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Working as a Skin Care Specialist

Over the past several years, the craze for skincare has skyrocketed. People, especially millennials, are obsessed with the newest creams, moisturizers, masks, and toners. The most dedicated to skin care also turn to professional treatments. Professionals, such as skin care specialists, are in increasingly high demand.

Skin care specialists are licensed professionals that perform skincare treatments such as facials, peels, and hair removal. They also work with patients to develop daily skincare routines that work for their personal needs. Advice from a skin care specialist is personalized and often more valuable than suggestions from online influencers.

Skin care specialists need to study skin care and cosmetics before they can practice. They usually need to pass a vocational program in cosmetology or esthetics. Most states, with the exception of Connecticut, require skin care specialists to get licenses as well. This means that skin care specialists are highly qualified to give skin care advice and help their clients maintain a healthy, dewy glow.

What Does a Skin Care Specialist Do

Skincare specialists cleanse and beautify the face and body to enhance a person’s appearance.

Duties

Skincare specialists typically do the following:

  • Evaluate clients’ skin condition and appearance
  • Discuss available treatments and determine which products will improve clients’ skin quality
  • Remove unwanted hair, using wax, laser, or other approved treatments
  • Clean the skin before applying makeup
  • Recommend skin care products, such as cleansers, lotions, or creams 
  • Teach and advise clients on how to apply makeup, and how to take care of their skin
  • Refer clients to another skincare specialist, such as a dermatologist, for serious skin problems
  • Disinfect equipment and clean work areas

Skincare specialists give facials, full-body treatments, and head and neck massages to improve the health and appearance of the skin. Some may provide other skin care treatments, such as peels, masks, and scrubs, to remove dead or dry skin.

In addition to working with clients, skincare specialists create daily skincare routines based on skin analysis and help clients understand which skincare products will work best for them. A growing number of specialists actively sell skincare products, such as cleansers, lotions, and creams.

Those who operate their own salons have managerial duties that include hiring, firing, and supervising workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.

How To Become a Skin Care Specialist

Skincare specialists must complete a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program and then pass a state exam for licensure, which all states except Connecticut require.

Education

Skincare specialists usually take a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program. Although some high schools offer vocational training, most people receive their training from a postsecondary vocational school. The Associated Skin Care Professionals, the largest organization devoted to these workers, offers a State Regulation Guide, which includes the number of prerequisite hours required to complete a cosmetology program.

Training

Newly hired specialists sometimes receive on-the-job training, especially if their jobs require working with chemicals. Those who are employed in a medical environment also may receive on-the-job training, often working alongside an experienced skincare specialist.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing an approved cosmetology or esthetician program, skincare specialists take a written and practical exam to get a state license. Licensing requirements vary by state, so those interested should contact their state board.

The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology provides contact information on state examinations for licensing, with sample exam questions. The Professional Beauty Association and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools also provide information on state examinations, as well as offering other professional links.

Many states offer continuing education seminars and programs designed to keep skincare specialists current on new techniques and products. Post-licensing training is also available through manufacturers, associations, and at trade shows.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Skincare specialists who run their own salon must understand general business principles. For example, they should be skilled at administrative tasks, such as accounting and personnel management, and be able to manage a salon efficiently and profitably.

Customer-service skills. Skincare specialists should be friendly and courteous to their clients. Repeat business is important, particularly for self-employed workers.

Initiative. Self-employed skincare specialists generate their own business opportunities and must be proactive in finding new clients.

Physical stamina. Skincare specialists must be able to spend most of their day standing and massaging clients’ faces and bodies.

Tidiness. Workers must keep a neat personal appearance and keep their work area clean and sanitary. This requirement is necessary for the health and safety of their clients and increases the likelihood that clients will return. 

Time-management skills. Time-management skills are important in scheduling appointments and providing services.

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Average Salary$32,376
Job Growth Rate11%

Skin Care Specialist Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Skin Care Specialist

Skin Care Specialists in America make an average salary of $32,376 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $43,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $24,000 per year.
Average Salary
$32,376

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
New York, NY
Salary Range26k - 45k$34k$34,498
Chandler, AZ
Salary Range24k - 45k$34k$33,692
Piscataway, NJ
Salary Range25k - 43k$33k$33,151
Mountain View, CA
Salary Range21k - 40k$29k$29,296
Bloomington, MN
Salary Range21k - 38k$29k$28,758
Irving, TX
Salary Range18k - 33k$25k$24,727
$18k
$45k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist
Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist
Massage Envy
Massage Envy
01/26/2021
01/26/2021
$37,56601/26/2021
$37,566
Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist
Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist
Massage Envy
Massage Envy
09/22/2020
09/22/2020
$37,56609/22/2020
$37,566
Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist
Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist
Massage Envy
Massage Envy
08/19/2020
08/19/2020
$37,56608/19/2020
$37,566
Skin Care Specialist
Skin Care Specialist
Sylvania 4 You Inc.
Sylvania 4 You Inc.
05/13/2016
05/13/2016
$20,82105/13/2016
$20,821
Skin Care Specialist
Skin Care Specialist
Sylvania 4 You Inc.
Sylvania 4 You Inc.
01/06/2016
01/06/2016
$20,82101/06/2016
$20,821
See More Recent Salaries

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Skin Care Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

80.9 %

male

14.2 %

unknown

4.9 %

Ethnicity

White

66.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.7 %

Asian

11.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.7 %

French

7.5 %

Polish

6.0 %
See More Demographics

Skin Care Specialist Education

Majors

Business
17.8 %
Nursing
10.8 %

Degrees

Bachelors

31.8 %

Associate

18.1 %

High School Diploma

13.0 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Skin Care Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 28.1% of skin care specialists listed product knowledge on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

Best States For a Skin Care Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a skin care specialist. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Colorado, Idaho, and Alaska. Skin care specialists make the most in Washington with an average salary of $51,025. Whereas in Colorado and Idaho, they would average $48,231 and $47,940, respectively. While skin care specialists would only make an average of $46,607 in Alaska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Skin Care Specialist Jobs:
50
Highest 10% Earn:
$62,000
Location Quotient:
2.47
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Idaho

Total Skin Care Specialist Jobs:
55
Highest 10% Earn:
$79,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. North Carolina

Total Skin Care Specialist Jobs:
459
Highest 10% Earn:
$68,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Skin Care Specialist Employers

1. Sephora
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$33,712
Skin Care Specialists Hired: 
86+
2. Macy's
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$35,935
Skin Care Specialists Hired: 
57+
3. Clarins
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$36,316
Skin Care Specialists Hired: 
24+
4. Nordstrom
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$35,412
Skin Care Specialists Hired: 
20+
5. Dillard's
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$35,313
Skin Care Specialists Hired: 
19+
6. Massage Envy
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$34,893
Skin Care Specialists Hired: 
19+
Updated October 2, 2020