It’s a good question. The short answer is that licensed estheticians specialize in cosmetic treatments, rather than medical ones. While they can’t prescribe medications to treat more serious cases of acne, they can certainly care for your clients’ skin and perform specialized, professional treatments to help minimize acne or help with scarring.

If your clients suffer from severe acne, like cystic acne, for example, they should seek out a dermatologist, if they aren’t already doing so. A dermatologist or physician can prescribe either topical or systemic medications (like in pill form), and also perform procedures estheticians are prohibited (or limited) by state laws to perform—like deep chemical peels, laser therapy, and drainage.

Certain prescribed acne medications, such as Accutane, will limit the types of services you offer these clients since Accutane causes the skin renewal process to speed up significantly and can also cause skin irritations. So services like waxing, lasers, and other resurfacing treatments may need to be avoided since they remove layers of the skin and can make the skin more sensitive, especially to the sun.

This is why it is important to do a thorough client consultation so that your estheticians get as much information about the client including lifestyle, medical history, pre-existing conditions, or genetic conditions before any treatments are performed. A skin care analysis with magnification will give your estheticians further information about the client’s skin like how much oil is present, hydration, pigmentation depth, skin thickness, vascularity, sun damage, and Fitzpatrick skin type.

How Licensed Estheticians Can Help Minimize Acne

Below is a list of services a licensed esthetician can perform to help your clients address their acne.

  • Skin Analysis: An esthetician’s skin analysis will begin as soon as the client walks in the door with what is visible to the eye. The use of a magnifying lamp will give the esthetician even further information about your client’s skin. Magnification helps measure oil, hydration, pigmentation depth, skin thickness, vascularity, sun damage, and Fitzpatrick type. This information will ensure that peels, facials, and home care products are client appropriate and effective.

  • Facials: Estheticians can perform facial steams, deep cleansing facials, massage, exfoliation, and more. These treatments help to clean the skin, clear away dead skin cells, and prepare the skin for other treatments that may be included in the facial.

  • Extractions: Estheticians are able to extract or clean out non-inflamed blockages in your clients’ skin’s pores to help to make it feel smoother and stop pimples from forming. If the pores are inflamed, the esthetician should not attempt to treat those areas.

  • Skin Care Guidance For Care & Products: Estheticians can answer your skincare questions so you may want to come up with a list of questions—like should you try and pop a pimple yourself, for example? They can also offer guidance on how to care for your skin specifically with a suggested routine and accompanying products that will work for your skin type and concerns. If your beauty location also has a retail component, your estheticians can help guide your clients to the products that work best for them within your retail offerings.

  • Specialty Procedures: Depending on state licensing laws, your esthetician can perform specialized treatments like light chemical peels, microdermabrasion, microneedling, or Plason, which is a brand new technology just brought to the United States that is clinically proven to address active acne. It is important that estheticians do a thorough new client consultation where the client answers questions about their medical history including allergies, if they are taking medications currently (along with stating which ones they are on), or if they have any health conditions that may delay the skin’s healing process, like diabetes. If a new client is concerned about their health and receiving specialized skin care treatments, they should consult their doctor or dermatologist first to discuss any concerns.

Final thoughts...

Licensed estheticians can be great partners to help your beauty location’s clients achieve healthy, clear-looking skin. While certain activities, like treating medical conditions including acne, don’t fall within the scope of their license, estheticians can perform a variety of services in addition to suggesting a skincare regimen that will help your clients achieve their skin goals.