How to Become a Skincare Specialist
Flawless skin is the foundation of all things beauty, and as a skincare specialist, you could give people the tools to love their skin. Whether it is treating common skin issues such as acne or eczema or pampering the skin with nourishing moisturisers, skincare specialists play a key role in the beauty industry and support clients’ in feeling fabulous.
This career is suited to someone creative, friendly, and passionate about skincare so if this sounds like you, then find out more about this career below.
What Does A Skincare Specialist Do?
A skincare specialist (also known as an esthetician) is a cosmetology professional whose expertise is in skin science, non-surgical skin treatments, and skin health. Skincare specialists usually work in salons and spas alongside other beauty professionals, conducting skin analysis on clients and offering skin treatments, advice, and other beauty services such as removal of unwanted hair.
Their knowledge of skin health will also enable skincare specialists to advise clients on the right skin treatments and products for their skin, and they may refer clients to dermatologists if a client has a serious skin issue.
They often advise clients and perform treatments to help remove dead skin, reduce wrinkles, treat conditions such as acne and eczema, make the skin firmer, and overall increase the quality and health of their client’s skin. The day-to-day tasks of a skincare specialist include:
How Much Does A Skincare Specialist Earn?
The average salary for a skincare specialist in the UK is £25,000 per year. Entry-level skin specialists begin at around £15k a year, whereas senior specialists can make up to £45k annually according to the National Careers Service .
What Qualifications Are Needed To Become A Skincare Specialist?
In order to become a skincare specialist, you will need to have an accredited qualification in cosmetology, beauty therapy, or another relevant beauty industry certification.
The most common routes into this career include completing an NVQ Level 2 or NVQ Level 3 in Beauty Therapy, which provides the practical skills and theoretical knowledge for carrying out a variety of skincare and beauty treatments. These are National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and therefore are recognised in the UK and are focussed on providing practical training alongside theoretical teaching.
There are other avenues to becoming a skincare specialist, however, for example, completing an apprenticeship at a local salon, spa, or health centre. This allows you to gain real-world experience and earn money whilst training under qualified professionals.
There are several online courses in beauty therapy, cosmetology, and massage, which will provide an excellent basis for building practical skills in a work environment. There are also individual courses in specific procedures, such as eyebrow threading and waxing which will also improve the likelihood of getting a place on a Beauty Therapy NVQ or diploma course or an apprenticeship.
Finally, although a postsecondary bachelor’s or master’s degree is not required for this career, it can be very useful. A degree, or a qualification, in anatomy and physiology, makeup, skin science, or biology will be relevant to your necessary knowledge of health and the human body. Furthermore, knowledge of dermatology through a science or beauty course will be extremely useful.
If you’re keen to get started straight away, a Complete Beauty Diploma can be a good way to begin your education journey.
What Skills Are Needed To Become A Skincare Specialist?
The key skills needed to thrive in a career as a skincare specialist are:
Excellent communication skills
Empathy and discretion
Ability to pay close attention to detail
Good manual dexterity
Knowledge of skin types and skincare techniques
Delicate yet accurate approach to providing treatments
Ability to apply theoretical knowledge to individual clients
Good sales and upselling skills
Organisation and time-keeping skills
Basic IT skills for booking appointments
Maintain health and safety protocols
Does Becoming A Skincare Specialist Need Any Work Experience?
Being a skincare specialist is all about providing excellent practical treatments and advice on skincare. Therefore work experience is essential before becoming a certified skincare specialist.
This is usually achieved during an apprenticeship or vocational qualification such as a diploma or NVQ. All of these have built-in practical elements or work-based training as an integral part of the qualification.
Working alongside skin care professionals during your training also means that you will see not only how they apply facial skincare and skin treatments but also how they interact with clients.
If you want to get your foot in the door when it comes to applying for training programs and skin care courses, then you can always gain relevant work experience in other areas.
For example, suppose you have any experience in customer service (e.g., in retail or as a cashier). In that case, this will help improve your interpersonal skills, which are key to being a skin specialist.
Gaining full-time or part-time experience in administration is also useful for developing IT skills, as is experience in healthcare for relevant health and hygiene experience.
Lastly, honing your practical skincare skills and knowledge at home is a great way to progress faster in your career. You can learn about skincare ranges and treatments online through short courses and practice application techniques at home with your own skin creams and lotions to develop your skills.
Career Prospects For A Skincare Specialist
Skincare specialists can enjoy a variety of career prospects in the beauty industry, from cosmetology to massage.
As this role requires training in salons and spas and involves different treatments such as hair removal and skincare application, it is relatively simple to move into other areas of beauty, such as beauty therapy or makeup application. If you’re curious to see whether a career as a beauty therapist is for you, reading dedicated beauty therapy guides can be a good way to find out more.
You can also become an advanced facial and skincare specialist, offering treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and mechanical lymphatic drainage massage. Many skin care specialists work in salons. However you can also progress to becoming self-employed and offering treatments from home or travelling to clients’ homes.