Oregon Proposes New Definition for Estheticians and Advanced Estheticians

Posted By Madilyn Moeller, Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Device used on face

By Patrick O’Brien, General Counsel, American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

The Oregon Board of Cosmetology and the Board of Certified Advanced Estheticians have filed notices of proposed rulemaking; the purpose of the rules is to adopt a definition for what devices estheticians and certified advanced estheticians (CAE) can use. This process was prompted by a 2021 law, HB 2970, which required that the boards adopt a specific definition for “device.”

This notice of proposed rulemaking, as you can probably guess, is one of the steps in the process of officially adopting the rule. At this point in the process, the two boards have worked together and developed proposed language for the rules. The next step is soliciting public comment on the proposed language. The notices may be viewed in full for estheticians here and for CAEs here. Here is a quick review of the proposed language and provide the contact information if you would like to make a comment or attend the public hearing.

The definition for the CAE rule begins by recounting the limits on the CAE’s scope of practice: treatments that are performed on the skin and hair and that are non-ablative. It then lists lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL), and microneedling devices as being permitted to be used. It also provides guidelines for other acceptable devices. These devices must:

  1. Have the same risk and safety of laser or IPL devices;
  2. Be able to be used for non-ablative procedures on the skin and hair;
  3. Perform with one of the CAE’s other treatment modalities; and
  4. Be registered with the FDA.

The definition then goes on to require the CAE to be trained in devices they use and procedures they perform and to determine if a procedure is within their scope of practice. Oregon CAEs have a very broad scope of practice and are able to perform the following modalities: skin rejuvenation, photo rejuvenation, body contouring, dyschromia reduction, cellulite reduction, hair removal or reduction, and non-ablative tattoo removal.

The definition for esthetician devices is somewhat more complex, listing both specific approved devices and prohibited devices. Estheticians are limited to performing services that do not penetrate beyond the epidermis using mechanical or electrical apparatuses. The rule lists some examples of included devices as those using galvanic current, high-frequency, microcurrents, light-emitting diode therapy or microdermabrasion. Other devices must be of the same risk and safety of the above device and able to be used for cleansing, stimulating, manipulating, exfoliating, or applying lotions or creams. Estheticians are specially prohibited from using laser, IPL, microneedling, or RF microneedling devices, as well as needle-free injectors. As above, the licensed individual is responsible for using the right sort of devices and is subject to discipline for practicing outside their scope.

With the filing of the notice, the rules are now open for public comment. Comments on both the CAE rule and the estheticians rule can be made to the Board Rules Coordinator, Samie Patnode, at samie.patnode@oha.oregon.gov. Comments are accepted now through 12 p.m. on October 9, 2023. There also will be a public hearing held on these proposed rules on September 19, 2023. The hearing is currently scheduled to take place in the Health Licensing Office Conference Room at 1430 Tandem Ave., Suite 180 in Salem, Oregon, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. People can also attend virtually through Microsoft Teams with details located in the notice.

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