Non-Medical Aesthetician VS Medical Aesthetician
We wanted to start a series discussing sectors and the qualifications you might need to work in that sector. As well as what you need to become an assessor to assess in the sector. We wanted to start in the beauty industry. Let’s begin with an Aesthetician and Medical Aestheticians. In this we’re going to go through:
- What is an Aesthetician,
- What treatments can you perform,
- What is a Medical Aesthetician,
- Qualifications to become a non-medical Aesthetician
- Qualifications to become a medical Aesthetician,
- Training for Botox and filler,
- Becoming an Aesthetician assessor/teacher
- And further training and CPD
What is an Aesthetician?
So what are aestheticians? They are trained skincare professionals. A skincare specialist is someone who works in a salon or cosmetic environment. Aestheticians assess their client’s skin to identify issues and recommend cleaning and maintenance routines to clear up the skin based on the individual. Aestheticians go above the average beauty therapist in skincare knowledge.
The treatments that they perform are non-medical and are generally none evasive. They may treat previously diagnosed skin conditions, such as acne or eczema. However, they can’t diagnose unknown conditions and must refer clients to a medical specialist. This could be a dermatologist.
What treatments can you perform?
There are many non-evasive treatments that you can perform as an aesthetician. Some of which include:
- Deep pore cleansing
- Facial exfoliation
- Facial massage
- Extractions and specialised acne treatments
- Body Wraps
- Manicures and pedicures
They can also treat and help their clients maintain results in, uneven skin tone, hyper-pigmentation, dry skin, and oily skin.
What is a Medical Aesthetician?
We’ve talked about a normal aesthetician and some procedures that they will take part in, but what is a medical aesthetician? Medical aestheticians also specialise in skincare but are qualified and licensed to perform medical skin procedures in a clinical setting. They are also referred to as clinical aestheticians or aesthetic nurses. They specialise in a range of processes, such as laser therapy, Botox, or cosmetic surgery.
Aesthetic nurses have a more educating role, as they can consult with clients about their skin and treatment plans and explain the services. As well as having a specialised background in working with needles, they can perform evasive procedures. So what are the procedures they can perform?
This could include:
- Platelet-rich plasma injections
- Laser treatments
- Anti-wrinkle treatments using Botox
- Dermal fillers
- Lip fillers
- Chemical peels
- Skin resurfacing and hair transplants
So is there a difference when it comes to medical and non-medical Aestheticians? In short yes. A medical aesthetician may do the same procedures as a non-medical one, they are qualified to do medical procedures that the other isn’t qualified to do. A non-medical aesthetician may have specialist training in skin needling, for example, but they will not have the right qualifications to become an aesthetic nurse unless they take a nursing qualification.
Qualifications to become an Aesthetician?
To become a non-medical aesthetician, you would need to have or have completed a level 2 and level 3 beauty therapy qualification. When you have them you would then choose your non-medical aesthetics route. After these, you can move on to a level 4 certificate in any of these: Radiofrequency, Skin needling, skin peeling, and ultrasound. These would be specialist areas that can be improved on.
You must also have the relevant experience that is needed. Consider gaining some practical work experience. Although this may not qualify you to distribute botox or filler. You will need to take further education if you want to use them as they are a part of being an aesthetic nurse.
Qualifications to become a Medical Aesthetician?
There are a few ways to become an aesthetic nurse. Higher education is a must. Either higher education in nursing or medical such as doctors and dental. As well as specialised aesthetic training is essential. Some start as nurses and take further training in the sector, such as aesthetics training and skincare. Others start as aestheticians and then pursue nursing or medical qualifications to become aesthetic nurses.
Most medical professionals can move on and become aesthetic nurses, as they have a deeper knowledge of how to use needles and accurately insert them. However, someone with just the standard aesthetics qualifications, may not know about how you use invasive needles. It is also recommended that to become an aesthetic nurse, you must have a minimum of 3 years of experience in adult nursing as well as registering with the nursing and midwifery council. Not only that but you will have to complete courses in dermal fillers, Botox, and injectables.
Health Education England (HEE) states that: ‘to carry out procedures such as Botox and fillers in the UK, the delegates must first complete a level 6 or 7 qualifications from an accredited training provider.’ They must complete level 7 for comprehensive use. This means that a practitioner should be able to individualize treatments. As well as practice timely management of complications, should they arise.
A previous president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Rajiv Grover stated, “Aesthetic injectables should only ever be provided by medical professionals, as dermal fillers have clear benefits but also risks.”
Further training for Botox and Filler
Botox and other branded muscle freezing toxins such as Azzulure and Bocouture are classed as prescription-only medicines in the UK. This means they can only be prescribed and given to a patient by a qualified prescriber. Only medical professionals can qualify as prescribers.
Before you decide to look at any training you must have a valid NMC registration. As this is a prescribe only medicine your clients will need to have Botox prescribed to them before you can perform the treatment. You may already be a nurse prescriber, which you can do yourself. However, if you aren’t there are two paths you can do.
Complete the V300 course for botox or arrange an alternative prescriber. This is essential if you want to use Botox and filler. However, you would have to have a medical degree of some kind to then be able to perform this procedure. Either through nursing, a doctorate, or dental degrees.
Becoming an aesthetician assessor/teacher
So you’ve decided that becoming an assessor, trainer or teacher is right for you. So what do you need? If you want to become an assessor then you would need to have experience in the field you wish to assess. This may be in non-medical aesthetics, such as beauty therapy, or experience in general non-medical aesthetics, as well as the recognised qualifications.
Whereas if you want to become a medical aesthetician assessor then you would need to have the recognised qualifications. Having a medical degree of some kind, as well as having aesthetic training. Also, qualifications in Botox and fillers if you are using them. As well as having relevant experience in the field of medical aesthetics.
To then become an assessor you would need to hold the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA). This course would fully qualify you to assess in your chosen field. If you want to teach or hold workshops you would need again the relevant experience in your field. For example, if you want to hold a workshop in eyelash extensions, you will need to have a recognised qualification in eyelash extensions as well as experience. Not only that but you would also need to have the Level 3 Award in Education and Training qualification. This would qualify you to teach in a further education sector.
Training and CPD
If you have all of those, you can start up your own training company. Which would specialise in Aesthetics training. Or if you specialise in a specific area take advantage of that! There is a brilliant guide by Acquisition Aesthetics that will give you some key pointers. You may also wish to think about CPD. If you have all the relevant qualifications and you want to keep ahead of yourself in the knowledge and processes then CPD is something that will benefit you.
With how the industry continues to move then medical professionals need to continue with regular training. This is because they need to keep patients safe and deliver a high standard of care. As well as keeping up to date with treatments and techniques that you specialise in. You need to stay competitive in your profession, as there is a need for practitioners to be able to demonstrate relevant knowledge. This means competence is going to be even greater.
We hope this has helped give you more of an idea about the qualifications and specifications that might be needed to become an aesthetician and to also become an assessor or teacher in that field. If you have any more questions about teaching or assessing, then please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01205 805 155, and we will be happy to help.