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What’s the Next ‘Big Thing’ for Medical Spas?

Contact Author Alex R. Thiersch, JD, Founder/Director of the American Med Spa Association
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What will be trending in the medical spa industry for 2017? Everyone is looking for the answer to this question. 

From a legal and compliance standpoint, the regulatory boards in many states are taking a long look at medical spa treatments and esthetician scope of practice, and generally restricting what estheticians can do under their license. More investigations are cropping up across the board on issues ranging from corporate practice of medicine to illegal importation of Botox. 

At the AmSpa Medical Spa Boot Camp in Orlando earlier this year, experts from several industry-leading companies gave their thoughts on the top trends in the medical spa industry for the coming year.

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Representatives from the laser, digital marketing and skin care spaces provided these three insights about what to look out for in 2017. 

1. Laser Trends

Breton Applebaum, Florida’s area sales manager for Sciton, Inc., noted that skin resurfacing, IPL and vaginal rejuvenation are some of the biggest trends in the laser space. 

“What patients are looking for today are home-run results. They want no pain, they want quick recovery time, and they want it for free...” — Breton Applebaum

As skin-resurfacing technology has progressed, he said that it’s now possible to give patients a much better experience with much less downtime. 

“What patients are looking for today are home-run results. They want no pain, they want quick recovery time, and they want it for free. You can’t offer it for free, but you can offer all of those other things,” Applebaum explained. 

He also spoke on vaginal rejuvenation as one of the most talked-about, up-and-coming procedures in medical esthetics. He covered the benefits of the procedure from eliminating post-pregnancy urinary incontinence to enhancing intercourse in post-pregnancy or post-menopausal women. 

2. Digital Marketing: Leveraging Social Media

One of the biggest digital marketing trends in the medical spa space, according to Tim Sawyer, Crystal Clear Digital Marketing president, is companies getting a handle on how to really leverage and measure social media to accomplish their business goals. 

He warned that there’s a big difference between posting a funny or silly post and getting a lot of social engagement on the page, and having a process in place to use social media to drive people to your business. 

“What systems do we have in place to convert them from a social media follower—whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter—what are the systems we’re going to put in place to monetize that?” asked Sawyer. 

He added, “What are my business goals as they relate to the practice of social media, and what do I want my practice to be in terms of the brand?” 

3. Consumers’ Desires & Perceptions on Products

Candace Noonan, director of training for Environ Skin Care/DermaConcepts, indicated that trends in skin care in 2017 would be driven by customer access to information via the internet. 

She said that customers have started asking for over-the-counter versions of products normally only seen in medical spas, and as a result, retail brands will start pushing products containing these ingredients. 

“The consumer is going to be inundated with a whole bunch of marketing claims, and we’re going to have to work very hard to make sure we’re educating them that buying the retinoid or vitamin A cream from you is going to be very different from what they can get at Sephora.” — Candace Noonan

She mentioned retinoids and hyaluronic acid as examples of ingredients that consumers are increasingly educating themselves about and are demanding from retail brands. The downside of this will be that medical spa practitioners will have to be diligent about differentiating between products that can be sold over the counter and products offered at a medical spa. 

“The consumer is going to be inundated with a whole bunch of marketing claims, and we’re going to have to work very hard to make sure we’re educating them that buying the retinoid or vitamin A cream from you is going to be very different from what they can get at Sephora,” said Noonan. 

She added, “When you’re choosing a skin care line, as much as you want to be able to offer what your clients are asking for, you have to be able to back it up with science as to what it actually going to work.” 

For other up-and-coming medical spa trends, watch the video of the AmSpa trends panel from Orlando. 

 

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Alex R. Thiersch, J.D. is the founder and director of the American Med Spa Association, an organization providing legal and business resources to medical spas and medical esthetic practices. As a lawyer, he specializes in representing plastic surgeons, medical spas and esthetic professionals on the relevant laws and regulations affecting the medical esthetic industry.

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