QA with Michele Phelan, LE, RA CIDESCO Founder

Q. Tell us a bit about how, why, and when Concepts Institute of Advanced Esthetics got started.

A. In the 1980s, decades before clinical skin care and medical esthetics were mainstream, I developed an advanced esthetics curriculum and directed and taught a CIDESCO international program. As our skin care industry began to expand, the public started looking for treatments that were more corrective in nature. I was often requested by medical colleagues and esthetician students to develop a program that would enable them to provide effective, corrective skin care for their clients. It was well understood that the industry needed more science-based education that would provide skin therapists the knowledge and confidence to work competently in the skin care clinic. Concepts Institute was founded in 2008 to help support this initiative.

Q. What should estheticians know about your clinical and paramedical esthetics certificate programs?

A. Our programs are steeply based in science: comprehensive, detailed, and frequently updated. Most of our classes are accredited through the National Coalition of Estheticians Association. Estheticians, nurses, and cosmetologists can take individual classes they feel will best benefit them. When at least six of the qualifying classes have been completed, the student has the option to test out and earn their Clinical Esthetics completion certificate from Concepts Institute. Our classes encompass training for many common skin conditions, modality and machine use, cosmetic science, and much more. We off er online and in-person classes. Our “work at your own pace” online para-medical esthetics program is taught by Dr. Bradley Greene, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, and me. The program focuses on what an esthetician will want to know to be able to work effectively in a medical esthetics setting within the scope of the esthetician license.

Q. What were some ways you adjusted to keep the school going through the pandemic?

A. Prior to the pandemic, most of our classes were in person. We had been wanting to off er an online option, but time did not allow at that point. We had many requests from estheticians worldwide during the pandemic to make our classes available online using the Zoom platform. We took this time and opportunity to reorganize so our courses would be available to estheticians everywhere online.

Q. What’s next for Concepts Institute?

A. We are always creating new, exciting curriculum. Recently, we added a new service called “Estheticians Consultation Station.” This allows estheticians to gain quick, targeted, essential advice on just about everything skin care and spa business related. Time can be booked online with me or one of our other highly experienced consultants so we can best help you achieve your goals.

Q. What characteristics do you believe make a successful esthetician?

A. First and foremost, having the ability to connect with people and having great passion for what you do! A healing touch is essential, whether you perform spa treatments or corrective skin care. Having profound knowledge of the skin and the treatments you provide, as well as being hungry for knowledge. This will keep you up to date with the latest techniques and help fuel your esthetician career and benefit your clients.

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