Esthetics is the application of various treatments to the skin, to maintain its health and vitality. Estheticians are trained in skin wellness, helping their clients balance oil and moisture content and achieve a healthy, youthful complexion. As well as various facial treatments (described in more detail below), they commonly also perform body treatments such as salt or sugar scrubs, moisturizing or slenderizing body wraps, hair removal techniques such as waxing or threading, and hand/foot treatments to rejuvenate the skin. A variety of treatments and products are used to protect skin from environmental hazards and combat fine lines, wrinkles, and a dull, uneven skin tone. Estheticians are also skilled in managing conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and dry skin, to name just a few. And finally, skin care treatments are wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. If smooth, healthy skin is your goal, visiting a skin care professional can benefit you.
What's the difference between dermatology, cosmetology, and esthetics?
Dermatology is a branch of the medical profession, practiced by licensed physicians who specialize in disorders of the skin. Esthetic practice specifically excludes diagnosis, prescription, or any other service, procedure, or therapy that requires a medical license. If you're being treated by a dermatologist, your esthetician can provide complementary and support therapies. In addition, estheticians are trained to recognize early signs of many medical conditions affecting the skin, and will refer you to a dermatologist in such a case. Cosmetology is the study of beauty treatments including nail care, hair care and styling, makeup application, skin care and more. Esthetics is one branch of cosmetology; some estheticians work in other branches of cosmetology in addition to their skin care practice.
Techniques and products
Techniques used by estheticians include facial steaming, wrapping, exfoliation, waxing, pore cleansing, extraction, and chemical peels. Creams, lotions, wraps, clay or gel masks, and salt scrubs are used. Machines may also be used to help deliver high-tech services. Some common therapies:
An exfoliation process, very effective in treating a large range of skin concerns such as aging, sun damage, acne, mild scarring, improving overall skin brightness and evening skin tone. Peels can be light, moderate or deep. Light peels require no down time from work or normal activities. Moderate peels may require a day or two of down time, and deep peels can require a week or more to allow the skin to fully heal. Estheticians who are not working in a medical setting perform light to moderate peels only. Deep peels are performed by a physican, or under a physician's supervision, for your safety.
The removal of dead skin cells manually (scrubbing, brushing, or using a system such as microdermabrasion), with a chemical peel (a product that causes dead skin cells to shed) or with an enzymatic product that digests dead skin cells.
This is the process of deep cleansing the pores, either manually (using gloved hands and cotton or tissue around the fingers, with gentle pressure to remove the impacted pore) or using a metal extraction implement designed to clear blocked pores. This can also include the use of a lancet (a small sharp blade to lift the dead cells of the skin prior to extraction).
A facial is the most popular treatment performed by estheticians. It is a good way for your therapist to get a good understanding of your skin prior to suggesting more aggressive treatments. A facial generally includes makeup removal and skin cleansing, exfoliation by mechanical, enzymatic or chemical means, steaming, extractions, facial massage, a treatment mask, serum/moisturizer and sunblock. For most people, facials can be scheduled every four weeks, although your therapist may recommend a different schedule based on your individual needs.
The process of resurfacing the skin using a machine that sands the skin's epidermal (outer) layer, using either a wand tipped with crushed diamonds, or a spray of special crystals which are then suctioned back up along with the dead skin cells. It can be very helpful in improving skin texture, fine lines and the effectiveness of home care product penetration.
Waxing removes unwanted hair at the root. There are two different types of waxes: hard and soft. Soft wax is applied warm to the skin in a thin layer in the direction of hair growth. Cloth strips are then applied to the warm wax, rubbed in the direction of hair growth, and quickly pulled off in the opposite direction. This method is best used on larger areas of the body such as the legs, back or chest. Hard wax is used without cloth strips. It is applied warm, in a layer about the thickness of a nickel, allowed to dry and then removed quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Hard wax is less irritating to sensitive skin and is excellent for the bikini, underarm and facial areas.
Visiting an esthetician
It is always a good idea to schedule a consultation appointment prior to your first treatment, especially if you are new to esthetic treatments. This gives you and your therapist a chance to discuss your goals and expectations for the first visit, and long term goals for the future. During a consultation, your therapist will go over an extensive intake form, and most likely do a cleansing of the skin followed by a detailed skin analysis. This will give your therapist the information she/he needs to create an individualized treatment plan, both for a series of professional treatments and recommendations for products you can use at home.
What about home care?
Much of the success of maintaining a visible improvement after treatment depends on consistent, correct home care. Your esthetician is trained to select the products that will most benefit your skin, and to advise you on how to maintain your professional results between visits. Like medical or dental care, following the right daily regimen at home is essential if you are to get the most out of your visits to a professional.
our skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don't hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state's licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you'll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you'll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is LED Light Therapy?
LED light therapy is a painless, relaxing, non-invasive skincare treatment that plumps up aging skin by boosting collagen production and treats mild to moderate acne by using an array of bright light-emitting diodes that send low-level light energy into the deeper layers of the skin. It is a highly effective treatment when part of a series -- usually six treatments one to two weeks apart, followed by a maintenance treatment every month or two. LED treatments last about ten to twenty minutes, and can be a stand-alone treatment or part of a facial
How does LED Light Therapy work?
First developed by NASA, LED stands for light-emitting-diodes. In skin care equipment, red light LED stimulates cellular activity, including the fibroblasts that produce collagen, which gives young skin its plump look. That helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles, treat sun-damage and stretch marks, and reduce redness after more aggressive IPL or laser treatments. The results won't be as dramatic as plastic surgery, IPL or laser, but it's a gentler, more natural, less expensive way to go
Recommended LED Protocol
The recommended professional LED protocol is six treatments a week or two apart, followed by a maintenance treatment every month or two. LED treatments are painless and relaxing, and in winter have a side benefit of counteracting seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Machines have a small head (about three inches wide) that has to be held in place on the skin for a few minutes before moving on to the next spot. These treatments take longer (20 minutes). Your eyes can't be hurt by LED light so they don't have to be covered. LED light therapy treatments are a good choice for people who want to boost collagen or treat mild to moderate acne. Unlike IPL or laser treatments, LED treatments carry no risk of burning. LED treatments are actually very soothing
What is Microcurrent Therapy?
A microcurrent facial emits extremely low-voltage electrical currents (hence 'micro' current), which mirror your own body's electrical currents, on a cellular level to repair damaged skin and stimulate collagen and elastin production. The intensity is so slight that it would take one million microcurrent machines to light a 40-watt light bulb. This treatment is often referred to as "facial toning" because it's like a workout for your face, whereby skin cells are broken down and then grow back stronger, the same way your muscles do after lifting weights. It works simultaneously to repair a product collagen in the dermis, the deepest layer of your skin, while gently erasing signs of aging in the epidermis, the top layer of your skin. According to studies, a microcurrent facial can increase collagen production up to 14%, elastin increases 48% and blood circulation goes up 38%. The microcurrent facial uses two hand held prongs that deliver precise dosages of energy to the skin. As the aesthetician methodically moves the prongs around your face, you may feel a slight tingling sensation, but most say it's surprisingly relaxing. Of course, you can expect all the other pleasures of a classic facial incorporated into the microcurrent facial, such as cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and facial massage. It takes about 60 minutes. Results are cumulative, so after a series of sessions, the improvements are many and long lasting. For sustained results, the recommended course of treatment is series of 10 to 15 treatments within the first 6 weeks, followed by a 3-month maintenance schedule
What is Dermaplaning?
Dermaplaning is a method of exfoliation that consists of using a 10 gauge scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dulling dead skin cells in order to reveal a smoother, brighter complexion. It also eliminates that annoying peach fuzz that cakes up in makeup and can be enhanced by harsh production lighting and high-definition cameras. Dermaplaning removes all the dead skin cells and also the facial hair, leaving the surface very smooth. Dermaplaning also allows for greater penetration of skincare products and creates a flawless canvas for makeup to glide on smoothly. Dermaplaning is recommended for all skin types except those with acneic skin. If you have deep cystic acne, wait until breakouts are clear before trying this treatment. As always, also discuss any allergies or skin sensitivities before starting a treatment. This is a great treatment if you are pregnant or nursing and want exfoliation without the risk of harsh chemicals absorbing into the blood stream and potentially harming your baby. Dermaplaning is a painless procedure and can be compared to the sensation of shaving your legs, but in this case, it's on your face. Skin is cleansed and thoroughly dried, an area of your skin will be pulled taut with one hand, and a sterile 10 gauge blade at a 45 degree angle held with the other hand using short, swift strokes to scrape off dead skin cells and peach fuzz. Treatment lasts about 30-45 minutes. There are no side effects and zero downtime. After the treatment, your skin will be highly sensitive to sun exposure and may already look very pink, so be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation. You'll immediately look more radiant with a more even skin tone and texture. All of your peach fuzz will be gone, which is why first-timers say their skin has never felt so soft before. Dermaplaning removes 21 days worth of dead skin cells, so it's best to allow the skin to complete its rejuvenation cycle before your next treatment
disclaimer:pricing and availability subject to change.