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» » Esthetics Question and Answer

1. What is esthetics?

Esthetics, in Oregon, has been defined by the legis-

lature in ORS 690.005(5):

“Esthetics”means any of the following skin care or

facial care practices performed on the human body or

face for the purpose of keeping the skin of the human

body or face healthy and attractive and not for medi-

cal diagnosis or treatment of disease or physical or

mental ailments:

(a) The use of the hands or mechanical or electric

apparatuses or appliances for cleansing, stimulat-

ing, manipulating, exfoliating or applying lotions or


(b) Temporary removal of hair.

(c) Makeup artistry.

(d) Eyelash services.

(e) Facial and body wrapping.

(f ) Facial and body waxing.

If a service does not fall within this definition, it is

not within the scope of esthetics.

2. Does esthetics include skin-related medical


No. The legislature specifically excluded services

that are for “medical diagnosis or treatment of disease

or physical or mental ailments” from the scope of es-

thetics practice.

3. What else is outside the scope of esthetics?

Many practices will fall outside the scope of esthet-

ics because they do not fit within the legislature’s

definition of esthetics. Examples include but are not

limited to:

• The use of ablative lasers;

• The removal of spider veins;

• Tattoo removal;

• Botox injections.

4. Can a certified esthetician advertise as a

“medical esthetician?”

No. Medical services are not within the scope of

practice of an esthetician so this is a misleading and

deceptive title.

5. Can a certified esthetician work as a medical

assistant for a doctor?

Yes. Estheticians are not prohibited from having

non-esthetic employment just because they have an

esthetics certification.

However, as discussed above, this work would not

fall within the scope of esthetics.

If a certified esthetician is moonlighting as a medi-

cal assistant for a physician, the certified esthetician

needs to ensure that clients are not misled into think-

ing that non-esthetic services fall within the scope of

the person’s certificate as an esthetician.

A certified esthetician who is acting in a dual ca-

pacity as an esthetician and a medical assistant at a

so-called “medspa”will need to be particularly careful

that clients understand the differences between the

medical and esthetic services and the role of the certi-

fied individual when providing these services.

6. What happens if HLO receives a complaint

that an esthetician is unlawfully or negligently

practicing medicine?

HLO and the Board of Cosmetology do not regulate

the practice of medicine. HLO will refer the complaint

to the Oregon Medical Board or other appropriate

health professional regulatory board.

A certified individual may be subject to sanctions

if providing out of scope services while acting as an