In the world of beauty there are a multitude of professionals and when looking for specific advice the task of knowing who to ask is daunting! Hopefully this will help clarify each profession and guide you to the best advice available.
A dermatologist is a medical doctor with a specialty in skin care. For serious skin issues this person should be the most important advice giver you listen to. All too often I see people lack trust in their dermatologist’s advice because their medication is not working fast enough or as desirably as they would like. There may be a lot of science in becoming dermatologist but the practice of being one requires more art. Not every medication will have the same effect on every patient and the only way to find out what works best for you is to trust their process. Don’t be afraid to be upfront with them about your concerns or challenges with their instructions. This person is here to help you and can’t give you the best advice if they don’t have all the information they need.
To become a licensed cosmetologist you are tested on more than just hair cutting and coloring knowledge. A cosmetologist is also licensed to do facials, waxing, and nails. The majority of cosmetologists go on to be hair stylists and rarely use the other skills covered by their license but they will have a basic knowledge about all of these things. Cosmetologists are not licensed to use tools that break the surface of the skin like pimple extractors.
This is always my first recommendation for any one with skin issues as their licenses covers 2 main aspects- skin care and hair removal. I find that their knowledge of the skin is the most helpful first step for any issues you might have. Visiting an esthetician is much cheaper than a dermatologist visit and they will recommend a skin care routine based on your skin’s needs. If you do need more help then they can offer you they will be able to diagnose that and possibly recommend a dermatologist for you to see. They will also have a knowledge of make up application in regards to sanitary applications but not all esthetics schools concentrate on make up artistry. If nothing else, go for the luxury of it! Facials are amazing and well worth the time!
Some estheticians also receive certifications in other types of services like eyelash extensions, permanent make up, or electrolysis. These services are not a part of their license testing.
A manicurist is licensed to do anything concerning nails. This includes manicures, pedicures, acrylic or gel nails, and some skin services like removing a callous from your heel or cutting back the cuticles on your nails. All too often I see nail salons offering body waxing without a licensed esthetician, be wary of them! Some states have also outlawed certain kinds of tools for use- like metal callous cutters, but these tools are still used by less professional ‘pros’. Check with your state board if you have any concerns about any tools your manicurist is using. Infections can spread much quicker in a nail salon from one client to another when the manicurist does not follow all the health and safety codes that are required of them. It is very important to watch for cleanliness for those with Diabetes or other medical illnesses to avoid health issues .
Unlicensed Professionals: This includes make up artists and any service provider that is without a state issued license. There are more and more different kinds of services with each new day and it is hard for state board officials to keep state regulations up to reflect each service. The most important thing to look for with these types of professionals are certifications. A certification means that they have had some kind of training over a certain amount of time. Some times a certification will take a few months but others as little as a few hours. For example I have a certificate in cosmetology from my school for finishing the cosmetology course but my state license has a completely separate testing entity.
There can be professionals who are certified and those who have certificates of completion. Certified most often means they were tested at the end of their education and had to receive a passing grade to receive their certification. Certificates of completion are basically attendance awards for showing up to a lecture, however, this does not mean that their education there is not valid.
Whatever service professional you are seeking it is always important to remember my 5 Tips For Beauty Without Painful Experiences post!