The purpose of going to an esthetician is to improve the look of your skin. If your esthetician has a face full of blackheads, you know you've come to the wrong place. "They should be able to walk their walk and talk their talk," explains Susanne Warfield, Executive Director of the National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors and Associations (NCEA).
Talking the talk means staying on top of the latest advancements in their industry by joining a professional organization, reading trade publications, and taking advanced and continuing education skin care classes. In other words, when you ask your esthetician about the latest dermabrasion technique or chemical peel, he or she should know exactly what you're talking about.
When you go in to have your service, the esthetician should have you fill out a client lifestyle form, which includes questions about your general health, medications, allergies and what skin care products you're using at home. "If they haven't asked you any of those things, you certainly don't want them doing any chemical treatments on you or doing any treatments using laser or light therapy," Warfield says. The esthetician should also explain the risks and benefits of having the treatment (which usually is done by having you sign a consent form), clearly communicate what's going to happen during your treatment and answer any questions you have.
There are also a few things the esthetician shouldn't be doing, like gossiping about other customers (which means your confidential information is also not safe), pressuring you into buying products or services you don't want, and offering you unrealistic expectations ("You're going to look 20 years younger!").