Virginia Esthetician Licensing Laws

TIMELINE: October 20, 2007 – ANYONE PRACTICING “ESTHETICS” MUST BE LICENSED.

The Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics’ Owner Laura Todd, Co-Chair of The Virginia Panel for Esthetics Licensure & members of SVSS implemented and lobbied for the Virginia Esthetics Licensure Bill in the 2005 General Assembly.

TIMELINE: October 20, 2007 – ANYONE PRACTICING “ESTHETICS” MUST BE LICENSED.

“Master esthetician” means a licensed esthetician who, in addition to the practice of esthetics, offers to the public for compensation, without the use of laser technology, lymphatic drainage, chemical exfoliation, or microdermabrasion, and who has met such additional requirements as determined by the Board to practice lymphatic drainage, chemical exfoliation with products other than Schedules II through VI controlled substances as defined in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), and microdermabrasion of the epidermis. Master Estheticians may also practice Esthetics as defined by Virginia Law after passing that portion of the program and any state requirements.

“Esthetics” includes, but is not limited to, the following practices of administering cosmetic treatments to enhance or improve the appearance of the skin: cleansing, toning, performing effleurage or other related movements, stimulating, exfoliating, or performing any other similar procedure on the skin of the human body or scalp by means of cosmetic preparations, treatments, any nonlaser device, electrical, mechanical, or manual, for care of the skin; applying make-up or eyelashes to any person, tinting or perming eyelashes and eyebrows, and lightening hair on the body except the scalp; and removing unwanted hair from the body of any person by the use of tweezing, chemical, or mechanical means. However, “esthetics” is not a healing art and shall not include any practice, activity, or treatment that constitutes the practice of medicine, osteopathic medicine, or chiropractic. The terms “healing arts,” “practice of medicine,” “practice of osteopathic medicine,” and “practice of chiropractic” shall mean the same as those terms are defined in § 54.1-2900.

Esthetician Law Will Aid Consumer

BY PENELOPE M. CARRINGTON TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Mar 1, 2005 Want a little peace of mind to go with that facial or spa treatment? Under a law passed by the General Assembly and awaiting the governor’s signature, estheticians — people who work in the beauty business — would have to be licensed by the state to administer basic and advanced skin-care treatments. That means bad reactions or other undesirable side effects will be minimized and consumers would have a process by which to file complaints… Virginia is the only state without licensing requirements for estheticians. Advocates of the law say the void has left consumers open to improper treatment, infection or permanent skin damage. Right now, anyone can open a spa or offer facials and other procedures without training. Laura Todd, owner of the area’s Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics and a member of the Virginia Panel for Esthetics Licensure, said the panel and the Skin Care Society of Virginia teamed up in a “grass-roots effort” to push for the legislation. Del. John J. Welch III, R-Virginia Beach, sponsored the bill, which drew attention when estheticians converged at the Capitol to offer delegates a sampling of their services… “It certainly behooves consumers to ask if the esthetician is licensed somewhere else,” said Sandra Whitley Ryals. “With any treatment that is sought, one would want to know how that individual is credentialed.”

Wondering How This New Law Will Impact You?

CHAPTER 829

An Act to amend and reenact 54.1-700 through 54.1-703 and 54.1-704.1 through 54.1-706 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 54.1-703.3, relating to the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; Board for Barbers and Cosmetology; regulation of estheticians. [H 2510] Approved March 26, 2005 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:1. That 54.1-700 through 54.1-703 and 54.1-704.1 through 54.1-706 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 54.1-703.3 as follows: 54.1-700. Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning: “Esthetician” means a person who engages in the practice of esthetics for compensation.”Esthetics” includes, but is not limited to, the following practices of administering cosmetic treatments to enhance or improve the appearance of the skin: cleansing, toning, performing effleurage or other related movements, stimulating, exfoliating, or performing any other similar procedure on the skin of the human body or scalp by means of cosmetic preparations, treatments, any nonlaser device, electrical, mechanical, or manual, for care of the skin; applying make-up or eyelashes to any person, tinting or perming eyelashes and eyebrows, and lightening hair on the body except the scalp; and removing unwanted hair from the body of any person by the use of tweezing, chemical, or mechanical means. However, “esthetics” is not a healing art and shall not include any practice, activity, or treatment that constitutes the practice of medicine, osteopathic medicine, or chiropractic. The terms “healing arts,” “practice of medicine,” “practice of osteopathic medicine,” and “practice of chiropractic” shall mean the same as those terms are defined in 54.1-2900. “Esthetics instructor” means a licensed esthetician who has been certified by the Board as having completed an approved curriculum and who meets the competency standards of the Board as an instructor of esthetics. “Esthetics spa” means any commercial establishment, residence, vehicle, or other establishment, place, or event wherein esthetics is offered or practiced on a regular basis for compensation under regulations of the Board. “Master esthetician” means a licensed esthetician who, in addition to the practice of esthetics, offers to the public for compensation, without the use of laser technology, lymphatic drainage, chemical exfoliation, or microdermabrasion, and who has met such additional requirements as determined by the Board to practice lymphatic drainage, chemical exfoliation with products other than Schedules II through VI controlled substances as defined in the Drug Control Act (54.1-3400 et seq.), and microdermabrasion of the epidermis. “School of esthetics” means a place or establishment licensed by the Board to accept and train students and which offers an esthetics curriculum approved by the Board.

The History of Virginia’s Esthetician Bill?

On Saturday, February 26, 2005, the Virginia legislature passed a bill that would regulate esthetics and create a two-tiered system of licensure. This new licensure was envisioned as having a basic Esthetics license with 600 hours of training, and a Master’s license, with 1200 hours of training. What was unusual about this bill is what little opposition it truly had considering that prior to this new legislation, Virginia was the last State in the nation to regulate esthetics, never mind creating dual licensure. The history of this Virginia legislation can be traced back to the 2002 legislative session when a bill was proposed to study this issue. The State Board that oversees professional licensure in Virginia, the Board for Professional Occupational Regulation (DPOR), was tasked with writing a study for the Virginia legislature on the need to regulate esthetics, and if they concluded that it did need regulation, how to go about doing so. In November of 2002, DPOR wrote in a lengthy study that “….the Board found convincing evidence to support regulation by mandatory licensure of Esthetics…” and “Public comment supported regulation of esthetics but indicated that several licensure categories may be needed to encompass the different services provided and the training and education required to perform these services…”. With this ammunition in hand, various interest groups formed in Virginia to craft a bill based on the study’s recommendations. In the fall of 2004, one of these groups, (name omited), which had been formed for this purpose, splintered when the vast majority of its members that supported two-tier found out that a small faction that supported no Master’s license, was going to introduce a bill to this effect. Those that wanted dual-licensure formed their own groups and began working on alternative legislation. Late in 2004, SVSS, worked with the newly formed Virginia Panel for Esthetics Licensure to promote two-tier legislation, co-chaired by Laura Todd of the Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics, Richmond, VA and Melanie Trainer of Graham Webb Academy, Arlington, VA. A bill was crafted and introduced by our sponsor, Delegate John Welch, III, (R-Virginia Beach). When the 2005 legislative session began in January, Delegate Welch introduced a two-tiered bill that many felt had little chance of passing. In order to increase the chance of passage, the Virginia Panel sponsored a “spa day” for members of the General Assembly and their staff. This spa day was instrumental in educating members on the field of esthetics and promoting awareness of our cause. Universal Companies, a premier distributor and manufacturer of esthetics devices and products, donated gifts for members and staff and State media covered the event. All in all, it was a great success and gave the bill some much needed bolstering. During the initial House hearings, a small faction of discontented (name omitted) members testified against the bill, citing the lack of precedence for two-tier legislation. The Panel and SVSS were able to counter their arguments, citing the Utah two-tier legislation, and the model of esthetics licensure championed by the National Coalition of Esthetic and Professional Association. In addition, Susanne Warfield of NCEA wrote letters in support of the bill to Delegates, informing them of the issue and discrediting misrepresentations put out by our opposition. Ms. Warfield also sent out blast e-mails to Virginia estheticians and esthetic school’s with correct information about the legislation. The bill was reported out favorably and quickly passed the House of Delegates by a wide margin. At this point, the bill headed to the Senate where some difficulties arose. It quickly became evident that the remnants of (name omited) were going to continue fighting the bill in the Senate, and presented the same information against the Master’s portion of the bill at the Senate hearing. Luckily, the Panel and SVSS continued working on educating the Senators and we were able to have the bill reported out favorably of the Senate General Laws Committee, with only two dissenting votes. There were moments of heartburn when a Senate floor amendment was offered that would have had the two newly created esthetics Board seats be paid out of a non-general revenue fund. Technically, this could have delayed implementation of the bill, but the amendment was killed in a conference committee on the closing weekend of the General Assembly, thus paving the way for final passage. Many lessons were learned from the successful passage of this bill. One, Virginia was ready for licensure and the two groups that worked with the appropriate State agencies were successful in ultimately gaining those agencies’s support. Second, we were lucky in that groups that could have been opposed to our bill (i.e. the Medical Society of Virginia, massage therapists, Career College Association) worked with us to clarify any of their issues, and they in turn came out in support of our bill. Third, our opposition worked so hard on killing the Master’s portion of our bill, issues such as creating two new board positions never became controversial. Fourth, having more than one group supporting a bill and working with other groups showed unity and strength to members of the General Assembly. Fifth, working to educate members as to how esthetic procedures can be complicated and those performing those services (i.e. microdermabrasion and chemical peels in particular) needed to be properly trained. We had pictures of chemical peels performed by untrained personnel and some of their horrifying effects. These pictures themselves persuaded many members who are against any type of regulation to strongly support our bill. Sixth, it was important to remember that those of us working on this issue needed to present a united front and get this important legislation passed. It was unimportant who ultimately gets the credit. And lastly, it is vital that anyone looking to pass legislation find a legislator that is willing to go to bat for you and make sure that everyone stays well informed on any issues that may arise. We in Virginia were lucky that Delegate John Welch was our bill’s sponsor. He and his chief of staff worked to ensure victory for Virginia and it’s estheticians. As we go forward now with our new legislation, it will be important to remain united behind implementation of a successful two-tiered system. We will continue to work with our State agency’s to hopefully ensure that the curriculum is correct and that the appropriate modalities go into both the first-tier Basic Esthetics license (600 hours) and the second-tier (1200 hours) or Master’s Esthetics license. With many States looking to add hours to their esthetics license, we strongly recommend that they consider the dual-tier approach. (authored by Melanie Trainer)

RUB DOWN AT THE CAPITOL

Assembly gets a little face time Virginia is one of two states that does not regulate spas

BY PENELOPE M. CARRINGTONTIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Feb 27, 2005

Virginia estheticians went to the General Assembly yesterday and asked for some skin.

They got it, as a bustling stream of aides, secretaries and members of the House of Delegates visited an eighth-floor conference room-turned-day-spa. The setup was complete with beds for the free facials, skin analysis machines and spa-related gifts. It was designed to educate the politicians and their staffs about the esthetics field.

That, and to get their support for House Bill 2510.

Its passage would require estheticians those who do basic facials and more advanced skin treatments — to be licensed. Virginia is one of two states without such regulation. Connecticut is the other, yet even that state has minimal regulations, said Christine Gordon, owner of the Graham Webb Academy in Arlington County.

“So we really are dead last,” she said.

Gordon, a member of the board of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools and the Virginia Panel for Esthetics Licensure, said the bill would “bring Virginia up to date and send it to the forefront.”

At this point, anyone in Virginia can open a day spa and offer facials and advanced skin treatments without specialized training. Proponents of the bill say the lack of standards puts consumers at risk for infection, improper treatment or permanent skin damage.

“When you go to someone like that, you trust they’re going to be clean. You trust they know what they’re doing, but there is no guarantee,” said Norma Opel, secretary to Dels. Gary A. Reese, R-Fairfax, and Mark L. Cole, R-Spotsylvania.

Opel stopped in for a skin analysis shortly after the “spa” opened at 11 a.m. in the General Assembly Building. The diagnosis: Sun damage.

Regulating estheticians, Opel said, “gives you confidence that they’re accountable to someone else and that they’ve had testing and studied.”

Virginia estheticians, educators, spa owners, equipment suppliers and political advocates say the bill is a step toward educating the public and establishing such accountability. It would also validate a rapidly evolving industry that takes in about $14 billion a year in the United States.

The bill, put forth by the Virginia Society of Skin Care Specialists and supported by the Panel for Esthetics Licensure, proposes a two-tier approach that would require 600 hours of training for a license to perform basic techniques and 1,200 hours for advanced techniques. Utah, the gold standard for estheticians, is the only state with the two-tier standards. That’s why estheticians across the nation will be watching Virginia closely, Gordon said.

Laura Todd, owner of the area’s Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics and a member of the Panel for Esthetics Licensure, said yesterday’s event opened many eyes.

“We’ve had more support and more people interested in it and finding out about the scientific aspects. It’s more than creams. It’s about anatomy, physiology and applying your scientific background . . . because esthetics is scientific skin care.”

Todd and two of her students were among the 11 estheticians, school owners and students who provided services to more than 130 people yesterday. Del. John A. Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, was among them.

He endured a skin analysis and facial under protest.
“My legislative aide made me come,” he said.
“He needs to relax. He’s stressed,” added the aide, Christie Craig, who opted out because she didn’t bring makeup to reapply. It was a familiar lament among women on elevators and in hallways.

At least two men took advantage of the free services: Cosgrove and Gary R. Frink, legislative aide to Del. Allen L. Louderback, R-Page. Frink was advised to wear sunscreen on his nose and use an exfoliant — a facial scrub — which he said he planned to do.

Del. John J. Welch III, R-Virginia Beach, the bill’s patron, didn’t seem surprised by the lack of men given the mostly male membership of the House. But he was sure the information would get back to those who had skipped the skin session.
“A lot of times, the aides are pretty influential to the delegates, and if the delegates aren’t man enough to do it, then they can send down their aides and have them report back,” he said.

The bill will go to the Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions next week.

Contact Penelope M. Carrington at (804) 649-6027 or pcarrington@timesdispatch.com
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Laser Procedures & Medical Esthetics Virginia

Cosmetic Laser Procedures (cosmetic laser technician) & Medical Esthetics (medical esthetician) can be practiced under a physician without a license if the individual is properly trained. See as noted below! – note that this has been updated. see new info

Current Guidance:

§ 54.1-2973.1. Practice of laser hair removal. The practice of laser hair removal shall be performed by a properly trained person licensed to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine or a physician assistant as authorized pursuant to § 54.1-2952 or a nurse practitioner as authorized pursuant to § 54.1-2957 or by a properly trained person under the direction and supervision of a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathic medicine or a physician assistant as authorized pursuant to § 54.1-2952 or a nurse practitioner as authorized pursuant to § 54.1-2957 who may delegate such practice in accordance with subdivision A 6 of § 54.1-2901..

Previous 2008 guidance:

MEDICAL BOARD COSMETIC LASER PROCEDURES POSITION PAPER (LAW YOU MUST FOLLOW): Based on the Committee’s recommendations and further review by the Legislative Committee, the Medical Board adopts the following principles: 1. That the use of intense pulsed light devices solely for the removal of hair does not appear to be the practice of medicine. 2. That the use of light-based devices that involve revision, destruction, incision or other structural alteration of human tissue constitutes laser surgery in accordance with§ 54.1-2400.01 of the Code of Virginia. Given these two principles, coupled with the laws and regulations governing physician delegation and responsibility, the Board provides the following guidance.
GUIDANCE
Physicians who perform or delegate any aspect of light-based hair removal are fully responsible for the provision of such services and should maintain written policies and procedures to include:
  • Training and/or certification for staff involved in hair removal services
  • Initial assessment of patient
  • Informed consent
  • Energy or fluence setting
  • Management of complications
  • Emergency preparedness and procedures
  • Procedure if treatment results in an adverse reaction
  • Post-treatment follow-up.
The written policies and procedures should indicate the level of discretion granted to staff, as well as criteria that necessitated physician involvement. Adopted by the Board of Medicine on February 21, 2008
Richmond Virginia Local Makes History!
Va Panel Co-Chair appointed by Virginia’s Governor to serve on the board that regulates Esthetics
Congratulations to Laura Todd!
On July 1, 2005, Governor Warner appointed Laura Todd of The Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics & co-chair of the Virginia Panel to Virginia’s first Four Year Esthetician Seat at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Laura Todd was chosen as a subject matter expert to develop the National Exam for Advanced Esthetics and Virginia’s Master Esthetics Exam.
The 49th Annual National-Interstate Council Of State Boards Of Cosmetology
Start the Day out Right…..Breakfast and Lobbying for Two-Tier Licensure in Virginia!
The 49th Annual National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) Conference that was held in Henrico, Virginia on August 30th, 2004. Networking with Industry Leaders & State Board Members from all over the United States.

Guest Speakers: June Pendelton, Universal Companies, Catherine Atzen, Laura Todd with Invited Guests