Choosing a salon for a facial can be challenging. Nowadays the competition between numerous beauty salons for customers is fierce. To attract customers, beauty salons will invest a lot into advertisement, exterior and interior design. However don’t let a catchy advertisement or stylish couches in the waiting room influence your choice of beauty salon. The owners could have invested in the "looks" but not the essentials; such as hiring highly trained, educated, professional personnel.
Some of the criteria one should take into account when deciding on a salon include
Before you make an appointment at a beauty salon make a tour. This way you will have a chance to look at the premises, get to know the personnel better and get a feeling about the facilities. Ask as many questions as you need to make sure you will get a high quality treatment.
Remember, you will entrust your health and beauty into the hands of a beauty salon esthetician. You have every right to request information about the education, training and experience the personnel at a beauty salon have. Below we help to clarify the issues you should know about.
Licensing Requirements: To work at a beauty salon an esthetician or a cosmetologist has to obtain a license that allows them to perform certain cosmetic procedures.
In most parts of the world not only the Beauty Salon has to have a license to provide beauty services but the personnel as well. However requirements for obtaining a license can differ. For example to perform facials an esthetician is usually required to complete a course from a certified cosmetology school, although the amount of time varies from under 300 to over 1200 educational hours. Licenses also regulate delegating responsibilities. SkinScience.com gives a list of US states and hour requirements here
Esthetician/facialist vs Cosmetologist: Who has the right training to perform a facial or who should you request to perform a facial on you?
Unfortunately, there is a widespread confusion on the difference between an esthetician and a cosmetologist. Some sources would use both words as synonyms and state that: “A cosmetologist, sometimes called a beautician, a beauty specialist, or an aesthetician or esthetician, is a worker who specializes in giving beauty treatments.” However to be more precise, a cosmetologist has a more general training and is trained to perform various procedures including manicures, hair cutting, styling, scalp, face, neck and arms massage, as well as facial beauty treatments. Estheticians or facialists, on the other hand, do specialize in skin beauty treatments and especially facial cosmetic treatments. For example according to “Regulation of Cosmetology” administered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Effective June 15, 2007)A Facialist’s responsibilities are outlined as follows:
One more confusing factor is that in various countries as well as in various states in the USA professional titles of licenses issued by License Departments for the same training can vary: instead of esthetician the title can be a beautician or a facialist etc. In any case, remember cosmetologists, estheticians or facialists are not medical doctors and cannot perform intensive, invasive, serious skin-treatments medium or deep peeling, mesotherapy, Botox injections, laser resurfacing etc. Such procedures are to be performed by professionals with special medical education. There is a more confusing situation with dermabrasion as an esthetician or facialist is allowed to perform exfoliation of dead cells on the epidermis level of the skin, however they are not allowed to do any manipulations involving dermis (living tissue). This way they can provide light dermabrasion treatments.
In some countries high quality modern salons will hire estheticians with both cosmetic training and medical education. Prices at such salon might be higher but if you are considering a more serious procedure than just a classical facial, it might well be worth spending the money. However, in other countries, such as the USA, you may have to seek out a dermatologist to get such treatments. Or ask your esthetician for a recommendation.
Skin care techniques and approach to skin care differ from culture to culture. When you go on vacation overseas and decide to treat yourself to a day at a spa including massage and a facial there is a chance that you will have a somewhat different experience than the one you are used to. For example, a Western European woman might experience discomfort from the techniques used during a facial massage in an Asian or Middle-Eastern country. Other massage techniques are used in these cultures and to those not familiar with them such massage can appear as more intensive than the one they are used to receiving at a Western salon. You can watch a video example of a facial in an Indian salon.
Various cultures have various perception and various accepted "rules" about skin-care procedures. For example, in Western cultures it is commonly accepted that a facial mask should not touch the areas of eyes or lips either when applied or when taken away. But this is not necessarily a rule in some other countries. See an example here.
Despite all the above mentioned do not deny yourself a relaxing spa experience on vacation overseas. Always be careful when choosing your Spa and Beauty Salon either you are travelling or not, and make sure you can communicate with your esthetician well (we recommend there is a language you both can speak!). In case you decided to have an authentic skin-care experience, but in the course of it you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, do not suffer in silence till the end of it, as you might have skin irritation or worse.
Read more about Beauty Salon Facials and their types
Watch a video of a European Facial customized for acne-prone skin
Improve your skin care routine to prevent premature signs of aging, read about Skin care by age