry, and style hair
  • Style and clean wigs
  • Manage billing and electronic record keeping
  • Recommend hair care products to customers
  • Clean and disinfect all tools and work area

What is Esthiology?

Esthiology is the practice of skin care. This includes facials, skin treatments, makeup application, and waxing for hair removal. Some specialties of esthiology include microdermabrasion, permanent makeup, chemical resurfacing, and electroloysis.


A facial is a process that uses creams and cleansers to help clean, exfoliate, nourish and hydrate a person’s skin. This is part of a larger skincare process and can include some complexion components. Facials can involve steam, facial masks, peels and massage.

Skin Treatment

Skin treatments deal with keeping skin smooth, firm and evenly toned. These skin treatments include skin solutions such as chemical peels, laser treatments, light therapies, heat-based options, and injection treatments.


Clients may seek out a specified makeup artist for makeup assistance. However, there a lot of people who prefer to get makeup advice from estheticians because they want to keep their skin healthy and free of damage.

Hair Removal

Getting rid of unwanted hair is an important part of Esthiology. Waxing and threading are two ways an esthetician can remove hair from a client’s body. Hair can be removed by shaving, but this type of hair removal is less permanent.  Laser, sonic and thermal treatments are also hair removal solutions, but they require specialized equipment and training.

What Does an Esthetician Do?

An esthetician is a skincare professional concerned with the appearance and health of a client’s skin. They can give skincare routine and product advice, as well as administer different skin treatments. An esthetician can perform conditioning skin treatments, face and body hair removal, facials, chemical peels, and technical skin treatments.

While esthiology is focused on the beautification of the skin, it should not be mistaken for dermatology. Dermatology is the medical field that focuses on skin health. Working in this field requires many years of college education that allows a dermatologist to diagnose and treat skin diseases and conditions. Dermatology should not be confused with the cosmetic field of esthiology, which focuses more heavily on helping clients with the beautification of their skin. Esthiology focuses on skin treatments and products that deal with issues such as discoloration of the skin, wrinkles, uneven skin texture, and skin firmness.

What is the Difference Between Cosmetology and Esthiology?

This is a common question asked by new students interested in a beauty and wellness career. While a cosmetologist can sometimes become an esthetician, an esthetician is not trained to perform most cosmetology services. Cosmetologists are trained to help with hair, nails, skin, and makeup. They would help with minor skin health needs and could give facials and have knowledge of makeup’s affect on the skin. Cosmetologists can specialize as a hairstylist, manicurist, make-up artist or other beautification specialist. An esthetician are experts at facials, skin maintenance services and receive a more advanced curriculum of skincare training than a cosmetologist would.

Cosmetologist can beautify a client’s body including hair, face, and nails, whereas the esthetician focuses on the health and beauty of the skin itself. A client would go to a cosmetologist to get a make-over, new hairstyle or pedicure, while a client would see an esthetician if they have skin maintenance issues. These skin maintenance services focus on wrinkles, age spots, dark marks, tone fading, skin softness, and hydration to name a few.

Final Thoughts

The programs at Minnesota School of Cosmetology offer both cosmetology and esthiology specializations. If you are ready to start earning and want a new career, becoming a cosmetologist or esthetician is a great way to learn the techniques that improve a client’s beauty and wellness.

Cosmetology Program

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Esthiology Program

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.

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

What Can You Do with a Diploma in Esthiology?

Woman who has received her diploma in esthiology performs spa services

Interested in earning your diploma in esthiology? Have an interest in skincare, beauty and health? Becoming an esthetician may be the right career for you.

What Exactly is an Esthetician?

First of all, an esthetician is a skincare professional concerned with the appearance and health of your skin. They can be helpful giving skincare routine and product advice, as well as administering a number of skin treatments.

What Kind of Services Does an Esthetician Provide?

  • Conditioning skin treatments
  • Wraps and soaks
  • Face and body hair removal
  • Facials
  • Chemical peels
  • Technical skin treatments

What’s the Difference Between Esthiology and Dermatology?

While skin health involves both esthiology and dermatology, these industries are very different. While esthiology focuses on the cosmetic side of skin, dermatology is a medical field that focuses on skin health. This field requires many years of intense education, which allows dermatologists to diagnose and treat skin diseases.

What Makes Esthiology Cosmetic?

Again, dermatology should not to be confused with the cosmetic field of esthiology. In contrast, esthiology focuses on helping clients achieve the look they want their skin to have. For this reason, this includes skin treatments, discoloration, wrinkles, texture, and elasticity.

How Long Does It Take to Get Your Diploma in Esthiology?

Full-time students may complete their esthiology diploma in as little as five months. However, the amount of time the program takes depends on your personal schedule. For example, your program may be longer if you have other obligations.

On the other hand, if you have the time to dedicate to your education, you may opt for an accelerated program. Whatever certification program or esthiology career path you choose, you can typically rely on a fast turn-around to receiving your diploma.

Adventures as Spa Esthetician

Working in a spa is a very common way to gain experience in the field after you have your diploma in esthiology. A diploma in esthiology prepares you to become a spa esthetician by performing common services.

A Diploma in Esthiology Prepares You for the Basics

For this reason, the basics are crucial as a spa esthetician because you will have high volumes of clients. Additionally, this option requires very little time investment. Likewise, because of its focus on the basics of skincare and common services, it is not a time consuming option for your esthiology education.

Specializing in Holistic Esthiology Treatments

Furthermore, holistic estheticians focus on natural skin treatments, alternative therapies, and atmosphere. The holistic philosophy states the body needs to be addressed as a whole. For example, the sensory elements of the esthiology appointment will be taken into consideration. These elements, along with the skincare treatments, are combined to create an experience throughout the appointment.

What Does a Holistic Esthetician Study?

Educating yourself as a holistic esthetician means becoming familiar with products and natural ingredients. Additionally, holistic esthiology includes the option to take aromatherapy and dietary/nutritional classes. You may also want to become familiar with various herbs and ingredients to help find safe alternatives for specific clients.

Exploration of The Many Forms of Hair Removal

Another part of earning your diploma in esthiology includes learning about hair removal. Hair removal trends have changed significantly in the last decade. Not only are there more hair removal options, there is also an increased acceptance of personal choice.

Furthermore, estheticians need to understand all methods of hair removal. For example, services range from design waxing to laser hair removal to threading. Even more, there are specialty salons dedicated to these practices. If hair removal is your passion, there is a market for this skill.

Focus on Advanced Techniques as a Skin Technician

We have more ways than ever to make our skin look and feel healthy. We have topical treatments and products formulated for nearly every type of skin concern. Even more, we have technical and chemical options at our disposal. Thanks to these advancements, estheticians help those with conditions that may not respond to common skin treatments.

What Can You Do Once You Have Your Diploma in Esthiology?

After you have received your diploma in esthiology, it’s time to decide what you want to do with your freshly mastered skills. There are a lot of different positions available to new estheticians. Here are some of the jobs you can do with your diploma in esthiology.

Work with an Established Spa/Salon

This is one of the most common options for estheticians. For this reason, working in a spa or salon is an appealing option for those who are new to the field or who want more career stability. Furthermore, spas and salons are great because it exposes estheticians to a wide variety of clients. Because of this, it gives you a volume of clients you need that allows you to master your craft. Working in an established salon as an esthetician often means steady financial security, which allows you to focus on your skills.

Strike Out on Your Own

Alternatively, it is possible to be a self-employed esthetician. With a diploma in esthiology and the right business skills, it is entirely possible to become a self-employed esthetician.

Furthermore, the digital age allows us more cosmetic career options than ever before. While there are some treatments and procedures that require a facility or expensive equipment, many services are mobile-friendly. For this reason, many services can even be done in the comfort of a client’s own home.

Exclusive Esthiology

Having an exclusive specialty can be risky than more common esthetician work. Niche specialized skincare can be incredibly tough to break into, but it can also be extremely lucrative. Standing out in a particular specialty can garner you a lot of attention, but it can be extremely difficult to attain. Ffor this reason, you’ll need to be ready to seize every opportunity to get there.

Competition in Esthiology

Additionally, if you hope to gain fame in your specialty, you should be willing to put in the time to perfect your craft. Competition breeds excellence, but it also weeds out those who don’t make the cut. The narrower your field, the more criticism and competition you will experience.

Endorse or Help Develop Skincare Products

Online product and treatment endorsements are an increasingly popular field in cosmetics. However, this has not come without some issues.

The Danger of Uninformed Influencers

For example, there has been an increase in unsafe advertising when it comes to cosmetics. For example, social media platforms have uneducated influencers paid to endorse products. In many cases, they don’t research or understand the products they endorse. As a result, it can be difficult for the public to know who to trust.

Why a Diploma in Esthiology Gives you Credibility

Your diploma in esthiology gives you credibility, along with the information you need to inform others about products. You may even want to think about developing and representing your very own line.

Enhance Your Personal Skin Health/Appearance

The most common reason a person furthers their education is because they are hoping to advance or change their career. In contrast, you can also enhance your education to take better care of yourself. Becoming a certified esthetician makes you more aware of and better informed about the skin you live in, which can help you feel and look better.

Want to Learn More?

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

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

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

The Definitive Guide to Esthiology

Patient at esthiology clinic being seen by esthetician

Interested in becoming an esthetician? Esthiology is the cosmetic practice of caring for a person’s skin. An esthetician is a trained professional who uses various tools, products, and techniques to help clients maintain the health and beauty of their skin. Enhancing the appearance and integrity of someone’s skin takes a lot of different skills. It can be difficult because everyone’s skin is different, and we all have different goals for our appearances.

Practical Skills of Esthiology

If you want to get into esthiology it’s probably best to know what will be expected of you in terms of performance. These are some of the tasks any esthetician would be required to perform day-to-day.


A facial is a process that uses products such as creams and cleansers to help clean and hydrate skin. This is typically part of a larger skincare process and can include some exfoliation component, as well. Facials can range from the serenely minimalistic to the lavishly elaborate depending on the needs and wishes of the client.

Skin Treatment

Skin treatments deal with keeping skin smooth, firm and evenly toned. These treatments are can be invasive and intense. They include skin solutions such as chemical peels, laser treatments, light therapies, heat-based options, and injection treatments.


Applying makeup isn’t usually something that a client seeks an esthetician’s help for directly. More often they will seek out a specified makeup artist for makeup assistance. However, there a lot of people who prefer to seek makeup advice from estheticians because they want to keep their skin safe from products that might damage it. So even if makeup application isn’t a daily thing, it is still important to know the products.

Hair Removal

Getting rid of unwanted hair is a big part of esthiology. It is an incredibly significant part of most estheticians’ days and there are several different ways of getting the job done. A couple of the ways an esthetician will be asked to remove hair directly is by waxing or threading. Laser, sonic and thermal treatments are also hair removal solutions, but they require specialized equipment and training.

Physical Academic Knowledge of Esthiology

Studying esthiology doesn’t require you to go out and get your doctorate, but it does require you to know a little bit about the human body. Since esthiology deals directly with people’s bodies it only makes sense that there is a basic understanding behind that interaction.

Basic Dermatology

Again, esthiology in no way requires you to become a dermatologist. But if your whole job is dealing with the appearance and health of other people’s skin it is a good idea to know what you’re working with. Understanding the different layers of skin, the functionality of skin and skin variations is vital to safely and successfully practicing any part of esthiology.

Human Anatomy

Different parts of the body have different types of skin. For example, the skin that makes up the bottoms of your feet is different than the skin that makes up your eyelids. An esthetician must understand these differences in order to understand how different treatments or procedures might affect a client’s skin. What may be an effective skin treatment on one area of the body may not be on a different area of the body.

Cosmetic Skin Analysis

Being able to assess a person’s skin is a visual skill that is important for professional success as an esthetician. A proper cosmetic skin analysis can help determine the origins of a skin problem, identify the boundaries of a skin tone difference, or ensure that an area of skin is safe to work on. It is necessary that anyone in the field of esthiology perform a proper analysis for the safety and satisfaction of their clients.

Common Skin Disorders

Becoming familiar with common skin disorders is helpful for a couple of different reasons. First, it allows you to quickly identify any conditions that may be hazardous or contagious. Quick identification can help keep yourself and other clients safe. However, not every skin condition is dangerous. Another reason to familiarize yourself with common skin conditions is to allow you to be more sensitive and helpful to any clients you may encounter who have them.


Nutrition doesn’t seem like it would be an obvious part of esthiology. However, there is a significant amount of skin health that can be altered and enhanced through diet. What we see on the outside is, in many cases, a result of what happens on the inside. Esthiology can help give you a deeper understand of the relationship between the vitamins and nutrients we get in our diets and the way that our skin looks.

Social and Motivational Skills of Esthiology

As with all cosmetic professions, esthiology is a people profession. Dealing with people’s skin appearance can be touchy and stressful. There can be communication challenges, self-esteem issues and high demands. To be a successful esthetician you will need to know how to interact with others while maintaining your inner calm and enthusiasm.

Lifestyle Advice

Clients may seek an esthetician’s advice about areas of their life that affect their skin. For example, a client may ask if a certain habit they have is affecting their skin’s appearance. Or they might ask if a product they like will interfere with a procedure they are considering. These exchanges can be a bit touchy if you aren’t paying close attention to your words. Basic communication skills go a long way here. Choose your words wisely when asking questions and be understanding of your client’s sensitivities.

General Passion for Skincare

Loving what you do can mean the difference between being great and being merely satisfactory. A passion for skincare isn’t necessary to become an esthetician, but it is required if you want to be a good at it. Passion provides an attention to detail and a level of dedication that doesn’t seem to be matched by people who aren’t enthusiastic about what they do. Excitement can help focus that reinvigorates your work.

Eye for Beauty

An eye for aesthetic never hurts in a cosmetic profession. Beauty and appearance are the artistic portion of an esthetician’s job. Having a keen sense of what is appealing can give you the edge when it comes to client satisfaction. However, it is important to remember that the job of an esthetician is to make the client feel attractive and confident. This sometimes means a difference of opinion in what exactly is “beautiful.” Never let your artistic eye be prioritized over what a client wants done (or not done) to their own body.

Helping Others

At the heart of it, esthiology is about helping others look and feel as good as they possibly can in their skin. This can mean major alterations to help them feel more like themselves. It can also mean simply enhancing a client’s natural glow. There is certainly a sales component to the job of being an esthetician, but you should never try to make a client unhappy with themselves on purpose just to increase your profits. Try to increase your service and product sales with supportive suggestions instead of destructive ones.

Learning New Things

If you are going to be effective in esthiology you should have a love of learning. There are new techniques, products, and equipment available in the field all the time. Tech enhancements and new products are made at an incredible speed. Every time a new procedure is discovered it is an esthetician’s job to learn about it if they hope to stay competitive in the field. You will also have to stay alert to any new skincare products or lines that a client may ask you about. Continuing your learning can involve learning the steps of a process, how to use new tools, and keeping up with the latest industry and customer reviews of a new product. Staying up to date with current trends and the latest developments in esthiology will allow you to give your clients the most options and the best service available.

Client Appeal in Esthiology

There are a lot of different reasons that a client might call and make an appointment to see an esthetician. Even though the specific reasons might be different, all clients come to an esthetician for help with their skin in one of three areas.


The most common reason that someone will seek out the expertise of an esthetician is because they aren’t happy with something about their skin. This self-consciousness can lead into a crisis of confidence that can be difficult to get out of without professional intervention. An esthetician has the ability to solve all kinds of confidence issues relating to the skin. It could be some stubborn, embarrassing hair that your client needs help removing. It might be that they are having an issue balancing the tone or texture of their skin. Whatever the case is, someone trained in esthiology is going to be able to help make a client feel better by helping them highlight what they like about their skin and helping correct what they don’t.


Generally, people go to a dermatologist if they are having a serious problem with their skin. Dermatologists are qualified to give definitive diagnoses and prescriptions for skin related issues. However, there are minor skin issues that can easily be addressed by a cosmetic professional rather than a medical one. Acne, oiliness, and dryness are among the most common. There are a lot of different products and treatments that can help balance out the health of a client’s skin without having to involve a doctor.


There are times when a client might feel like making an appointment with an esthetician for no reason at all. They don’t have anything that they need help with, necessarily, but getting a facial or skin treatment seems relaxing. These are wellness appointments. Even though these treatments have different benefits for your client’s skin, sometimes it isn’t their skin that needs the work. Making an appointment for a relaxing day at the spa with an esthetician is a fantastic way to show oneself a little TLC.

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

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

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

Beach Chic 101: Everything You Need to Create Effortless, Summer Beauty Styles

Written By: Meesa OShanka

Cosmetology Instructor MSC Woodbury

We’ve finally arrived!  It’s time for fun in the sun and ice-cold beverages while we lather up with sunscreen for the next few months of summer.  While we crave the sun during our long Minnesotan winters, we also must refine our summer beauty routine to meet our busy schedules.  Here are some tips and tricks If you’re looking for a fun beachy look without spending hours getting ready.

Summer Beauty Must-Haves: Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted moisturizer is your BFF for the easiest summer beauty looks!  Tinted moisturizer gives you all the benefits of a sheer coverage foundation.  It’s lightweight and easy to apply with either a blender sponge or your fingertips.  The best part about tinted moisturizers is that they have your skin protection built right in.  Most tinted moisturizers will come with broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher to keep your skin protected while you’re out and about.

Summer Beauty Eye Makeup

To give yourself the effortless summer-ready eye look go for lighter neutral colors like coppers and browns like the ones found in the Urban Decay Naked Palettes.  Top it off with some dark brown liner to define your lash line and lastly let’s not forget a glossing mascara to complete your eye look. 

If you have oily skin or sweat-prone, you will want to make sure you are using a face and eye primer to lock in your looks. Don’t be afraid to add a little shimmer to your eyeshadow either because if the sun is shining, so are you!

Beachy Waves: The Summer Style Essential

For a quick and easy tousled beachy look grab yourself a salt spray for your hair.  Big Sexy Surfrider, Wella’s EIMI Ocean Spritz or Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray are some popular options for getting beach waves.  Professional styling products will give you the look of having just come out of the ocean without all that actual ocean salt on your colorful locks.  

Salt spray is easy to use.  After shampooing and conditioning your hair, towel dry and spritz a generous amount of your texture spray on to your hair.  Scrunch it up a bit in your hands and let air dry.

Pool-Ready Summer Beauty Picks

Spending extra time at the pool this summer? If you’re loving your time in pools treated with chlorine, you’ll want to take extra steps to ensure your hair is cared for. Here are a few tips that you can use to care both colored and natural hair to make sure your hair is in tip-top shape:

  • Use a leave-in conditioner: Leave-in conditioner provides a barrier that can help to protect your hair from the chlorine exposure in pools. There are leave-in conditioners designed specifically for swimmers and chlorine-exposed strands, like the Ion Swimmer’s Leave-in Conditioner.
  • Keep your blonde hair shining: Noticing your fair hair is taking on a greenish tint? Light haired colors may turn green when you’re in chlorine because copper is oxidized in the chlorine. Keep your hair bright and pure by using special swimmer shampoo, conditioners and purifying treatments like the Malibu Swimmers line.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

The last thing you’ll need for your beach look is sunscreen.  With the weather getting hotter and all of us craving that Vitamin D time make sure that you take time out of the day to put on some sunscreen to protect your beautiful skin. Sun protection is important to protect our skin from signs of premature aging and reduces the risk of skin cancer.

What Kind of Protection Do You Need?

So what should you be looking for in a sunscreen? First of all, when choosing a sunscreen always look for the words “broad spectrum”. Broad Spectrum sunscreens protect from both UVA and UVB rays while you’re out being a social butterfly.  Go for a minimum of SPF 30 and remember to reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours for best results.

Want to learn how to create easy and effortless beauty styles? Contact us today to learn about our Cosmetology and Esthiology programs.

Dermatology and Esthiology: An Esthetician’s Guide

Dermatologist working at her practice or spa using laser or dermabrasion machines

Skincare encompasses a range of services, products and procedures. While some can maintain healthy skin with their skincare routine, there are many people who prefer professionals. Skincare professionals help others in their pursuit of vibrant, youthful, healthy skin.

However, knowing what kind of skin care professional you need can be tricky. Dermatology and esthiology are both professional studies of skincare. While there is similarity, there are also significant differences between the areas of expertise. Let’s look at some of the differences and similarities in the dermatology and esthiology fields.

Differences Between Dermatology and Esthiology

Different Ranges in Care Abilities

Both Dermatology and Esthiology care for your skin. They both can also include services that care for your nails, hair, and scalp. There are, however, some major differences in the scope of services each profession provides. Many esthiology programs will have a class on dermatology.

What is Dermatology?

Dermatology is a medical field that diagnoses skincare conditions and treatments. This includes identifying rashes to diagnosing and treating skin cancers/disease. Whether acne conditions or a treatment as complex as a skin graft, dermatology deals with the medical and surgical sides of skin health. A dermatologist prescribes medications, treatments, therapies and recommends and performs surgical procedures. Dermatology encompasses life-saving and cosmetic medicine for various conditions.

What is Esthiology?

Esthiology is not a licensed healthcare profession, but it does focus on health and wellness. While dermatology deals with skin health in a medical sense, esthiology focuses on maintaining the health and appearance of your skin. Cosmetics is the main intention of esthiology, and estheticians can offer different services. An Esthetician performs peels, waxing, massage and cosmetic therapies. Treatment depends on your skin goals, preferences, and skin condition. The wellness aspects of esthiology focuses on skincare routines that help to maintain the integrity and glow of your skin.

Different Levels of Training

Due to the differences in their expertise, there are different education requirements for esthiology and dermatology. Not only do these studies differ in focus, but the length of time to complete the training for each field varies.

Dermatology focuses on a range of anatomy, diagnostic training and treatment. There are specialties within the field that varies the education requirements. For example, a dermatologist that focuses on surgical treatment will have different areas of study than someone studying dermatology research. Both will need to know how skin functions and reacts. So regardless of the end goals of a dermatologist, medical school is a standard requirement for all physicians.

Esthiology is an area of skincare study that focuses its training in areas of aesthetics. Estheticians focus mainly on techniques, methods and execution of the various services they will be offering. While there is basic skin health and anatomy covered in esthiology, it is geared heavily toward these services. This training also covers products, recommendations and explanations of new methods and tools.

Difference in Program Length

Becoming a dermatologist requires more training than esthiology. It can take 12 years to become a dermatologist. Esthiology programs can be completed in 12 months or less. The difference in these program lengths can be a deciding factor for those who debating between dermatology and esthiology. Along with being the more time-consuming option, the increased level of education required for a medical degree in dermatology also leads to it being the more expensive option.

Where Dermatology and Esthiology Intersect

People-Centered Service

Whether the focus is a patient’s health or a client’s happiness, estheticians and dermatologists are client facing professions. Even if it is in different ways, the purpose of both professions is to make people’s lives better.

People skills are a must in a majority of professions, but are especially necessary when dealing with personal issues. Sensitivity and compassion helps when you try to understand a person’s problems and concerns. People should be comfortable to open up about skin issues to professionals without fear of judgement. A rapport built on trust can result in the comfort of the patient or client, but it also increases their likelihood of returning.

Likewise, interpersonal skills are vital when trying to understand your client or patient’s results. If you misunderstand your client, it is almost impossible to avoid discouragement and frustration. Clients and patients want to feel hopeful, safe, and empowered.

No Amateurs Allowed

There are differences in the training requirements for both professions. Neither dermatology nor esthiology are safe to practice without being properly educated and certified. It is dangerous for clients to receive therapies and treatments for their skin from anyone who is not trained.

While this is more obvious in the case of dermatology, there can also be serious consequences if someone practices esthiology without an education. Even services such as facial and body hair waxing require proper storage and temperature control to avoid burns. A fundamental understanding of the waxing areas and skin issues that may be affected by hair removal is also important.

Training for dermatology and esthiology also gives skin care professionals an extensive knowledge about products. Dermatologists may recommend prescription or surgical solutions. They, along with certified estheticians, can also provide recommendations for more basic skincare products and remedies. Sometimes easy changes in skincare routines can fix a problem. Other times it can be as simple as switching to a gentler product formulated for their skin type. But regardless of the issue, the information and recommendations need to come from professionals to avoid using toxic or harmful products.

Want to learn more?

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

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

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