Choosing An Aesthetician & the Skin Care Industry
A booming industry exists around skin care and your face. Most likely your face is the first thing people notice. It is your first impression to the world, and it defines your unique beauty. Of course, you want to look your best, and that starts with caring for your skin and the appearance of your face. As a facial plastic surgeon, specializing in caring for your face, I’ll share a few tips on selecting an aesthetician and talk about the differences between a spa esthetician and a medical aesthetician.
What is the Difference Between Medical Aesthetician and a Spa Esthetician?
Aestheticians and estheticians perform similar services, but there is a difference in the two forms of the same word. Here is the differentiation between the two spellings: Estheticians and aestheticians are both licensed skin specialists. They are trained to analyze and cleanse skin through a variety of techniques. Estheticians can be found in spas and salons, while aestheticians typically work in medical settings.
Medical aestheticians are held to the exact same state licensing standards as spa estheticians. This means all estheticians, whether they work as medical aestheticians or spa estheticians, are required to hold the same state-issued license.
There then is a significant difference in what it takes to become a medical aesthetician. This typically involves a standard set of steps that require specific, formal education and training, passing state licensing exams, and obtaining advanced credentials through continuing education. (http://www.estheticianedu.org/medical-esthetician/).
Medical aesthetics perform the same services as traditional spa esthetics. They both focus on developing and maintaining healthy, beautiful skin. The difference is that medical aesthetics is performed on patients in a clinical setting alongside medical professionals. Medical aestheticians also perform non-invasive skincare procedures for medical purposes or cosmetic reasons.
Additional Aesthetician Certifications
Plastic Surgical Nurse Certification & Certified Aesthetic Nurse (CANS)
Additional, specialized medical aesthetic certifications are rigorous and require that the candidate is licensed as a Registered Nurse, has extensive experience and has an affiliation with a specialized doctor. Here are the specific requirements: (http://psncb.org/cans-eligibility.cgi)
- Be currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in the United States, its territories or Canada, and
- Work in collaboration or in a practice with a physician that is Board Certified within one of the following specialties: Plastic/Aesthetic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, or Facial Plastic Surgery (ENT); and
- Have a minimum of two (2) years of nursing experience as a registered nurse within one of the listed Core Specialties above in a general staff, administrative, teaching, or research capacity within three (3) years prior to application, and
- Have spent at least one thousand (1,000) practice hours within the core specialties during the preceding two (2) years, and
- Have their Supervising Core Physician endorse their application
There are only 250 nurses in the United States and Canada that have their CANS certification. Woods Facial Plastic Surgery is affiliated with ZonaMedSpa, in Scottsdale, Arizona where medical aesthetician, Michele Hunter, RN, is a CANS certified aesthetician.
Choosing Your Aesthetician
Selecting an aesthetician depends on many factors, but here are a few considerations for you. If you are going to have more than a facial, select a professional with the highest level training and experience. Chemical applications, laser treatments, and injections, require skills, experience, and medical training.
Visit your potential aesthetician before your first service. Ask for a consultation and look for the following:
- Cleanliness of their facility
- Their personal appearance and personality
- Research their qualifications, certifications, and educational background
- Ask questions and discuss candidly your concerns and expectations
- Ask about their philosophy on skin care, treatments, and products
- Ask how long they have been at this facility
Check Out Your Aesthetician
- Check the facility and the aesthetician’s certifications and liscensing
- Review their website
- Seek recommendations
Licensing for spa estheticians is done on a state by state basis, so no industry-wide standards exist. Medical aesthetician’s have verifiable industry certifications.
Skin care treatments are tremendously popular in the United States. Taking good care of your skin reduces and prevents wrinkles. The skin care industry continues to grow rapidly, as our population ages, and we want to look our best. “Between 2012 and 2022, the number of estheticians licensed in the United States is expected to grow by 40 percent to meet the growing demand for specialized skincare services. This is more than twice as fast as other professions within the beauty and wellness industry, including manicurists and pedicurists”. (http://www.estheticianedu.org/)
This means you have plenty of skin care spas and med spas from which to choose. Choose carefully! And do your homework.
Dr. Robert H. Woods is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Woods has 20+ years of experience as a facial expert. About Face | Woods Facial Plastic Surgery is affiliated with ZonaMedSpa. Dr. Woods also heads the ENT department at Honor Health Shea Hospital, Scottsdale, Arizona.