Published on: 3 Apr 2018

Job Description (What the job involves)

A facialist (otherwise known as a skincare specialist or facial technician) provides non-surgical skin care treatments and anti-ageing therapies to help enhance a person’s appearance and boost skin health. They will also provide advice on skin care, makeup application and colours to their clients and advice on suitable skincare products they can purchase.

Typical tasks that a facialist will carry out include:

  • Examine and Diagnose the skin by using for example a magnifying lamp or visor or visia scans to determine health of skin and determine any form of damage and areas for attention
  • Provide facials which involve cleansing, exfoliating, massage, masks, peels and use of skin products like toners, serums and moisturisers. Popular skin product choices for facialists are Elemis, Environ and aesthetic based and high performance skin products like skinceuticals and Medik 8.
  • Educate clients by advising on good skincare regimen, use of SPFs and daily routines to avoid premature skin ageing
  • Apply makeup and cosmetics and advise on colour selection and application
  • Retail and sell cosmetic skin care treatments. Most facialists will have retail sales targets to work towards
  • Remove hair through tweezing, waxing and increasingly laser treatments
  • Deliver advanced skin care treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, mesotherapy, micro-needling, IPL skin rejuvenation, lymphatic drainage, fractional skin resurfacing, derma rollers and radio frequency
  • Look out for skin diseases, conditions and disorders, the more serious of which can be referred to a dermatologist or GP
  • Advise on and deal with skin complaints like pigmentation and acne including tips on diet and lifestyle, homecare etc

Hours and Working Environment

Facialists often work in salons, spas, high end aesthetic skin care clinics and department stores for skincare brands like dermalogica. Work environments are therefore generally hygienic, relaxed and attractive.

As its commonplace for beauty establishments to be open Saturdays and evenings, facialists have to be flexible with their hours.

Upsides and Downsides


  • Gratification in helping customers correct their skin
  • Although you’re effectively dealing with one area of the body everybody’s skin in different so you can never get bored
  • Opportunity to work in different settings i.e. clinics, department stores, spas, cruise ships, even people’s homes
  • Flexible hours


  • Physically demanding. You’ll be on your feet for much of the day
  • You’re dealing with the public so no matter how difficult your day you must always put on a positive bright front
  • You can be dealing with chemicals so health and safety precautions will need to be high priority
  • May be required to work evenings and weekends


Skills and Personal Qualities

  • Passionate for beauty and skincare
  • Knowledge of skin anatomy and physiology
  • Ability to retail and sell skin care products
  • Good people skills
  • Be prepared to develop knowledge and understanding of skin care

Entry Requirements

Anyone wanting to become a facialist should have as a minimum NVQ level 3 in beauty therapy. Ideally facial therapists will have NVQ level 4 in beauty therapy

Opportunities and Progression

The opportunities for facial therapists are really good. Knowledge is power and you can expand your knowledge, skill set and earnings by gaining additional qualifications in non surgical aesthetic treatments such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion and obtaining your class 4 laser qualification. You’ll then be equipped to go for lucrative aesthetic therapist and medical aesthetician positions in specialist skincare clinics.


Industry Outlook

Continued growth in salons, spas, department stores and aesthetic clinics offers up continual career opportunities for facialists. Advances in electrical facials and cosmeceutical product lines have also meant that facialists are in growing demand by specialist skin clinics and also product houses.

View our latest facialist job vacancies

Potential Salary and Benefits

Typical starting salary ranges for facialists start at £18K per annum and rise to about £24K per annum.

There are often commissions on top of this.

Mobile facial therapists can typically charge £30 to £45 an hour per treatment