National Esthetician Day: History of Esthetics


In honor of National Esthetician Day this Friday, we’re diving into the history of our industry! Did you know the Institute of Cosmetology, Esthetics & Massage has a deep rooted connection to the history of esthetics?


Before our school became IC&M, later to become ICE&M, we were a Christine Valmy International School. You can read more about our founding here.


Christine Valmy was a Romanian immigrant that helped build the professional skin care industry that we know today. While living in her hometown of Bucharest, Romania, Valmy took courses at the university’s medical school in dermatology and cosmetology. In 1948, she opened a salon and offered facial treatments using botanical remedies of her own creation.


Valmy moved to New York in 1961 and began working as an esthetician. She noticed that Americans were more focused on hairdressing and makeup than skin and most women did not know how to take care of their skin.


In 1965 Valmy decided to take her knowledge of skin care and pass it onto others and open the first esthetics school in the United States. During her career, she created her own line of skin care products, founded the trade group, the American Association of Estheticians and set up an American chapter of CIDESCO, Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétologie.


In the late 1970s, ICE&M founder, Kathy Driscoll, brought the first esthetics salon to Houston with the help of Valmy. Driscoll took a similar path to Valmy and realized that there was a need for quality trained estheticians and decided to open a school.


These women were pioneers for esthetics education and are responsible for the large network of estheticians that cross the country today. Through trade shows and CIDESCO, Driscoll encouraged the industry to #neverstoplearning