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Facial Specialist Scope of Practice

Hi all!

The question regarding a Florida Facial Specialist’s “Scope of Practice” comes up so often, I figured I’d post about it. Every state has certain regulations regarding what licensed professionals can and cannot do… it’s just a matter of finding them!

One would think such a thing would be front page news, but more often than not I find Estheticians in Florida in the dark about a very important aspect of what we do. Many Estheticians in Florida either can’t get a clear answer, are misinformed, or misunderstand the legislature. It’s like the old game of telephone where one person relays the news, then they whisper it to someone else, who interprets it and passes the information along to another… eventually, you’re going to get one unclear message.

So here’s my gift to you! First, I’ll copy and paste the legislature below for your viewing pleasure, but in case you don’t believe me, I’ll also attach the link where you can find the correct and updated Florida Cosmetologist (and Facial/Full/Nail Specialist) defined scope. Note, things do change so it’s important to use the link and check on updated rules/laws.

Hopefully providing this information will help clear a few things up. I know some of us operate in “grey areas” that are not well defined by the state, but as I tell anyone who asks and still wants to do services we’re no longer allowed: So long as you’re educated about our scope and decide to operate outside of it, you’re taking the liability and risk. If you’re okay with that, then you have your answer.

LINK: Link to

Below, this is copied directly from the I have put in BOLD, some of the questions asked most often regarding scope of practice.

61G5-18.00015 Cosmetologist and Compensation Defined.

(1) A cosmetologist is a person who is licensed to perform the mechanical or chemical treatment of the head, face, and scalp for aesthetic rather than medical purposes, including, but not limited to, hair shampooing, hair cutting, hair arranging, hair braiding, hair coloring, permanent waving, and hair relaxing, for compensation. Cosmetologists and full and facial specialists may also perform skin care services and non-invasive hair removal including wax treatments, but not including electrolysis as that term is defined in Chapter 478, F.S. Nail and full specialists may perform manicures and pedicures that include hand and foot massages.

(a) For the purposes of this act “compensation” is defined as the payment of money or valuable consideration directly or indirectly paid or promised, expressly or impliedly, or the intent to collect or receive payment of money or the intent to collect or receive anything of value in exchange for cosmetology services.

(b) For the purposes of this act “medical purposes” is defined as any form of bodily intrusion into the orifices, skin, muscles, or any other tissues of the body. Bodily intrusion includes but is not limited to skin perforation by any means, including the application of permanent makeup, the use of laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments, ultrasound and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatments, radiation, plasma pen, Hyaluron pen, injections, and FDA approved medical devices, all of which are beyond the scope of a cosmetology license and full and facial registrations.

(2) Practice Definitions: In the practice of cosmetology and its specialties, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Chemical exfoliation” is the use of products containing chemicals that either loosen or dissolve dead cell buildup. Examples of exfoliating chemicals are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are gentle, naturally occurring acids that remove dead skin cells.

(b) “Lash lift” or “Eyelash perm” is a treatment where chemical products are applied to natural lashes, lifting or curling the lashes to make them look longer and fuller. A tint is sometimes also applied. Florida licensed cosmetologists and full and facial specialists may provide lash lifting and perming services provided the chemical products used are a gel form of ammonium thioglycolate.

(c) “Makeup application” includes makeup primer, face paint, lipstick, eyeliner, eye shadow, foundation, rouge or cheek color, mascara, strip lashes, individual lashes, face powder, corrective stick, and makeup remover. Makeup application does not require a cosmetology license or a full or facial specialist registration.

(d) “Manual exfoliation” is the physical removal of dead skin cells through light abrasion using a sponge or cloth with or without the use of a granulated scrub, or using a dermaplaning #10 blade. All sharps must be disposed of in a biohazard sharps container.

(e) “Massaging” in the practice of cosmetology is limited to the face, scalp, neck, hands, and feet and includes manipulation of the skin for the application of creams or lotions for aesthetic purposes with the hands or a smooth object such as a small stone. Manipulation of an individual’s soft body tissue for the purposes of improving health or well-being, therapeutic massages, reflexology massages, and massaging the torso are outside the scope of a cosmetology license or full and facial specialist registrations.

(f) “Mechanical exfoliation” is the physical removal of surface epidermal cells by means that include but are not limited to brushing machines, granulated scrubs, peel-off masques, peeling creams or drying preparations that are rubbed off, and microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a type of mechanical exfoliation that involves using a closed vacuum to shoot aluminum oxide or other crystals at the skin with a hand-held device that exfoliates dead cells.

(g) “Microblading” is a form of semi-permanent tattooing that involves using tiny, fine-point needles that make up a small disposable blade and handle that deposit pigment simultaneously under your skin. Microblading is beyond the scope of a Florida cosmetology license or full or facial specialist registration.

(h) “Microneedling” or “collagen induction treatment or therapy” is a procedure that uses a multi-needled device to create microchannels in the skin 0.25 – 2.5 mm deep to stimulate the body’s natural wound healing process while minimizing cellular damage. This piercing of the skin is beyond the scope of a Florida licensed cosmetologist or registered full or facial specialist.

(i) “Semipermanent lashes” are lash extensions that are applied directly onto existing eyelashes with a glue that is specially formulated to not damage the lash or irritate the eyes. This process generally takes about 2 hours to apply and must be maintained. A cosmetology license or a full or facial specialist registration is required to apply these lashes to a client.

(j) “Strip lashes” and “individual lashes” are full, partial, or small clusters of false lashes applied with an adhesive. This process takes very little time to apply, and, as they are not long-lasting, they are usually applied for a specific event.

Rulemaking Authority 477.016, 477.025(2) FS. Law Implemented 477.013, 477.0135, 477.025(2) FS. History–New 10-10-82, Amended 6-28-84, Formerly 21F-18.001, Amended 7-4-90, Formerly 21F-18.00015, Amended 11-11-96, 3-8-00, 2-18-19, 1-24-21, 10-20-21.

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