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The Difference Between a Med Spa and Aesthetic Clinic

med spa or aesthetic clinic

While both aesthetic clinics and med spas offer services that improve appearance, there are key differences between the two:

Scope of Services:

  • Aesthetic Clinic: Primarily focuses on non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments. These may include facials, peels, waxing, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and other beauty-enhancing procedures.

  • Med Spa: Offers a broader range of services that often include medical-grade aesthetic treatments in addition to traditional spa services. This can include injectables like Botox and dermal fillers, laser treatments for skin concerns, body contouring procedures, and even minor surgical procedures.

Level of Medical Supervision:

  • Aesthetic Clinic: Generally staffed by estheticians who are trained in skincare and beauty techniques but may not have a medical background.

  • Med Spa: Typically requires the presence of a licensed physician or other medical professional who oversees the operation and can provide medical supervision for more invasive procedures.

Regulations and Licensing:

  • Aesthetic Clinic: Licensing requirements vary depending on the state or region. However, they generally require completion of an esthetics training program and passing a state exam.

  • Med Spa: Subject to stricter regulations and requires compliance with medical licensing boards and regulations governing the specific procedures offered.

Target Audience:

  • Aesthetic Clinic: Attracts clients seeking non-invasive solutions for improving their appearance, addressing skin concerns, and achieving a more youthful look.

  • Med Spa: Appeals to clients seeking a combination of traditional spa services and medical-grade treatments to address more complex concerns and achieve more dramatic results.

Cost of Services:

  • Aesthetic Clinic: Treatments are typically priced lower than those offered at med spas due to the less invasive nature and lower overhead costs.

  • Med Spa: Services tend to be more expensive due to the involvement of medical professionals, higher equipment costs, and the use of medical-grade products and technologies.

Overall Approach:

  • Aesthetic Clinic: Takes a more holistic and wellness-focused approach to beauty, emphasizing natural beauty and relaxation.

  • Med Spa: Blends the spa experience with medical expertise, offering a wider range of options for achieving specific aesthetic goals.

Here is a table summarizing the key differences:


Aesthetic Clinic

Med Spa

Scope of services

Non-invasive and minimally invasive

A broad range, including medical-grade treatments

Medical supervision


Licensed physician or other medical professional

Regulations and licensing

Less strict

Stricter, subject to medical regulations

Target audience

Clients seeking non-invasive solutions

Clients seeking more dramatic results

Cost of services



Overall approach

Holistic and wellness-focused

Blends spa with medical expertise

Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your individual needs, budget, and desired results.

Author Alexander Waldron


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