I had so many questions for Karen, I had to categories them by aging, acne, pigmentation, etc. – to stay on track & be able to answer questions as they were trickling down in the feed too. Judging by the response during & after, you were very happy & the LIVE was a success. That makes my heart jump.

So what’s the difference between an esthetician and a Master esthetician?

In short, Master estheticians get additional training in esthetics, which allows them to perform a wider range of services than the standard estheticians can. That usually means double the hours of school and/or apprenticeship. In California (and in other states like Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming for example), you need 600 hours in order to apply for the state board exam. In other states you may need more or less.

What was SHOCKING to me

however, was learning that Florida for example (huge state right?!) requires ONLY 250 hours to get your license YET they include procedures like microneedling & dermaplaning as part of the scope of work. Those things are NOT legal for estheticians in California to perform yet the Cali professionals spend an additional 350 hours studying and practicing. If you’re in Florida, I’d be very cautious if I were you & would stick to seeing MDs, NPs, or RNs.

Karen here today is a Master esthetician – A few states  (Washington State, Utah, Virginia and Washington, DC) recognize this two-tier license. Additional training & education or apprenticeship is required to become a licensed master esthetician (roughly an additional 600 hours) and in these states, the master estheticians are permitted to perform more advanced skincare services that often include: Ultrasound & light/radio/laser frequency procedures, Medium-depth chemical peels & Lymphatic drainage.

You heard right!

Regular estheticians in most states cannot perform Lymphatic drainage. If they do it, there’s a risk that it’s A) outside the scope of work & therefore illegal and B) they do it without any FORMAL TRAINING- and could have learned by watching YouTube videos as far as you know. Advanced course/program approved by their respective regulatory agency would be needed for this. So be smart & informed – ALWAYS ASK ABOUT THEIR TRAINING & look up what procedures are in the “scope of work” for your state.

I’ve seen estheticians spread misinformation, share poor disinfecting protocols & do procedures they’re learned from Allure magazine so I’m telling you, this s**t will make your skin crawl.

I’m “going there” because while I LIVE to build up & empower people, I draw a clear line at misinformation & cannot tolerate that regardless of licenses or diplomas. I also want to make sure that you as my friend and a consumer, are well informed & alert and if you ask me – for any services like the ones mentioned above, stick to MDs, NPs, or RNs and don’t believe somebody “just because” they’re an esthetician. Subscribe to industry publications, take online classes, educate yourself more so you don’t fall pray to unscrupulous practitioners.

Back to Karen! I really appreciated all her feedback & hope that you’ll enjoy all the takeaways. During the LIVE some of you asked for a list of all the products that she mentioned, so here it is below. Thank you so much for watching & thank you for your support.

Retinol Treatment for Sensitive Skin
Intensive Age Refining Treatment 0.5% Retinol Night
Pore Refining Treatment
Acne Gel (Salicylic)
Pore Minimizer Skin Mattifying Gel (the brightening, oil-absorbing primer magic)

Karen Olsoy has been a Licensed Master Esthetician in Washington State for 7 years, and National Advanced Educator for PCA Skin for the past 5 years. She is also the owner of Grove and Kane, one of the Seattle area’s most highly-respected skincare treatment destinations. Karen specializes in chemical peels and the treatment of difficult skin conditions like acne and hyperpigmentation.

This video, including its content, title and description, is a reflection of my personal opinion. My opinion as well as any and all information provided by users, is for entertainment purposes only and not intended to replace any licensed professional advice. This content is provided with no warranties or guarantees. Nothing should be construed as providing dermatological, medical or any advice alike; please always seek the advice of a suitable professional for any such concerns.

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Founder & CEO of VREA Cosmetics. Beauty & Skincare obsessed. Advocate for Science over marketing.

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