Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Board for Barbers and Cosmetology
Board for Barbers and Cosmetology Esthetics Regulations [18 VAC 41 ‑ 70]
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10/31/11  1:41 pm
Commenter: Susie Galvez

Current Esthetics Guidelines and Regulations
Mr. Ferguson,
I am writing in regard to the periodic review of public participation guidelines and regulations open comment period. My comments are for the current licensing requirements for Estheticians, and Master Estheticians.
It is my opinion that the current licensing requirements to practice esthetics in Virginia are excessively rigid and extremely limiting to both esthetic school candidates seeking training in esthetics, as well currently state licensed estheticians from other states, who are seeking esthetic work in Virginia.
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Susie Galvez. I am the founder of Face Works Day Spa, Richmond, VA. I was the owner from 1999 to 2006. I am a licensed esthetician in the state of Pennsylvania since 1998. In addition, I am a beauty industry expert, spokesperson for the beauty industry, print, TV, and radio beauty expert, and author of nine books on beauty, seven of which launched internationally. My website is for your review.


I have over the years taught continuing education esthetics classes for the states of California and Florida, as well as platform speaking on esthetic services and practices at several international spa and salon conventions across the world.


I attended esthetics school in Pennsylvania in 1998 for 600 hours, even though Pennsylvania esthetics program requires only 300 hours. My goal was to be able to practice esthetics in any state I decided to purchase my day spa. As well as to start my day spa business immediately upon my esthetic program completion and licensing, which I did, when I founded Face Works Day Spa in Richmond in 1999.


When I was in the preparation period before I opened my day spa, I was very surprised to learn that there were no licensing requirements in 1998 for esthetics…period. I was even more surprised that when I called the Virginia State Board of Cosmetology to inquire the reasoning for not licensing esthetics, the person in the board office replied “Both Governor Gilmore and Governor Allen are big proponents of de-regulating laws and requirements.”


I responded to her statement by listing some of the duties estheticians routinely perform, such as multi-acid facial peels, waxing, extracting of blemishes, using micro-current – all on a client’s skin, which if not done properly could cause damage to the skin. I continued to express my concern by telling her about the high number of esthetics applicants that I had recently interviewed that had no formal esthetics education. They were simply taught “by their boss, or another esthetician – that had been taught by the ‘boss’.” Some of whom expressed that their “training consisted of watching a video, or someone else doing a treatment or two – and then they begin taking clients themselves as an esthetician.”
She replied that she understood my concern, and then added “but this is the law, and unless you can bring in a dead body and prove that they died from an esthetics treatment, she didn’t think that it would change.” I promise you that I am quoting verbatim what was said to me, as I was so taken back, with our conversation that I wrote down her comments exactly.


While I highly doubt anyone has ever died from a day spa treatment, I firmly believed that there should be esthetics skills, safety, and sanitary protocols and guidelines that need to be taught, understood, and followed.


Once I got over my initially thought of “Dear Lord, what have I done, buying my day spa in Virginia!” I immediately instituted that my day spa business would exclusively hire only licensed estheticians with valid licenses from other states. This rule remained an iron-clad requirement for the entire seven years of my ownership.


My point ~ is that without a doubt formal training and licensing is critical for the esthetics industry both for employers and clients alike to have a standard measure of competency and safety standards.


However to go from zero education to enter esthetic profession, to requiring 600 hours for just a basic esthetic license without the ability to fully practice esthetics ~ even if licensed from another state for years, while allowing all “estheticians” in the state of Virginia to be “grandfathered” in with or without any formal training during the initial licensing period is going from one extreme to another.


My suggestion is to review the esthetic licensing requirements, allowing currently licensed from other states estheticians to practice in full all capacities as currently in place for Master Estheticians.


I would love to move my license from Pennsylvania to Virginia, my home state. But will not without the full benefits to practice Master Esthetics. Also it is my sincere desire to be on the Virginal State Board for esthetics, allowing my education, experience, and industry relationships to be of service.


I would be happy to discuss this matter with you personally. Thank you for your time and consideration with my letter and suggestions.
I look forward to hearing from you. 
Susie Galvez
CommentID: 21143