Day Spas, Medical Spas and Aesthetic Clinics: What’s The Difference?

We’re living in an era where looking and feeling younger no longer requires surgery. The fountain of youth these days apparently flows from a syringe. But injectable treatments such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers aren’t the only non-surgical anti-aging procedures. Wrinkles can be smoothed with lasers, skin tightened with heat, and belly fat frozen. All available in aesthetic clinics medical spas day spas. Wait, which?

Day Spas, Medical Spas and Aesthetic Clinics: What's The Difference?

There is a huge range of gadgets proving popular with those who shy away from surgery but still want to improve their appearances. Some beauty salons now call themselves Aesthetic Centres; spas have started terming themselves as Medical Spas. The lines are blurred but the key differences would be:

  1. The environment
  2. Intensity of treatments

Spas and Salons typically offer a relaxing environment targeted at providing wellness and/or aesthetic solutions. Even within this category, different spas vary in level of comfort and luxuriousness (i.e. Hotel Spas versus a Massage Parlour). Many salons offer targeted services instead of housing it under one brand, while others pay more attention to their facilities, such as Salt Caves, Steam Rooms and special pools.


Porcelain is a face spa that offers solutions to target skin issues. We combine craftsmanship and technology whilst providing a spa experience.  The key difference between Porcelain and other spas would be our dedication towards understanding skin at a deeper level. Although we do not have a doctor on board, all our therapists are trained, qualified aestheticians. They all undergo a stringent, in-house program to ensure the highest levels of finesse, comfort, safety and results. We also believe in curating treatment plans for each client. We also use state-of-art technology backed by clinical studies and high performance products, to achieve long-lasting results using non-invasive procedures.

Aesthetic Clinics

Aesthetic Clinics offer a clinic setting with a focus on providing solutions for aesthetic purposes. The treatments are typically minimally invasive to invasive and performed by doctors, dermatologists or plastic surgeons. For patients who are seeking to augment, improve their appearances via the use of injectables, more invasive or equipment with higher intensity, they should visit a trained medical physician with relevant experiences.  Although medical doctors perform all the treatments, not all doctors who work in aesthetic clinics are specialists. Aesthetic Practices are not a recognized specialty, and cannot advertise or promote their services. Doctors cannot use titles such as “aesthetic doctors” or “aesthetic physicians” in Singapore.

Medica Spas

Medical spas, however, remain a small percentage of the overall spa market.

Treatments can include spa treatments that complement medical procedures performed by their doctors in-house. Some of the prescribed treatments do not need to be performed by medical physicians. Typically, the doctor that oversees the medical spa take charge of the procedures that fall under medical, and aestheticians or therapists handle other spa, or non-medical therapies such as non-invasive microdermabrasion, massages, etc.

As with the practice of visiting any facilities or professionals, one needs to accept the pros and cons. Some places and people do the job well but some can fall short as well.

While the 3 different types of spas and clinics can achieve desired results, the crucial aspect of choosing a spa or clinic is analyzing the expertise and credentials of those performing the treatments. At the end of the day, we all only have one face and we should never take it for granted.