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If you are wanting your handmade business to stand out, to personally be seen as an authority in your field, and to have the confidence to develop your own science-backed formulations, receiving an aromatherapy certification is a smart move for skin care entrepreneurs who love to learn.
Let me clarify outright – all over my blog and various teachings, I emphasize that you do not need to spend thousands of dollars in certifications to build a skin care business, and I stand behind this statement 100%.
I had a successful handmade skin care business for years before earning my own certification. That being said, investing my time and finances into this particular program opened my business possibilities and helped me to scale in ways I never imagined.
This article will help you to understand what aromatherapy certification has to do with SKIN CARE, why you would want to consider this in the first place, and what to expect as you go through the program…keep reading for life-changing information!
What is an Aromatherapy Certification?
A certification in aromatherapy is given to individuals that have met certain benchmarks of learning to be able to use essential oils to support wellness and healing.
While there are many courses on essential oils out there on the internet as well as in more traditional educational institutions, to be truly recognized as a Certified Aromatherapist, you need a program that has been accredited by the NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) and the AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapists).
Throughout your certification process, you will need to submit and pass the following:
- 200+ hours of essential oil and chemistry study
- An aromatherapy exam
- An anatomy and physiology exam
- Hands-on case studies to put what you’ve learned into action
- A research paper
- A final comprehensive exam
I know that sounds like a lot, but if you are already in the world of skin care entrepreneurship, this learning is FUN and FASCINATING!
What Does an Aromatherapy Certification Have to Do with Handmade Skin Care?
When people first hear the word ‘aromatherapy’ it is common to think about products that are only for scent, such as aromatherapy rollers or diffuser blends.
However, aromatherapy encompasses everything about essential oils, including how to use them safely on the skin and for what purposes.
Essential oils are extremely concentrated, and using the wrong type of oils or the wrong amount of oils can cause allergies, rashes, or even burns on the skin.
If you are a handmade skin care maker that uses essential oils in your products, having a certification in aromatherapy will ensure that you are using the best practices for your customers and product line.
As you take your certification courses, you will begin to see how the entire body works together – essential oils help to support the entire terrain, which gives us a really amazing opportunity as skin care makers to be a bridge to wellness for our customers.
Do I Need an Aromatherapy Certification to Run My Skincare Business?
You absolutely do not NEED to become a Certified Aromatherapist to own or run a skin care business.
My own handmade business was successful for years before I received my certification, had hundreds of amazing reviews, and enabled me to stay home with my babies while running my shop.
An aromatherapy certification is entirely optional – if you are currently building your skin care business and learning the ropes of product photography, writing sales pages, and mastering your pricing, I encourage you to focus on that process.
If you have yet to start your business or are in a comfortable space with an already established business and are ready to grow, then I encourage you to consider the following benefits of receiving your certification in aromatherapy!
Benefits of Having an Aromatherapy Certification as a Skin Care Entrepreneur
If you have been following the skin care recipes of others up to this point, you will receive great satisfaction in finally understanding WHY each ingredient is used in your recipes as you go through the certification process.
You may actually decide that some of the recipes you’ve been using are NOT the best, and know how to change them so that they are more effective (with science-backed reasoning).
Heck, you’ll even know how to create your own formulas without needing to consult anyone at all (…see ya later Pinterest DIYs)!
Having those two beautiful letters, ‘C.A.’ (Certified Aromatherapist) behind your name gives you authority which instills trust in your product line and gives weight to your explanations and teachings.
This can increase your online sales as well as give you a talking point to local boutiques or membership boxes that you want to carry your products.
Product Line Flexibility
One of the best things about the aromatherapy certification process is that it explains how our entire body works together. While making skin care products is fabulous, there are so many other aspects of wellness that contribute to our skin health.
Once you see the whole picture, it is easy to imagine a product line filled with other natural products that contribute to overall wellness while still staying under the umbrella of ‘skin care’.
I started my career in skin care as a handmade entrepreneur selling on Etsy. Since then I have sold my products on multiple marketplaces and e-commerce platforms.
From personal experience, I’ll be the first to tell you that if you don’t want to consider hiring help, you’ll need a way to add other income streams to your business if you would like to keep growing (there’s only so much product you can make and ship out in one day, after all!).
Becoming a Certified Aromatherapist will allow other possibilities to arise for you: perhaps an educational blog (like this one), maybe providing consulting services for individuals in your community, even teaching in-person workshops…or a sprinkling of all the above.
This is a certification that opens up doors and allows you to design a career that is unique to you and your skill set!
How Do I Become a Certified Aromatherapist?
While there are a couple of universities and community centers that offer aromatherapy certification, a great deal of the courses are now offered online.
Unfortunately, this makes it hard to sift through, as you’ll find everything under the sun on the good old world wide web.
This means you’ll find many courses that are written by certified aromatherapists that do NOT ACTUALLY GRANT YOU CERTIFICATION – make sure that you sign up for one that is accredited by both the NAHA and the AIA (if you want your participation to actually mean anything).
The program I went through myself and will recommend from the mountaintops is the Aromatherapy Certification Program through the Aromahead Institute (you can view my credentials here).
Why Aromahead is the Best Online Aromatherapy Certification Course for Skin Care Businesses
I researched the possibilities for months before starting my certification process through Aromahead, and I am CERTAIN I chose the best program there is to support my handmade skin care business.
Founder Andrea Butje is one of the tops in the industry and an absolute dream to learn from. She makes every aspect of this program interesting, fun, motivating, and so very approachable.
She has built a support team of other individuals who are incredibly educated and provide amazing feedback (there are no ‘fluff’ answers you’ll find in any communication you have with this group of individuals).
The Aromahead Aromatherapy Certification Program supports natural skin care makers specifically, as they teach base formulas that do NOT use water (anhydrous), which means no preservatives are needed.
Marketplace trends are predicting an increased demand for preservative-free skin care items, which means indie skin care businesses like ours that make products in small batches will be highly sought after (wahoo!).
The entire Aromatherapy Certification program was designed to make you a true expert, which means they teach the real chemistry behind essential oils rather than having you just memorize the Latin and the types of skin they best support.
This detailed, thorough instruction helps you to blend with confidence, to provide facts to your customers (which also helps when writing your product descriptions), and a multitude of other things such as accurately reading essential oil batch reports, recipe labels, and avoiding potential reactions.
If you are a lifelong learner like me, you will FALL IN LOVE with the Anatomy and Physiology portion of the program by Cindy Black, who will blow you away with her knowledge of the human body and how it is all very intimately connected.
To truly understand holistic skincare and how the mind, stress, and movement all impact skin health, you have to know about all the bodily systems.
I was hesitant about this section, but it ended up being my favorite by far and I have since gone back to hear the lectures and reread the material again and again…on my free time…for fun(!).
Throughout the program, you will take exams, conduct your own case studies, and write a research paper.
With each one of these benchmarks, you get one-on-one feedback from your own case study instructor (I had Marissa Berghuber who was amaaazzzzinggg)…and it is THOROUGH commentary, from another certified individual.
This is a HUGE benefit for your skin care business!!!
This means that for each case study you submit (20 total), you receive feedback on the EXACT recipes you’ll be selling in your product line – the submission requirements will leave you with TONS of information to use on your website, product listings, and product labels.
Likewise, the required research paper will be reviewed and fact-checked by a certified team member, leaving you with a GOLDMINE of information to repurpose for your website (choose your research topic with this in mind!).
No Open Enrollment Periods
Unlike other popular certification programs online, you can start your Aromatherapy Certification Program through Aromahead whenever it is good for you.
As it is a completely self-paced course, you can begin and finish depending on your own schedule.
Aromahead has a Graduate Forum so that past students can connect with one another for further learning and networking opportunities.
There are several individuals in this DIY Skin Care Business community that I met online through Aromahead, and we have worked together in a variety of ways from editing one another’s work to promoting each other on our marketing channels.
Teamwork makes the dream work!
Aromahead grants lifetime access to all paid courses and resources. Even years after graduating, I still refer back to these sites on the regular.
Accredited by AIA, NAHA, IFPA, and AADP
As I have already mentioned several times throughout this article, to be considered a real-deal Certified Aromatherapist, you have to enroll in a program that has been accredited by the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.
Aromahead’s Aromatherapy Certification Program meets the requirements for Level 1 AND Level 2 NAHA and AIA accreditations, as well as for the IFPA (International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists) and AADP (American Association of Drugless Practitioners).
It can also serve as continuing education credits for various programs.
How Long Does It Take to Become Certified in Aromatherapy?
All of the courses given through Aromahead are completely self-paced, which means the length of time it takes to graduate is entirely up to you and your schedule.
Andrea Butje (the program founder) quotes an average of between 6 months to 18 months for most students.
My personal experience took a little more than a year – I have two daughters (they were 3 and 5 years old at the time), my own handmade skin care business, and a very supportive family around me that helped with the kiddos on many-a-Saturday while I completed my course work.
It may be helpful to note that I am the type of student that plays a lecture on repeat until I completely understand and make flashcards about EVERYTHING.
I hope this gives you enough detail to possibly predict your own timetable.
A Sneek Peek into the Aromahead Institute Aromatherapy Certification Program
Just in case you’ve been so captivated by my writing (😆) that you’ve ignored all of the ‘Free Webinar’ links, now is your time to sign up to learn more about the Aromahead Aromatherapy Certification Program!
This is a 90-minute webinar that covers the program outline and ALSO your first lessons in essential oils and chemistry – sign up below and choose a time that will allow you to pay full attention and in the mind frame to take notes!
If you have ANY questions at all about the course, about my personal experience, or about how this relates to your skin care business, I am all ears – please reach out via our community Facebook Group here or feel free to email me directly!
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