This is a question that aesthetics students raise consistently and, yes, it is a valid one. The ﬁeld of aesthetics is so wide and vast that to say educators can cover and teach students everything would be, to put it simply, misleading. On one hand, you want to feel like you learned everything there is to know and, on the other hand, time would not allow based on the number of hours required by your state – which could vary widely, with the average being in the range of 600 hours. The number one objective is to teach students what they need to know so that they can pass their state licensure examination, covering the basics such as infection control and sanitation, health and nutrition, client safety, rules and regulations, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, basic massage, classic facial treatments, and so forth. This is considered the basics – your solid foundation.
BUILD FROM YOUR FOUNDATION
Once the foundation is laid, then it is time to build. No structure begins at the rooftop. All start by laying a foundation and building upward. Every aesthetics instructor wants to teach more; however, time and curriculum restraints do not always allow this. Trust me, if you ask instructors, most will agree that more time is deﬁnitely needed in order to delve into the deep things relating to skin and beauty. Our job is to get you ready. Keep this top of mind: your license is a license to learn more. As an instructor myself, I am always encouraging my students to seek out advanced education, be it live seminars, online, or at tradeshows. There are many good books available, as well. The learning never stops and in this ﬁeld you must keep it moving. There is no time to sit back and relax. Your license gives you the privilege to work on paying clients and to take your knowledge of skin care, cosmetic science, body treatments, marketing, and the like to the next level. Future career opportunities will rest on you realizing that although aesthetic school provides excellent education which prepares you, you will need to invest in yourself, stay motivated and self-driven, and have a burning passion for the industry. You cannot sit back and play the “I did not learn that in school” game.
Invest in yourself and your future. Our industry is full of rockstar educators who teach advanced classes regularly year-round. Most skin care professionals are on social media – that is your number one place to start. Reach out to other aestheticians and contact some of your favorite skin care companies, inquiring which one of their educators conducts trainings in your area. If they do not have someone, offer to host a class, as most companies would be more than willing to arrange classes if you meet a minimum number of attendees. This may take some extra leg work on your part, but sometimes we have to reach out in order to receive. Everyone is super busy these days and time is valuable. This is where online, distance learning can be a real game changer. Although you may not have the luxury of hands-on practice, being able to take a class through a webinar may be the only option for some. Put your feelers out there and see what you can ﬁnd. Today’s aesthetic students have a host of options.
CONTACT FORMER TEACHERS
One way to learn more is to reach out to your former instructors, asking them what books they used to prepare them in their teaching roles. Most publishing companies have an advanced version of the textbook you had in school and you will never know unless you ask. Instructors love to help in that way, especially since many times we lose touch with students. We enjoy the opportunity to hear from them and to help out.
Let me leave you with this thought: as lofty a goal it may seem to teach you everything, at the end of the day, you will have a rock solid foundation to build upon. The learning never stops, due to the fact that the industry is changing by leaps and bounds as we speak. New discoveries, technologies, methods, and equipment developments make what we do limitless. Remember, the sky’s the limit in aesthetics. Are you going to sit back or are you going to take your career and knowledge to inﬁnity and beyond? You are only limited by failing to take action. Go for it.
Denise Gaston is a proud CIDESCO diplomat, licensed aesthetician since 1989, certified clinical aesthetician, and is NCEA certified. Gaston has served as the northern California trainer for Repêchage Skincare and as an aesthetics instructor for Miss Marty’s Hair Academy and C.I.D.E.S.C.O. Institute. She is a former spa owner, having had a private practice for 10 years. Gaston is currently the vice president and director of aesthetics at Fremont Beauty College. She is a reviewer for Milady’s Standard Cosmetology Textbook 2008 Edition; Milady Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals, 11th Edition; and Milady Standard Esthetics: Advanced, 2nd Edition. Gaston also serves as a subject matter expert for the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.