So you’re on the search for a licensed esthetician because you’re seeing signs you need a facial. You know that having great skin is perhaps your most important investment in your appearance, and the best way to achieve this is to have a great esthetician. But where do you start? We’re here to help. We’ve compiled a short list of what to look for when searching for an esthetician. Keep these five things in mind and we’re sure you’ll find your perfect match. Your skin will thank you for it! 1. Valid Esthetics License The most basic step in finding an esthetician is to make sure they are licensed. Your esthetician should have a current and valid esthetics license in the state in which they are practicing in. If you’re in the spa, you can also ask about their type of licensure; you want to make sure you are working with an esthetician over a cosmetologist. While cosmetologists can do facial services, estheticians have a more in-depth understanding of the skin. A bonus is finding an esthetician who holds a CIDESCO USA diploma. This is a mark of high standards. CIDESCO is the country’s prestigious licensing and accrediting body that provides both general and advanced licensing for estheticians. What this means is that your esthetician has had advanced, continuing education (see below on this important point) and is held to the highest of standards, something that truly enhances their expertise. This will put you at ease during your appointments. 2. Sanitary Environment When you’re looking for a new place to get spa treatments in, you might think it’s as simple as searching “best facial spa near me” on the internet and setting an appointment. After all, if a spa has great ratings, then you should be set for a nice experience. Why would you think any differently? Not so fast. You can research a spa, like an esthetician, ask for and receive evidence of licensure, but if the spa room isn’t clean or sanitary, you should look elsewhere for skincare guidance. Any esthetician that can’t keep a room clean and sanitary does not deserve to get anywhere near your face. Why are we being stubborn about this? Because unsanitary conditions can lead to illness or infection! You need to find an esthetician that performs her services in an absolutely sterile (but still pleasant and inviting!) environment. Here are a few things that you should be on the lookout for before your session: The facial trolley is sanitized, clean and neat. All non-disposable instruments, such as tools, brushes, tweezers, are sanitized in a sterilizer or autoclave before and after treatment. Surfaces are clean and sanitized. Fresh linens and liners are on the treatment bed or chair. Applicators are stored in air-tight containers. The esthetician is wearing disposable gloves. The esthetician does not “double-dip.” (i.e. If you’re getting waxed, the esthetician should not put the applicator used on your skin back into a wax jar.) Facial steamers are clean and sanitized. If the esthetician is using a lancet to remove milia (pesky white bumps) each needle should be properly disposed in a sharps box. (Note: Lancets are only allowed in select states) If you come across a spa that has even one of these infractions, move on to another spa. Don’t take the risk that the spa isn’t clean or sanitary because you never know what impact it may have on your skin. 3. Positive Attitude You may find that an esthetician is someone you become close to. They need to know your skin care concerns, as well as changes in your lifestyle that may affect your skin as you visit your esthetician regularly to fix any skin issues you may be facing. Therefore, you want to choose an esthetician who has a positive attitude – someone who will ask about your skin concerns, and will be eager and optimistic to help provide treatments to achieve your skin goals. Of course, you also want someone who understands how to make your entire experience positive. A good esthetician knows how working so closely to your skin and body doesn’t come naturally and should be able to make you feel comfortable. If your esthetician loves what they do, a positive attitude should come naturally and you should feel that you’re in good hands with someone is passionate about skin care and helping you achieve beautiful skin. 4. Professional Appearance A professional appearance is required for an esthetician. There is no way around this. Yes, it is possible for them to be excellent at their job in jeans and a t-shirt, but you should look for someone who takes your skincare seriously. When meeting with estheticians, look for short and clean nails; long nails can trap bacteria and dirt under the nail bed, which may end up on your skin during extractions. If your esthetician has long hair, it should be fully pulled back; this is because hair has oils that can interact with skincare products if it comes into contact with it. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum with no pieces that could dangle in your face. We’ll also note that closed-toe shoes are required by law. We think a professional, clean, crisp lab coat and fresh breath should also be required by law, and you should look for this as a hallmark of excellence as well. 5. Ongoing Education Part of being an esthetician is continuing education. For many professionals, this is a requirement for re-licensure. But many estheticians go one step further and take post-graduate classes on skincare. Check with your esthetician to see if they are continuing their education. It’s an important question because skincare is constantly evolving and new technologies are developed every year. You want to make sure that whoever you choose understands the new technology and products; it’s also critical that they know how to use that knowledge to best serve your skin. We believe that putting your skincare first is a great investment; it’s why we built our Spa Locator. In this database, you will find qualified, licensed estheticians near you. Remember, estheticians can help your skin concerns and be the change maker for your skin – now go and find your skin’s BFF!