Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beauty tip

Choosing an Aesthetician

Not long ago, professional training in nonmedical skin care came under the umbrella of cosmetology. Anyone who wanted to specialize in skin care also had to learn how to cut, color, style, and perm hair and how to do nails. More recently, the health and medical aspects of skin care have been recognized with specialized aesthetician training and licensing.

Aestheticians perform a variety of skin care procedures — deep cleansing, facials, low-grade chemical peels, and microdermabrasion (true dermabrasion should only be performed by an experienced physician). While most aestheticians work in salons and spas, don't be surprised if your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon has an aesthetician on staff. In addition to performing noninvasive treatments, an aesthetician may assist your surgeon in presurgical and postsurgical skin care and help you learn makeup techniques to cover redness or scars as your skin heals after surgery.

Licensing requirements for aestheticians vary from state to state. For example, aesthetician licensing in Massachusetts requires 300 hours of training. In Wisconsin, 450 hours of training are needed. Contact your state's department of licensing and regulation to learn about licensing requirements in your area. Many states offer this information online.