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5 Questions To Ask Your Dermatologist or Esthetician Before A Cosmetic Procedure.

Posted by Anita Sun

When you get a cosmetic procedure or treatment - whether it’s a facial, a peel, or injectables - you want to make sure that you a) are working with someone who knows what they’re doing, b) understand the procedure and how it will affect your skin, and c) have all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether the procedure is the best fit for your skin and your needs.

But how do you get all that information?

You ask, of course.

Here are five questions to ask your dermatologist or esthetician before a cosmetic procedure:



The first question you need to ask is all about credentials. Trust us - you don’t want someone without the right education, licensure, or credentials getting anywhere near your face.

A dermatologist is a medical doctor. That means they need to have completed medical school as well as an internship and residency in order to get their license to practice dermatology. After their residency, they also need to apply for board certification. In addition to the previous requirements, board certified dermatologists need to successfully pass exams administered by the American Board of Dermatology, which test the doctor’s knowledge and ability to adequately take care of patients. In order to remain board certified, dermatologists must successfully pass the exam every 10 years.

It’s not a requirement for dermatologists to get board certified, but you’ll definitely want to work with a doctor who’s taken the exams and is up-to-date on recent advances in dermatology.

In the United States (with the exception of the state of Connecticut), estheticians are required to obtain a license through the state’s Board of Cosmetology. The licensing process tests the esthetician’s knowledge of all things treatment, including recognizing and treating a variety of skin treatment and maintaining a sanitary and safe treatment room.

Before you agree to work with a dermatologist or esthetician, ask for their credentials and make sure they’ve got the background, education, and licensing you need to feel secure about your treatment.



It seems like there’s a new facial treatment popping up every day, and with the constant changes and evolution in the treatment industry, you want to make sure you’re working with someone who has direct experience administering the procedure or treatment you’re interested in.

Just because someone is an amazing facialist doesn’t mean they’re the right person to inject fillers or perform a heavy duty chemical peel. And just because someone is a Botox guru doesn’t mean they’re the right person to give you a deep-cleaning facial.

Before you commit to a procedure, make sure you find a practitioner who has a ton of experience with the exact procedure you’re looking for.



Taking the last point a step further, you also want to make sure your dermatologist or esthetician has experience performing the procedure or treatment you’re craving on skin that’s just like yours.

Treating skin isn’t a “one size fits all” endeavor. If you’ve got pale skin that’s oily and acne prone and your main skin struggle is redness, your skin might have a completely different reaction to your procedure or treatment of choice than someone else with olive, combination skin who struggles with hyperpigmentation. It’s important that you work with a practitioner who understands the differences between skin tone and type, how each different tone or type reacts to the procedure, AND has direct experience performing the procedure on skin just like yours.

If they’ve never performed the treatment or procedure you want on your type of skin tone, trust us - you don’t want to be their guinea pig. Seek out another practitioner with more experience working with skin like yours.

What’s the recovery process like? Can I go right back to my normal activities or is there some downtime associated with the procedure?

All treatments and procedures are different. Some, like microdermabrasions, will have you back in the game the second you walk out of the office and others, like chemical peels, may require a few days of downtime to let your skin heal.

And before you commit to a treatment, it’s important you understand which camp your treatment falls under.

Ask your practitioner what kind of recovery time is associated with your procedure or treatment. Can you go right back to your normal routine? How much downtime does your skin need to heal? Are there certain products you’ll want to avoid during the recovery process? Should you up your sun protection while your skin heals?



It’s also important to set realistic expectations pre-procedure. That way, you’re not walking into the treatment room expecting to turn the clock back twenty years… and walking out of the treatment room disappointed.

Ask your practitioner what kind of results you can expect from your treatment. Will those results be immediately noticeable or will they take time to develop? How drastic of a change will you see in your skin? And, most importantly, how can you maintain those results so your skin looks fabulous in the days and weeks following the procedure?

Understanding what you can expect from your procedure - and how you need to adjust your daily skincare regimen to maintain those results - will ensure that you’re happy and satisfied with your results.

With these five questions, you’ll have all the information you need to get the right treatment from the right practitioner that delivers the right results - the complexion you’ve been dreaming of!

Getting all the information about recovery before your procedure will ensure that you know how to handle yourself - and your skin - after your procedure.

Comments & Discussion

  • Eliza Harding

    It helped me when you said that it’s important that a practitioner understands the different types or tones of skin as it has different reactions to the procedure. My sister is acne-prone skin and she asked me what would be an effective way to help prevent or treat her acne. Thanks for this helpful article and I’ll be sure to tell her that she should visit a trusted dermatology clinic for advice and procedures.

    March 14, 2022

  • Zoe Campos

    Thank you for reminding me that I should verify the dermatologist’s credentials first before consulting them completely. A friend of mine had been recently diagnosed with skin cancer and I also want to be careful about my own skin. I’ll try looking for nearby clinics that offer treatment services and see if they have anything for my friend’s condition.

    July 20, 2021

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