aveda ibw esthiology

What Does an Esthetician Do?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Contribution by Justina Wiegel. Justina teaches esthiology at our sister school, Aveda Institute Madison.

Estheticians are skin care specialists that provide facials, but once trained and licensed, they can also provide other skin care treatments, such as peels, as well as hair removal, lip treatments, lash applications and makeup applications.


A professional facial treatment provided by a licensed esthetician isn’t just masks and cucumber slices. It includes purification, steam, exfoliation, manual extractions, corrective masks, serums and moisturization. Facials often include massage of the face and neck to improve the health of the skin and relax the nervous system. Customized facials incorporate the use of essential oils that allows for a unique sensory experience which helps connect the body and mind. Additionally, estheticians create skin care regimes for clients, based on a skin analysis, to help them understand which skin care products will work best for them.

Facial Peels

Peels are a more advanced facial treatment used to exfoliate and rejuvenate the face and neck. A light (superficial) chemical peel can be performed by a licensed esthetician to give clients visible improvements in tone, texture and brightness. Peels use a chemical solution to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). The strengths of peels vary to address different levels of correction and antiaging. Deep peels should only be performed under a physician’s supervision, such as in a medispa setting.

Hair Removal

An esthetician can remove unwanted hair through the use of lasers, electrolisis, sugaring or threading with advanced training, but waxing is the most common method of hair removal. Warm wax is applied to the face or body and then removed to extract the hair, including the follicle. There are two types of wax: hard and soft. Hard wax, which is best for sensitive skin, is often used on the face, underarms and bikini area. Soft wax is used on the body, including legs, arms, back and chest.

Lip Renewing Treatments

Estheticians offer skin care solutions for all areas of the face and body. Dry and cracked lips are a common concern for clients, and lip treatments improve this area by adding extra hydration and removing dead skin cells. This treatment is typically performed as an add-on to a facial, or to prep before applying lip color during a makeup application. Other treatment add-ons include eye treatments, neck and décolleté treatments, hand and foot massage, as well as back treatments. 

Makeup Applications

Applying makeup for events such as wedding parties, proms, and other special occasions is another service performed by estheticians. They can also provide individual consultations to teach makeup application tips and to help choose the correct colors. Makeup applications include foundation, eye makeup, cheek color, lip color, mascara and brow grooming. More advanced makeup techniques include highlighting, contouring and applying temporary false lashes. Estheticians who specialize as a makeup artist can also apply makeup for theatre, television, film or fashion. 

Lash Applications

As an esthetician, you can learn to apply temporary false lashes or get trained and certified to become a lash extension artist. Lash artists specialize in the application of lash extensions. Unlike temporary false lashes that are only worn for a day, lash extensions last several weeks and are applied with a semi-permanent glue onto each individual eyelash hair to add length, curl and fullness. False lashes, which are often applied during a makeup application, feature a lightweight band that connects a full strip of knotted lashes. This style of lash is applied along the natural lash line with a temporary glue. False lashes come in a wide array of styles, including individual and wispies.

Estheticians beautify the face and body through a variety of professional services. After they learn how to perform these treatments, they have the opportunity to advance their techniques, specialize in a particular area and grow their skills to offer the services their clients want.Are you a skin care geek or makeup enthusiast interested in becoming an esthetician? Learn more about our esthiology program by scheduling a virtual tour.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.