In terms of pricing, med spas can actually be just as, if not more expensive, than a visit to a dermatologist’s office, but for those wanting to combine a spa experience with nonsurgical procedures, it could be justified as a 2-for-1. For Michael Lahm, Vice President and COO of spa design and consulting firm TLee Spas and Wellness, the category is still a space reserved for a smaller subset of the spending bracket. “Given the economic issues going on in terms of accessibility, basic economic sustenance, it’s still a very rarefied world,” Lahm said.
Medical spas have not been an overnight occurrence; their evolution emulates the rise of concierge doctor services. According to ALM Consult founder and spa strategist Anna Moine: “Something that is experience-driven versus just sterile and methodical has given rise to these different places. Convenience, affordability, immediate gratification, the obsession with perfect beauty and celebrity emulation, that’s why they are becoming more popular, especially in urban settings. I have not read about a huge increase of medical spas, [but] there is a propitious moment for that kind of industry to boom,” she states.
The likes of Alchemy43 marketed themselves with the desire to become the “Drybar of Botox” back in 2017, while dermatologists have been integrating more spa-like amenities and services, as evidenced in the expanded service offerings of the Dr. Dennis Gross practice, including everything from dermatological surgery and facials to fillers. “There’s this popularization happening in terms of bringing the medical into a transcendent experience. The spas that brought on medical services had a focus on luxury, comfort, experience-driven. Now these med spas are doing it in a more expeditious manner,” Moine comments. Spaces such as Ject and Facile are even expanding into skincare product lines, putting profits that would have otherwise gone to competitor brands in their own pocket while increasing brand presence beyond the in-person visit.
There have been concerns about the safety and expertise of getting these procedures done in a med spa environment. The differing practice regulations across the United States present a huge challenge. Examples include an aesthetician being allowed to perform microdermabrasion in the state of Maryland, while in the state of Illinois, the same procedure can only be done by a trained physician. The Department of Defense’s aim to increase the transferability of licenses, including cosmetology licenses, for military spouses that move to different states, could create uniformity across the nation.
The lack of regulation around who can operate a laser hair removal device in New York (anyone technically, as a license or training aren’t always required) has been described as “The Wild West.” although a …….