The term “med spa” may conjure images of the skin clinic on the corner, but these beauty/medicine hybrids are expanding beyond the streets and into hotels around the world. Indeed, resorts have long offered traditional spa services like massages and facials, but now they’re conquering the latest frontiers of the beauty industry.
As one recent article in Hotel Business Review points out, having a med spa in-house translates to higher guest satisfaction and greater opportunity for revenue. By selling in-demand services such as lasers or Botox injections, hoteliers can make a dramatic difference in their bottom line. And because hotels often already have day spas set up, adding medical services requires little investment.
Beyond the price of cosmetic services, med spas help hotels by convincing guests to extend their stay: some visitors may double or triple their vacation time to fit in med-spa treatments and allow for any recovery before heading home.
The Med Spa Difference
But why do med spas have such a stronger allure than day spas? The answer is somewhat obvious: med spas are supervised by medical professionals, who have access to a broad assortment of treatment options that the average spa cannot legally offer. This means clients can get prescription-grade acne and wrinkle treatments, including injections and heavy-duty products. It also means that clients can feel secure knowing that the operation is run by a licensed medical practitioner, whereas day-spa owners don’t typically have such credentials.
But just because med spa personnel offer medical-grade services doesn’t mean they need to operate in a clinical setting. Many such clinics provide a soothing and comfortable environment, where patients can relax and enjoy themselves while undergoing cosmetic procedures. Whereas doctors’ offices are often stressful and frightening, med spas may actually combat stress with acupuncture, massages, and other effective therapies.
Med Spa Services
Not all med spas are created equal, but you’ll find a core group of services at most of them:
- Botox or Dysport – These injectables act on the muscles to stop dynamic wrinkles — those caused by movement — in their tracks. They’re especially effective for treating the “11” lines between the eyes, forehead crinkles, and crow’s feet. They won’t, however, erase creases in the skin that remain when your face is still. Botox and Dysport both contain botulinum toxin, which works by temporarily paralyzing the muscles that create wrinkles. Due to the small amount used, the toxin is safe and does not spread to other areas of the body. Results last for several months or longer, with repeated treatments.
- Injectable Fillers – Dermal fillers add volume beneath the skin, allowing aestheticians to literally sculpt the face. Some fillers are injected into the lips to create a fuller pout, while others are injected into wrinkles and folds to fill in the indentation. Commonly, fillers erase laugh lines and creases running from the nose to the corners of the mouth. They may contain a wide variety of active ingredients, including collagen, hyaluronic acid, silicon, and even calcium. The shorter-lasting products may fill in wrinkles for four to six months, while some may last for 2 years.
- Laser Anti-Aging – Light therapy, including lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) Photorejuvenation, reduce fine lines and even out skin tone. They also increase the skin’s natural collagen production to promote suppleness. IPL and nonablative lasers are the gentlest light treatments, and each may take multiple sessions to produce the desired results. Ablative lasers are stronger, and patients will see a significant change after just one treatment. Stronger lasers cause more initial damage to the skin, however, and therefore may require downtime while the treated area heals.
- Laser Hair Removal – Med spa treatments don’t stop at the face. Laser hair removal is among the most popular beauty services, as it can eliminate the need for shaving, waxing, and plucking. The laser works by destroying hair follicles, ensuring that the hair will never re-grow. The lasers do not damage the skin, however, and this procedure is safe for the face, legs, underarms, bikini line, and most other regions. Several treatments yield near-permanent results.
With these advanced beauty options, it’s little wonder that hotels are incorporating med spas into their list of amenities — and it’s easy to see why guests are eager to stick around longer to enjoy them. Indeed, the med spa industry is booming throughout the world, and hotels and resorts are a natural home for these medical retreats. During your next hotel stay, take a look at the spa menu — odds are, you’ll be benefiting from at least some of the treatments listed there!
About The Author
Mia Liefso is a professional medical skin therapist and the owner of Bradford Skin Clinic & Med Spa in Bradford, Ontario. She has certifications in IPL, VPL, laser and ultrasound technologies, as well as body contouring and medical facial peels. Her professional interests include difficult skin conditions—psoriasis, eczema, and acne—premature aging, skin care for the elderly, endocrinology, and helping people love the skin they’re in. Her diverse personal interests include history, animals, roller derby, travelling and gourmet cooking.