5 Things to Know Before You Go to a Med Spa
It’s supposed to be a relaxing experience…but it can be nerve-wracking going to a spa—particularly a medical spa—if you don’t know what to expect. That’s why we’re sharing a recent Q&A with Tiffani Kim Griffith, founder of Chicago-based Tiffani Kim Institute, who offers insight into the top five questions we see all the time when it comes to medical spas.
Q: Do I tip at a medical spa?
A: It depends on the culture of your medical spa—but definitely not the doctors; it would be an insult to tip them. Our Medical Wellness Center and Spa are on separate floors, so we don’t display tip envelopes or jars on the medical floor. Occasionally, our patients want to tip injection/laser technicians or medical estheticians, so we do provide tip envelopes upon request to accommodate our patients. However, tipping is something we don’t expect on the medical floor.
Q: What can I expect at a med spa?
A: A medical spa is supervised under a medical doctor, but the environment will feature warm, fashionable decor instead of clinical medical surroundings. The staff and service will be more friendly and accommodating to your needs. You will be able to receive medical-grade procedures and purchase medical-grade products such as Latisse and higher dose of retinol or prescription products. Treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels usually have a higher percentage of active ingredients; therefore, you might need a few days’ recovery/rest time after a procedure.
Q: How does a med spa differ from a regular day spa?
A: At a medical spa, you can get more intense and invasive treatments than regular spa facial peels or microdermabrasion treatments. So while you may need extra recovery/rest time, you will get more effective and faster results. You also can purchase medical-grade products not available in regular day spas.
Q: What kind of spa services can I find at a med spa?
A: It depends on the scale of the medical spa. Our medical spa is about 11,000 square feet, so we offer full spa services, including massages, facials, Vichy shower wet treatments, scrubs, manicures and pedicures, and so forth.
Q: What should I look for in selecting a med spa?
A: Make sure the spa has a reputable medical director with an excellent track record. Our medical director is a dermatologist who oversees a lot of cosmetic treatments including laser/chemical peels and injections. A lot of medical spas are run by gynecologists, ER doctors, nurses, or internal medicine doctors; and although they may be very good in their field of specialty, they may not be familiar with all the treatments or how to best integrate medical and spa services to meet a patient’s specific needs. At some spas, the doctor is merely someone who lends [his/her] license to the medical spa so it can be called “medical,” but has a minimal (if any) hands-on role with patients.
Also, make sure that the staff is very well-trained and certified by the laser companies that they use to treat patients. So many medical spas focus more on sales instead of actual training; when that happens, things can get pretty dicey and dangerous.