Skin Care Specialist (Aesthetician)

Skin care specialists are trained beauty professionals who specialise in taking care of the skin, both facial and body. They perform a variety of skin-care services including facials, manicures and pedicures, body massages and other full body treatments, waxing (hair removal), blemish control and application of makeup.

Their tasks include the following:

• analyse the customer’s skin-care needs
• discuss treatments and products with clients
• use a magnifying lamp or visor to evaluate skin appearance and condition
• perform facials and massages to cleanse pores and improve skin tone
• apply chemical peels to reduce fine lines and age spots
• perform simple extractions to remove blackheads
• remove unwanted facial or body hair using depilatory wax
• tint eyebrows and eyelashes
• instruct customers on skin care and makeup techniques
• select and apply cosmetic products such as creams, lotions, and tonics
• give manicures and pedicures, and apply artificial nails
• sterilize equipment and clean work areas
• keep records of client needs and preferences, and the services provided.

They also advise clients about colours and types of makeup, and instruct them in makeup application techniques. They demonstrate how to clean and care for skin properly, recommend skin-care regimens and determine which products or colours will improve a client’s skin quality and appearance.

If necessary, they refer clients to medical personnel for the treatment of serious skin problems.

Paramedical aestheticians require more advanced on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed medical professional and generally work under the direct supervision of a physician.

They may work with plastic surgeons and dermatologists in private doctors’ rooms or speciality clinics that provide more intense skin-care treatments such as chemical peels, microderm-abrasion, laser rejuvenation, vein therapy, wrinkle reduction and other treatments that enhance skin reconstruction necessitated by accidents, age or illness.

In pre- and post-operative skin care, they provide treatments that prepare the skin for surgery for a more comfortable healing process. They show patients how to conceal redness and bruising with corrective make-up while the skin is healing.

How to Enter


  • National Senior Certificate for diploma course
  • Grade 9 or 10 Certificate for certificate courses

What to Study

Diploma: Various relevant diplomas – most universities of technology, e.g. CPUT, DUT

Certificate: Various certificate courses – FET colleges and private beauty schools, eg. Ekurhuleni, KZN Coastal, SW Gauteng, Port Elizabeth, Northlink, Cape Town, South Cape.


  • beauty salons
  • cosmetic companies
  • electrolysis clinics
  • doctors’ rooms
  • health hydros and spas
  • television and film companies and studios
  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own business

Further Information

S A Association of Health and Skincare Professionals
P O Box 318
Pinegowrie, 2123
Tel: (011) 275-0516 Fax: (011) 513-3085