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A Facial Isn’t Just A Facial – MedSpa Vs Spa Facial


I am a confessed spa junkie. I’ve been a spa junkie for a solid 20 years at this point. My spa junkiness led me to my current profession as an esthetician. Why does that matter? It matters because I know this business inside and out. I also commonly explore outside my office to try new treatments and pick up new tricks and techniques. Something happened recently that was a real eye opener regarding the differences between a spa facial and a medical spa facial…

My Spa Facial Experiencemedspa-facial-is-better-than-spa-facial

I love a great head, neck and shoulder massage… so many times when I seek out a spa facial, I’m looking for a relaxing experience with massage. I booked at a well known local spa and looked forward to my treatment. When the gal took me to the spa room, I loved the feel of the space, dark and good smelling and quiet. She found out I was a fellow esthetician and decided to upgrade my facial (without discussing it with me first btw). I was scrubbed (something she compared to Microdermabrasion) and salted and layered all kinds of stuff on my face. Then she massaged my shoulders but not my face due the to other exfoliating. A mask was applied and she wrapped up the service.

I left with a $155 bill (plus tip and after thinking I was getting a facial for $107….) and the expected glow of a fresh facial. But there was a problem for me… it didn’t even linger all the way to the dinner date I had with my husband that night. Within 4 hours you could no longer tell I had anything done at all!

I was disappointed… as to be expected. 4 days later I had an esthetician in my office give me a facial.

My Medical Spa Facial Experience

dermaplaning-st-louisIn my esthetician’s beautiful room, also dark and good smelling, she proceeded to deep cleanse and scrub me. I was dermaplaned, and she followed it with a light peel. She deep cleaned my pores, and I received an amazing face, neck and shoulder massage. She completed me with a great mask. All together this service would have cost a client $120.

I looked amazing immediately… my home care even performed better at home… I also looked amazing a full week later… if I was a paying client, my money would have been MUCH better spent!

What Were The Main Differencesspa-facial-stl

Spa Facial


  • It was a nice and relaxing experience
  • Having my hands, arms, feet and chest was relaxing
  • She did some cool tricks with mask layering etc
  • There was no downtime


  • After I left the effects didn’t even hold a day
  • My pores didn’t get fully cleaned
  • For all the steps in the treatment, I should have seen something
  • It was expensive based on my results

MedSpa Facialget-glowing-skin-st-louis


  • I looked great for a long time afterwards
  • I could easily go 6 weeks till my next treatment
  • My pores were exceptionally clean
  • The service and the head, neck and shoulder massage were relaxing
  • The products used were pharmaceutical grade and therefor performed better
  • There was no down time
  • It was inexpensive for the benefits that I ended up with


  • It had less massaging
  • It had less cool, tricky techniques

Final Assessment

I think it’s obvious which way I would continue to spend my dollars if I were a client. If you’re regularly getting a spa facial, have you tried a MedSpa facial? If not, I would definitely give it a whirl, I think you’ll find more significant and long-lasting results.

Jennifer Warmann-Bloss

-Jennifer is a blogger, mom and owner of Elemental Esthetics in St Louis, MO

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