In this big wide world of skincare, it’s nice to have a trusted friend who can guide you along. Someone who can teach you about your unique complexion, answer questions about natural products, and bless you with home techniques for long-term glow. Who is this magical skin angel you ask? Why your local esthetician. Besides being some of the sweetest and most calming people on the planet, estheticians take pride in helping you love your skin no matter the case—acne, wrinkles, or just wanting to be pampered. But with so many options out there, finding a perfect connection can be tricky.
A quick Google search may send you spinning with questions like: what should I be looking for? How can I tell they’re the real deal? How often should I see them? What if we don’t click? “First things first,” says Gabi Stephan, Holistic Esthetician, and Makeup Artist at Lena Rose Spa. “No two estheticians are the same. You can have two estheticians who graduated from the same school and learned all the same techniques but offer completely different services.”
And looking for an esthetician goes well beyond how they treat your skin. Practitioners should hold a comfortable space for you to openly discuss your skin goals and concerns. They should be full of trust, safety, and compassion. Because this is such a dynamic and exciting search, we asked three lovely estheticians to weigh in.
Kristen B, Holistic Skin Care Therapist and Esthetician at Woodside Holistic
How do I initially start my search?
A unanimous piece of advice from all three of our esthetician sources say word of mouth is best. Makes sense, right? You already take advice from inner circle friends about dating, work, and movies. If they see an esthetician that they flow with, chances are you will have a similar experience.
The next best bet is hitting up Yelp, which Cecily J. Braden, founder of Beauty Secrets and International Spa Educator does when looking for services during travel. Search for spas, salons, keywords such as “skincare” or the type of facial you want (e.g. gua sha facial) to find independent estheticians in your area. “I always keep in mind that some good reviews may be friends and some bad reviews may be revenge from a disgruntled client that may or may not reflect the true nature of the therapists,” she says. Doing a gut check here is always a good idea.
Another option is working backward. Look for a spa that carries the line of skincare products you currently use. Since you already resonate with the products, you’ll likely resonate with the specialist and environment of the spa. “It also will help with your home care because it’s a product you know works for your skin,” says Cecily. “And you can establish a local resource to make sure you are choosing the products right for your skin type.” Product websites often list spas and salons where they are carried (check out ours!).
After finding a few spas or estheticians, peruse their website and social media accounts. Does the treatment room look relaxing? Do you vibe with their philosophies? Feel happy looking at their before and after photos? “It’s important to find a space that matches your own personal practices,” says Gabi. “Someone who enjoys eating organic and is vegan likely won't enjoy a medical setting for their facial.”
Gabi Stephan, Holistic Esthetician and Makeup Artist at Lena Rose Beauty
What specifics do I need to look for?
When researching an esthetician, you want to make sure they are licensed in your state and look for any continuing education or additional certifications they have received since becoming licensed. You can check this on their personal website or through the spa they work for. “The number of hours required and in-school training fluctuates from state-to-state, so it’s important to look at the education they have received after becoming licensed and make sure they are properly trained and certified to perform the services you are interested in receiving,” says Cecily.