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What Does an Aesthetician Do?

Aestheticians are trained on special skin care products and techniques.
An aesthetician may apply skin care treatments in a spa.
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  • Written By: Deneatra Harmon
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2014
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An aesthetician specializes in applying skin care treatments in a spa or medical setting. Some of the duties of an aesthetician include offering skin consultations, facials, and other techniques to improve the skin’s appearance. Many find jobs working day spas, salons, or at vacation resorts, and some even work in a medical setting working with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to correct more serious skin problems. More years of experience can lead to other related opportunities, such as management or beauty consulting and marketing.

The aesthetician must become knowledgeable about different skin types to apply the appropriate skin treatments and products, as he or she must meet the needs of clients who have sensitive, dry, oily, or combination skin. A basic skin consultation is generally performed when first starting with a new client, which involves the use of equipment such as a magnifying lamp to get a glimpse of the skin’s overall appearance and condition. He or she will then recommend the appropriate skin care regimen and products that may benefit the skin.

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There are a number of instructional tips that an aesthetician may give to his or her clients in addition to performing treatments. For example, she may demonstrate the proper way to clean the face and body, or instruct on how to use chemical peels or treatment masks at home between salon visits. In addition, other common advice includes finding and applying the right makeup, as well as instructing clients on how to use skin, nail, or hair care tools. Other common duties involve performing facial massages to relax the muscles, facials and extractions to purify the skin, and chemical peels to reduce aging. Another task may include waxing of the face and body to remove unwanted hair.

An aesthetician who works in a medical setting generally assists the dermatologist or plastic surgeon in treating a patient for a skin injury or deformity. He or she may also help to restore the skin before and after surgery by doing medical peels, microdermabrasions, or facials, in addition to laser skin rejuvenation and laser hair removal. Medical settings for a skin care specialist may include private practices, clinics, or hospitals. The aesthetician may also, at times, be responsible for administering prescription skin care treatments or medications.

Depending on where an aesthetician works, the job duties may vary so much so that he or she must also demonstrate business skills and handle administrative tasks. Good customer service skills are essential and the job often requires tracking client needs and offering the appropriate services. Some additional administrative duties include scheduling appointments, making business transactions, and maintaining an inventory of supplies and equipment, as well as selling cosmetics and skin care merchandise.

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Fa5t3r
Post 3

@browncoat - I would feel a bit guilty about that, to be honest. I mean, I don't really think that the treatments done at a salon are all that necessary, and people spend a lot of money on them.

In some cases, I suspect they are actually doing more harm than good. I know my skin tends to look and feel best when I don't use too many products.

I just think a lot of this kind of job is geared more towards making money than trying to help people with their health. It's like a short term beauty racket rather than the long term solution that it often gets touted as being.

browncoat
Post 2

@clintflint - Aesthetician training is always a good career move, because it's one of those jobs that is always going to be in demand. Even when people are in economic trouble they will still go and take care of their skin, hair and nails, because those are some of the most visible outward signs of well-being and prosperity and people like to be seen as being well off.

Also it's a good way to treat yourself, since you're doing something that's enjoyable and healthy at the same time.

The job isn't for everyone though. You really need to have attention to detail and the ability to be cheerful and warm to everyone even if you aren't feeling particularly happy at the time.

clintflint
Post 1

My housemate has her own salon and works as an aesthetician, although I've never heard her call it that. I never realized how much research and work actually goes into the job, but she works very long hours and cares quite a lot about making sure her clients have the best treatment.

It seems to be quite a growing market so it's not a bad career to pursue if you are interested in this kind of thing.

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