What is an Advanced Practice Esthetician?
Have the various titles Aesthetician, Esthetician, Medical Esthetician, Cosmetologist, Skin Therapist, Beauty Therapist, and Clinical Skincare Therapist left you feeling confused about the actual credentials of the person performing your skincare treatment? The Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners (MBCE) thought so too and as of 2018 decided to do something about it! Last year, the board launched a huge initiative and rule change regarding the licensure of those working in the skincare industry. This month, the new Advanced Practice Esthetician (APE) licensing requirements go into effect throughout the state of Minnesota. Let’s take a closer look at why this is important and what it means to entrust your skin to an Advanced Practice Esthetician.
What is an Esthetician?
“No, an esthetician and cosmetologist are NOT the same thing,” laughs Cyndi, an Advanced Practice Esthetician with FACE Cosmetic Skincare. “Cosmetology is a completely different license, and although the training covers a little bit of skincare, it is predominately focused on hair cutting, coloring, and styling,” explains Cyndi. “When someone pursues a license in Esthetics, their training is entirely focused on the skin with an emphasis on skin anatomy, skin diseases, and disorders, how to treat various skin conditions, and how to perform safe and effective skin treatments. In the state of Minnesota, a licensed cosmetologist can offer skincare services, but when you seek treatment with a licensed esthetician, you can trust that their entire background is solely focused on skin.”
In the state of Minnesota, a 600-hour program is required to obtain a license in esthetics. Students must complete these hours of skills and theory training and pass a written and practical exam.
Once licensed, an esthetician can perform the following services in Minnesota:
- Basic Facials
- Waxing & Sugaring
- Makeup Application
- Eyelash Extensions
- Lash & Brow Tinting
- Exfoliation treatments (scrubs & peels) that only remove the stratum corneum of the skin
How is the new Advanced Practice Esthetician License different?
“I think part of the reason the state board created this additional licensing requirement was to protect people and create a differentiation between estheticians who practice
d in a spa/salon environment and those who work in a more medical setting,” says Cyndi. “I think this is important because it defines the scope of practice required for someone to provide certain skincare treatments,” she continues. “So many people were running around calling themselves medical aestheticians and using products and technologies that really should be supervised by a medical director; the landscape was getting a little dangerous and confusing for clients.”
To qualify for an Advanced Practice Esthetician (APE) License, a person must first have their license in Esthetics or Cosmetology. Then, they can pursue the additional hours of training for the AP credentials and take a written and practical exam.
Going beyond the traditional services one can perform under a basic esthetics license, Advanced Practice Estheticians can also perform dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, skin needling, and other advanced skincare treatments.
The state board identified that to safely and effectively perform these services, your esthetician would need additional training and a heightened knowledge base of:
- Advanced understanding of skin anatomy & physiology
- Skin histology
- Advanced skincare product and ingredient knowledge
- Pre & Post Procedure treatment regimens
- Advanced client consultation strategies including skin analysis & typing
- Risk management
- Advanced skill training in chemical exfoliation, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning
- Equipment utilizing galvanic current, radiofrequency, microcurrent, light and sound
- Lymphatic drainage
- Extractions using a lancet
How can I tell if my esthetician has the Advanced Practice (AP) Credentials?
Although many estheticians will choose to display their license on a wall within their treatment room, the easiest way to check on the qualifications of your esthetician is to use the license lookup option on the Minnesota Board of Cosmetology website. Enter your esthetician’s first and last name to see the status of her license.
“I think this new tier of licensing is important for clients and patients to understand,” shares Cyndi. “The world of skincare can be overwhelming and confusing, and the Advanced Practice Esthetician license ensures that your esthetician has the training and qualifications she needs to deliver the safest, most effective treatments possible.”