With so many Spas with different price points and so many product options out there, most wonder what is the difference. Why spend over $100 for a massage or a facial or on a product at a high end Spa when places like Massage Envy charge a lot less. What is the difference???
Lets start with Products
Good quality products can get expensive. Just like many organic foods are more expensive than foods that have GMOs because its less expensive and more profit involved in GMOs than in Organic foods. The same holds true for most skin care products. A lot of big companies spend their money on marketing instead of research. They make more money through marketing as people tend to buy what they see in a magazine or what a celebrity is saying they use. In the states any claim can be made that a product works or is safe to use. Unfortunately it is about profit and not the individuals well being.
Do your research and choose products wisely. Google ingredients instead of just going by what an ad or a doctor, or a Spa is selling. People choose to sell products for many reason but the main reason is for profit and quick, superficial results. Ingredients like Hydroquinone, which is banned in many countries, but yet still being sold in the USA. Why? Well because it works. It doesn't always matter to an individual, in the long run what the risks are, its about getting a quick result. Many clients want quick results and if they don't see a quick result then they will think that the product is not good or that you don't know what you are doing, therefore the Spa loses money and loses a client.
Massage is all physical work. Its up to the individual massage therapist hands, techniques, knowledge, intuitiveness as to how good of a job they do. With that being said, you really have just as good of a chance of getting a good massage at a cheaper price point as you do at an expensive price point since the cost for a Spa to offer massage is low and quality of massage is mainly in the massage therapists hands.
There are many reasons why a really good and experienced massage therapist could end up working at a Spa that is not high end or may charge less for their services. Sometimes it just comes down to what the place of work is offering them such as incentives, a stable work environment, health insurance.
But you also have some not so good massage therapist that may end up having to work in a less expensive Spa or may be they have little experience and no clientele. What ever the case may be, its not always the price point that determines how good a massage therapist is. This makes getting a massage hit or miss as to the out come. But below are some pointers that can help you pick a massage therapist or Spa based on your likes and needs.
The difference between a well established, high end Spa and a Spa that is not as upscale or more budget friendly is in what you get for the money. A higher end Spa will more than likely have better quality equipment and facilities that they can afford to keep clean and maintain. Nicer ambiance which can have a huge impact on how you feel during and after a service and if you think the service you received is worth what you paid. Better customer service, and they may offer you beverages, snacks, comfy robes and slippers and incentives for a more pleasurable experience and to make sure you are getting your monies worth.
The products that are used to massage with in an upscale Spa will normally be better quality. We don't tend to think about or even ask what is being used to massage us with even though it is very important. Creams and oils get absorbed into your skin and enter your blood stream, therefore they can impact your skin, body and organs in positive or negative ways. If you care about what you eat, and eat organically, well then you should care about what is being applied on your body!
A higher end Spa may be more careful with who they hire due to their higher standards and concerns with their reputation. But, I hate to admit it, there are a lot of high end Spas that hire therapist with out much experience. Sometimes they are honest about it and may offer the service at a discount since the therapist is new, but not always.
Less experience doesn't necessarily mean the therapist isn't good. What is means is that with less experience they may not be as good about determining what your needs are and how to help with any conditions or issues affecting your muscles, posture, etc. They may not know or be practiced with many techniques and that could limit what they can do for you. Knowledge and experience can be important for the over all out come of your service, unless you are just looking strictly for relaxation.
The reason a Spa may hire a less qualified therapist mostly comes down to either cost, as they can pay them less and work them more, or because they feel that they can teach a less experienced therapist to follow their protocols. A very experienced therapist may have a harder time changing their way of working and may be more set in their ways than a person who doesn't have experience, and may be more enthusiastic about learning, and growing within the industry.
No matter where you choose to go, do your research. Ask about the therapists experience level, their techniques used and ask what products will be used in your massage. If you can, try to get feed back from people you know that have gone to the Spa you want to try out. Check out their reviews. But keep in mind reviews are not always accurate or truthful, but they can give you some insight into what you could expect. Word of mouth is normally the best way to find a therapist.
Know what you want. If ambiance or high quality products are important to you, well then save your money and go to a high end Spa and not a lower end Spa that may offer a good massage but nothing else, otherwise you will not be happy. Don't have the same expectations at a low end Spa as you would at an upscale Spa. Expectations should be realistic. You shouldn't expect a Massage Envy or to pull out the red carpet. Go to Four Seasons if you want to be pampered.
Facials are more complex as they require more than a good set of hands. The products used are what help give results, along with the Esthetician's experience and knowledge of the products they are using and knowing how to manipulate those products for the best out come. The price of a facial is normally determined by-
- what the cost is for the Spa to purchase the products they are using.
- what the cost per facial is and what the facial entails
- the timing; is it 50 minutes, 60 minutes or 80 minutes? *A note on that, some spas will look like they are offering you a good price but most clients don't notice that its because its a 50 minute service. You can only do so much in a 50 minute facial. This means they have to spend less time on some parts of the service in order to get you in and out in 50 minutes. So think about timing and your needs when you book a facial!
- the quality of the products and equipment being used
- the level of experience of the esthetician.
If a place is offering a really low price point, you should question why? Products used in facials get expensive. Many companies have large opening orders Spas have to pay if they want to carry their line of products. They also have minimum order requirements to purchase more products as needed. Equipment can get expensive and is necessary in order to do a good, thorough facial.
Retail products are also expensive to purchase even at whole sale pricing. So when you see places offering big discounts on products, you should question why? If they are selling the product at a huge discount then it means the Spa isn't going to get a profit. How are they affording to stay in business. Where are they budgeting or cutting corners? Hopefully not in your facial service!
About online product purchases, know your source you are purchasing from. If a company is offering a big discount, a lot times its because the product is expired or getting close to expiring. This means it may not work as good or at all. Discounted products a lot of times are returns, fakes, old or discontinued products.
The reality is that in the Spa industry, when it comes to facials, the Spa's cost to operate has everything to do with what they charge you. Good quality products and services get expensive. If a place is using good quality products and are charging cheap prices then there is something missing. Or if they are using cheap quality products but charging high prices then something is not right. There should be a balance. If products are good quality and expensive then they will have to charge more for the facial. I leave that for you to think about....
Our skin on our face is delicate. Once you screw it up using the wrong products or going to someone who didn't know what they were doing could have consequences to your skin that is irreversible! In the long run it could cost you a lot of money to fix your skin because through the years you either didn't take good care of it or chose to go somewhere based only on the price and not on quality of work and product.