Part of any facial performed by a professional, licensed esthetician will include a skin analysis. This is when the esthetician can determine your skin type, skin conditions and create a plan for how to treat those conditions.
As soon as you meet your esthetician or even if you have been going to the same person regularly, he or she will begin by gathering information about your skin based on its appearance. For instance, the esthetician will be looking for signs of breakouts; noticing if your skin is oily, dry or dull; red or sensitive; are there fine lines and/or wrinkles.
Next, your esthetician might ask you to fill out a questionnaire to gather more detailed information. This may include questions about diet, medications, lifestyle habits and to determine your most important reason for seeking the help of an esthetician.
Once the actual facial is underway, the esthetician will of course use their sense of touch to add to the data that s/he is collecting about your skin. Is your skin smooth, dry or oily? Do you have break outs or bumps? Does your skin feel firm? Or does it easily turn red? Finally, the esthetician will use a magnifying lamp to get an even closer and more in depth analysis of your skin. The last step is to offer her opinion on what she notices and how improvements can be made, if any are needed.
The School of Botanical Aesthetics provides training in skin analysis as part of their 600 hour esthetician program.