starting out in the skin care industry

starting out in the skin care industry

Dermalogica prides itself as being a leader in the professional skin care industry, as a company built by skin therapists, for skin therapists. 

What many people don’t realize about Dermalogica is that we began as an education company first with our skin care brand being born three years later in 1986. It is this foundation and deep-rooted belief in building the respect and success level of Professional Skin Therapists globally that continues to drive our business today. This passion for education touches everything we do as a brand, from teaching Professional Skin Therapists, educating our consumers on all things skin, and even partnering with undergraduate colleges and educating the next generation of Professional Skin Therapists.

Recently, Dermalogica Canada’s Education Manager, Lindsay Barras, and Medical Lead Instructor, Monica Puckering, attended the virtual Level Up! with Skills Canada event. This event hosted 5,000 high school career-seekers as well as hundreds of apprentices, teachers, and parents and gave them the opportunity to explore the virtual exhibition and learn about all of the career options available to them after graduation. This event gives high school students the opportunity to ask questions and discover the possibilities within various industries and trades.

With all of the incredible questions we received, we decided to put together our advice for getting started in the skin care industry as a Professional Skin Therapist or potential business owner.

What courses should I take in high school to prepare me for the industry?

Depending on what sector of the industry most appeals to you, our Dermalogica Instructors recommend considering biology and chemistry classes to help prepare you in understanding the human body and the science behind cosmetic product formulas. This is not a requirement, but it will help you build your knowledge for your courses in your specific college program.

Most colleges require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (or equivalent) including Grade 12 English. We suggest looking into the requirements for the specific college program you are interested in attending.

What kind of education is required to become a Professional Skin Therapist and how long will the programs be?

Different colleges have different programs and program lengths. The programs, often referred to as “Esthetician”, “Medical Esthetician” or even “Esthetician/Spa Management”, can range anywhere from 1-2 years.

These post-secondary programs will teach you the fundamentals of becoming a Professional Skin Therapist including the histology and anatomy of the skin, mastering practical techniques, and learning about the business of skin.

What makes the skin care industry so special?

At Dermalogica, we believe in skin health over beauty, which means that as Professional Skin Therapists, we are helping people achieve their healthiest skin yet. As our founder, Jane Wurwand said, “we are changing the world with our bare hands.” This element of human connection and helping clients achieve their skin health goals can be highly rewarding.

As technology advances, this is an industry that is ever evolving, which means that there is always something new to learn. From new techniques and treatment options, to advanced device technology and ingredient science, there is never a dull moment. So, if you are someone who loves to learn, this could be the industry for you!

What career opportunities are available within the industry?

Many people don’t realize just how many career options you have in this industry. As a certified Professional Skin Therapist, or “Esthetician,” you can choose which type of environment most excites you within the industry. From beauty bars to medi-spas, you can build out your career with specialized courses after graduation to equip you for that role. This industry is also perfect for those with an entrepreneurial spirit looking to start their own business and be their own boss.

Outside of working in a Skin Centre environment, you could also choose to explore working at a corporate level for a skin care brand, such a Dermalogica, as an instructor where you will have the incredible opportunity to help up-skill Professional Skin Therapists and educate business owners in their own careers.

Should you choose, there are also avenues in sales and marketing that may appeal to you within the skin care or professional device realm.

Want to know more about starting a career at Dermalogica? Check out our career’s page on

Written by Brooke Anderson- National Account Instructor-Dermalogica Canada
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