The Difference Between Aesthetics and Aesthetic Skin Care

The beauty industry uses the words esthetics and aesthetics quite often, but they mean different things. Aesthetics are medical procedures that enhance a person’s natural beauty.

They are non-surgical and noninvasive. They help combat wrinkles, refresh skin and improve the appearance of scars, skin tags and moles. They can also be used to address unwanted hair and fat.

What is Aesthetic Skin Care?

Applied Aesthetic, led by Natalie Sharp, FNP-BC, provides an experience of relaxation and bespoke treatment regimens that result in natural and refreshed appearance. She has over 10 years of working in cosmetic and medical dermatology.

Esthetics, derived from the Greek word “aisthetikos,” refers to appreciating beauty through our senses. It is the foundation for the cosmetic industry where treatments focus on improving skin health and enhancing physical appearance.

Aesthetics and skincare treatments have many benefits such as minimizing the signs of aging, clearing acne, reducing redness, eliminating scarring and addressing sun damage. They are non-surgical, simple and quick.

Most estheticians work in spas and salons and specialize in massage, facials, body treatments, waxing, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser therapy. Some work for plastic surgeons or in the offices of dermatologists, where they are referred to as paramedical aestheticians. They provide a wide range of medical beauty services with the exception of Botox and dermal filler injections which are left up to licensed physicians. These professionals also promote and sell skincare products in department stores and salon chains.

Botox Injections

Botox (botulinum toxin) injections prevent a muscle from moving for a short time, smoothing wrinkles and other skin problems. This injectable is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. It softens dynamic facial wrinkles caused by movement, such as smiling, frowning and squinting. It is also used to treat medical conditions like chronic migraines and specific bladder issues. It is available by prescription only.

A health care provider applies a topical numbing agent to the treatment area before giving the injections. The shots usually only cause minor discomfort. Your aesthetic skin care health care provider may use ultrasound imaging to help find the right spot for your injections.

Botox works by blocking nerve signals to the muscles. The injected muscles can’t contract, so they relax and soften the dynamic wrinkles. It can also be used to treat certain neck spasms and excessive sweating. This medicine is available under several brand names, including Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. The toxin is made from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The purified forms of this toxin used for medical purposes meet safety standards approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Filler Injections

Dermal fillers are soft tissues that are injected into the skin to reduce wrinkles, create volume, and revitalise the face. The most commonly used dermal fillers are hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite and man-made biodegradable polymer (Sculptra).

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the skin that binds water molecules, which helps to keep the skin smooth and firm. This is the most common dermal filler and is able to soften fine lines and creases and add more volume to the face.

Sculptra uses poly-L-lactic acid, also known as a collagen stimulator, which causes your body to produce more of its own natural collagen. This type of dermal filler is not considered permanent as your body slowly metabolizes the poly-L-lactic acid, and this product may require multiple injections over a period of months.

It is important to seek an injectable cosmetic provider with experience and a thorough understanding of facial anatomy. Make sure your providers use FDA-approved products, and request patient labeling for all injectable dermal fillers. Patients should contact their doctor immediately if they experience unusual pain, change in vision, blanching of the skin, signs of a stroke or any other sign of an allergic reaction to any filler material.


During a microdermabrasion session, a dermatologist or skin care specialist uses a device to physically exfoliate the outer layer of your skin. This technique removes dead skin cells and encourages your body to produce more collagen for a smoother appearance. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines, age spots, and superficial scarring.

A microdermabrasion treatment is noninvasive and requires no anesthesia. Your practitioner will move the handheld device over your skin, removing the outer layer of skin cells with tiny crystals and vacuuming away the debris. You may experience a slight burning sensation after the procedure, but these symptoms usually resolve quickly.

Some people notice a difference in the appearance of their skin after just one treatment, but most need several sessions to achieve the results they want. It’s recommended that you schedule touch-up treatments every 1-2 months to maintain your new-found glow. Also known as a “lunchtime facial,” a microdermabrasion procedure is often performed while you’re at work or running errands, so you can go back to your day with little to no signs of the procedure.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy stimulates healing and reduces pain, inflammation, and swelling. It also helps heal deeper tissues and aesthetic skin care shop nerves in the body. It is a noninvasive treatment and can be done quickly in a few minutes. Most treatments require 6-12 sessions for best results.

During laser therapy, red and near-infrared wavelengths are used to treat the skin. They are absorbed by the mitochondria in cells and trigger a biological response. This includes electron transport, adenosine triphosphate synthesis, nitric oxide release, increased blood flow, and diverse signaling pathways.

Unlike surgery, which involves general anesthesia and carries a risk of bleeding, infection, complications, and scarring, laser therapy is much safer. It is also less expensive and less invasive. However, some people choose not to have it because of risks such as changes in skin color and discomfort. Before laser skin resurfacing, the area to be treated is numbed with a local anesthetic. It is important to avoid tanning, heavy sun exposure, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily for four weeks before the procedure. After the procedure, patients must use a topical ointment such as Vaseline or apply a diluted vinegar solution (one teaspoon of white vinegar in two cups of water) five to six times per day for healing.