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The Gift of Youth

by Mindy Toran

Hold on to your youthful appearance with a unique combination of medical and aesthetic spa treatments.

A day at the spa now includes much more than a manicure, massage or facial. Today, women are looking for services that can help them hold onto their youthful appearance much longer and are seeking out the latest in skin care and spa services that can make them look and feel young.

One of the fastest growing trends in the pursuit of a youthful appearance is the expansion of the medical spa. An outgrowth of cosmetic skin care originally offered only in the office of a dermatologist, medical spas, or med spas for short, are one of the fastest growing segments of the spa industry, according to the International Medical Spa Association (IMSA). While there is no way to know exactly how many of these spas there are, as there is no single licensing body that regulates them, the IMSA estimates there are as many as 4,000 of these spas operating today, up from about 450 in 2003.

“In the last decade, the growth of medical spas has been phenomenal,” says Allan Share, president of the IMSA and the Day Spa Association, the leading trade associations for the professional spa, aesthetics and wellness industries. “The integration of medicine and wellness is changing and growing rapidly,” says Share. “We’re seeing a wellness community trend, where consumers are looking for spa services, naturopathy, chiropractic care, acupuncture and the like, all in one location. Women, in particular, are focusing on being healthy, feeling good and looking good, and the lines between spas, salons and skincare services are beginning to blur.”

The IMSA defines a medical spa as a facility that operates under the full-time, on-site supervision of a licensed health care professional. The facility operates within the scope of practice of its staff and offers traditional, complementary and alternative health practices and treatments in a spa-like setting. Practitioners working in medical spas are governed by their appropriate licensing board, if licensure is required. Most spas are currently licensed by the state cosmetology board—the same body that oversees hair and nail salons—and are inspected regularly.

“While nurses and aestheticians typically perform the services offered at med spas, the facility should have a certified medical practitioner, preferably an MD, on site,” stresses Share. “As with any medical procedures, it’s important to do your research before undergoing any treatments, and make sure spa employees have appropriate education, training and licensing, which differs in all 50 states.”

An array of treatments
The menu of services offered by med spas varies, but typically includes injectibles such a Botox, dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, medical-grade chemical peels, and laser hair removal.

“Women want to look younger and feel good about themselves. When they’re considering medical spa services, they want to see immediate, noticeable results,” says Avonne Spaulding, manager at A Medical Spa at Rizzieri in Marlton. “Our clients want to come in on their lunch break and go back to work with visible results. Similar to a traditional spa, they want to be pampered and relax, but it’s not just about feeling good; they want to look good and visibly notice a change in the look and feel of their skin.”

A Medical Spa, run by Dr. Donna Wilcox, offers medical peels and facials, Pelleve skin tightening, microderm skin resurfacing, dermaplaning exfoliating treatment, and permanent cosmetics as part of its menu of services, in addition to laser hair reduction and spider vein removal, Botox cosmetics, Juvederm wrinkle reduction and dermal fillers.

“Our focus is on accentuating beauty and creating a healthy glow that provides our clients with noticeable results,” says Spaulding.

“Cosmetic skin care is an important part of looking and feeling your best,” says Lauren Van Liew, head aesthetician at the Cosmetic Surgery Center of Cherry Hill, a “California style” plastic surgery center run by Dr. Lyle M. Back. “Our most popular cosmetic skin care treatments include microdermabrasion and glycolic chemical peels, which help reduce and prevent signs of aging on the face,” Van Liew explains.

“In today’s world, appearance is so important, and your face is what makes your first impression, so it’s important to invest in it,” says Van Liew. “Treatment doesn’t have to be expensive, and can be as simple as using skin creams with Vitamin C, glycolic washes or tea bags soaked in cool water and placed on your eyes for a few minutes to reduce puffiness, all of which can be done at home, or an enzyme facial, chemical peel or lash and brow tinting in a private, relaxing facility.

“Our clients want to look and feel good about themselves and see visible, lasting results. Our goal is to help them achieve those results,” she says.

Lasting, and meaningful, results
Medical spas typically house both medical staff and aestheticians in a single facility, offering both medical and cosmetic treatments. They offer a comprehensive approach to the pampering women are looking for in a spa experience, with higher, more medical-grade chemical peels and injectibles such as Botox and dermal fillers that reduce wrinkles in areas like the forehead and around the mouth. Women today are looking for an experience that is both luxurious and medically sound, our experts say, where they can go to relax and come out looking good for more than just an hour or two.

Med spas are dedicated to enhancing women’s personal appearance, health and well-being, and are looking to become a one-stop destination where clients can receive pampering as well as the latest trends in cosmetic and aesthetic procedures. Their goal is to create memorable experiences, emphasizing healthy aging and a healthy lifestyle by combining alternative, complementary, mind-body, preventive and other medical practices.

“Med spas are helping women focus on being healthy, feeling good and looking good by integrating medicine with wellness,” says Share of the IMSA. “When you look good, you feel good, and it’s a trend we expect to continue well into the future.”


Cosmetic Surgery Center of Cherry Hill
1942 Route 70 E.
Cherry Hill
(856) 751-7550

A Medical Spa at Rizzieri
6001 Lincoln Drive W.
(856) 985-8500

Published (and copyrighted) in the Art of Living Well pull-out section of Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 9 (November, 2012).
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