The Do’s and Don’ts of Spa Etiquette

Elite Daily interviews spa owner Adriana Martino to discover the do's and dont's of spa etiquette


As with most service industries that provide high end amenities, there is a refined culture that structures the environment of medical and laser spas, and this culture is sustained with the unspoken rules of spa etiquette.

Knowing the Do’s and Don’ts of Spa Etiquette is a must before showing up to your first procedure at your local NYC med spa. Fortunately there is plenty of information detailing spa etiquette available on the internet. One of the best resources for this valuable information is offered by beauty writer Izabella Zaydenberg of Elite Daily in her article “Assets, Not Assistants: 8 Things Your Salon And Stylist Wishes You Knew.”

In accordance with Elite Daily comitment to provide their readers with good, informative advice on fashion and beauty, the article interviews “some of [it’s] favorite spa owners…to see what really grinds their gears,” and provides numerous things, to do and not to do, at your local med spa. And SKINNEY Medspa is flattered that Elite Daily chose Adriana Martino, Owner of SKINNEY Medspa, to provide expert opinions to its readership.

Even for regular spa clients, some of these rules may surprise you. Are you in violation of proper spa etiquette? Continue reading to find out.

Stay off your cell phone

Elite Daily’s first featured spa faux pa tells spa goers to refrain from texting and talking during their appointment with their esthetician or hair dresser. Besides hindering the procedure and being in the esthetician’s way, cell phone usage also compromises the opportunity to collaborate with your esthetician, as explained by Adriana Martino, using your phone to text or talk “isn’t the best thing to do (unless there’s an emergency) as you should pay close attention to what treatment you are having done.” This aids in developing “a trusted relationship with your esthetician or technician for optimal results.”

Don’t Brood. Speak Your Mind

The spa is not a place to keep any dissatisfaction or concerns to yourself. If you have questions, opinions, preferences, or any other thing pressing on your mind, speak up. Collaboration between client and esthetician is fundamental to ensure a beautiful, natural, painless cosmetic transformation. High end NYC Spas, train their estheticians to be expert comunicators. They eagerly seek to both educate their patient during the procedure as well as evaluate the client throughout the procedure for subtle ques. Your esthetician wants to know what you are thinking. So share your thoughts. Even if they are negative. Elite Daily concludes this particular piece of spa etiquette saying Adriana “Martino sums it up well, ‘Communication and understanding the full process is best, so speak up! You’ll be happy you did.’ ”

Resist the Urge to Be Prude

Some cosmetic procedures require the client to show some skin. Disrobing can be uncomfortable for some men and women, especially if receiving the procedure for the first time.

Elite Daily turns to Adriana Martino to coment on this particularly sensitive piece of spa etiquette: “If you’re uncomfortable stripping down to your skivvies, Martino recomends sticking to one esthetician or technician that makes you feel most at ease. “After the first session, 95 percent of clients feel completely comfortable,” Martino recalls. If you’re one of the five percent that isn’t, SKINNEY Medspa and other salons carry disposable panties and robes.”

Likewise, don’t remove your pants if you are receiving laser hair removal on your shoulders. If you are unsure about what to strip and what to clad, ask the receptionist or esthetician. They understand that most clients are uncertain about the protocol of a new procedure and are happy to answer any questions or concerns that you might have.

Be Courteous with Good Hygiene

Many cosmetic treatments from NYC skin or laser spas will leave you feeling like a beauty, but that doesn’t mean you should show up to the appointment looking (and especially smelling) like a beast. Considering the intimate protocol of certain cosmetic procedures, anticipatory hygiene from the client is considered proper spa etiquette.

By no means does this entail decking yourself out like you would for a date, but “definitely shave before coming in,” (except for laser hair removal) Adriana Martino tells Elite Daily. Also, if your schedule has you going to the spa, after you have hit the gym, pencil in a few minutes to take a shower in between.

Don’t Show Up on Time

Many procedures at skin and laser spas require some preparation before the actual treatment can comence. This is why you should not show up on time – show up early. And certainly do not show up late. Give yourself at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to check in with the receptionist, fill out any necessary paper work, and prepare yourself for the treatment.

Etiquette on eating during a spa treatment

Many cosmetic treatments offered at NYC skin and laser spas are non-invasive, painless, and can be performed in under an hour, making them a perfect retreat during your lunch break. Cosmetic Injections such as Botox or Dermal Fillers, for example, are comonly dubbed the “lunchtime facelift.” Likewise, certain Body Contouring procedures, which use advanced technology to safely target and reduce fat cells, such as CoolSculpting or Liposonix have been nicknamed “lunch hour lipo.”*

Despite these suggestive monikers, Medspas are medical facilities, that conform to the strict standards of professionalism and cleanliness that you would expect from your doctor’s or dentist’s office. Adriana Martino explains to Elite Daily that eating during certain cosmetic treatments, such as Botox is “unsanitary while in a sterile medical environment.” Other Cosmetic Treatments like CoolSculpting offer more leeway, and clients of SKINNEY Medspa are encouraged to relax, watch some t.v. and order in some lunch if they are hungry.

To know whether snacking during a certain procedure or treatment is kosher, ask your esthetician or the spa receptionist before your appointment.

Give Advanced Notice of Cancelation

As is proper etiquette with doctor’s or dentist’s appointments, if you have to reschedule an appointment at a medical spa, try to give as much notice as possible. Med spas are like other professional facilities that run on a detailed scheduling system. If you miss your appointment or cancel the day of your appointment, the facility often cannot fill in the time slot that was reserved for you. This is why many med spas have cancellation policies requiring their clients to give notice of cancellation, anywhere between 24 to 72 hours prior to the appointment, to avoid being billed.

Even if the grace period for cancelling an appointment has lapsed, still call the spa and discuss your situation with the receptionist. Many spas understand that extenuating circumstances can arise that might cause you to miss an appointment, and all spas appreciate their clients calling to cancel, even if after the 24 hour deadline.

Use your Inside Voice

Spa owners and their estheticians go to great lengths to ensure the comfort of their clients. Many high end Spas found in NYC are very conscience of their client’s experience. Everything from the ambiance and décor of the spa facility, to minute details that ensure the client’s comfort during a procedure, are purposefully constructed to provide a relaxing, rejuvenating experience in a luxurious environment. Be respectful of a spa’s efforts by bringing down your voice a few notches. The spa is not a library, you don’t need to whisper, but talk softer than you normally would, and again, refrain from talking on your cell phone.

Leave Your Entourage at Home

For first time clients, some procedures may seem a little frightening. Even though the majority of services performed at a med spa are non-invasive and virtually pain free, Botox or CoolSculpting may seem a bit intimidating for certain individuals. Most med spas in NYC will accomodate a friend to accompany a client into a treatment room, but still, most estheticians prefer their clients going stag into the procedure. This facilitates a better environment for estheticians to comunicate and collaborate with their clients. It also removes a possible distraction that may hinder the cosmetic procedure.

Be upfront about Medical Conditions

Remember, med spas are professional medical facilities, conducting medical procedures. Like any other medical procedure, there are certain circumstances and conditions that need to be considered to ensure the absolute safety of the client. Your esthetician, dermatologist, or skin care professional is trained to recognize any factors that may interact with the procedure. Certain cosmetic procedures or skin care treatments should not be performed on women who are pregnant. Likewise, certain medications, medical conditions, life style choices, or medical histories, may disqualify clients as good candidates for particular treatments. If your esthetician asks about any medical conditions or considerations, they are asking because they need to know. Be forthright.

Do not ignore provided information

To ensure the safety of each client, and to prime the client for the best results possible, many med and laser spas will provide pre-treatment information. Understanding and following these pre-treatment instructions is vital to ensure a safe, effective procedure.

Tipping Etiquette

Tipping standards in the cosmetic and beauty industry are subjective. A general tipping etiquette is anywhere from 10% to 20%, but this standard is by no means universal. Numerous factors can influence the etiquette of tipping. How much to tip, if even to tip at all, fluctuates by city and state. Likewise, at a medical spa, tipping an esthetician may be acceptable after a cosmetic procedure such as laser hair removal or a chemical peel; while at the very same facility, tipping the cosmetic dermatologist after a medical procedure such a Botox may be discouraged. Some spas appreciate gratuity after any procedure, medical or cosmetic. Other spas discouraged any tipping, regardless of the procedure or the professional conducting it. If you are unaware of whether to tip or how much to tip, a simple google search for your area should outline the proper etiquette.

If still unsure, you can discretely ask the spa receptionist if tipping is customary for the particular treatment you are scheduled for.

Regardless of gratuity standards, tipping is left to the discretion of the client.

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Our Special Offer

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20% Off

When You Schedule A Free Consultation

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This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By filling out this form you agree to get email, text, and phone communications from SKINNEY MEDSPA and SKINNEY. *Offer cannot be combined with other sales or promotions. *Offer cannot be combined with other sales or promotions.

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