What is the Difference Between a Spa and a Medspa?

Wondering what the difference is between a spa and a medspa? The words mean two distinct things, but the differences....

Wondering what the difference is between a spa and a medspa? The words mean two distinct things, but the differences can sometimes get confusing in the wellness world. Both types of businesses prioritize self-care but through very different types of services and results. Distinguishing between the two can provide clarity when seeking the specific services and outcomes you desire.

What’s a Spa?

A spa is a place to relax, tune out the outside world, and enjoy holistic wellness treatments. Often rooted in ancient healing practices and therapeutic rituals, spas offer various services for relaxation, rejuvenation, and stress relief. A spa offers treatments that include massages, facials, manicures, and aromatherapy treatments. 

While you may walk out of the spa feeling calmer or with a new coat of nail polish, spas don’t generally focus on delivering long-term results or offering clinical treatments. A medical professional does not oversee spas.

What Is a Medspa?

A medspa (also known as a medical spa or med spa) incorporates medical aesthetics and advanced skincare technologies. While medspas may also offer some of the treatments we associate with regular spas, a medspa’s primary focus is on providing top-of-the-line medical skin treatments and cosmetic procedures. 

Medspas require certifications and staff members that regular spas don’t. They integrate medical expertise and state-of-the-art technology to offer a broader spectrum of treatments targeting specific skin concerns, signs of aging, and aesthetic improvements. 

Medspas combine the art of relaxation with the science of cosmetic medicine, catering to clients seeking both therapeutic benefits and cosmetic improvements.

Medspa vs Spa: Key Differences

Here are some of the main points that separate spas and medspas – and what you should look for when choosing which type of facility suits your needs.

Treatments Offered

While spas primarily focus on relaxation and holistic wellness through massages, body treatments, and surface-oriented skincare, medspas extend their offerings to include medical-grade treatments, including Botox injections, dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, and skin rejuvenation procedures

Facials at med spas are typically more clinically focused and will help with acne, anti-aging, and pigmentation. Facials at spas are meant to be more relaxing and hydrating. 

Medical Oversight

Medspas offer medical-grade treatments, and they are required to have a medical director. A medical director is a licensed medical professional, like a physician or nurse practitioner, who ensures that providers carry out treatments safely and effectively. 

Medical oversight is one of the defining characteristics of a medspa and a reason why many clients feel more comfortable at medspas vs. regular spas, even if they’re receiving a minimally invasive treatment.

Unlike traditional spas, which may operate solely under the guidance of licensed massage therapists and estheticians, medspas adhere to stringent regulatory standards. These standards ensure that medical procedures are performed responsibly and by established protocols.

Focus on Results

While relaxation and pampering are a central part of the medspa experience, the primary focus is achieving tangible results for clients. Depending on which procedure a client chooses, this can mean improved skin texture, reduced signs of aging, reduced redness, or an overall glow. 

Medspas leverage medical-grade products, advanced technologies, and evidence-based treatments to address specific concerns like wrinkles, acne, preventative care, or hyperpigmentation. They deliver tailored results that meet each individual client’s needs. 

You won’t find these types of results-focused treatments at a regular spa.

Client Base

Spas typically cater to a wide range of clients who are seeking relaxation, stress relief, and general wellness treatments. 

Medspas, conversely, cater to guests seeking targeted solutions for their unique aesthetic concerns, whether they’re looking for cosmetic enhancements, anti-aging, or to look like the happiest, most well-rested versions of themselves. 

If you’re looking to unwind for an afternoon and then return to daily life as it was before, a regular spa is your best bet. If you’re looking for lasting improvement to a targeted skin concern delivered by medical professionals, a medspa is the place for you. Medspas prioritize education, consultations, and personalized treatment plans to ensure optimal results that look just like you envisioned – or even better.

While both spas and medspas share a common goal of enhancing your overall well-being and relaxation, they vary quite a bit in their approaches and offerings. Spas emphasize holistic wellness and indulgent pampering, while medspas integrate medical expertise and advanced treatments to address specific skincare concerns.

Book your Medspa Consultation

If you’re in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, contact Curated Medical today to book a consultation. 

No matter your cosmetic goals, our experienced skincare experts can help you talk through your vision and suggest the most effective procedures for the results you’re looking for. We’ll create a personalized care plan and answer any questions. 

More radiant skin is around the corner.

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