Beauty therapist

Risk level

Smell good, feel good

Beauty therapists use their hands and knowledge about the skin and body to help others feel good. You will use your sensitivity and dexterity to give treatments and show clients how to care for their skin. An interest in people and health makes the job appealing, but frequent handwashing can cause eczema if you are sensitive. Some therapists also find that the fragrant oils and creams are tough on their airways.

What are the risks?

As a beauty therapist you will use creams and oils during treatments. This may sound healthy, but your hands may suffer from too much of a good thing. Frequent handwashing is part of the job as your hands must be clean at all times. This is something the skin is sensitive to, and it is easy to end up with hand eczema, where the skin becomes dry, red and flaky with cracks and blisters that itch.

Some fragrant oils and creams can irritate the skin and cause contact eczema. They can also make it hard to breathe.

Prevention and avoidance

If you are sensitive to strong fragrances and substances, choose allergy-tested and fragrance-free products when giving massages and treatments.

If you suffer from eczema or did so when you were little (atopic eczema), you should think carefully before deciding to become a beauty therapist as the work may cause it to come back or get worse. If you do get hand eczema, it will be hard to carry on working as a beauty therapist.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to know more about allergy and eczema when working as a beauty therapist, get in touch with your school nurse or careers adviser.