“If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu—and if you can’t find a seat, you must bring your own chair.” This age-old adage aptly depicts how advocacy can greatly impact the esthetics profession. In this episode of ASCP Esty Talk, Maggie and Ella discuss some of the many legislative bills and rule proposals that have cropped up across the US in the last year and hope to encourage you to advocate for your industry and voice your opinions to influence change.
ASCP Esty Talk with Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman
Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast hosted by Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.
About Ella Cressman:
Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, and absolute ingredient junkie! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.
She has spent many hours researching ingredients, understanding how and where they are sourced, as well as phytochemistry, histological access, and complementary compounds for intentional skin benefits. In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several skin care lines, including several successful CBD brands.
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About Maggie Staszcuk:
Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Advanced Modality Specialist.
Connect with Maggie Staszcuk:
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About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.
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0:01:52.7 Maggie Staszcuk: Hello, and welcome to ASCP's Esty Talk. I'm your co-host, Maggie Staszcuk and ASCP's Education Program manager.
0:02:09.3 Ella Cressman: And I'm Ella Cressman, licensed esthetician, certified organic skin care formulator, international educator and content contributor for Associated Skincare Professionals.
0:02:19.4 MS: We thought it may be interesting and enlightening to discuss some of the many legislative bills and rule proposals that have cropped up across the US in the last year. Every state is so different when it comes to rules and regulations and scope of practice can be really challenging.
0:02:36.7 EC: Let's talk about some facts because I think, we hear... I see it all the time. Am I allowed to? Is this legal? So before we talk about that, let's talk about the regulatory boards. The legislative process is concerning our industry and some facts. Did you know the state board exists to serve the consumer and not the esthetician?
0:02:55.9 MS: I think that that is forgotten. So many people call asking questions. They say they've reached out to their state board, they're not getting the answers that they need. And while the state board is there to assist and they do write the rules and regulations, really they're there, as you just said, to protect the consumer.
0:03:14.7 EC: So keeping them safe, and that is important. And that's why a lot of... Like Colorado for example, makeup artists have to be licensed skin care person so that they're proven to have gone through sanitation to protect the customer. Fact number two, most laws passed are written at a level of complexity that it can be difficult for the layperson to understand. I know that I've experienced that. I've seen people be perplexed by this. And with that clarifying, these laws become the responsibility of the state board and the regulatory agencies, not necessarily the person reading it. Which is why, to your point, people are calling, "Can you help me understand this? How do I know what I can and can't do?" Really common.
0:03:54.5 MS: Yeah. And I will point out that you will hear often when you call the state board, they may say, "We can't clarify this for you. We can't interpret this for you." And that could be, one, based on the person answering the phone. And two, they're not a lawyer. So while they have written the rules and regulations, they're not going to interpret it over the phone for you. And so to get the answer that you're looking for, you may need to actually hire an attorney or do your own interpretation.
0:04:25.7 EC: And I think those are great key points, because the other thing that's happened is, I called and I was told... I think one of the most frustrating phrases in the world is, I was told... I hate that... I was told blah, blah, blah, "But you can call our state board and get two different answers depending on who's answering." It could be a concise answer one time and a vague answer the next, or it could be red one time and blue the next. And so it is important... I like the idea of actually having a lawyer review specific questions. And there's a lot of subscription-type services that you can really... Not a bad idea as a business owner anyways, but here's some other fun facts is, some states have a two-year legislative process where they would change rules or review different processes.
0:05:11.8 EC: Other states meet annually, and some western state legislatures meet every other year. Very interesting when you're looking at... Have you ever seen a rule change meeting where they have all of these different rules proposed, and then oftentimes they're struck through, and maybe a fourth of them make it to the actual decision part, and the rest of them go to the next turn? As of 2019, all 50 states have passed individual esthetics licensure. So before that, what was it, wrapped up in cosmetology?
0:05:45.1 MS: Yeah, wrapped up in cosmetology. And I believe there was just one state, Connecticut, that did not have an esthetics licensure.
0:05:53.3 EC: That changed recently.
0:05:55.8 MS: It did, yeah.
0:05:55.9 EC: That's right. Okay. The average number of individuals on a board is seven. In Washington DC and Tennessee, they have the largest boards with a total of 14 members on each. I can imagine in those areas, decisions are hard to get to with that many people and those... Opportunity for that many opinions. And then finally, a really important fact is that ASCP has a government relations department. So if you're confused about an issue or feel stuck and want guidance, you can reach out to ASCP. They can help.
0:06:26.5 MS: So let's jump into some states that over the last six months has proposed some changes. In Oregon, in 2021, the legislature adopted House Bill 2970 clarifying scope of practice for estheticians. Since then the board of cosmetology and the board of certified advanced estheticians have worked to define the term device. Now, proposed rules have been issued to explain the term device and its distinctive use in esthetics. So let's dive into this a little bit. The proposed rules, an esthetician would be limited to performing services with mechanical or electrical apparatuses, appliances, or devices that do not penetrate beyond the epidermis except through natural physiological effects. So galvanic, high frequency, microcurrent, LED, microdermabrasion, and other devices. So these are a lot of those basic services that estheticians are learning in esthetic school. Estheticians would be prohibited from performing advanced non-ablative esthetic procedures and less licensed as a "advanced esthetician". So this is gonna be things like laser, IPL, radio frequency, microneedling, etc.
0:07:44.9 EC: Because in Oregon they have two levels of licensure.
0:07:46.5 MS: They do, yeah.
0:07:47.0 EC: So there's a... I don't wanna say basic, but there's an esthetician and then an advanced esthetician. And it's an hour requirement difference.
0:07:53.6 MS: Yeah, correct.
0:07:54.7 EC: So the advanced esthetician... And I think I've seen that happening more in different states. Before I only knew about it in one. Now I know about at least three with one on the way.
0:08:04.6 MS: Yeah, I think off the top of my head, there's about five to seven states that have a master or advanced esthetic licensure.
0:08:13.2 EC: Interesting. Let's talk about Mississippi. So Mississippi shaves dermaplaning regulations effective September 1st of this year. Any license holder regulated by the board, so that is not just estheticians, but those who perform hair care and nail care and hair removal, they can now perform dermaplaning with a guarded razor. Before licensees were prohibited from practicing dermaplaning.
0:08:42.8 MS: I think it's important to point out that this is specifically with a guarded razor, wherein other states dermaplaning can be performed with what's traditionally used, a scalpel.
0:08:50.8 EC: I wonder what... Because that's what you buy... You know those at-home ones you can get at Ross? [chuckle]
0:08:54.0 MS: Yeah.
0:08:55.7 EC: Or you can even see it, as seen on TV aisle at Walgreens, they're guarded razor but they say dermaplaning on them. So I wonder what would be the selling point in those states for the professional implication of that? Maybe, combining services at some point.
0:09:10.1 MS: Yeah. Or maybe it's crossing into a "medical procedure" because it's the use of a scalpel.
0:09:15.0 EC: Yeah. Interesting. And so California similarly, last year they... Was it last year or the year before? They just allowed the estheticians to perform it too. So it's coming out.
0:09:29.0 MS: In North Carolina, they seek input on proposed civil penalties. The Board of Barber and Electrolysis Examiners proposed new rules in July that would establish potential civil penalties for unlicensed individuals practicing electrology and other related light-based treatments. The rules also suggest possible civil penalties for non-compliant electrology schools. I think this is really interesting because electrology, at least where I am here in Colorado, is not a popular procedure. You have so many more people doing laser. It must be more popular in North Carolina or perhaps you have a lot of people that are illegally performing electrolysis.
0:10:12.3 EC: Was my question. What's going on in North Carolina that there's zap in hair follicles? Because they have schools and there's unlicensed people performing the service. Something had to have happened. I wanna know the tea on that one. So something that is interesting in Delaware, apprenticeship rules enable multiple pathways to work. Let's dive in. In June of this year, the Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering, released final rules that established standards and requirements for esthetic cosmetology, barbering, nail technology, oh, and electrology apprenticeships. These apprenticeships provide the opportunity to earn and learn alongside seasoned practitioners with a professional license in view. This is not an uncommon practice in hair. You see the... What do they call them? They do call them apprentices, where they'll go through a certain amount of school and rather than be on the floor as they call it or whatever, in hair school, they will have some salons that will bring them in and teach them that way in.
0:11:16.6 EC: And they're earning tips or they're earning a certain... There's tiered pricing for that level. Interesting that this would be for all levels, which is awesome. An esthetics apprentice teacher is responsible for ensuring their apprenticeship completes the 1200-hour curriculum. So making sure their hours are there and such. Some things that are part of that 1200 hours are sanitation and hygiene, professional practices, health and science, consultation and record keeping, machines, apparatuses and safety skincare procedures, makeup, state laws, job search and business skills. So I imagine a lot of that has to stay in school. And then some of those, the consultation, for example, would be outside of school. I think this is a really great opportunity not only to learn from another professional, but to really increase the types of clients that you would potentially be exposed to and also the types of conditions. And not just skin conditions, but consultative retail, different business aspects versus... I used to host a lot of interns previously and they were only allowed to watch over my shoulder, or to fold towels. So I think this is really cool. Hold that thought. We'll be right back.
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0:14:19.1 EC: Okay, here we go. Let's get back to the podcast.
0:14:27.9 MS: In Nevada, they are revamping laws and leaving no license category unaffected. Effective June 1, Senate Bill 249 makes changes to practice and licensing requirements for professionals that fall under the purview of the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology. So this bill is affecting advanced estheticians, cosmetologists, your standard esthetician license, makeup artists, hair braiders, threaders, cosmetic demonstrators, instructors, and hair designers who everything... The most important changes are including revising medical procedures permitted by advanced estheticians and the devices they can use, modifying the definitions of cosmetology, esthetics, and makeup artistry. And this is to incorporate additional services these professionals may perform, overhauling the practice and licensing of hair braiding, including eliminating training requirements and replacing the establishment license they must obtain, and eliminating the demonstration of cosmetics license.
0:15:29.0 EC: They are not messing around.
0:15:29.1 MS: They are not. No.
0:15:29.7 EC: And they're not even grandfathering anybody in.
0:15:32.7 MS: No. Yeah.
0:15:32.8 EC: So if you've been a standard esthetician for 20 years working in a med spa, you have to go back and get your advanced esthetician license.
0:15:43.4 MS: Yeah. Let's look at esthetics with these laws specifically. So with advanced esthetics and "medical devices", this bill revises the list of services that are considered advanced esthetic procedures to include medium depth chemical peels. Medium depth chemical peels are defined as the removal of skin from the epidermis and papillary dermis layers using chemical peels applied directly to the skin. And the bill removes the following procedures from the list of advanced esthetic procedures; exfoliation, microdermabrasion and related services, dermaplaning, extraction and hydrotherapy. And these services are now within scope for cosmetologists and estheticians. The current list of advanced medical procedures is microneedling, medium depth chemical peels, non-ablative esthetic procedures, and other similar esthetic preparations or procedures with the use of the hands or mechanical or electronic apparatus.
0:16:38.3 EC: I know the perception has been all peels. The standard esthetician feels like all peels are off limits. So it's interesting to see this defined here as medium depth peels. And I can't wait to to watch it... I mean, it's been a couple of months at this point. I can't wait to see how it all shakes out.
0:17:00.4 MS: Yeah. What's interesting too is that cosmetologists and estheticians may now perform laser hair removal, extraction, hydrotherapy, exfoliation that does not remove skin below the stratum corneum, microdermabrasion and dermaplaning.
0:17:17.4 EC: Well, proper training is very important, especially when we're working around the eyes. Really excited to see that in Tennessee. There is now an eyelash specialist license required. The Tennessee legislature adopted House Bill 103 in July. In the interest of public safety and elevated profession, individuals who are providing or want to begin offering eyelash extension services must obtain an eyelash specialist license to practice. House Bill 103 defining eyelash services, details the 300-hour training requirements. Then it establishes criteria for an eyelash services shop. Really interesting. I'm glad to see it. I wonder what makes up those 300 hours. Do you think it's practicing and sanitation?
0:18:05.7 MS: Yeah. I imagine it's all the things that you would find in other licensures. I also think it's interesting and something to point out, more and more states are adding a separate license for eyelashes. It's becoming such a popular thing. It's a license in and of itself.
0:18:22.8 EC: I think that's great, especially for those who want... I mean, I think there's two sides. For those who just want to perform eyelash services, I think this is a great avenue. The reason I say there's two sides is, I remember... We've talked about before, when I would teach, when I was a brand representative and I would go to schools and talk to them about things. I would ask the question, "What made you wanna come to school for esthetics?" And for those students in the beginning of their program, the answer was often wildly different from at the end of their program. So I remember particularly, "I came because I wanted to learn makeup," because that was the requirement here. But at the end, they're like, "I love corrective," you know, "I want to have chemical peel," or "I like an eyelash extension." So that does take away that opportunity. But at the same time, 300 hours is a lot of time. So you're definitely expanding on any opportunity you'd learn in school as an esthetician or cosmetologist, but more so, I think it's interesting. I can't wait to see how that affects other states.
0:19:23.4 MS: Yeah, totally. I agree with you. In Arizona, they also have adopted an apprenticeship pathway to licensure. In April, they adopted House Bill 2525 which establishes esthetics, hairstylists, and nail technician, apprenticeship instruction requirements. And essentially, the bill creates an alternative pathway to licensure that allows students to gain real world hands-on experience while they learn outside the standard classroom setting. The rules have not yet been developed.
0:19:53.6 EC: One of the things that I really appreciate... Because there's so many different states with so many different requirements, and I'm lucky enough to be in a position to talk to estheticians all over. And what I find is a great resource is not only the articles that come out from ASCP, the blogs and stuff, it really helps keep things on track, but also to learn that there's a department dedicated to helping navigate these changes.
0:20:17.9 MS: Another really great benefit that ASCP has to offer is our legislative toolkit. So if you are a member, you can log in, access the legislative toolkit, and we're gonna provide you with email templates, voicemail templates, and how you can find out who your legislative lobbyist is and how to elevate your voice in the industry. If you're concerned about bills that are being passed that you don't agree with, or even if you do agree with, to let your state know and support your industry.
0:20:46.0 EC: The level of professionalism. I love it. Awesome.
0:20:50.9 MS: Now listeners, we wanna hear from you. We encourage you to advocate or voice your opinions to influence change. Share with us on social media through Instagram, Facebook, or by emailing email@example.com. Thank you for listening to ASCP Esty Talk. And as always, for more information on this episode or for ways to connect with Ella and myself, or to learn more about ASCP, check out the show notes.