March 31, 2024

Do you tip for medical spa services?

This guide will walk you through the etiquette of tipping in the medical spa industry, so you’re prepared for your next appointment.

Reviewed by: Karmay Hung, DNP, AGACNP-BC, CEN
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Tipping etiquette can be tricky, especially when it comes to medical spas. These businesses often offer both medical services and traditional services that you would find at a day spa. This crossover can blur the lines for tipping etiquette and leave customers wondering if tipping at a medical spa is even allowed in the first place.

So, the answer to “do you tip for medical spa services,” isn’t so straightforward. This guide will walk you through the etiquette of tipping in the medical spa industry, so you’re prepared for your next appointment. Let’s dive in.

Common services offered at medspas

Med spas offer a comprehensive suite of noninvasive, minimally invasive and surgical aesthetic treatments. Here are some of the most common services offered at med spas:

Botox injections - Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic treatment options. Botox is primarily used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dermal fillers - Dermal filler injections help to plump the skin with substances like hyaluronic acid and collagen. This helps to restore volume, reduce wrinkles and give clients a more youthful appearance.

Microneedling - Microneedling uses tiny needles to trigger the skin’s natural healing response, renewing skin tone and texture.

Laser hair removal - Laser hair removal uses a laser to get rid of unwanted hair on the body.

Photofacials - Photofacials use Intense Pulsed Light treatments to target skin issues like sun damage and redness.

Fat reduction procedures - Fat reduction procedures like CoolSculpting are used to contour the body and eliminate fat cells. These are increasingly popular, employing both noninvasive and minimally invasive technologies to sculpt and slim the body without the need for traditional surgery.

IV hydration therapy - IV hydration therapy provides IV infusions to increase hydration and help clients recover from athletic events, hangovers and illness. Many spas also offer vitamin infusions to further enhance the benefits of the IV.

Chemical peels - Chemical peels are used to exfoliate and improve the skin. They are often used to target concerns like acne and sun damage.

Day spa services - Med spas offer many of the services you find at a traditional day spa. You can book services like massages, facials, waxing and nail services at your med spa.

Understanding tipping and gratuity etiquette

Now that we know more about med spas, let’s dive into the complicated waters of tipping at med spas. The unique blend of medical and aesthetic services can make it difficult to know who to tip and when. Fortunately, there’s a pretty clear-cut delineation when it comes to the services you receive at med spas and whether or not you should tip after treatment.

Most people go to med spas to receive medical cosmetic procedures that you can’t get at a traditional day spa. These services are either performed by a medical professional or supervised by a medical professional. When a med spa lists their prices for these services, they are taking the experience and reputation of their med spa into account. In other words, you don’t have to worry about tipping for medical services. If you went to your primary care provider, you wouldn’t tip them for a checkup. So, feel free to simply pay your bill if you receive a treatment like Botox, dermal fillers, fat reduction, etc.

Of course, many people also go to med spas for nonmedical spa services like massages, nail services and facials. In this case, the traditional day spa tipping etiquette applies. Something in the range of 15-20% would be appropriate, based on your satisfaction and the quality of the service you received. Alternatively, you can use your best judgment if you had an especially expensive treatment and the percentage tip would be too much.

These are some general guidelines, but each med spa is different. Some med spas may not accept tips for any services. Others may encourage tips for their nonmedical services. If you’re unsure, it never hurts to ask.

Should you tip an esthetician?

Estheticians are skin-care professionals who specialize in services that improve the health and appearance of the skin. If you are receiving a traditional day spa skin services like facials and nonmedical peels in a med spa, the person performing the treatment is likely an esthetician.

Estheticians, massage therapists and nail techs are the professionals who likely can accept gratuity at a med spa. In fact, some estheticians may be renting a booth at a med spa and rely on gratuity to help pay their costs. With this in mind, tipping an esthetician for nonmedical services is generally appreciated and encouraged. A standard rate of 15-20% for a treatment is recommended, but the amount is ultimately at the client’s discretion. You may even opt to tip more if the quality of service was especially high.

Should you tip a medical professional?

There is a much clearer boundary when it comes to tipping medical professionals. Licensed medical professionals like doctors, surgeons, nurses and physician assistants can’t accept tips for medical services. The professional norms and ethics of medical care dictate that these med spa staff members cannot accept cash tips for their services. So, if you receive a medical service, you can simply pay your bill for services rendered.

But, there are other ways to express your appreciation if you were especially happy with your services. A “Thank You” note or card is always an acceptable way to thank your med spa professional. Some medical professionals may also accept gifts1, like a thoughtful gift basket. With that being said, some medical professionals may not accept gifts as a general rule. If your med spa provider declines your gift, it’s likely a matter of policy.

How to find a top med spa near you

Next time you go to a med spa, you should have all the information you need to be confident about your tipping etiquette. If you don’t have a med spa yet, it can be difficult to narrow down your options. When you start searching, you should first make sure a med spa offers the treatments you want or treatments you may want in the future. You should also check to make sure the med spa is well-reviewed and reputable.

You can also schedule a consultation with a med spa to ensure their client experience and approach to care is up to your standards. Of course, you will want to take a look at their prices for treatments, as this can vary widely across med spa clinics. If you want a convenient way to compare top med spas near you, Certainly is here to help.

Compare Medspas in NYC

If you’re looking for med spas and Botox providers in NYC, you may be surprised by how many options you have. This can make it hard to narrow down your options and find a provider that works for you. Fortunately, Certainly makes this step easy.

Certainly lets you compare Botox providers, prices and book appointments directly through our platform. Just enter your location and desired treatment, and you’ll get a list of providers to browse. It’s that simple.

Get Upfront Costs with Certainly Health

One of the best features of Certainly is our estimated upfront costs for cosmetic treatments. Instead of being caught by surprise with a big bill, you can compare estimated prices ahead of time and choose the med spa that best fits your budget.

Ready to find a med spa in NYC? Use the Certainly platform today.