Can You Pass This Esthetician Exam?

Deborah Beckwin

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

There's that age-old saying, what price, beauty? When it comes to facial beauty, there's one person who knows the answer to this question: an esthetician. To become a licensed esthetician in the U.S., there are two tests that one has to take. The National-Interstate Council State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) has exams that most states use. An esthetician student first has to be cleared by their state's board of cosmetology before taking the exams. There's a 90-minute written exam, covering topics such as microbiology, infection control, safety protocols, human anatomy and physiology, hair growth, skin analysis, skin conditions, basic chemistry knowledge related to cosmetics and various esthetic procedures. And that's what this quiz will test you on.

The other test is the practical exam, which tests students on esthetician activities such as work area and client preparation, facial cleansing, facial exfoliation, soft wax and facial makeup. Most of these activities are timed. If that sounds like a lot of information on several different topics, then you're absolutely right. This quiz will give you a taste of what an esthetics student would face on their written exam. And we think you'll be sitting pretty at the end of it. Have fun and good luck!

Of the following choices, what is the important reason why you would keep a spa hygienically clean?

When people come into a salon or spa, it's important to keep things hygienically sound for several reasons, including all of the other answers listed. But primarily, the use of hygiene helps to keep infections from spreading, which is very important for the face.

Why would you use a clay mask for a client?

If one has acne-prone or oily skin, a clay mask helps to reduce facial oil. But it also acts as an exfoliant by removing dead skin cells.

What do you use to tone skin after removing a facial mask?

A mild astringent should be used after a facial mask. Among the many benefits they provides, astringents help to decrease large pores, hydrate, protect and soothe skin.

What is the technical term of an open sore on the skin's surface?

Usually you hear of ulcers in someone's stomach or intestines. But an ulcer is defined as a break in the skin that results in tissue loss and usually comes with pus.

Which of the following groups make up the four types of cells found in the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis?

Keratinocytes produce keratin, keeping skin flexible, strong, and able to keep out water, and Langerhans cells help with immunity, specifically in skin infections. Melanocytes create melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, and Merkel cells give us the sensation of light touch.

As a teenager, you may not like this much, but it does have a function. What does sebum do for the skin?

Sebaceous glands secrete sebum, which is a waxy or oily substances. Sebum also helps to keep skin waterproof. Overproduction of sebum can cause skin conditions such as acne.

Which of the following statements is true about henna?

The mignonette tree is also known as hina, the henna tree, and the Egyptian privet. Henna is made from dried and powdered hina leaves and shoots, mixed in with liquids such as lemon juice, tea and water.

The bridge of the nose is formed by what bones?

The nasal bones are located on either side of the face, in between the eyes. They join together to form the bridge of the nose.

What is another name for the vascular system?

The circulatory system, also known as the cardiovascular system, helps to bring nourishment to the body through the blood and the lymph through the lymphatic system. This includes the heart, arteries (which carry oxygenated blood) and veins (which carry deoxygenated blood).

The practice of electrical epilation is known as what?

You may have thought that the answer was electrolysis, which refers to the actual process of removing hair. Electrology is the umbrella under which electrolysis lives, the practice of electrical permanent hair removal. Thermolysis is a type of electrolysis.

We all love a good facial cream. What does a beta-glucan cream do?

Studies have shown that beta glucans stimulate macrophages within connective tissues. This cellular stimulation seems to make skin look brighter and younger.

Keeping equipment clean as an esthetician is important. What would be the best way to clean a glass electrode?

Immersing in soapy water is sufficient for cleaning an electrode. You don't have to dip it in disinfectant, and wiping with soapy water isn't sufficient enough.

What is the magnifying lamp or light called?

Also known as mag lamps (short for magnifying lamps), a loupe helps estheticians see a client's skin up close for better analysis. Estheticians can determine skin conditions, skin type and what would be the best treatments for their client.

Which of the following is NOT a part of the hair growth cycle?

The hair growth cycle consists of three phases, starting with the anagen phase, which is when hair is growing. After that is the transitional catagen phase. Then the last phase is the telogen phase, which is where the hair rests and then falls out.

The process of killing all bacteria, both helpful and harmful kinds, is called what?

Sterilization is an essential practice as an esthetician. Sterilizing commonly used tools and equipment helps to make sure you and your client are safe from infection.

Of the following treatments, which should be applied in the direction of hair growth?

Soft wax is commonly used for the removal of hair. When applying, you need to apply the soft wax in the direction of hair growth. When removing the wax, it's pulled in the opposite direction of hair growth.

What gland is most associated with the hair follicle?

Sebaceous glands secrete sebum, which is an oily material that's made from fat. Sebum coats both hair and skin, protecting it and making it waterproof. You'll usually find sebaceous glands near parts of the skin which have hair and are connected to hair follicles.

What is the technical term for a wrinkle?

The medical term for a wrinkle is a rhytide (sometimes spelled rhytid), and wrinkles in the face are facial rhytides. And one common way to get rid of wrinkles is a face lift – a rhytidectomy.

Introducing or forcing water-based solutions into the skin via a mild electrical current is called what?

Used to revive and refresh the skin, the process of phoresis involves electrical current (specifically a galvanic current) being applied to the solution. This can be a part of a facial treatment, improving blood circulation to the skin and muscles.

Intrinsic aging is affected by which of the following factors?

Cellular recession is a part of the aging process, where our cells don't create new, younger cells as quickly. That's how we lose that youthful glow.

If you just washed and dried some towels, where should you keep them stored?

Having a clean salon or spa is not only good for keeping customers happy, but it helps to keep infection at bay. Placing clean towels in a closed drawer or cabinet ensures that they remain clean until you need them.

What is the common name for a verruca?

Verruca vulgaris is more commonly known as the common wart. A plantar wart is known as verruca plantaris and is found on the foot. Both kinds of warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).

How many phalanges are on each finger?

Phalanges are the bones in hands and feet. Each finger has three phalanges: the distal phalange, the intermediate phalange and the proximal phalange. The thumb has only two phalanges.

What is the process of breaking contact between the bulb and the dermal papilla called?

Epilation is when hair is removed from the roots. The hair bulb is nourished by blood vessels, which causes our hair to grow. The dermal papilla is where the hair bulb resides, so epilation takes the hair bulb out of the dermal papilla.

For what kind of skin condition would you use tapotement?

Tapotement is a type of Swedish massage used to stimulate sluggish or slack skin. The idea behind tapotement is that it awakens the nervous system.

If you had to describe what exfoliation does for the skin, which would be the best description?

The process of exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the skin's surface or epidermis. Younger skin cells are created below the epidermis, in the dermis.

Which organ system eliminates waste from the body?

The excretory system helps to purify the body by eliminating waste. There are many organ systems involved, including the urinary system, the respiratory system, and the integumentary system.

Which bone forms the forehead?

The frontal bone gets its name from the Latin word "frons", which means "forehead". It's made up of two parts: the squamous part, which is the bony part of the forehead, and the orbital part, where the orbital cavities are (holding the eyes).

Which of the following help to protect the body from infectious disease?

Leukocytes are commonly known as white blood cells. Erythrocytes are red blood cells, thrombocytes are platelets and hemocytes are blood cells.

People have been beautifying themselves for thousands of years, using all kinds of substances. For pigments, which natural material was NOT used?

As far back as the Ancient Sumerian era (the possible inventors of lipstick), people have been using natural elements for cosmetics. Ancient Egyptians are famous for using kohl to line their eyes. Ancient Romans and Greeks also used cosmetics.

Which of the following is another name for sweat glands?

Sudoriferous glands have a Latin origin, where "sudor" means "sweat". There are two kinds of sweat glands: eccrine sweat glands which can be found all over the body, most concentrated in the palms of hands and the soles of feet; and apocrine sweat glands, which are mostly found in the perianal area and the armpits.

What is the first thing you should do when you need to clean up a blood spill?

You might feel a compulsion to take care of the wound immediately, but you have to keep both you and your client safe. Putting on gloves will protect you both and help you to safely do the other tasks you need to perform.

By what method can muscular tissue be stimulated?

This answer is probably quite obvious. Although an astringent can tone skin, a massage can stimulate muscles and blood flow.

What does the skin condition psoriasis have the appearance of?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition where red, scaly lesions form. It can be found on elbows, knees, the scalp, the soles of feet, the palms of hands and on the lower back.

What can you use in place of wet cotton pads for facial cleansing?

When cleansing the face, one can use facial sponges in place of wet cotton pads. Tissues would definitely not hold up to facial cleansing.

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