Cosmetology? Esthetics? What’s the Difference?

The beauty industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.

If that statement doesn’t get you excited, it should. Expanding at a rate 3% more than the national average, jobs in cosmetology and esthetics are in demand! If you have thought of a career in beauty, there has never been a better time to pursue your dreams!

But which branch of the beauty industry will you go into, and what are the differences between them?

These questions can feel quite daunting to some, and downright confusing to others. And it’s no wonder! While many of the skills between the two can overlap, so much more is different. To help you understand the differences, and perhaps decide what branch of beauty is for you, at Elevate Salon Institute(ESI), Chubbuck we have them laid out to help clear up any confusion.


Esthetics focuses on the care of skin. This can include everything from caring for the skin, treating skin conditions, and even extracting all those blackheads (ew). When taking courses to prepare for a career in esthetics you will also learn about sanitation, bacteriology, and anatomy.

At ESI Chubbuck we strive to prepare each of our students to sit for the state boards and to build a skill that will help support them into a viable career. For more information on our esthetics program, or to schedule a tour, contact us today.

Woman getting a face mask

A Skill in Skin

Careers in esthetics are most commonly related to spas, but there are a wide variety of skills that are required in this field. While not a full list, many of these are listed below.

  1. Skin Analysis – Understanding skin is the cornerstone of caring for and treating skin. By giving our students an education in skin conditions and analysis, it gives them the ability to care for their clients skin in the best way and use and recommend products that could help them.
  2. Microdermabrasion – While many people have heard the term, the exfoliation of the skin using equipment and microscopic crystals is not widely known. We make sure that our students are familiar with the technique and equipment needed to master this sought after skill.
  3. Facial Masks – One of the most desired skills in esthetics is facial masks, scrubs, and peels. We educate our students in each of these, giving them ample time to practice and master them in our student salon training area.
  4. Facial Massage – In the world of spa the focus is on relaxation, which makes facial massage a sought after skill. Focusing only on the skin and structure of the face and neck, knowledge of this type of massage helps to create a deeper skill for our students.
  5. Hair Removal – Temporary hair removal skills such as waxing are important skills for any estheticians to have, and one that we focus on. Since there are so many jobs available that are specific to waxing and hair removal we devote time to help our students master this skill.
  6. Cosmetics – Although not commonly thought of as part of an esthetic education, in Idaho it is one of the many required skills needed to sit for the state board. At ESI Chubbuck we are proud to educate our students in a skill that could help expand their portfolio and open even more doors.


The cutting, styling, and caring for of hair and skin is the common definition of a cosmetologist. While cosmetologists do learn and master some of the same skills as an esthetician, they delve even deeper into the care and cutting of hair as well.

At ESI Chubbuck we want each of our cosmetology students to become true masters in their craft and skill. We seek to prepare each of our students for success by creating an inclusive cosmetology program. Contact us to find out more about our generational cosmetology programs and the future you could build.

ESI Chubb internal

A Master of Mane

As a cosmetologist there are many things you will need to learn to help you build a successful career. In addition to sanitation, anatomy, chemistry, business and other required courses our cosmetology program focuses on the following.

  1. The Care of Hair and Skin – Understanding hair, skin, and scalp health is vital to being able to assist your clients in looking their best. We offer multiple courses and focuses to help our students gain a well-rounded knowledge.
  2. Cutting and Styling – The cutting, styling, and overall transformation of hair is, at its core, what a cosmetologist does. With our beautiful Student Salon Training Area, we give our students room to master this vital knowledge and skill.
  3. Chemical Processes – In addition to cutting and styling, the mastery of chemical processes such as coloring, perms, and relaxing is a cornerstone to a successful cosmetology career. We go beyond the standard, delving into current trends and skills that are in demand.
  4. Basic Nail Skills – In addition to knowledge of hair and skin, cosmetologists in Idaho are also trained in basic nail skills such as cutting, shaping, painting, and overall care of the hands and feet.
  5. Waxing – Temporary hair removal, as well as the forming and shaping of the brows, is a skill required of cosmetologists sitting for the state boards.
  6. Cosmetics – Similar to estheticians, cosmetologists also receive an education in cosmetic application and technique. This skill, along with knowledge of hair, can open up many career opportunities so we take extra time to help our students build their craft.

Which world of beauty is calling to you?

At Elevate Salon Institute, Chubbuck we offer both cosmetology and esthetics. Would you like to learn more about these programs and discover how they can help you build a beautiful future in this creative, fast paced, and unique industry? Call us today to schedule a tour of our beautifully renovated facilities, right across the freeway from beautiful Pocatello, Idaho.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *