Day Spas & Medical Spas: What’s the Difference?

Aesthetics Daily – Different skin types and conditions require different treatments. However, not everyone knows what skin problem they experience and the most appropriate type of treatment. Then, where should you go, to a beauty salon, a beauty spa or an aesthetic clinic?

Currently, there are medical spas that provide a different concept from beauty clinics in general. Medical spa or med spa provides the same treatment as in a beauty clinic but with the addition of day spa treatments. For more details, read the difference between a day spa and a medical spa below.

What is a Day Spa?

Traditional day spas provide personalized treatments that focus on enhancing beauty, wellness and relaxation. General day spa services include massages, nail treatments (manicure/pedicure), facials, body scrubs and aromatherapy. Some day spas add special treatments such as hot stone massage and reflexology to their list of services. There arevalso day spas that combine hair salon services and makeup services.

Day spas are not under the supervision of a doctor where treatments are carried out by beauticians or practitioners who are not medically trained. Day spa providers are usually supported by a licensed massage therapist or beautician.

A day spa is no longer just a luxury recreation that only the rich and famous can enjoy. More and more people are realizing the importance of resetting the body and mind. Spa therapy offers a pleasant way to release accumulated stress from the body. This will give you the benefits of being part of your healthy lifestyle.

Spa therapy provides physical, mental, and spiritual healing that is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and promoting longevity. It can also reduce inflammation in the body, increase the body’s autoimmune response, and improve circulation. What’s more, going to a spa to be pampered can improve mental clarity and self-esteem.

Different from regular beauty salons, some day spas have various facilities that will pamper you. They include swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms and more. The best thing you get at a day spa, you spend time in a quiet and peaceful environment during your treatment.

Day Spa Treatments

All types of treatments at day spas are generally performed by licensed beauty therapists. They are trained in performing various day spa treatments ranging from facials to hair treatments that pamper customers.

Body Massages

Body massage involves pressure through mechanical or manual aids to promote relaxation and well-being of the body.


The most popular treatment at a day spa after a massage is a facial. It cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin leaving skin looking younger and radiant.

difference day spa medical aesthetic beauty treatments skin dermatologists services

Waxing Treatments

Waxing is a form of semi-permanent hair removal. The parts of the body where unwanted hair can be removed are the face, legs, arms, armpits, stomach, pubic area, and back.

Aromatherapy Treatments

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment using natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Often called essential oil therapy, aromatherapy can improve physical and emotional health, calm the mind and spirit, and promote a healthy body.

Manicure & Pedicure

Manicure includes hand massage, cuticle treatment, exfoliation, wax treatment, and nail polish treatment. While a pedicure involves a variety of treatments including foot soaks, foot massages, exfoliation, and toenail treatments.

Hair Treatments

There are various hair treatments to improve the appearance and health of hair. They include deep conditioning treatment, scalp treatment, hair coloring, hair cutting, and more.

What is a Medical Spa?

According to The American Med Spa Association, a medical spa or med spa is a combination of an aesthetic medical center and a day spa. There are four core elements of a medical spa, namely: (1) providing non-invasive (non-surgical) aesthetic medical services, (2) under the general supervision of a licensed doctor, (3) carried out by trained, experienced and qualified practitioners, (4) with on-site supervision by a licensed healthcare professional.

A medical spa combines several medical procedures that are usually performed in a doctor’s office with a day spa. Medical spas offer non-surgical anti-aging treatments that were previously only done in doctor’s offices. Some jurisdictions require that a medical spa must be owned and operated by a qualified physician.

The main goal of a medical spa is to provide comprehensive medical and wellness treatment through the integration of traditional spa services, therapies, and treatments. Medical spas can provide services not available through conventional spa facilities.

Comprehensive medically guided treatments combined with day spa treatments are the hallmark of a medical spa. They are provided by beauticians, dermatologists or qualified doctors and nurses with appropriate certification and training.

Medical Spa Treatments

The medical spa experience includes consultation with a medical professional prior to any treatment. Clients receive treatment recommendations best suited to their condition and needs. Med spa provides a sense of security and comfort because the treatments are carried out by certified professionals.

Medical Facial

A medical facial follows the same general steps as a classic spa facial including cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, and hydration. The difference is, medical facials are done at the clinic using medical-grade products and tools. Therefore, the overall result appears to be more effective.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, also known as flash therapy, involves the use of a broad but controlled spectrum of light. It is useful for reducing acne scars, stretch marks, preventing hair regrowth, and rejuvenating the skin.


Microdermabrasion treatments use minimally abrasive instruments to treat minor scarring, sun damage, stretch marks, and discoloration. It helps thicken collagen, resulting in younger skin.


Microneedling involves using several small, sterile needles to puncture the skin and cause physical trauma. This trauma pushes the deeper layers of skin to rebuild.

Laser Treatments

Laser therapy is a medical treatment that utilizes focused light of specific wavelengths. Also known as laser skin resurfacing, this therapy is used to correct skin irregularities and remove skin blemishes. This is great for those of you who want skin to look smoother and younger.

Radio Frequency (RF)

RF treatment uses a device that heats the deep layer of the skin (the dermis) to produce collagen. RF therapy is recommended to maintain skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines.

Body Contouring

Body contouring or body sculpting is useful for removing fat, tightening the skin, and shaping body areas. Lipolysis is a nonsurgical body contouring method including injection lipolysis, laser lipolysis, radio frequency lipolysis, and cryolipolysis.

Chemical Peels

This treatment uses a chemical solution to remove layers of skin and reveal more youthful skin underneath. Chemical peels, also known as dermapeeling or chemexfoliation, can reduce or improve fine lines and wrinkles, skin scars, uneven skin tone, and reduce acne.


Some types of day spa and medical spas treatments look the same, but they have some basic differences. Day spa treatments are performed by beauticians while medical spa treatments are under the supervision of medical practitioners.

You may not need to have much consideration when doing treatment at a day spa. On the other hand, the type of treatment at a medical spa is determined based on the doctor’s diagnosis.

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One thought on “Day Spas & Medical Spas: What’s the Difference?

  • 23/05/2023 at 15:23

    It’s nice to know that body contouring can also be one of the services offered in a medical spa. I plan to take my friend to one someday because we haven’t really experience spending a day together just focusing on relaxing. Going to a spa will surely help us bond more easily.


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