Laura Todd is a scientist at heart. As a young girl, her wide-eyed fascination with how things worked blossomed through practicing middle school lab experiments. Today, as a licensed esthetician with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a candidate for a master’s degree in education, Todd applies her natural scientific curiosity to her work as the director of the Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics, a division of The University of Professional Sciences, in Richmond, Virginia. She now imparts knowledge about her dual loves—science and skin care—to the burgeoning experts of tomorrow. “It’s a profession with a scientific basis,” Todd says. “It’s not just about facials anymore; it’s about skin care.”
The hundreds of students who enroll in the school each year learn that Todd’s brand of instruction is about much more than treating the skin with today’s techniques. She recalls that when she enrolled in esthetic school in 1990 the industry itself was relatively new and didn’t include microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation or laser hair removal.
As the profession has developed, Todd’s education has evolved, as well. “New technology is always out there,” she notes. “If you don’t stay on top of it, you become obsolete. The clients sometimes know more than the estheticians. We need an education that not only teaches present-day information, but future information as well.” It is that mind-set that has taught Todd’s students that education truly is a lifelong process.