Esthetician vs Dermatologist:Who Should You See for Your Skin?
There are many skin care professionals you can consult with about how to care for your skin but the two most popular would be either a licensed esthetician or dermatologist. I recently had a client come to see me for a facial treatment, and during our consultation she told me, “I’ve gone to see everyone for my skin and haven’t got much result. This is why I’m here to see you today.”
But what are the main differences between seeing a dermatologist for your skin versus seeing an esthetician?
Let me start by saying that I’m often asked this question so I feel it’s relevant to discuss. The differences are many so let me explain how time spent with us, licensed estheticians; garner different results than a dermatologist visit. (Note: Not all dermatologists or estheticians are equal so I’m generalizing my information with what I know to be true of most.)
An esthetician will spend more time with you than a dermatologist. If you’re scheduling a skin treatment such as a facial, the time spent with your esthetician will usually be 60-90 minutes whereas generally a dermatologist appointment will be anywhere from 10-20 minutes.
In the case of this particular client, throughout both the consultation and the facial, we talked at length about her specific skin concerns and goals, which provided us with valuable insight into her individual skin type, needs and deficiencies. Also, listening to her talk about the history of her skin back to when she was a teenager really painted a good picture for us to understand how her skin behaves. Simply put, time is on your side with an esthetician. The more information you share, and having plenty of time to do so, will allow us to piece together the puzzle to ensure you get the results you desire with your skin.
A dermatologist can prescribe topical or oral medication. There are times when the use of prescription drugs is necessary to treat certain skin conditions that aren’t responding to over-the-counter skin treatments. Chronic rosacea, severe acne and skin rashes and allergies are examples of conditions that are often treated with medication.
Both an esthetician and dermatologist work by appointment only. But as most will know, an esthetician will take you right at your appointment time whereas with a dermatologist, you can wait up to an hour or more before being seen. It’s just the nature of each of the industries.
An esthetician will be more knowledgeable about your skin care routine. As one of my Czech dermatologist colleagues has told me, “Irena, I don’t do what you do. I was trained in treating diseases of the skin. When it comes to which products are best, what my patient’s skin care routine should look like and when to change up their products, this is not my area of expertise and this is why I refer them to you.” For an esthetician, skin care products are our prescriptions so we are very familiar with skin ingredients, which products are best to use and when, and how to enhance your skin at home.
For those who have visited a dermatologist, you’ll often hear them say “Wash with a mild cleanser and use sunscreen.” While I’m certainly in agreement with this recommendation, there is just so much more to it than that. A good esthetician will be able to go into great detail about your skin care routine and what’s right for you based on observations and your personal skin concerns revealed during your thorough consultation.
Seeing an esthetician or a dermatologist can both offer great results? There is certainly no right or wrong, it’s just a personal choice as to what approach is most comfortable to you. The decision is yours.