Medical Spas vs. Traditional Spas

We wrote recently about the benefits of regular facials - it's something we're quite passionate about. Taking time to invest in your skin is not only a great way to de-stress - it can visibly improve the appearance of your skin, helping you look and feel your best. When it comes to facials, you have two options: You can either go to a traditional spa, or to a medical spa.

Facial treatments are an investment - so it's important to understand the value of what you're getting when you choose a spa. In this post, we'll be sharing the differences between traditional and medical spas (like M Spa at the Reserve) so you can determine which is right for you.

The Main Difference Between Traditional and Medical Spas

Traditional spas are known for providing a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere, and providing services that make you feel rested and refreshed. They offer services you probably think of when you think of a relaxing spa day: massages, facials, masks, and perhaps nail treatments.

Medical spas offer many of the same services as traditional spas, and can provide the same relaxing environment - except with one key difference: They're supervised by a medical doctor, so they are allowed to use tools, products, and technology that traditional spas are not. 

Does this matter for you? It depends on your goals.



If you're simply looking to clean and refresh your face, a traditional spa could be the right choice for you. A spa facial can purify the skin and make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and there are definitely benefits to getting them regularly

But if you're looking to erase scarring and discoloration, reduce the appearance of visible veins, prevent hair growth, or visibly reverse the signs of aging - you'll need something a little stronger.

Traditional spas aren't able to provide cutting-edge treatments like Laser Genesis®, laser hair removal, true microneedling, as well as cosmetic treatments like Botox® or fillers. They also can't provide chemical peels of the same strength as medical spas can. These treatments can do more than affect the surface of the skin - they actively transform it from the inside-out. 

Many spas will promote "versions of" treatments that are lighter, less powerful versions of the actual medical treatment. A good example of this is the medical treatment called microneedling, which requires a doctor's supervision because it involves using needles to intentionally puncture the surface of the skin - promoting collagen production in the deeper layers of skin.

Traditional spas are now offering a treatment called nanoneedling, which works similarly to microneedling but uses shorter needles. The problem with this is that the shorter needles used in nanoneedling don't penetrate the skin deeply enough to stimulate collagen production. Nanoneedling can aid in the absorption of skincare products, which is important - but it won't give you the anti-aging benefits of microneedling.

If you're looking to invest in a microneedling treatment because you want to look visibly younger - make sure you're getting what you're paying for. 



Another key advantage of medical spas is that they are able to use stronger, more concentrated products. Medical-grade products contain higher concentrations of the active ingredients that make skincare products desirable - whether that's hydrating hyaluronic acid, free radical-fighting Vitamin C, or anti-aging retinol. 

Because of this, these products are typically more expensive - but they're also more likely to make a noticeable difference in your skin's tone and texture. At M Spa, we use exclusively medical-grade skincare products, and are proud to be an exclusive retailer of the most effective, and research-driven products on the market, including: SkinMedica®, SkinCeuticals®, Intraceuticals® (creator of the beloved Oxygen Facial), and Tizo®

The skincare lines we carry have conducted rigorous testing to ensure the efficacy, strength, and purity of their products. Click here to view the results real patients have seen from some of SkinMedica's most popular products.


For every skin concern, there are several possible treatment options. Because medical spas have a doctor present, they are able to provide a wider variety of medically-proven solutions to your needs.


For example, if you're looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, you have several options at M Spa at the Reserve. You could get a series of Intraceuticals® Oxygen Facials with one of our aestheticians, or get Botox® injections by Dr. Majewski - or both! You can weigh all the possibilities and make decisions that will most effectively treat your needs. 

Which is Right For You?

So where should you get your next facial? It depends entirely on your goals.

If you're looking for a traditional spa day experience - with a relaxing facial and massage and perhaps a glass of wine - a traditional spa is the right choice for you. You'll certainly derive benefits from your facial - in the form of relaxation, purified pores, and the detoxifying benefits of facial massage - and leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

But if your goal for your facial is to visibly improve the texture and tone of your skin, or if you're looking to treat a specific issue, such as acne scars, UV damage, fine lines and wrinkles - it's worth it to invest in a medical-grade facial treatment. At M Spa at the Reserve, our expert aestheticians will create a customized skincare plan that will help you address your unique skincare concerns. They'll provide expert skincare advice, product recommendations, and treatment options that will help you achieve the skin you've always wanted! 


To see the full list of spa services we offer, view our spa menu below.