Stylists Article - July 2014

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An increasing number of manicurists and estheticians are working in trendy “med-spas” that offer both medical procedures and services one would find in a typical barbering and cosmetology establishment, such as pedicures and facials. The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology does not license facilities that offer only medical procedures. However, if manicuring or esthetics services, or any other Board identified service, are provided, then the facility as well as the employees providing those services must be licensed by the Board. Some of the more typical services include:


  • Cutting, trimming, polishing, coloring, tinting, cleansing, or manicuring the nails.
  • Massaging, cleansing, or beautifying the hands or feet.


  • Providing facials, skin care, makeup and eyelash application, and hair removal by use of depilatories, tweezing or waxing.
  • Beautifying the face, neck, arms, or upper part of the human body by use of cosmetic preparations, antiseptics, tonics, lotions, or creams.
  • Massaging, cleaning, or stimulating the face, neck, arms, or upper part of the human body, by means of the hands, devices, apparatus, or appliances, with the use of cosmetic preparations, antiseptics, tonics, lotions or creams.

Licensed manicurists and estheticians, while skilled and trained in providing the services above, may never perform any act which affects the structure or function of living tissue of the face or body. They may never use razor-edged instruments to remove skin (such as calluses, moles or skin tags), penetrate the skin by needle, use lasers, or perform medical-level dermabrasion or skin peels. Those types of treatments must be performed by qualified medical professionals. A licensed manicurist or esthetician who violates these rules could be cited administratively for practicing medicine without a license. In some cases, violations could lead to criminal charges.

For further information, visit our Web site at or contact the Board at (800) 952-5210. If you would like clarification on what constitutes medical procedures, visit the State Medical Board’s Web site at

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