Do you have a skin coach? That’s a professional who gives you personalized tips to improve your skin like which moisturizer to use or how often you should apply face masks. It’s a booming industry but experts warn there are serious downsides.

So, first - what’s the difference between a skin coach and other skin specialists like a dermatologist or an aesthetician?

Well, most dermatologists fix certain medical skin issues like acne, or psoriasis. While aestheticians are trained to give facials, or offer general product suggestions.  But skin coaches gauge your skin’s health, create goals - like “skin that looks more toned” - and then create a unique plan to reach that goal. Experts say skin coaches are like a therapist for your skin – and you can meet with them in person or via Skype on sites like

For example, a typical session involves the coach  diagnosing your skin as in “dry” or “aging”.  Then, they review your lifestyle – and see which unhealthy foods or habits may be contributing to your skin condition. They’ll create a step-by-step improvement strategy, and recommend products and treatments. A session can cost anywhere from $50 bucks an hour and up.

But dermatologists warn that having a skin coach doesn’t guarantee perfect skin. That’s because skin coaches don’t have to be certified – and you could get dangerous advice from someone with zero qualifications.

Also, be especially careful if you hire an online skin coach. That’s because no matter how good your computer camera is, it’s much harder for skin coaches to accurately judge your skin via Skype compared to in-person in a dermatologist’s office.

So, if you think you have a serious skin issue see a dermatologist, not a skin coach.