The Booming Skin Care Industry

According to multiple sources including Forbes, Statista, and NPD Group, the value of the United States skin care Industry was $17.6 billion as of 2020 and is the most lucrative market in the world. It’s no secret that consumers’ concern with trends, beauty, and fashion fuel the demand for the cosmetology and esthetic industry. Further drivers include the aging millennial population, a renewed focus on self-care and clean beauty, and self-care as a coping mechanism.  And, the definition of beauty is ever changing, providing never-ending opportunities for the industry to innovate.  

COVID Impact

While the skin care industry is always expected to grow and is somewhat recession proof, it has not been spared the chaos that has accompanied COVID-19. 

In an industry that thrives on personal touch and human interaction, you’ve had to rethink how to keep your business going. Quarantine, social distancing, and mask mandates have required you reimagine your industry operations.

But it’s times like these that many professionals, not just estheticians, seek training in a new profession that remains in demand.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the United States alone, the beauty industry employs over 1million people.  

Job Growth

Although there is a pandemic impacting all industries, job growth in the skin care industry is still projected to grow. In 2019, there were 78,600 skin care professionals employed, and this number is expected to grow 17% by 2029. This is higher than any comparable professional service industry.  Specific growth is expected for businesses serving men.  

This does not take into account the number of skin care professionals who are self-employed, independent contractors, or business owners. Additionally, specialization in laser, eyelash extensions, or even waxing contributes to this small number and considered an entity all its own. It is estimated that consumers will choose treatment-specific specialists for some services, rather than visit their esthetician. However, it’s possible that this thinking will shift as the pandemic progresses and the consumer will want a one-stop shop. This is even more reason to expand your treatment menu offerings. We can expect strong competition for jobs and clients at higher paying spas, and applicants will be forced to compete with a large pool of experienced skin care professionals. 

Expand your Service Menu

Although skin care professionals are currently facing big obstacles, remember that once-vibrant skin will dull and hair will grow out. With these projections in mind, there is no doubt that the benefits of expanding your treatment menu offerings not only provide you a competitive advantage, but also ultimately increase your bottom line. Continuing your education and adding to your menu keeps you fresh and engaged with client demand—and it diversifies your revenue stream.  woman receives a facial with a mask

When determining what treatments to add to your menu, consider not just the newest trends such as lash lifts, lower lash enhancements, or advanced esthetic services like body contouring and radio frequency microneedling, but also those services that offer flexibility to the treatment menu. We can break these treatments into two categories, The Newest and Coolest, and the Tried and True.  Before exploring any of these programs, be sure you are working within your state scope and check with your state board for training requirements. 

It’s important to keep up with the ever-evolving industry trends and be prepared to offer your clients new experiences. Whether you’re new to the business or well established, consciously staying updated on the latest trends will drive growth and draw in clients.

ASCP Career Toolkits

The skin care industry is fiercely competitive. Skin professionals need every tool they can find to attain and maintain success. Whether you work for yourself or an employer, we stand with skin care professionals. ASCP’s goal is to empower our members to thrive in their dream career.

It’s so simple. Not sure what you want to do with your license? Looking to make a change?

Try our exclusive career quiz to help you choose your path. Based on your quiz results, you will be directed to one of two career toolkits: Employee Success Toolkit or Business Start-Up Toolkit.

Employee Success Toolkit includes:

  • Videos, articles, and our exclusive podcast series, “Esty Talk,” curated with an employee in mind.
  • Employee Compensation Calculator: Hourly? Salary? Commission? Retail? Understanding compensation is critical to career success. The Employee Compensation Calculator will help you figure it all out.

Business Start-Up Toolkit includes:

  • Videos, articles, and our exclusive podcast series, “Esty Talk,” curated to help you choose the type of business that is right for you, how to get started, and the secrets to enjoying a thriving career in skin care.
  • Business Start-Up Calculator: When you open a business, there are a lot of expenses to consider. We’ve taken the guesswork out of what you need, with costs specific to the skin care industry.
  • Business Revenue Calculator: Determining what services to provide, how much to charge, and the volume of business you need to meet your revenue goals can be a daunting task. We’ve done the research for you. 


Not an ASCP member? Join today!

By ASCP Staff


An earlier version of this blog post contained inaccurate statistics about the number of licensed estheticians in the U.S. in 2019. We updated the post on 11/9/22 to reflect the most accurate information.

Please note: We have recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Learn more...