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The Difference! Med Spa vs Day Spa

There is quite a difference between a medical spa and a day/resort spa and those differences can really affect the type of treatment and outcome you will receive. So how do you choose which one is the best for your needs?

It’s fair to assume that the majority of spas offer a relaxing, comfortable enviroment, however, medical/physician led spas provide services that day or resort spas are not licensed to provide.

When making your choice, be sure to follow the guidelines below:

1. A medical spa is overseen by a physician who may also be performing medical treatments such as Botox, Dermal Filler injections, and Laser treatments.

2. Day Spas or Resort Spas are typically owned and operated by licensed Aestheticians, Spa and/or Resort Management Companies or licensed Cosmetologists. Different laws apply to different states as to what services can be performed within Day Spas.

3. Medical Spas will often offer more customizable treatments using higher strength back bar products that yield more visible results. Such ‘active’ ingredients are sometimes prescription strength requiring medical screening before use. Over the counter and typical spa products cannot by law affect significant change in the skin without a prescription. Active ingredients in day spa products are less potent than those that are medical grade meaning the results will be much more subtle.

4. The services within a day spa focus on beauty and relaxation and, while offering an array of skin and body treatments, these treatments are non-medical. Day spa aestheticians can perform non-medical grade light chemical peels, basic micodermabrasion treatments, light based therapies, and use a line of spa based skincare products. Medical Aestheticians can perform more advanced strength medical grade peels, more aggressive microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, laser hair removal and combination therapies that are not allowed within day spas. When dealing with specific skin care needs, medical spas may recommend prescription strength products for home use.

5. Medically trained Aestheticians have undergone additional training beyond that which is required to pass the States Cosmetology/Aesthetic Board exam. Typically such technicians have multiple years experience within a day spa prior to entering the Medical Aesthetics field. Some physicians require medical aestheticans to ‘shadow’ for a certain period of time before working on patients.

So relax! Choose the spa enviroment that best suits your needs. Be pampered or go for something more aggressive. Either way, the spa is a wonderful place for to be renewed; and most medical spas offer pampering in addition to creating an opportunity to improve your skin. However, for the safest option, we recommend that Laser Treatments, chemical peels, injectables, and microdermabrasion be performed in a doctor’s office or a medical spa with an on-site physician.