What is Beauty Therapy

At Ray Cochrane, we’ve been the go-to training centre for all beauty and aesthetic qualifications since 1954. We were also the first beauty school to offer the prestigious CIDESCO qualification in the UK, making us very well-versed in beauty therapy.

Whilst aesthetic training has become more focused on, beauty therapy is the foundation that allows non-medical professionals to operate in the beauty and aesthetic industry, making it a field that you should fully understand if you want to work in the beauty industry.

We have compiled a guide for the beauty therapy industry based on Frequently asked questions we get that will help those wondering if beauty therapy is the right field for them to join. These questions will cover what beauty therapy is, if working as a Beauty Therapist is a good career, and how much you can expect to earn as a beauty therapist.

So let’s get straight into our complete guide for Beauty Therapy.

What is Beauty Therapy?

Beauty therapy refers to the treatments and techniques trained professionals apply to enhance their client’s beauty and well-being. From celebrities to everyday people, we all need help to look and feel our best occasionally.

Beauty therapy has been around for thousands of years, with ancient Greeks and Arabs creating routines to beautify themselves, whether in the form of moisturisers, eyeliner, sugar waxing and other natural remedies. Humans inherently want to look better and enhance their looks to keep up with trends and society’s beauty standards.

Treatments that come under Beauty Therapy include*:

  • waxing
  • facials
  • manicures
  • pedicures
  • eyebrow and lashes maintenance
  • massages
  • facial and body treatments

Beauty therapy has many benefits, including destressing clients, improving the client’s skin health and increased confidence. These beauty therapy treatments go beyond just making clients look good; they make them feel great, mentally and physically.

*In the UK, beauty treatments do not usually cover makeup/makeovers and would require a makeup artist. 

Benefits of Beauty Therapy

Beauty therapy can offer a range of benefits, both physical and mental. Firstly, it can improve the appearance of the skin, hair, and nails, helping to boost self-confidence and self-esteem.

Regular beauty therapy treatments, such as facials, massages, and manicures, can also help to relax and reduce stress levels, promoting overall well-being. In addition, certain treatments, such as aromatherapy, can have a positive impact on mood and help to alleviate anxiety and depression.

Beauty therapy can also provide an opportunity for social interaction and a chance to meet new people, particularly in a salon or spa environment. Overall, beauty therapy can help individuals to feel good about themselves, both inside and out, and promote a sense of overall wellness.

What is a Beauty Therapist?

You must have completed your beauty training to be recognised, work, and be insured as a beauty therapist/beautician.

A Beauty Therapist is a professional who offers beauty treatments following recognised training. From giving skincare advice to manicures and pedicures, anything beauty-related, Beauty Therapists can deliver!

Beauty courses are vocational courses, meaning the training is industry-specific and prepare the learner through practical, theory and work experience.

What Does a Beauty Therapist do?

As mentioned previously, Beauty Therapists can deliver any beauty-related treatments. You can provide all the above treatments and more as a qualified Beauty Therapist with a recognised Level 3 qualification. Nonetheless, the actual focus of your work will mainly depend on their employers’ specialities and demands from them.

For example, a Beauty Therapist working for a skincare brand will have the primary goal of selling the brands products, which is done by:

  • Completing a skin analysis to determine the client’s skin type and treatment plan to achieve their desired skin
  • Offering the client facial treatments using the brands’ products to showcase their potential
  • Working with the client to create an at-home skincare regime using suitable brand products

However, a Beauty Therapist working at a spa would have a broader range of treatments to carry out as they would have to meet a variety of client’s demands:

  • Providing manicures and pedicures to clients
  • Offering massages and body treatments such as scrubs that allow the client to use other spa facilities
  • Skincare and facial treatments using popular brands

As you can see, there are no fixed lists of treatments you complete as a Beauty Therapist. Hence, we recommend receiving generic training that will teach you everything.

Qualifications for beauty therapy?

There are various qualifications available for those interested in pursuing a career in beauty therapy. Some of the popular options include a diploma or Beauty Level 3 course certificate, which covers topics such as skincare, nail care, makeup application, and hair removal techniques.

Other qualifications include courses in specialist areas such as aromatherapy, reflexology, and massage therapy. Depending on the specific area of interest, individuals can opt for advanced courses or pursue further education in the form of degrees or higher-level diplomas.

What are the Benefits of a Beauty Therapy Qualification?

A beauty therapy qualification holds the key to an exciting and fulfilling career in the beauty and wellness industry. Beyond personal interest, it offers a wealth of benefits that extend to professional recognition, career flexibility, and financial stability.

Now, let’s take a look at the numerous advantages of acquiring a beauty therapy qualification.

1. Career Opportunities:

A beauty therapy qualification opens doors to a world of career opportunities. Whether you aspire to work in a salon, spa, clinic, or even run your own beauty business, this qualification paves the way. The beauty industry is ever-evolving, offering diverse career pathways for qualified professionals.

2. Skill Development:

Beauty therapy training equips you with a wide range of skills, from skincare and makeup application to massage and nail care. This comprehensive skill set allows you to offer an array of beauty treatments, making you a versatile and in-demand therapist.

3. Professional Recognition:

Earning a beauty therapy qualification from a reputable institution not only enhances your skills but also establishes your professional credibility. Clients are more likely to trust a qualified therapist, contributing to a thriving career.

4. Flexibility in Work:

One of the appealing aspects of a beauty therapy career is the flexibility it offers. You can choose to work full-time, part-time, or even as a freelance beauty therapist, allowing you to tailor your work schedule to your preferences and lifestyle.

5. Continuous Learning:

The beauty industry is dynamic, with new trends and technologies constantly emerging. A beauty therapy qualification sets you on a path of continuous learning, keeping you updated with the latest industry developments.

A beauty therapy qualification is not just a certificate; it’s a gateway to a multifaceted and enriching career. The benefits extend far beyond the surface, encompassing personal growth, professional recognition, and the satisfaction of making a positive impact on clients’ lives.

Who is the Right Fit for a Beauty Therapy Qualification?

A Beauty Therapy qualification is perfect for those with an artistic touch, empathy, and a passion for enhancing well-being and confidence. The right fit typically includes those who:

  • Have a Love for Beauty:  If you’re drawn to makeup, skincare, and helping others look their best, this career is rewarding.
  • Possess Creativity: Creativity is key for tailoring services to individual needs.
  • Enjoy Learning: This dynamic industry demands ongoing learning.
  • Desire for Flexibility: Work in various settings, from salons to freelancing, offers diverse opportunities.
  • Commitment to Client Well-Being: Beauty Therapists should prioritise the health and well-being of their clients. You’re on the right track if you are dedicated to ensuring clients’ safety and satisfaction.

A Beauty Therapy qualification suits those with artistic, customer-focused qualities and a genuine interest in enhancing others’ beauty and well-being. It’s a fulfilling, dynamic career.

Need More Info on Becoming a Beauty Therapist

Over the years, we have compiled much information to help prospective students understand if the beauty industry is right for them and how they can kick start their careers.

You can read our in-depth guide on how to become a beauty therapist here. The focus will cover what courses you must complete, the study duration, and popular Beauty Therapists opportunities.

Alternatively, you can check out our VTCT Level 3 Beauty Therapy Diploma course structure breakdown video below.

Our school’s director and head tutor, Eleonora Androva, explains everything that is taught on the course and who is suitable to complete the Level 3 diploma.

Finally, if you would like one-on-one guidance with understanding what Beauty Therapy is and if it’s the right industry for you to start a career in, we have many lines of direct communications with our course enrollment advisors available. You can call us at 0203 856 8886 or email us at admission@raycochrane.co.uk. There is no pressure to enrol on a course when consulting with our advisors, rather they are trained just to answer your questions. Our lines of communication are open during school open hours, which are 9 am – 5 pm, and we will try our best to get back to you immediately if we miss you!

We really hope you found this guide useful in understanding more about beauty therapy, and we look forward to hearing from you if you decide this is an industry you would like to work in.

Frequently Asked Questions about Beauty Therapy

How much does a Beauty Therapist earn in London?

As we are a beauty training academy based in London, we have a good understanding of how much our students go on to make at various stages throughout their careers.

As a newly qualified Beauty Therapist looking to gain more experience, you can expect to earn up to £24,000 annually or around £12 per hour.

As you gain more experience and develop your skills further, you can expect to earn upwards of £25,000. Adding more advanced training and certificates, such as Level 4 Laser, you can earn upwards of £30,000. Regardless, the amount you make depends highly on you and the efforts you are willing to put into your work. You can charge as much or as little as you want!

Remember, we have used the averages of a Beauty Technician working in London. As the capital city, earnings tend to be higher than in other places in the country. This figure will also depend on if you decide to work as an employee for a salon/clinic or if you choose to go freelance.

Is it better to be self-employed or employed as a Beauty Therapist?

Working as an employed beauty therapist will offer many benefits such as paid holidays, existing clients, maternity/paternity leave, pension and a healthy work-life balance.

However, being self-employed has many benefits, including creating a legacy, the flexibility to work around your schedule, deciding how much to pay yourself, and the ability to work wherever you want.

As a Beauty Therapist, one is not better than the other. Some people are better suited to being employed than being self-employed. If you like the idea of starting work at nine and finishing at five, going home, and not thinking of work till the next day, then being employed at a salon/clinic is best. Being self-employed, you are solely in charge of growing your business; therefore, you will spend a lot of time working long hours, especially in the beginning stages.

Do you need a degree to be a beauty therapist?

You do not need to attend university to become a beauty therapist, as beauty therapy training is vocational. Instead, you must find a reputable college or beauty training centre to complete a recognised beauty qualification.

To qualify as a Beauty Technician and work in the UK beauty therapy industry, you must complete accredited vocational training from a recognised awarding body. Recognised awarding bodies in the UK that offer beauty qualifications are:

  • VTCT
  • ITEC
  • City & Guilds
  • Pearsons

You must possess a level 3 certificate to be a “fully qualified” Beauty Therapist. Whilst you can start working with a level 2 beauty therapy diploma, you can only work as a junior beautician, which means you’d receive lower pay.

Getting the qualifications to work as a beauty therapist can start from £2,500 to £9,000, depending on the course you go for. However, we point out to students that you will make this money back quickly, even whilst studying, if they can find an apprenticeship.

What is the difference between a Beauty Therapist and Beautician?

The answer to this question depends on the country you are in! If you are in the US, you may refer to a Beauty Therapist as an esthetician and a Beautician as a Cosmetologist.

In the UK, the difference between a Beauty Therapist and a Beautician is their qualifications. A Beautician is level 2 qualified and only trained to carry out the most basic of treatments which include:

  • simple facial skincare
  • hair removal
  • manicures/ pedicures, including gels and treatments
  • eyebrow and lash tinting and lift

A Beauty Therapist will have completed their Level 3 Beauty training, allowing them a more in-depth understanding of treatments. On Level 3 beauty courses, learners will complete Level 3 Anatomy & Physiology. Anatomy & Physiology helps them conduct skin analysis and better understand skin diseases and contraindications to treat skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and dermatitis.

Beauty Therapists can carry out all the same treatments that a Beautician can, with more advanced techniques and treatments on top:

  • Body massages, Indian head massages, and Swedish massage
  • Microdermabrasion
  • High-frequency treatments
  • Galvanic facials
  • Microcurrent facials
  • Body wraps and scrubs.

Are Beauty Therapists in demand?

As mentioned earlier, clients will always invest in their appearance, and it’s a tale as old as time. As a result, Beauty Therapists are heavily in demand, especially now, with so much inspiration coming from celebrities and social media trends.

People want to look good and natural, so a heavy focus is on improving the skin under the makeup and waking up looking ready to go. “Being high maintenance to look low maintenance.” Beauty Therapists make this happen through lash extensions, brow tinting, regular facials, massages etc.

There has never been a better time to consider a beauty career and work in the beauty therapy industry.

Is being a Beauty Therapist a good career?

Being a Beauty Therapist is an excellent and rewarding career choice for those passionate about beauty. Clients build a personal relationship with their beauty therapists, where they can open up about their insecurities and communicate the treatments they want. So, if you are looking for a job that will allow you to change your clients’ lives and mindsets, consider working in the beauty therapy industry!

We’ve heard from many of our alums how much they felt they’d made a difference to their client’s confidence, which impacts their personal, romantic and work life.

Working as a beauty therapist is rewarding, and beauty specialists can also find work anywhere. Popular locations for beauty therapists to find work include:

  • Salons
  • Spa
  • Cruise ships
  • hotels
  • aesthetic clinics
  • skincare counters for big brands
  • Pop up locations

The ability to work in such a variety of places in the Beauty therapy field indicates how great the industry is for a future career, as there will always be work available for a talented beauty specialist.