Aesthetician Vs Esthetician

You have probably heard the term aesthetician at some point in your life. Then when you saw it written down you might have been confused because sometimes it was written “aesthetician” and other times “esthetician.”  Is there a difference? If so, what do either of them do?


An esthetician is a licensed skincare specialist who provides clients with a variety of facials, massages, and beauty treatments. They generally focus on cosmetic concerns and might work in beauty salons or spas. Most of their clients will not have serious skin issues.


An aesthetician is also a licensed specialist. However, their job has a more medical component than that of an esthetician.

They will study all of the same coursework as an esthetician with the addition of anatomy, physiology, pre- and post-surgical care, and several other medical aesthetic topics. Medical aestheticians will often work in hospitals, medical spas, dermatology clinics, burn and trauma centers, and medical clinics.

There is certainly overlap between the two jobs, but if you are seeking laser treatments, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, scar reduction, or any other minimally invasive procedure, your best bet is to find a reputable and licensed medical aesthetician working with a dermatologist to do the job.

What Can Your Aesthetician Do For You

  • Facials
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Waxing
  • Laser treatments for acne, antiaging, scar reduction, tattoo and hair removal
  • Chemical peels
  • Microneedling
  • Dermaplaning
  • Microblading

Every state has slightly different licensing guidelines, so keep that in mind when looking for a medical aesthetician.

Also, aestheticians are not allowed to inject fillers or Botox. However, many medical aestheticians are also registered nurses. Cosmetic nurses can provide you with filler and Botox services after they complete an accredited injector program.

Dermatologist vs. Aesthetician: Which One is Better?

It depends on your needs. A dermatologist can provide you with all the cosmetic procedures an aesthetician can as well as injecting fillers and toxins. However, at the end of the day a skin doctor is most concerned with the health of your skin.

A dermatologist can formulate a plan of care for a variety of health conditions, such as alopecia (hair loss,) eczema, psoriasis, skin cancer, warts, cysts, allergies, fungal infections, and many more. They can also prescribe medications. 

If you have any of these conditions, then a dermatologist is going to be the right choice for you. Once your skin health is maximized, then perhaps you can address cosmetic concerns with your cosmetic dermatologist or medical aesthetician.

If you have relatively healthy skin then you may prefer to work with a medical aesthetician. It depends on your comfort level and budget. Cosmetic procedures are generally not covered by insurance no matter who your provider is, but costs may be less with an aesthetician than a doctor for certain treatments.


For self-care, relaxation, deep cleaning, and an extra glow, call your esthetician.

For procedures that can address deeper skin issues, call your medical aesthetician.

For more invasive procedures as well as skin health, never hesitate to call your dermatologist.

You have more options when it comes to setting up a skin care treatment team than maybe you realized. You can work with all or some of them to come up with the perfect plan for you.