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Esthetics Course Descriptions


This course presents body scrubs, body wraps, hand treatments, foot treatments, cellulite wraps, hydrotherapy treatments, superficial chemical peels and information about microdermabrasion (Montana law requires that estheticians receive 50 hours of additional training in order to perform microdermabrasion). The holistic health model is explored, and selected therapies are presented. Current trends in the profession are reviewed, focusing on spa menu selections such as reflexology, lymphatic drainage, and other practices. Students learn about the potential effects of touch on the integration of body, mind and spirit, and students learn and practice how to respond when clients express emotions during a skin care session.


This course presents information about the structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) of the human body, as well as conditions and diseases (pathology) of each body system, with emphasis on pathologies commonly encountered in the practice of esthetics. Contraindications and endangerment sites related to esthetics treatments and products are reviewed in conjunction with the Science of Skin Care course. Also presented are the physiological effects of touch, the physiological mechanisms and principles involved in the effects of hydrotherapy, and the histology of the skin.


BUSINESS – 34 hours

To meet the requirements of the Business course, students must create realistic, specific plans for both employment and private practice in the field of esthetics. Emphasis is placed on identifying each step that each individual student will take upon graduation to pursue their particular interests and begin working in their preferred setting. Topics include marketing, client record keeping, budgeting, strategies for success as an employee, customer service and client retention, legal requirements, salon/spa management, licensure, certification, and professional associations.


This course presents advanced treatments that are performed in medical facilities, including hospitals, out-patient surgery centers, doctors’ offices, and medical spas. Students receive the information about what is required of estheticians in the medical setting work, and they learn about opportunities for continuing education related to medical esthetics. Research about esthetics treatments and skin care products is also presented, and students learn to use critical thinking skills when reading the results of research studies.



Success as an esthetician is determined not only by scientific knowledge and good hands-on skills; several other factors are crucial in preparing students to succeed in the skin care profession. This course requires students to grow personally, developing behaviors, attitudes and abilities including: awareness of personal values and beliefs; understanding of one’s personality type and one’s impact on others; communication skills and conflict resolution. Additionally, this course supports students in practicing good self -care and proper body mechanics, to maximize their longevity in the profession. A wellness model of health care is presented, and students create a self-care plan to guide them in striving to maintain their physical, emotional and spiritual health and well- being. Students learn to assess and correct their posture, breathing habits, and tension-holding patterns, which enables them to develop good body mechanics practices.


This course emphasizes the development of skills necessary for achieving and maintaining a high level of professionalism as an esthetician. By utilizing the skills presented in this course, the student will be able to: follow ethical principles and respond appropriately to a variety of ethical dilemmas; establish and maintain professional boundaries; and understand numerous dynamics of the client-esthetician relationship. Students learn how to locate and analyze information about new trends in the skin care industry, and they learn to use professional journals, e-newsletters and other sources to stay current in their knowledge about developments in the field of esthetics. Also presented is information about the importance of continuing education and how to select advanced training programs that will result in better performance, more knowledge and advanced skills.


Topics presented in this course include microbiology, bacteriology, infection control, first aid and personal hygiene. Students are taught the detailed procedures for infection control and first aid that are required of estheticians. Emphasis is placed on the safety of the client and the esthetician.


This course presents the scientific theory and principles of the profession of esthetics. Students learn about the history of esthetics and terminology that reflects the scope of practice of esthetics. Emphasis is placed on chemistry, skin and hair physiology, nutrition and how it relates to the integumentary system, and color theory. Product chemistry, ingredients, product lines and contraindications of products for skin types and conditions are presented. Students also learn and make presentations about specific skin conditions and product characteristics.


The Student Clinic course begins with an orientation to clinic policies and procedures, preparing students to successfully participate in this component of the program. Students develop their skills for creating and completing client records. Students review proper use of esthetics terminology, how to take a client’s medical history, and client case management. On Student Clinic days, students perform esthetics treatments with members of the public. The Instructor provides support, instruction, feedback and evaluation of the student’s work. Students also receive oral and written feedback from each client. Students learn how to work with clients who have a variety of skin types and conditions. Students learn case management, focusing not only on the treatment plan for each day’s treatment session, but also on recommending products and routines for clients to perform at home as well as setting forth a long-term treatment plan for repeated treatments over time.


This is a hands-on course consisting of time spent in the classroom practicing all of the sanitation techniques, skin care techniques, client assessment and history-taking, and protocols for all of the treatments taught in the program. This course supports the student’s learning process by providing the opportunity to integrate the information presented in the Science of Skin Care course with hands-on skills.

Additional Requirements


All students are required to attend an orientation session that takes place before the first day of classes. The Session is from one to five full days in length. Orientation dates and times are announced to new students when they are notified of their acceptance to the program.


Students will perform 2 Feedback Sessions with approved practice clients who in most cases will be Health Works Institute instructors. These focused, one-on-one sessions are designed to allow for direct, specific and valuable feedback. Students are required to participate in a tutoring session whenever a skill evaluated during a feedback session is below the minimum level of competency.

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