To understand nutrition licensure laws in a specific
state, refer to the Center for Nutrition Advocacy (CNA),
which works to promote policy and regulations that
allow diverse practitioners to practice nutrition to the
level of their training, and gives consumers access to
the practitioner of their choice. They keep an eye on
regulations and policies that matter to what you do
and whether it’s legal for you to do it. Their goal is to
build avenues for nutrition to transform healthcare.
Refer to their website, www.nutritionadvocacy.org, to
find out what the laws in your state say about what
information you are permitted to share with clients on
their nutritional status. In general, estheticians can make
general healthy eating recommendations and present
nutritional studies for education.
General healthy eating. It is usually legal for someone
to provide nutrition recommendations that do not
target an individual’s existing medical condition. For
example, it is fine to state that a healthy diet includes
five to seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per
day, with limited amounts of refined carbohydrates
and added sugars, as opposed to suggesting something
like, “people with eczema should take 1. 8 grams of
omega- 3 supplements per day to lower the inflammation
associated with the skin condition.” The first is a general
guideline for good health, whereas the second statement
is a specific recommendation related to a health condition
or disease state.
Published studies. On the other hand, it is legal to
provide copies of studies and published information about
addressing health conditions (like inflammation or acne)
in the vein of “studies have shown that taking 1. 8 grams of
omega- 3 supplements per day have shown improvements
in eczema.” The esthetician cannot make a specific
recommendation, but s/he can reiterate what the literature
reports, period. They should then suggest that the client
consult their physician before taking any supplements to
be sure it is a safe choice for them personally.
The esthetician is positioned perfectly to help clients
reach their wellness goals. Given the close physical
nature of their work, along with the intimate personal
connections that are formed between skin care
professional and client, they have the power to help
many. The role of the esthetician is to make observations,
educate and refer.
Make Observations. For example, “I notice that your
skin appears dehydrated. Studies show that some factors
that can contribute to this are poor omega- 3 fatty acid
status, inadequate water intake and lack of a quality
moisturizer in a nighttime skin care regimen.”
Educate. Keep abreast of the latest published research
on nutrition and wellness for healthy skin and create a
resource list to share with clients. Be sure to site credible
references. GoogleScholar.com is a good place to do
research or you can work with a nutritionist, doctor or
nurse to create a library of good information.
Refer. Take some time to build a referral list of highly
qualified clinical nutritionists or registered dietitians in
your geographic area. Two reputable sources are www.
nutritionspecialists.org for a clinical nutritionist and
www.eatright.org for a registered dietitian.
PROMOTE HEALTHY LIVING
Estheticians can and should be ambassadors of
wellness for their clients. This begins by modeling the
behaviors and lifestyles that support good health and skin,
but also includes a role as educator. Understanding the
fine line between educator and counselor is an important
distinction to make to ensure that an esthetician is
working within scope of practice while helping clients live
Given the close physical nature
of their work, along with the
intimate personal connections
that are formed between skin care
professional and client, they have
the power to help many.
Ginger Hodulik, MS, is a Certified Nutrition
Specialist (CNS) with both bachelor’s and master’s
degrees in nutrition. She has worked in clinical
practice and wellness program development
and implementation. Currently, she serves as
co-owner and VP of R&D for DermaMed Solutions.