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If you’ve been in the esthetics industry for any length of time, you are most likely going to encounter someone working outside their scope of practice or someone who is not licensed as a skin care therapist performing services in the role of an esthetician.
This is an outrageous ethics violation and does not serve our clients, our industry, or the licensed professionals who elevate our industry every day.
All states, except Connecticut (whats up, Connecticut?) require the person who is performing work on the skin in a professional setting, must be certified or licensed.
Currently, there is no nationally recognized standard. Each state determines the number of hours of education a licensed esthetician must have to be eligible to take the state exam.
There is a lot of debate on what that education should look like, how many hours are needed, what is the curriculum taught and how to test for competency, the list goes on, however, the bottom line is 49 out of 50 states recognize that working on the skin, the largest organ in the body, requires a certain amount of expertise and knowledge. A test of competency is essential to licensure. Visit here to learn more about your state's requirements.
As a skin care professional, you have a responsibility to yourself, your clients, and to your profession. you are obligated to use your knowledge to provide the best treatments and services you are educated in and this includes your knowledge of safety and sanitation regulations.
Someone who is practicing esthetics by offering skin care services without being licensed by the state is injuring the client. The client places trust in the service provider and the services she is receiving and paying for.
By allowing someone who is not licensed to perform services, we are demeaning our profession. We have paid significant tuition and spend significant time and effort to learn skin anatomy and histology, chemistry, skin care ingredients, facial treatments, electrical devices, and more. We have tested and proven our knowledge. We are able to serve our clients with experience and understanding of the skin and its reactions to treatments.
Do not let someone gain professionally from performing treatments while unlicensed. The consumer is at risk and so is our profession. An unlicensed person is not covered by liability insurance, if there is a negative outcome, the client will lose.
If and when you encounter a blatant violation, consider making this person aware of the state requirements to perform skin care services - I don’t know if you are aware, but did you know you need to be licensed to do treatments? Give them a chance to course correct.
If you have given them an opportunity to comply with the law and they continue operating illegally, you can report an unlicensed person to the state for investigation. Often these reports can be made anonymously. The state is obligated to protect its residents and will investigate.
An anonymous report to the state requires you to take the time to document details of the violation. You must show impartial but concrete evidence of esthetics licensure violations. Gossipy reports, like my friend says a girl that lives in her building is getting bikini waxing from Lady X, will not get the attention from the state.
Gather the evidence, by taking screenshots of Facebook and Instagram postings and any other advertisements you may have seen. Add this proof to your report with a description of the violation, Lady X was doing waxing, a treatment that must be performed by a licensed professional. Lady X is not licensed.
It takes all of us to elevate our profession and each of us to protect our clients by reporting violators to our state licensing agency.
Photo: Africa Studio
In this post, we discussed the importance of state licensure when performing skin treatments and what you can do about it, if and when you discover someone is operating as an illegal esthetician. Here are two tools that will help you be a better communicator in any situation
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Mary Nielsen grew up in Minnesota but calls Portland, Oregon home for the past 30 years. She is the Executive Director of Spectrum Advanced Aesthetics Institute and serves on the board of Certified Advanced Estheticians for the state of Oregon. She is a happily married grandmother who has been thrilled to be working in the never dull field of advanced esthetics for over 17 years. She spends her free time outdoors or at her sewing machine.
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