For those of us who are new to the beauty industry, certain terms may not be clearly defined. Two such terms are ‘cosmetologists’ and ‘professional estheticians’. We will try to explain the detailed difference between these two closely related terms.
There are four major headings under which we study their differences. These are:
1. Educational and training:
Educational requirements for different countries will be different. Talking about the USA in particular, a person needs to have completed a state training program and hence, obtained a cosmetology license.
Similarly, to become a skin esthetician, one must complete an esthetics program and obtain state licensure (except Connecticut).
The time needed to complete these programs will vary state-wise. Roughly, most cosmetology programs range from 1000 to 2000 hrs, whereas esthetics programs would require 500- 750 hrs.
For example, in Illinois, training hours to be eligible for the state licensure examination are 750 hrs for esthetics and 1500 hrs for cosmetology.
The scope of a cosmetologist is slightly different from that of an esthetician. Where a cosmetologist specializes in matters pertaining to the hair, nails, and skin, the esthetician focuses mainly just on the skincare treatments.
The cosmetologist usually specializes in either of the two: hair or nails.
On the other hand, an esthetician specializes in specific niches:
· Chemical resurfacing
· Massage and reflexology
If a cosmetologist wishes to perform these procedures, he/she will have to take extra training to get a license. These are comparatively technical procedures that can’t and shouldn’t be handled without proper training.
3. In the medical field:
Professional estheticians even work along with medical practitioners in dermatology centers, plastic surgery clinics, hospitals, etc. in performing and assisting in a variety of procedures.
Some of their duties in a healthcare facility would include handling burn patients, chemotherapy patients dealing with hair loss and skin complaints, patients needing chemical peels for acne scarring.
For assisting in medical practice, however, an esthetician is given specific training first, so that they are well equipped to handle these cases. In some places, a license may not be required to do so, that is, unlicensed professionals are assisting doctors in their medical aesthetic practice.
4. Job roles:
The specific jobs being performed by the two may slightly overlap. The difference lies in the fact that cosmetology is more concerned with hairstyles, haircare, beauty, general makeup, etc. They are mostly styling professionals. They provide hair styling, cutting and coloring services rather than skincare services.
A professional Estheticians NYC like that from Karmina Beauty Clinic is capable of performing procedures like microabrasions, deep cleansing, chemical peels, exfoliation, wraps, etc.
It is important to note that both these jobs are not interchangeable. That is, a professional esthetician is not a cosmetologist and vice versa. The two licenses are separately obtained and certainly need exclusivity. However, a cosmetologist can become an esthetician by additional training in some cases.