Dermatologist or Aesthetician—Who Do You Take Your Skin To?

Dermatologist or Aesthetician—Who Do You Take Your Skin To?


21 October 2019


You feel your skin is not up to where it should be and decide to get some professional help. Your options are going to an aesthetician or going to a dermatologist.

 What is the difference you ask? When should you go to one versus the other? We are here to help you distinguish between these two types of professionals that can help you get your skin to an optimal level.

What are the differences between a dermatologist and an aesthetician? 


Dermatologists are medical professionals who have completed medical school and have approximately twelve to fourteen years of training and education. Aestheticians, however, can practice after at least one to two years of study at a trade or beauty school. They do understand the basics of the skin but are not licenced medical professionals like dermatologists.


Dermatologists are found in clinics and other medical offices while aestheticians work in spas and salons.


Dermatologists can identify and treat diseases and abnormalities. They can also write out prescriptions and perform surgery if necessary. Aestheticians, on the other hand, can help you with topical treatments like facials, wraps, treatments like microdermabrasion, make-up applications, aromatherapy and also provide you with a skin analysis. 

When to see a dermatologist

  • Before having any procedure that is new to you, we suggest running it past a dermatologist. They can take into careful account your skin type and condition and give you insight into the procedures and products to be used so you are informed about the impending risks involved. What is helpful is that their advice or opinion is medically backed. This is especially necessary if you have sensitive skin, or have had issues with procedures in the past i.e. have broken out from a facial.

  • If you want to improve the quality of your skin at a deeper level, in addition to how it simply appears or looks, we also recommend a dermatologist. Aestheticians simply help with the appearance of your skin and not with a medical issue. 

When to see an aesthetician

  • Aestheticians are great for basic skincare routines like facials if (and it is a big if) you have previously never experienced any issues with your skin.

  • If you are looking for some self-care or regular maintenance, aestheticians can be of great service. Getting facials, extractions and having your forehead massaged can be quite a treat.

  • If a dermatologist has given you the green light after checking your skin, you may freely visit an aesthetician and pursue treatments as your heart desires. 

Things to keep in mind if you see an aesthetician

  • Keep it simple. Do not experiment with lavish treatments that are new in the industry or radically new to you.

  • No new products. We suggest avoiding introducing multiple variables to your treatment at once. For example, if you are scheduled for a new facial, avoid combining the treatment with using new products. Allow your skin the time and space to adjust to different steps instead of doing it all at once.

  • Look for a license. Pick an aesthetician who has a certificate from an accredited school (a quick Google search here will come in handy). Ideally, pick a spa or saloon with a medical director in charge.

  • No mom and pop shops. Sadly, stay away from little shops. We can go to mom and pops for snacks and spare parts but when it comes to our skin, we will need a bit more assurance.