Esthe what?

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I hate to tell people what I do for a living, because a lot of people don’t really understand or know what an esthetician is. I usually spend about 2 minutes listening to them try to pronounce esthetician, which is immediately followed by “a what?” So instead of saying esthetician I simply say “I do facials” or I work at a Spa. Then they say something like… “You do massage”; then I change the subject.

I first encountered the field back in the 80’s; I was distributing The Beautifier, a cosmetology news/magazine, to salons. You may find 2-3 salons on every other block in New York. What’s amazing is, their all busy.  At the time the nail salon craze was in its infancy but today it is the only thing in the industry that rivals the beauty salon. In the middle of this I found something that none of us had seen before…a day spa.  This day spa stood in the middle of the avenue shinning like a diamond but unlike the countless beauty salons that surrounded it; it had no customers.

This day spa was as elegant and relaxing as any spa I’ve seen; in some ways more. It had a mani/pedi area, private treatment rooms, relaxation area complete with sunken spa tub. I immediately put together the most favorable article I could. The owner thanked me and braced herself for new business, which never came. She closed about 8 months later. I think she was about 25 years too early, because here we are in the year 2014 and I’m still explaining what I do for a living.

The name of the day spa was Skin-a-peel, which means this was a skin shop. They did not focus on massage; skin care was their focus. She was an esthetician; a more revealing title would be skin care specialist.  Not to be confused with dermatologist; an esthetician does not diagnose disorders but are trained to refer possible skin conditions to doctors. Skin care specialists are concerned with the wellness and appearance of the skin. They use preventive techniques to prevent and diminish the appearance of wrinkles, dryness and reduce excess oils that can lead to acne. They also remove black heads and white heads from the skin. Using products formulated by the best cosmeceutical (a combination of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products used to treat the skin) companies in the world.

If you don’t know what an esthetician is you probably have never had a facial. This brings me to the topic “what is a facial?” If you’ve had a Mary Kay party; you have not had a facial. If you have had your makeup done at cosmetics counter in the mall; you have not had a facial. Facials consist of skin analysis and consultation followed by cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, masking and treatments. Your esthetician will prescribe a cosmeceutical regimen for home care of the skin. They will also recommend further treatment if needed or if necessary, refer you to a dermatologist. Spa facials also focus on relaxation. Esthetician use relaxation techniques along with upper body massage to reduce stress and promote rejuvenation.

When I looked up the definition of Esthetician on it said  “Sometimes, Aesthetician. A person with special training in administering facials, aromatherapy, hair and skin care, makeup, etc.”

X WRONG     

Estheticians do not do hair, cosmetologist do hair and their license allows them to do facials,   Estheticians are skin care specialist,  however,  we do waxing which is hair removal.

So if you don’t understand what estheticians do; it’s OK,  the dictionary got it wrong too.