What are the Most Popular Medical Spa Services?

The global market size for the medspa industry in 2022 is a whooping $14.4 billion, with North America accounting for about 42%. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) globally is expected to be 14.8% from 2022 – 2030; in the United States, about 13.6%.

Facial treatments are by far the most popular type of med spa service, with a market share of nearly 55% in 2021. Scroll down to learn more about the most popular treatments that generate the most revenue in the med spa industry.

Most popular med spa treatments

Medical spas offer a wide range of treatments and services. Their greatest advantage is medical supervision, which contributes to safety, efficacy, and best results. Check out some of the most popular med spa treatments:

1.     Botox

Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is a neurotoxin that serves to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and facial creases. Botox injections are among the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures around the globe. In 2020 alone, 6.2 million Botox injections were performed worldwide.

Additionally, Botox ranks number one on the list of top five revenue-generating medspa procedures. It’s also useful to mention neurotoxins like Botox were among the most frequently performed medspa procedures in 2021. 63% of women who went to a medspa got Botox, and 58% of men did.

Botox has been one of the highest revenue-generating procedures in the medical space for many years, even before the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a report from the American Med Spa Association, 82% of med spa clients get Botox or filler injections. Botox is one of the most popular and accessible treatments clients can receive at medical spas.

Good candidates for Botox, along with alternatives Xeomin and Dysport, are adults in good physical health and preferably nonsmokers. Botox is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals.

Botox injections aren’t really painful, as most clients will feel a tolerable little pinch. The treatment usually lasts around 15 to 20 minutes. The results tend to last three to four months.

What makes Botox practical for many people is that it requires no downtime. Besides basic aftercare, you can resume your regular daily activities immediately. (Common Botox aftercare: avoid exercising at least 3 hours after treatment, avoid rubbing your face for 24 hours, avoid hot tubs or prolonged heat for at least 4 hours.)

2.     Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers are gel- or liquid-like substances that are injected into the skin at different depths to restore lost volume, fill in facial wrinkles, soften creases, and enhance facial contour. Like Botox, dermal fillers are known for their rejuvenating effects, but they also help to augment facial features e.g. enhance cheek volume or produce fuller lips for those who aren’t satisfied with their current appearance.

There are different types of dermal fillers, such as:

·         Hyaluronic acid – for acne scars, cheek depressions, facial scars, redefining lip border, frown lines, crow’s feet, deep smile lines, smoker’s lines, and other uses. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body, primarily in soft connective tissues and the fluid surrounding the eyes. A common hyaluronic acid filler is Juvederm, which was approved by the FDA in 2006.

·         Polyalkylimide – for deeper wrinkles, plumping thin lips, enhancing jawline and cheekbones, and replacing facial volume lost due to the aging process. Since polyalkylimide has very little reaction with human tissue, it’s biocompatible and doesn’t require an allergy test.

·         Polylactic acid – for laugh lines, deep nasolabial folds, and plumping thin lines. Unlike other fillers, polylactic acid doesn’t yield results immediately. Instead, it promotes the body’s natural collagen production.

·         Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA) – a semi-permanent filler for medium-to-deep wrinkles, folds and furrows. It can also fill out thin lips and pitted scars. PMMA is often utilized as a replacement for collagen therapy and hyaluronic acid in cases where a more permanent solution to facial wrinkles is necessary.

How long the effects from dermal fillers last depends on the type of filler used and the treated area. Generally speaking, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers last around 6 to 12 months. Thicker dermal fillers tend to last longer.

3.     Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is a simple procedure where pulses of laser light destroy the hair follicle to remove hair. It is one of the most popular nonsurgical procedures. For example, in 2019 there was a total of 4.1 million laser or energy based procedures, with 457,000 laser hair removal procedures performed in the U.S.

When it comes to the top revenue-generating medical spa services, laser hair removal ranks third. The western region of the U.S. is the most popular for laser hair removal services, accounting for 31% of the total industry revenue compared to 22% in the eastern region.

Most people who undergo laser hair removal find the effects last from a few months to years. It’s important to bear in mind that laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent results. However, when hair re-grows, it tends to be lighter and finer. Long-term hair reduction usually requires maintenance laser treatments. Also, several sessions are usually necessary to complete the process. The number of sessions depends on the client’s needs, treated area, and the amount of hair.

4.     Body sculpting (body contouring)

Body sculpting, also known as body contouring, is a surgical or medical procedure that reshapes an area of the body. Body contouring may include procedures to get rid of excess fat, remove extra skin, and contour or reshape a certain part of the body. Nonsurgical and surgical procedures are available, depending on the preferences and goals of each client. Popular procedures include Tummy Tucks (surgical) and Coolsculpting (nonsurgical).

On the list of top revenue-generating services for medical spas, body sculpting ranks fourth. Body sculpting and contouring is expected to be the fastest growing med spa treatment category for the next few years.

Body contouring can target different parts of the body. Some of the most common areas are the back, arms, stomach, love handles, buttocks, thighs, neck, and chin.

Advantages of body contouring include more defined and well-shaped body parts, smoother skin, thinner and younger appearance, and symptomatic improvement. The greatest benefit of nonsurgical body sculpting procedures is that they include a short recovery time. You can leave the office immediately after treatment and can usually resume your normal daily activities.

5.     Chemical peels and microdermabrasion facials

While many people use these terms interchangeably, chemical peels and microdermabrasion facials are not the same things. Microdermabrasion removes a great deal of the top layer of the skin through methods such as gentle sanding, whereas chemical peels deliver antioxidants into the dermis, the middle (and living) part of the skin. In other words, chemical peels are chemical exfoliation and microdermabrasion is mechanical exfoliation.

Benefits of chemical peels include improved texture and tone leading to brighter, smoother, and clearer skin. While the face is the most commonly treated area, chemical peels are also performed on the hands and the neck.

Since healthcare professionals supervise treatments at medical spas, they offer more aggressive peels than regular spas. These include moderate peels such as TCA (trichloroacetic acid), as well as 60-70% glycolic peels.

Benefits of microdermabrasion include smoother appearance, clear skin, brighter complexion, reduced appearance of fine lines and dark spots, even skin tone, and cleared out pores.

6.     Aesthetician med spa services

83% of medspa clients get aesthetician services in the United States. Treatments offered by aestheticians at medical spas include aesthetician-grade chemical peels, facials, waxing, hydrafacials, and many others.

Regular spas also offer aesthetician services. However, these services are often limited. Some procedures such as microneedling, dermaplaning, and microblading are considered medical procedures. Healthcare professionals – persons with medical licenses and certifications – supervise all operations at medical spas. For that reason, aestheticians at medical spas can provide services that you can’t get at other spas or wellness centers.

7.     Photo-facial pulsed light (IPL)

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a service that improves the texture and color of the skin without having to undergo a surgical procedure. A small flashgun delivers a spectral light range over the skin. IPL, or photofacials, has a 63% popularity rate in the U.S. Treatments of this type can also be called laser skin rejuvenation, photorejuvenation, or laser resurfacing.

Many people opt for IPL to remove age spots, varicose veins, freckles, sun damage, rosacea, broken blood vessels on the face, birthmarks, and even hair on the face, neck, bikini area, and other places.

While similar to laser treatment, IPL is different because it releases light of several wavelengths like a photo flash. On the flip side, a laser utilizes just one wavelength of light.

Other popular medical spa services

Besides the ones mentioned above, here are some other popular medspa treatments:

Skin tightening

Skin tightening, like IPL, has a 63% popularity rate among medspa procedures. The main purpose of skin tightening is to tighten mild to moderately loose skin on the face, neck, or body. It also provides a noticeable lifting effect.

While skin tightening procedures can be surgical or nonsurgical, the latter is more convenient for many people. Nonsurgical procedures for skin tightening include radiofrequency, ultrasound, and a combination of IPL and radiofrequency.

Laser skin resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing includes an intense beam of light energy that destroys the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin. When that occurs, the laser also heats the dermis to stimulate the production of collagen, which results in noticeable improvements in skin tone and texture. Since laser is a great tool to improve various skin problems ranging from acne scars to sun spots, the popularity of this treatment isn’t surprising.

Medical consult with licensed MD

Even though medical spa centers offer a wide range of services, many people schedule an appointment with a simple purpose – to receive a medical consult with a licensed MD. In fact, medical consults have a 53% popularity rate for medspa services.

A good thing to remember here is that medical professionals oversee and supervise all services and treatments at med spas, unlike at regular day spas. It’s not uncommon for people to feel like they need more information before they decide to go ahead and book the treatment. They need to weigh the pros and cons, and understand what results they can expect. Licensed MDs help with all these things.


Are med spa treatments safe?

Med spa treatments are generally safe. A major boost to their safety stems from medical supervision. Licensed and certified medical professionals supervise all the procedures, helping patients be more confident in receiving the best possible care.

What kinds of treatments can be done at medical spas?

Medical spas provide aesthetic treatments in addition to the same services as a regular day spa or wellness center. Besides massages, facials, and other services, medical spas also offer dermal fillers, Botox, body contouring, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, IPL, facelifts, SMP (scalp micropigmentation), and more.

Are med spa treatments covered by insurance?

Typically no. However, some medical spas offer payment plans such as Cherry to help clients finance their treatments or simply to provide more budget flexibility.