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A great esthetician is a secret weapon to many of those who make a living from their looks – but who’s to say those of us out of the limelight don’t want a little glamour and relaxation along with our skin heath, too? An esthetician is often thought of as a “treat” but using one regularly will really boost your skin’s look and appearance. An esthetician is a skin care specialist who has gone through a professional training program in that field. Not all estheticians are the same; you want someone who’s skilled, experienced, has good “hands” and is a stickler for sanitation.

Why go? You should visit an esthetician to get expert skin care advice. Estheticians are concerned with the beauty and health of the skin, so if you have questions or concerns about the appearance of your skin an esthetician can help you cut through all “the noise,” so to speak, and help you understand what ingredients and products are right for your skin. Of course, if you think that you might have a skin infection or have a suspicious growth, don’t go see an esthetician about those concerns; you’ll need a doctor to address those issues.

So how do you find a great esthetician? Start by asking your friends and your dermatologist if there’s anyone they recommend. There can be excellent estheticians at resort spas, but it’s ideal to work with someone on a regular basis rather than get a facial once in a while, always with someone different. Finding a great esthetician is much like dating, the courting to a happy long-term relationship.

a good esthetician:

• is impeccably groomed, warm and friendly.

• is a stickler for cleanliness and sanitation; one should keep a clean table and wash his or her hands before touching your face.

• gives you a relaxing facial customized to your skin, including extractions, without causing too much discomfort,
 and is responsive to your pain threshold.

• can answer any questions you have about what he or she is doing and why.

• follows your lead in terms of how much “chat” there is. It’s your time!

• asks about your home skin care routine and advises you on how to take care of your skin between facials. Advises you on what products are best suited for your skin without being pushy.

• is able to recognize skin problems that require a dermatologist and, if you have a problem that needs a medical doctor, the esthetician should insist you visit a licensed dermatologist. Be wary of any esthetician that tries to remove growths or “treat” medical conditions.

Licensing requirements for estheticians vary by state. Most states require 600 hours of training. Feel free to ask where they were trained and what kind of program they went through. I personally enjoy The Ritz Spa for a light facial and the estheticians at Dr. Mary Lupo’s office are so very knowledgeable; I always leave feeling refreshed and wonderful!

It is all about your comfort level, how you feel and if you like the results. A good regular facial will keep you red-carpet ready for big events – or even the carpool line!

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