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The Expert's Guide to Buying Laser Equipment

By: Louis Silberman
Posted: December 31, 2009, from the January 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Fractional laser wrinkle reduction

More mature clients may prefer fractional laser wrinkle reduction.

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Cosmetic laser training. Contrary to popular belief, esthetic professionals do not need to have a medical background to become a cosmetic laser specialist in most states. In the United States, each state creates its own guidelines to enter the profession. Due to the growth of the industry, many states are now adding legislation requiring that esthetic professionals complete a certain number of hours of cosmetic laser education in the classroom and clinical setting. (Editor’s note: Log on to for a list of the 50 state boards along with their complete contact information.)

Whether you are self-employed or a team member at an esthetic facility, client safety is the most important part of providing laser treatments. Due to the sheer power of a cosmetic laser, a technician can burn or scar someone if they have not received proper training from a state-recognized school. Most laser manufacturers will include a half- to full-day training; however, this is not nearly enough time to master using laser equipment effectively. When considering attending a cosmetic laser school, be sure to ask these important questions before attending.

  • How long has the school been open?
  • How many teachers will I have? What type of professional experience do they have?
  • How large are the classes?
  • How much time will I get to spend performing hands-on training?
  • Is there any additional training I will receive to help me after graduation?
  • Does the school train on a variety of brands and models of laser equipment?

Buyer beware. Laser companies will provide clinical studies and testimonials from current owners of their lasers; be sure to spot check the studies to ensure that no one who is on the payroll of the laser company is involved in the studies. One size does not fit all—no laser on the market can perform every treatment perfectly, but some are better than others at certain procedures. No respected clinical studies have shown that lasers can treat blond hair effectively, so be wary if someone tells you their laser can. Cosmetic lasers are dangerous if not handled properly. If someone tells you that their laser could never hurt anyone, then walk away. Buy logically, not emotionally, and take a step back when confronted with bargains. There will always be deals, so think through your purchase before making any decisions.

A smooth transition

The world of laser procedures is a fun and financially rewarding one. By asking the right questions, researching the various types of cosmetic laser equipment and learning how to operate them safely, the transition into providing high-tech laser services will be smooth and easy.