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Resources For Estheticians

As a professional in the cosmetics and skincare industry, getting into cosmeceuticals may seem daunting– our goal is to demystify cosmeceuticals for all potential buyers through education and accessibility.

Professional Buying

To expand their repertoire, estheticians and dermatologists use cosmeceutical recommendations to further expand their client’s personal skincare routine. For example, people struggling with hyperpigmentation may recommend products containing L-Ascorbic acid, or collagen products to help recover scar tissue. Selling retail products to their clients helps Skincare Professionals create an additional revenue stream and also helps their clients maintain their Skin Health between sessions, regardless of skin condition. If you’re looking to improve your skills and specialization, consider putting some time into researching cosmeceutical products with us to get some more experience!

[To expand your repertoire, consider using cosmeceutical recommendations to further expand a client’s personal skincare routine. As experts in the field, estheticians and dermatologists like you have the authority to recommend and sell retail products to clients as both an additional revenue stream, and as a means of helping clients supplement treatment in-between visits.]

Estheticians and Dermatology

Estheticians specialize in treating the skin's surface through procedures like facials, skin peels, and microdermabrasion. Estheticians are more commonly associated with the cosmetics side of skin care than the medical side. However, many estheticians work directly with dermatologists to help clients create a personalized skincare routine. Although they cannot diagnose skin conditions, estheticians play an essential role in specialized skincare since they can help clients with chronic skin conditions find the right products for their specific needs.

Whether you’re an esthetician or a dermatologist, there are tons of options available to you for improving your knowledge and experience. For estheticians, information regarding niche cosmeceuticals and specialized cosmetics can help expand your client base. Dermatologists, on the other hand, can work directly with estheticians to develop personalized beauty routines for patients based on their direct knowledge and an esthetician’s recommendations.

Wholesale Cosmeceuticals vs. Private Labels

Dermatologists and estheticians can purchase cosmeceuticals in two different ways: via wholesale products or private labels. Wholesale cosmeceuticals don’t typically come associated with a brand name and instead tend to be a bit more generic in the target market and design. Wholesale cosmeceuticals are great for people looking to purchase bulk products at affordable prices, with little worry about a name brand. On the other hand, private label products feature marketing and labeling associated with a specific company, individual, or cosmetics brand. Private label cosmeceuticals tend to be a bit more expensive and aren’t always available for purchase in bulk. However, private label cosmeceuticals may contain more specialized products, including niche cosmeceuticals for people with Diabetes or chronic skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

General Guidelines for Safe Product Storage

Regardless of brand, just about every cosmeceutical product must follow specific guidelines for safe storage. Typically, this guideline is just to “store in a cool, dry place,” like a vanity, drawer, or cabinet. Most people tend to store their products in the bathroom, but humidity levels in some bathrooms may be unsafe for specific products. Rooms without ventilation are generally poor spots to keep your product.

Some products may require extra care when stored. Anything stored in a glass container, for example, should be kept somewhere it won’t fall and break. Other products may need to be kept away from sunlight, as the sun’s rays may evaporate the product. Products containing milk or perishable ingredients may need refrigerated storage, and you’ll have to throw them out when they expire. A product’s shelf life depends on how it’s packaged and stored, as well as how its active ingredients react with other ingredients in the product or deteriorate over time. Always read the storage instructions on your product before you put it away!

Packaging Guidelines and Development

At Hale, we spend a large portion of our research and development testing on a product’s packaging and storage. For example, temperature-based stability testing covers a wide range of temperatures, including extreme heat (40-50 degrees Celsius), alongside standard room temperatures. Light and air sensitivity testing determine which products may need airtight packaging or opaque containers.

Products for Estheticians

Best Ingredients in an Esthetician’s Lineup

Since estheticians work closely with the general public, many of their products share active ingredients among the several types of ingredients available for estheticians in cosmeceuticals.

These ingredients include:

- Alpha Hydroxy Acids. AHAs are common skin lightening agents and are great for reducing wrinkles and dryness. Some common Alpha Hydroxy Acids include citric acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid.
- Beta Hydroxy Acids. Better known as salicylic acid, BHA is best for reducing sun damage and cleansing hair follicles– making it an excellent acne treatment.
- Kojic Acid. Like Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid is a skin brightener that works well against age spots and sun damage. However, this compound slows melanin production, making it a more effective all-around skin brightener. Excessive use of Kojic Acid products may lead to a higher risk of sunburn.
- Vitamin C, as L-Ascorbic Acid. As the only useful form of Vitamin C in skincare products, L-Ascorbic Acid is an antioxidant that can reduce fine lines and wrinkles and slowly repair scar tissue. This is because L Ascorbic Acid stimulates our skin’s ability to synthesize collagen.
- Retinoids. Retinoids are varieties of Vitamin A that work best at reducing wrinkles and other signs of aging. Common retinoids include the compounds retinol, retinal aldehyde, and retinyl esters.
- Botanicals. Various plant-based ingredients containing antioxidants for relaxation, moisturizing the skin, or other sources of key vitamins are common in organic cosmeceuticals. Some of the most popular botanical ingredients include aloe vera, lavender, green tea extract, and daisy flower extract.


Skin Peels for Estheticians

Skin peels are a great way to treat wrinkles, fine lines, scars, discoloration, hyperpigmentation, acne, and other signs of aging with the skin. The procedure itself requires an esthetician to perform. It involves the application of a peeling layer and its removal, which takes of the outermost layers of the epidermis as well. When the skin grows back, it will appear smoother and brighter than before. Skin peels for estheticians come in a few different varieties, including three types of chemical peel and glycolic acid peels. Multiple peels may be necessary to get the skin to its desired smoothness.

Chemical peels come in three varieties: light, medium, and deep. Light chemical peels affect the first few layers of the epidermis or the outermost layer of the skin. Medium chemical peels work a little deeper, affecting a few layers of the upper dermis (the middle layer of your skin) and the epidermis. A dermatologist typically performs medium peels, but many estheticians can also obtain licenses for this procedure. Deep chemical peels affect the dermis even deeper and can only be performed by a dermatologist. Common ingredients in chemical peels for estheticians include Lactic Acid, Salicyclic Acid, Mandelic Acid, and Phytic Acid in light peels, Trichloroacetic Acid and Jessner’s Solution in medium peels, and Phenol for deep peels.

Glycolic acid peels are composed primarily of the active ingredient Glycolic Acid and are a type of light skin peel that is great for breaking down dead skin cells, reducing inflammation, and overall rejuvenation. Glycolic Acid’s antioxidant properties make it an excellent all-around cleanser in a face peel and a skin-brightener. Glycolic Acid also stimulates the skin’s ability to produce collagen, making it a great wrinkle and scar treatment as well.

Skin Creams For Estheticians

Skin creams for estheticians are another fantastic product in any lineup and excel primarily at moisturizing the skin. Lots of esthetician creams also feature Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, Retinoids, and other antioxidants like L-Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin B3. Many skin creams may also contain Ceramides to hydrate the skin.

Cosmeceutical Education and Development for Estheticians

Although a licensed esthetician doesn’t necessarily need cosmeceutical training and licensing, the extra knowledge provides estheticians with a wider breadth of experience regarding the medical and cosmetic aspects of skincare. There are several extra licenses and certifications available to estheticians that provide in-depth training and education regarding the medical and health aspects of cosmeceuticals.

Esthetician Licensing

While licensing requirements vary from country to country and state to state, there are a few general requirements all aspiring estheticians must meet before beginning their classes. Some general requirements include:

  • The student must be at least 17 or older
  • The student must have a high school diploma or a GED

Most esthetician programs require their students to have real-time experience before obtaining their license. Since esthetics is considered a trade, esthetician programs always demand students learn via hands-on activity and paper testing. For example, in New York state, practicing estheticians must complete a 600-hour course to qualify for their licensing exam. The exam has two portions: a written test and an in-person test. The in-person examination will typically involve either a volunteer or a mannequin for the testee to use during their exam.

Working Solo as an Esthetician

Typically, estheticians work either with a specific salon or esthetics company or solo. Estheticians working with a salon, company, or larger employer have the benefit of paid job training, easy client organization, and an already established brand to streamline pay rates. However, this route isn’t for everyone– an esthetician looking to make their own hours, create their own brand, and manage their own commission rates may find an easier time working solo in the industry. Solo estheticians, however, may find difficulty in establishing a personal brand and attracting clients.

Any skincare professional looking to establish themselves as a cosmeceutical retailer can purchase wholesale or existing brands at wholesale prices. As long as the esthetician (or dermatologist) carries a product in their inventory and uses their training expertise to recommend products, they act as effective distributors. For professionals looking to make their brand, production costs will increase as new, unique products, packaging, and marketing conventions take time to develop. Private labels, however, allow an esthetician to establish themselves as their own brand.

Cosmeceutical Classes for Estheticians

Esthetician cosmeceutical classes educate and prepare estheticians to earn their licenses as aestheticians: estheticians with expertise in the medical field of cosmetics. Esthetician courses cover a wide variety of practices, including chemical peel training, aromatherapy training, and specialized facial training. Other popular courses include laboratory testing procedures for estheticians, cosmetics regulation for estheticians, cosmeceutical formula development for estheticians, and biostatistics for estheticians.

Specialized Courses For Estheticians

In addition to general cosmeceutical courses, specialized courses for analyzing and treating specific skin conditions are readily available for estheticians to expand their expertise in a niche field:

Contraindication for Estheticians

In an esthetician’s world, contraindications are preexisting conditions a client may have that affect their treatment. Contraindications for estheticians come in three stages. The first is total contraindications, which prevent estheticians from using certain products on a client. These contraindications include allergies or medical conditions like anemia that may cause problems with a procedure. Relative contraindications are conditions that require a doctor’s note or specific instructions for treatment. Local contraindications affect only a specific location on the body, preventing estheticians from performing a treatment. Some local contraindications include fungal infections or injuries that can’t be touched or irritated by certain products.

Acne Classes and Treatment Training

Chronic acne, especially cystic acne, can be difficult to treat without proper knowledge. Esthetics courses that revolve around the diagnosis and treatment of acne make for an excellent addition to anyone’s repertoire; acne affects everyone. A typical aesthetics acne course will analyze how acne forms and what external factors may cause acne development and proper treatment procedures. Many acne treatment courses also provide estheticians with a license or certification to practice various treatment procedures, including ablative laser treatment, light therapy treatment, and several types of acne extraction.

Skin Care Classes and Skin Analysis

Alongside acne diagnosis and treatment, skin analysis is an excellent addition to any esthetician’s skillset. An esthetician’s ability to determine an individual’s skin type and care needs automatically put them above others in the industry without experience. Proper skin analysis also allows estheticians to recommend cosmeceutical products to clients as well.

Additional Certifications for Estheticians

Aesthetics certifications work similarly to an esthetician’s license since students must pass the course with at least a 75% grade to receive certification. Aside from acne treatment and skin analysis, supplementary aesthetics courses include botanicals research for estheticians, product development, and advanced esthetician courses with skin peels and other medical aesthetics procedures.


As one of the most popular esthetics procedures available, expertise in the practice of facial treatment is essential for any esthetician.

Become an Expert

Without the necessary skills to perform various facials, an esthetician may fall short in their diverse skillset. Although several facial procedures are available to the public (including light-based facials and the novel vampire facial), all facials follow the same first steps. Starting with a personal consultation, the esthetician will clean and prepare the face for the procedure, provide skin analysis, steam therapy, exfoliation, and then the facial procedure.

Common Ingredients in Facial Products for Estheticians

Facial products tend to have the same active ingredients as other cosmeceutical products but in smaller concentrations or with gentler formulas. The skin on the face is particularly sensitive, especially around the eyes, so facial masks and creams tend to use botanicals like green tea extract and daisy flower extract, along with ingredients that naturally occur in our bodies, like cortisol. Other popular ingredients in facials include Retinoids, L-Ascorbic Acid, Beta-Hydroxy Acid, and Alpha-Lipoic Acid.

Facial Masks vs. Facial Cream

Facial products like masks and creams ultimately do the same thing, depending on their intended function. For example, a hydrating face mask will do the same as a hydrating face cream– the main difference is how each product is applied. Facial masks, specifically sheet masks, are solid and go directly over the face without much prep. Users can pick up a sheet and apply it just like a costume mask to achieve results. When finished, users can then peel off the mask for disposal. Facial creams are applied onto the face using the fingertips or an applicator. To prevent skin irritation, it’s best to rinse off a face mask instead of peeling it off after use.

Ultimately, active ingredients are the most important thing to look for in a facial mask or facial cream. The best face masks and creams contain Hylauronic Acid, Ceramides, and antioxidants like Vitamin E or L-Ascorbic Acid.

Specialty Cosmeceutical Lines

Specialty or niche cosmeceuticals cover a massive range of diverse products, each designed with a specific ingredient or individual need in mind. There’s a specialty cosmeceutical out there for any skin type from gluten-free products that directly treat chronic conditions like eczema.

Organic Cosmeceuticals

Organic cosmeceuticals contain ingredients sourced directly from plants and animals. For a cosmeceutical to be labeled as organic, at least 95% of its contents must be certified. Ideal for anyone looking to know and understand what’s in their product without the scientific language, organic cosmeceuticals often rely on botanical substances to provide their active ingredients.

CBD-Based Cosmeceuticals

One type of botanical cosmeceuticals that stands out from the rest is CBD cosmeceuticals. These products contain CBD oil, derived from cannabis plants like marijuana and hemp, as an active ingredient. CBD has anti-aging and restorative properties, making it an unlikely favorite in cosmetics.

Aromatherapy and Cosmeceuticals

Another series of botanical cosmetic products use aromatherapy to help achieve additional desired effects. For example, lavender body wash works as an effective cleanser and can also relax the muscles and reduce tension just by smell alone. Aromatherapeutic cosmeceuticals tend to contain scents from active ingredients that already occur in the product, and many use essential oils to achieve a stronger scent.

Bioflavonoids in Cosmeceuticals

As a popular skin brightening agent, citrus-based bioflavonoids have begun to accompany L-Ascorbic Acid in many cosmeceutical products. Bioflavonoids act as an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and boosts the effects of Vitamin C.

Hydrating Cosmeceuticals

Hydrating cosmeceuticals come in wide varieties, all to heal dry skin. Most hydrating cosmeceuticals have at least one hydrating active ingredient, including Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid, Squalane, and fatty alcohols derived from plants.

Growth Factor Serums

Growth factor serums promote the body’s natural production of glycosaminoglycan, elastin, and collagen, promoting healing and cell growth in the skin barrier.

Clinical Skincare

Specialized cosmeceutical products for people who struggle with chronic skin conditions are considered “clinical” skincare products. Unlike other specialized cosmeceuticals, these products are designed with a particular skin condition in mind. Clinical cosmeceuticals include lotions for people with eczema and diabetes, anti-inflammatory skin brighteners for rosacea, and creams for healing scar tissue. In the umbrella of clinical skincare products also lie specialized makeups and gluten-free skincare products, which are essential for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

Gluten-Free Skincare for Estheticians

For estheticians, gluten-free skincare products are a surprisingly common niche product. Celiac disease and other conditions that cause gluten allergies require specialized products to prevent adverse reactions. Gluten is everywhere, and gluten-free skincare products for estheticians include soaps, creams, facial products, serums, and skin peels among other products.

Professional Discounts and Benefits

As skincare experts, we know that finding the right products to carry in your lineup takes time. We’ve got plenty of sample packets for clients to pick and choose from before making any large product purchases. In addition, all licensed professionals are eligible for our wholesale pricing discounts and volume discounts, which significantly reduce the cost of buying bulk products.

For facial experts, we also offer fully customizable facial kits: buyers choose their cleanser, prep pads, ACE, and skin peel to complete the kit.

All first-time orders are 10% off, and don’t forget our monthly specials!

For questions about these or any of our other active ingredients, please contact us online or call us today at 1-800-951-7005.