Dermatologist vs Esthetician: Who Should You See for Your Skin?

Bellingham Esthetician
Two professionals to consult when deciding how to care for your skin are a dermatologist or licensed esthetician. Esthetician’s achieve results through facials and teaching effective home care, and do not prescribe medication as a dermatologist might. If you have questions about lesions, chronic disorders, or skin cancer it is necessary to see a dermatologist. Medication may be needed and often times an esthetician will refer to a dermatologist.

I receive many questions on this subject as a licensed, master esthetician. The truth is there are differences, but often they can complement each other. As in all care professions, not all estheticians or dermatologists are the same. So, as I expound on some differences, I will generalize my information with what is true of most.

Let me start by saying that I am passionate about skin care. I have over 20 years of experience as an esthetician and believe in continued education both in treatments and home care technology. A visit to an esthetician will garner different results than to a dermatologist.

Comprehensive Facial Skin Assessment

An esthetician gathers a detailed history of your skin to identify your skin type as well as a thorough understanding of skin challenges. They seek to gain an understanding what you have tried in the past, and any recent changes that could be affecting your skin such as diet, hormones, stress, etc. The more information you share allows an esthetician to piece together the puzzle and ensure you get the results you desire.  A dermatologist visit will be issue and treatment specific.

Professional Skin Care Treatments

Regular professional skin care treatments will give you healthy radiant skin. You will typically see your esthetician once a month for a facial whereas a dermatologist visit is once a year. An esthetician’s job is to give you continued progressive skin results. Facial treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels are a great way to exfoliate and smooth your skin making you appear more youthful.  Regular facials reduce acne lesions, unclog pores and improve the skin's ability to retain moisture. You might do a series of treatments to enhance results or work on problem areas. 

Extensive Skin Product Knowledge

Dermatologists specialize in treating diseases and disorders of the skin. Estheticians are trained in skin care ingredients and have extensive product knowledge to recommend effective products for your skin type and develop individualized home skin care regime.

With so many products on the market it can be difficult to figure out what may be most effective for your skin. A good esthetician stays updated on the latest technologies and will give you the best skin care recommendations based on your skin type and issues. For example, they may recommend a barrier repair product that will greatly reduce redness, or glycolic acid for flushing skin follicles to minimize acne lesions.  Peptides, humectants and retinol can rejuvenate skin.

Many results are achieved by using clinical strength skin care versus harsh prescription medication or antibiotics. If you are already on medication from a dermatologist, regular facial treatments can work in concert to improve your skin condition and appearance.

Personalized Home Care Routine

Estheticians carry products with higher percentages of active ingredients and this in combination with using the correct skin care regimen can clear up acne, hydrate the skin, and lessen the appearance of fine lines and age spots. 

At Lisa Crosier Skincare, we will develop a home care routine tailored specifically for you. We are very successful at motivating our clients to follow basic protocols such as proper cleansing, not picking, removing makeup before bed and staying out of the sun.  Education, use of clinically tested products along with treatment expertise are the key components of our success.

Featured in Bellingham Alive Magazine, January 2016, p34.