I’ve been to SO MANY med spas. I started when I was 16 with Laser Hair Removal, Botox at 23, Lips at 24 and more since then. I’m writing this post to highlight the good, bad and ugly sides of medical spas.
There are medical Spa’s popping up everywhere. In San Diego, you can’t drive a mile without seeing at least one. Fortunately for you, this means you have lots of options! This also makes it harder to find the right one. Social media is trying to take the place of Yelp but here is something you need to know, the best med spa in the world may not have a pretty social media feed. They aren’t focused on their marketing as much as great customer service and experiences. Usually, the prettiest Instagram means the biggest marketing budget- I would actually suggest staying away from these spas.
I used to work at a well known med spa that was a nationwide chain. They had a few doctors as their medical directors that would sign off on everything. But they didn’t do ANY of the treatments- nurses did. The only time they came in was when a patient had an adverse reaction and was freaking out. BTW, it isn’t necessary that the doctors be dermatologists or plastic surgeons- they can literally be a foot doctor, they just need a license. I actually don’t think this is bad- many nurses are more experienced than doctors and are very skilled at their craft.
The one that I worked at… Where to begin. I was on the sales team and we received a 10% commission on every sale. The sales goals for each month were $150k++. There were a few sales people at each location and it was very cut throat. On top of our sales goals, we had to manage the schedule and fit our new patients in ASAP- this meant rescheduling other clients. I NEVER got the hang of this. It felt dirty and wrong. We would schedule people 6 weeks out when they left their appointment, then move them last minute. It was awful.
They were understaffed and overselling. Also, the lasers would break down during the day because they used them too much. So we had to reschedule appointments all the time.
They had 2 nurses at each location and would cram appointments into 15-minute time slots. It was like Jiffy Lube- treat, chart, treat, chart. The nurses were forced to work super fast and weren’t given the proper amount of time to give a quality treatment.
The craziest part? Their prices weren’t cheap! People would pay thousands of dollars to be rushed, rescheduled, and not even experience great service.
*You should never feel rushed during any medical appointment- if you do, speak up!*
Ultimately, I quit. I loved the job because I was able to show the patients my real results, that I am a normal looking person that has had botox, filler and laser hair removal and speak on my experiences. I loved when they would leave feeling so excited for the life-changing decision they just made. This is one of the many reasons I started this blog!
Ok, so how to pick a med spa?
- What are your goals? What would you like to change? Many med spas will try to upsell you, so if you go in knowing exactly what you want to accomplish you are less likely to make an impulse decision and sign up for everything on the menu. I am notorious for falling for this- I want it all! Look at the Spa’s service menu and make sure they offer what you want before you spend your time going to a consultation.
- Look at their Yelp. I love Yelp! Look at the most recent reviews first- Yelp changes the order of their reviews and it’s not fair to judge a place from a few shitty reviews that happened 3 years ago. Yes, sometimes there are super angry customers that are just trying to ruin the spa’s reputation, but overall if you see more than 10 negative reviews I would steer clear. FYI, the spa I worked at has 340 reviews, 3.5 stars, and 8 out of the last 20 reviews are 1 star. That is NOT GOOD. Also, look at if the spa responds to their Yelp reviews. This is very telling. Are they responsive? Are they trying to resolve the reviewer’s problems? Are they thanking their good reviewers? Are they rude and snippy to bad reviewers?
- Make an appointment for a consultation. Do not pay a consultation fee! This is an outdated business practice that is so unnecessary. They need to sell you on their services before you pay anything to them! Pay attention to how they treat you on the phone and while scheduling. Are they booked weeks out? Are they polite and excited?
- When you first get to the spa look around. Is it dirty? Are their dust bunnies in the corners? Full trash cans? Do you get a good feeling when you walk in? Does the receptionist greet you? Pay attention to these things because it reflects how they will treat you!
- During your consultation appointment be 100% honest. Do not be embarrassed- literally ask ANYTHING! Do you have hair in “weird” places? Trust me, they’ve heard it all- make sure you get all of your goals met. Ask all of the questions you have. This is YOUR BODY. You deserve to get everything you want. Also, ask what product/ laser they use and do research on it to ensure it is what you want.
- Make sure you can meet with the nurse that will do your treatment if you are getting filler or botox. Look at their face. Often times if you don’t like the filler they have in their face (and they think looks good) you will not be happy with your filler. There are many different techniques and nurses are inclined to do what they think looks good, not necessarily what you want. Also, ask what they’ve had done- they should be honest with you.
- If you don’t feel 100% sold on the spa, keep looking. Don’t rush this process- the goal is to set up a long term relationship with a place you love.
- Do not tip for medical spa services! I’ve heard of spas doing this and it’s a total scam! I have another post about which beauty services to tip on and how to much.
I hope you found this information helpful! Have you ever had any bad experiences? Do tell?!
If you ever have questions or want a second opinion on a spa or experience you had, please feel free to reach out to me!