How to Become An Aesthetician
Aestheticians today play an increasingly central role in helping clients maintain a healthy skin care routine to help them look and feel their best. Dara Cardoza, Director of Education at Canadian Beauty College, gives us some insight into the business of aesthetics that may help you decide if this is the right career path for you.
What Does an Aesthetician Do?
Aestheticians are skin care specialists who provide a variety of facial and body treatments using specialized products and techniques. Once regarded as a luxury, Cardoza says “the services of an aesthetician have become a necessity in many people’s lives. The skin care and anti-aging regimens that aestheticians prescribe are part of a healthy lifestyle that should also include nutrition and exercise.”
A trained aesthetician provides a long list of beauty and skin care services, including manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyelash and eyebrow tinting, and body treatments. A medical aesthetician performs all of those services, but is also trained to offer additional treatments, says Cardoza, including:
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments, which improve the appearance of aged skin by treating age spots, benign brown pigments, and skin redness caused by broken capillaries;
- Chemical peels that rejuvenate the skin and help reduce the look of fine lines, wrinkles and some acne scars;
- Microdermabrasion treatments that deeply exfoliate the top layer of the skin to remove dry or dead skin cells and unclog pores to give the skin a healthier appearance and glow;
- Laser hair removal, which removes unwanted facial and body hair with painless pulses of laser light.
“Aestheticians do not diagnose skin diseases,” says Cardoza, “but they’re taught to recognize what they can and cannot treat. They should be able to recognize ‘concerns’ and refer someone to a doctor if necessary.”
Is This Career Right For Me?
The spa industry is, in and of itself, a social atmosphere that requires consultation with clients and soothing conversation during procedures.
“Ideal candidates should have a passionate personality, be a good communicator and have an upbeat but calm demeanour,” says Cardoza. “That person should be someone who can listen while being comforting at the same time. They should have the energy for labour-intensive workdays as well.”
Aestheticians should be taught the importance of good posture, and be trained in maintaining proper workplace sanitation. They should also have a solid knowledge of the business and customer service side of the spa industry. “Client retention, phone skills, booking appointments and product sales are a big part of being an aesthetician,” says Cardoza.
She advises prospective students to visit colleges before enrolling to verify that the school offers the level of education and training that’s required in the industry. Canadian Beauty College has seven campuses in Ontario, including Vaughan, Toronto and Mississauga, and is registered with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, which allows for oversight and accountability.
“Prospects should do their research and look for a registered school that has qualified instructors and a written curriculum,” says Cardoza. “They should have products and proper working equipment to be used and trained on. Documents should be posted showing where and with whom the school is registered, and proper sanitation standards and signage should be posted throughout the facility.”
She adds that instructors should be available to meet prospects and answer their questions. She suggests talking to students as well. “It’s a good way to get a clear picture of how people who are currently enrolled feel about the school and if people enjoy working and studying there,” she says.
Doing your due diligence will ensure that you graduate with the proper training and qualifications, and have the communication and customer service skills that are such a crucial part of the industry.
Where Are The Jobs?
“The spa industry is a constantly growing industry with plenty of room for growth for a passionate person who enjoys working with people in a fast-paced but relaxing atmosphere,” says Cardoza. “There are many avenues that can be taken in the industry so there’s little room for boredom. You can, among other things, provide aesthetic services, own your own facility, teach and train within the industry or manage a facility.”
Successful graduates are prepared for employment in dermatology clinics, skin care clinics, laser care facilities, medical spas, plastic surgeons offices, day spas, wellness centres, destination spas and more.
Best of all, says Cardoza, the industry continues to see nothing but growth. “The luxury of aesthetics is a thing of the past,” she says. “This is an industry where there will always be a demand for those who like working with people.”
Where Can I Study?
There are a number of colleges that offer aesthetics and medical aesthetics programs. If you’re in Ontario and want to check out the programs at Canadian Beauty College, you can get in touch with one of their seven campuses to get more information.
Other schools that offer programs include: