How to Build an At-Home Medi-Spa

at home spa




Laser hair removal- $600.

Light therapy- $300.

Chemical peels- $200

The cost of BEAUTY… is priceless.


All of the above treatments are among the most profitable treatments in aesthetic centers, medical spas, and cosmetic dermatology/plastic surgery offices.  And these treatments don’t come cheap.  An average cost for one chemical peel or microdermabrasion is roughly $200-$400, with a monthly maintenance treatment every 4-6 weeks to keep skin glowing.  That’s about $2,400- $4,800 annually for a series of ONE treatment (sans tip).  For many of us,  that’s more than just a dent on the wallet.

Technology has come a long way,  and has made it possible for you to have your own personal aesthetician- YOU!  That’s right,  many companies have made it possible to have these in-office treatments at home,  so that people can have near-professional results at the cost of 1-2 treatments.  Here are some of my favorite gadgets to get at-home beauty results:



Microdermabrasion is a mechanical, non-surgical way of exfoliating the skin.  The process involves a rough-tipped wand that is connected to a vacuum apparatus used to suck the dead surface cells as it is moved across the skin’s surface.

– The Riiviva at home microdermabrasion wand surprised me, as the suction is pretty strong for a hand-held.  It’s not as powerful as the medical grade ones at the spa,  but it does a great job at exfoliation of blackheads.

-I have not tried the PMD,  but from what I have read it works the same as the Riiviva.


Chemical Peel

Chemical peels work by chemically exfoliating the older, top layers of skin to reveal new, youthful layers underneath. At-home peels are not as strong as in-office peels,  but they’re great for in-between visits.  Also,  if one’s skin is sensitive, it would be a good alternative to gradually prep the skin to tolerate a stronger acid pH. Among my fave mild at-home peels are Bliss Incredi-Peel,  Philosophy Microdelivery, and Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel.



Clarisonic face cleansing brush has come out with 5 models as of late: the Pro with face and body brush (4 speed with T-timer that signals you to move to another area of the face), Mia (2 speed), Mia 2 (2 speed withT-timer), the Aria (3 speed with T-timer), and Radiance (it’s a Mia/Aria handheld with a patented brush marketed for removal of sebum and surface-level hyperpigmentation). I’ve always loved Clarisonic, and have gushed about my first experience with it ever since the Mia and the Pro came out with skin-specific brushes.

Clarisonic Opal also uses ultrasonic waves, but this time for skin ingredient delivery and penetration,  specifically for the delicate eye area.


Photodynamic therapy

I once wrote a rebuttal piece about the infamous AcneApp that was once available on iTunes. Needless to say, although the app itself was a sham, the premise of the app was what interested many on photodynamic therapy and how it works. Wavelength-specific red and blue light work both for anti-aging benefits and acne clearance on the skin. Some FDA cleared devices for skin care are the TRIA Blue Light, and  the Lightstim (Red Light for Anti-Aging / Blue light for Acne).


Laser Skin Rejuvenation & Hair Removal

It’s no secret that heat generated from laser will cause skin cells to turn over at a rapid rate.  That’s because it forces the body to go into “protective” mode to help alleviate the “damage” caused by the laser.  This in turn accelerates new skin cells to form. The first at-home laser I was introduced to was the PaloVia,  an FDA-cleared device meant for treatment of wrinkles around the eye area. More recently, the TRIA Age Defy handheld laser has become a breakthrough because it can be used on the entire face.

The TRIA Hair Removal Laser allows people the freedom to remove unwanted hair at home.  It’s not as powerful as the office lasers,  but for those who have had a series of professional treatments done, it’s a great way to keep new growth at bay.  “Permanent” is not necessarily permanent,  as new hair growth can always occur due to hormones.  Read more about laser hair removal in a previous written about ways to reduce hair growth.



Microcurrent facial toning machines sends safe, painless impulses to the muscles in your face that help overly-tightened muscles to relax and helps under worked muscles to regain strength. In essence, microcurrent facial toning “re-educates” the facial muscles and restores them back almost to their original shape.

When this happens the visible results are quite dramatic and the face is lifted, firmed and toned back to a much more youthful appearance. At the same time, the microcurrents improve circulation to your face which stimulates production of collagen, improves tone and texture, and improves or eliminates fine lines. most people see visible results after just a single treatment. This gives “instant gratification” which is seen so rarely as a result of other anti-aging products or techniques. The NuFace Trinity is a handheld device with interchangeable heads that treat the different areas and contours of the face.  Biobliss makes gel pads for the forehead and under-eyes that emit low-level micro-current that is suggested to be worn for 30 minutes.  The micro-current increases the delivery of skincare ingredients deeper in the skin’s layers.


What’s the Catch?

Now, there are a few caveats to some of these at-home devices, namely the lasers.  Many of these gadgets,  although miniature versions of heavy-duty in-office medical devices, need a little finesse to work with.  Not everyone has ever used or worked with such equipment .  And if the average person is unfamiliar with how a device works,  well,  they can run into some  trouble and get less than stellar results,  or worse yet,  suffer injury (yes, you can burn from these lasers) from it.

The best advice to give about using these devices to get the best results and the most bang for your buck is to use them as an adjunct to professional treatments.  They are best used for maintenance after a round of 1-2 treatments from the pro’s. Besides, after getting at least one professional treatment you will be familiar with what to expect and how treatment will feel.

So do your homework on some of these devices,  instead of making that (very costly) impulse buy. Search below to see where you can get some of my favorite at-home beauty devices described above and start building your own SpAHHH at home!




Disclaimer:  Gratis product for testing purposes were kindly received from Riiviva (microdermabrasion device), Bliss (That’s Incredi-peel), Philosophy (Microdelivery), Juice Beauty ( Organics to Clear Skin kit), Clarisonic (Clarisonic Mia & Opal), Lightstim (Red LED), TRIA (Blue Light & 4x Hair removal laser), NuFace (Trinity), and Biobliss (Wrinkle Recovery & Eye Patch kit).The TRIA Age Defy laser was purchased by me personally at Sephora.  All devices were tested a minimum of 30 consecutive days to determine efficacy. All opinions on the above devices are my own,  and no monetary incentives were paid for writing this post.

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Online Editor, Beauty Writer at Beauty-Goodies
As a NYC-based Nurse Practitioner with backgrounds in pharmacology, medical research, medical spa aesthetics, and general dermatology, Cristal has always been interested in the ways people go about achieving beauty. When she's not working at a dermatology clinic or at the medical spa, she moonlights as a beauty expert, and has a penchant for scoring sample sale treasures, bellydancing, playing dress-up, and of course, chatting about beauty goodies.

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