Everything You Need to Know About Offering Skin Treatments in Your Cosmetology Practice

In your cosmetology program, you studied the anatomy and physiology of skin, techniques for the care and maintenance of skin, and how and when to use a variety of different products for facials and wraps. And, more than likely, your state board of cosmetology allows you to perform certain limited skin care services under your cosmetologist license.

Don’t keep that precious knowledge and skill all to yourself! Consider expanding the suite of services you offer your clients to include indulgent spa packages that will create an experience they’ll be eager to tell their friends about.

Just some of the treatments you could add to the menu of services you offer include herbal facials, acne clearing facials, aromatherapy body wraps, mud therapy body wraps, herbal body scrubs and oxygen facials…


Facials are meant to cleanse and deeply moisturize the sensitive skin of the face. Through your cosmetology program, you likely learned how to prepare and apply a number of different types of facials and how to customize them to your client. For example, a client suffering from acne might be interested in an acne clearing facial specially formulated to cleanse their skin from blemishes. Other clients might be interested in receiving an anti-aging facial—one that is specifically formulated to help their skin look younger and wrinkle-free.

Acne Clearing Facials

Acne-specific facials often need to be applied in several applications, such as three-five visits. While your client may want to see results after just one application, you’ll need to remind them that any acne treatment, including over-the-counter creams and face washes, are meant to cleanse the skin over a period of time, not just one treatment. Facials target blackheads and whiteheads, and you’ll use a small extraction tool to remove blackheads around the face area. After extracting the blackheads, you’ll apply a face cream to the area and let it sit on the skin. You’ll be able to customize the formula around your client’s skin, depending on whether it is dry, oily, or sensitive. You’ll usually use a clarifying enzyme, which will open clogged pores and allow the skin to clear up.

Anti-Aging Facials

Other clients might seek facial treatments to fight off aging skin and wrinkles. In this case, you might offer them an oxygenated or collagen treatment. An oxygen treatment is a stream of high-pressured oxygen which is mixed with essential oils and vitamins to brighten and lift the skin. A collagen facial saturates the skin with collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies, which is responsible for clear, youthful-looking skin.

Body Wraps

The body wrap may come in many different forms—a moisturizing balm infused with essential oils, an herbal treatment, or a mud therapy wrap. These can be combined with moisturizing balms and creams in order to more deeply penetrate the skin.

Wraps are also often used as a weight loss aid. Although they don’t specifically cause your client to lose weight on their own, they may tighten skin and provide the appearance of weight loss when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

Mud therapy is usually conducted using mud from the Dead Sea, which is world-renowned for its mineral properties of calcium, magnesium, and iron. When the mud is layered on the body, the skin soaks up the minerals, which can detoxify as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes and cellulite.

In the process of a body wrap, the solution (whether it be an herbal balm, an oil-infused cream, or mud) is applied to every part of the body and then wrapped in plastic to lock in the healing properties. Then, the client is covered with sheets or a thermal blanket. Because the plastic traps the heat, your client will find themselves sweating, which is part of the detoxification process.

The idea is to sweat out the chemicals that our skin is bombarded with on a daily basis and to absorb the new nutrients from the mud, herbs, or balm.

Exfoliating Scrubs and Polishes

Skin polishing is the salon term for exfoliating the skin. Whether you client just heard about skin polishing on Dr. Oz or has been receiving the salon treatment for years, it’s important that you’re able to offer the latest techniques.

As our culture becomes more aware of the chemicals that are all around us—in the food we eat, transmitted by air pollution, and even the beauty products we use—detoxification treatments have become more popular. Skin polishing is a way to cleanse your clients’ skin of all the dead cells on the surface and provide a clean, glowing finish.

You might offer the following skin polishing services to your clients:

  • Body Polish
  • Sea Salt Scrub
  • Brown Sugar Scrub

You’ll want to recommend that your clients drink plenty of water before beginning the body polish—hydrated skin is happy skin! Hydrated skin will more easily recover from the exfoliation process and have a healthy glow.

Scrubs often accompany a body wrap in order to exfoliate and prep the skin. However, you can also offer scrubs on their own as a relaxing and exfoliating treatment. Like body wraps, scrubs can be treated with essential oils or herbs in order to moisturize and add nutrients to the skin.

Before applying the scrub, you’ll first need to moisturize the skin. This can be done using a variety of natural oils, which may include olive oil or coconut oil. You’ll smooth the oil over your client’s skin and then apply plastic or muslin to lock in the moisture. You’ll then apply sheets and a blanket over your client’s body for about thirty minutes to allow the oil to soak into the skin.

To begin the exfoliation, you’ll spread the scrub mixture over the client’s entire body. Scrubs can be made of a variety of ingredients, but for best results, scrubs will be made with simple, natural ingredients—natural herbs, oils and minerals that the skin can absorb for optimal, glowing health. Some of these ingredients may include brown sugar, jojoba oil, almond oil, aloe vera, honey, lemon, coconut oil, shea butter, or olive oil.

In any scrub, an agent such as sugar or sea salt is used to create the friction which will gently remove the skin’s dead cells on the top layer of the skin.

Next, you’ll use exfoliating gloves (textured gloves) to gently massage the scrub off of the skin in a circular motion. You’ll need to apply pressure in order for the scrub to act as an effective exfoliant, but too much pressure could cause discomfort, so keep the client’s needs in mind as you remove the scrub. You’ll use a pumice stone to exfoliate rougher skin such as the skin on your clients’ elbows and heels.

You’ll generally work your way over the entire body in a circular motion at least twice to ensure that you’ve removed as much of the dead skin as possible. After removing the scrub, you’ll use a flannel cloth to buff the entire body in quick, circular motions. The final polish is applied with silk fabric or gloves, also applied to the skin in a circular motion.

Body scrubs generally conclude with a steam shower or hot towels used to remove the scrub and cleanse the skin to lock in a healthy, vibrant glow.

The last step is to moisturize the skin. Using a moisturizer such as coconut oil, olive oil, or another formula, you’ll massage the moisturizer into your client’s skin.

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