It can feel like an endless loop of information from every angle all the time, so it can be hard to figure out what beauty advice you should actually take seriously. One of the industries most affected by this is skin care. You can always find someone spouting misinformation about sunscreen or an esthetician revealing a new treatment you need. have And a certified dermatologist explains why you shouldn’t use the products you swore a second ago.
That means it’s hard to know who to talk to to keep your skin healthy, especially in an age of TikTok fame and social media popularity. So if you’ve often wondered the difference between skin care professionals (especially between a dermatologist and an esthetician), we asked them. Ultimately, the main difference is that dermatologists can perform procedures ranging from invasive to non-invasive, while estheticians are limited to surface-level improvements.
“Estheticians can cosmetically enhance the appearance of the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, within state-mandated practices.” Ashley WhiteI tell POPSUGAR. “A dermatologist is a medical professional who can legally diagnose abnormalities and prescribe medications to treat certain conditions.”
To better understand the differences between a dermatologist and an esthetician, including which one to see, keep reading.
The difference between a dermatologist and an esthetician
One of the biggest differences between dermatologists and estheticians is the amount of training that must be completed in each area. “A dermatologist is a physician who has completed her four years of undergraduate education, four years of medical school, an internship, and her three years of dermatology residency at a university or college.” Tracy Evans, MD, MPHI tell POPSUGAR. “I will also take a national commission accredited exam.”
On the other hand, estheticians belong to the category of cosmetology. “An esthetician usually graduates from high school or college with a cosmetology degree one year after he graduates,” says Dr. Evans. “It’s regulated by the state where the procedure is performed. Some estheticians can perform procedures such as facials, microblading, microplaning, eyelash extensions, and hair. Some states even allow lasers and injections. Some states allow it, but most do not.”
Should I see a dermatologist or an esthetician?
Although there is some overlap in the procedures performed by both specialties, you may need to see a dermatologist rather than an esthetician. “For any true skin condition, you should see a dermatologist,” says Dr. Evans. “This includes everything from eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, skin cancer, to mole tests.” Plus fillers, Botox injections, lasers, and more that involve cutting or injecting skin. Cosmetic procedures should be referred to a dermatologist.
White agrees, adding, “You should see a dermatologist once or twice a year to have your skin checked and tested for rashes, nodules, and early signs of skin cancer.” She recommends consulting your esthetician about general topical maintenance such as regular facials, LED or chemical treatments, and extractions. That means you’re more likely to see an esthetician than a dermatologist. “Estheticians can offer specific treatments in the clinic to improve and/or accelerate results, such as a more even skin tone and little or no breakouts,” says White. “Estheticians typically offer more time with their clients, so they receive extra attention and support during the skin optimization process.”
Which is better, a dermatologist or an esthetician?
It may seem like you have to choose one or the other, but it’s not. “Combining skincare and medicine is actually beneficial,” says White. “By using multiple providers, you can not only repair already damaged skin, but also maintain healthy skin.”
Simply put, estheticians provide services that address the appearance of your skin, while dermatologists help you address skin health conditions. This process may require a little more scrutiny of your medical history. You may also need cosmetic treatments such as: filler or laser. Social media algorithms and product recommendations don’t exactly solve the big picture for any particular concern. So, whether you only have one option or you’re creating a team of experts, always consult an expert when trying to solve a problem. For dream skin.