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Body and Machine Work Not OK in California

Posted: February 27, 2009

The following question was recently submitted to Skin Inc. magazine and we reached out to Deedee Crossett, founder of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology (SFIEC) in San Francisco and member of the California State Board of Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, for the answer.

Question:

I have been licensed since 1981 as a manicurist and since 1996 as an esthetician. In your articles, I am seeing more and more treatments on the body as the spa industry continues to evolve. In the past 25 years, the day spa has grown by leaps and bounds, and I understand that this is more then a $6 billion a year industry. Is this so?

I have read your magazine and attended your show in San Francisco since the beginning, yet I have just gotten off the phone with an officer in the state board office here in California after a conversation regarding an article in California Stylist's September issue under the board news. It states in the Scope of An Esthetician section that esthetician may provide facial services only on the face, neck, chest and arms and that we may only work above the shoulders.

I called the office in regards to this and was told by the officer that this has always been the law, and that estheticians are not allowed to provide body treatments of any kind. The officer also said that we are not allowed to use any machines labeled as or that imitate medical devices on the face or body. Their words not mine: “Estheticians are not doctors, and we are going to put a stop to it. Their skills are limited, and they are going to cite us. There is no such thing as a medical esthetician and they better stop advertising it.” There is so much more they told me, and, by the way, I asked them to send me that information via e-mail and they did; most of it anyway.

Now, why would this interest me so much? I have been fined for working on women’s legs because they looked at my menu and saw that I had treatments for women’s legs! Not that I did anything wrong to any client. I have been told to take my LED light machine and any acids more than 30% and any other machine except my galvanic current machine out of the spa. They will revoke my license if they find them when they come for inspection.