Using Procurement Software for Med Spa Equipment

Running a medical spa differs from traditional spa startups. Learn about essential med spa equipment purchases and ways to save in this quick overview.
Written by:  Bridey Joyce
Last Updated:  January 17, 2024
med spa employee providing treatment

A day at the spa isn’t what it used to be. Traditional spas typically offer a mix of massage, manicures, pedicures, facials, peels, and aromatherapy, but today’s modern medical spas (med spas) perform a much wider range of procedures for wellness and improved appearance. Med spas offer advanced dermatology services like red light therapy, dermabrasion, cryotherapy, Botox, and platelet treatments. 

As spa offerings expand, so do the supplies and consumables needed to perform them. Well-appointed med spas must carry traditional supplies like towels, robes, oils, and serums. They must also stock syringes, medical-grade injectables, sanitation tools like autoclaves, and even some lab-grade equipment for advanced services.

This article walks through the supplies needed to run a successful med spa. It also offers tips on increasing procurement savings, improving category management, maintaining quality for necessary items, and locating top-notch vendors. 

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Equipment needs of traditional spas vs. med spas

Traditional spas have an office supplies list overlapping that of many service-based businesses. In addition to the usual pens, paper, and printer ink, spas need plenty of towels and linens, pillows, body oils, creams, and bath products. 

Med spas are even more specific. Beyond their general indirect buying needs, these medical settings face many of the same sourcing challenges as other healthcare entities (a number of which procure goods through GPOs). As medical facilities, med spas require sterile, safe salon equipment and consumables to administer treatments for their clients. 

Sanitation equipment

Sanitation is paramount to operating a medical spa safely. Med spas often perform procedures that can break the skin barrier, making their clients susceptible to infection if the facility eschews strict sanitation standards. These businesses need tools and devices to maintain cleanliness and ensure a hygienic environment. 

In a med spa setting, sanitation equipment generally includes items for different kinds of sterilization, such as: 

  • Autoclaves for sterilizing instruments
  • High-grade disinfectants for cleaning surfaces
  • Disposable gloves and masks
  • UV sanitizers for small tools
  • Biohazard waste disposal systems

Quality sanitation equipment helps a day spa or med spa comply with health regulations and build trust with clients who expect and deserve a clean, safe treatment environment.

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Microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, and microneedling

Microdermabrasion machines, dermaplanes, and microneedling devices are non-invasive tools that exfoliate and remove a superficial layer of dead skin cells, plump existing cells, and increase cell renewal. These procedures use abrasive methods such as an oscillating micro-razor, tiny crystals, or a diamond-tipped instrument to gently sand the skin, promoting the growth of new, healthier skin cells. These procedures improve skin tone and texture while reducing fine lines, age spots, acne scars, and other blemishes.

High-quality microdermabrasion equipment is essential to providing an effective procedure. Top-tier machines offer precision controls that allow estheticians to customize the treatment to each client's unique skincare needs. Quality equipment also ensures client safety. Substandard machinery can cause skin damage or infection due to uneven abrasion or incomplete sterilization.

IVs, syringes, gloves, and gauze

Intravenous therapy feeds (IVs), needles, syringes, and other medical consumables are critical in med spa procedures. Procedures such as hydration, vitamin infusions, fillers, and injectables may be mainstream now, but safety during procedures is still a primary concern for med spa businesses. 

Other medical consumables like gloves, swabs, and gauze pads ensure hygienic conditions during each treatment. They prevent contamination between individuals and protect clients and aestheticians from potential infections.

Disposable medical supplies are not just tools but vital components that ensure the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of various med spa treatments. Investing in high-quality medical consumables reaffirms commitment to excellent patient care.

Spa treatment tables and massage chairs

Med spa furniture is designed with both functionality and comfort in mind. These furnishings enhance the client experience, ensuring customers feel relaxed during treatments.

Treatment and massage tables are typically padded, adjustable, and ergonomically designed to accommodate various body types and services. Some may even feature heating elements or massage capabilities to enhance customer comfort during lengthy procedures. They are often covered with medical-grade vinyl for easy cleaning and maintenance, helping maintain the spa's high hygiene standards.

Similarly, chairs used in med spas are specially designed to adjust to different positions — upright for consultations or reclined for relaxation during treatments. They may feature armrests, footrests, and headrests to improve comfort while allowing esthetic professionals easier access to perform their work.

Injectables

Medical-grade injectables often form the core category of services offered at a medical spa. These substances are administered into the skin or underlying tissues in a clinical aesthetic setting. They must meet stringent medical standards for quality and safety. They’re typically used to rejuvenate, enhance, or modify physical features. 

Common types of medical-grade injectables include:

  • Botox: Botulinum proteins that reduce fine lines and wrinkles by reducing muscle movement
  • Dermal fillers: Substances to restore volume or shape to the face
  • Lipolytics: Injectables that break down fat cells for body contouring purposes

Injectables must be purchased through medical-grade suppliers with safety, purity, and lab testing certifications.

Many med spas also offer procedures that require lab equipment. For instance, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments use blood drawn from a client's body. The blood is processed with a centrifuge to concentrate platelets and remove other components before being injected back into the client to stimulate healing and rejuvenation. This procedure requires careful attention to biohazard handling to eliminate the chance of cross-contamination or inadequate sterilization.

What traditional spa equipment do med spas need?

Med spas often blend the traditional spa experience with medical-grade procedures. Therefore, they generally maintain the same supplies needed in conventional, non-medical settings. 

Facial steamers

This skincare device directs warm steam onto the skin for cleansing and rejuvenation. It heats water to produce steam, which is usually applied via a mask or a wand. The warm mist opens up pores, facilitating deep cleansing by removing toxins, dirt, and bacteria. It also promotes healthy blood circulation, nourishing skin cells for a glowing complexion. Additionally, facial steamers enhance skincare product absorption and relieve sinus congestion. 

Stones and heaters

Hot stone therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses heated stones as a massage tool to provide relaxation, relieve tension, and promote healing. The therapist providing the treatment places smooth, flat, heated stones on specific points of the client’s body. These stones are typically basalt, a volcanic rock known for its heat retention properties. The heat from the stones penetrates deep into the muscles, promoting blood flow and soothing stress and discomfort. 

Hot stones are usually brought to temperature in professional stone warmers. The water bath in these warmers provides consistent control to ensure the stones are adequately hot without overheating. The heater and stones must be cleaned after each use to prevent contamination between guests. 

Light therapy devices

Red light and blue light emitting devices are skincare tools that utilize low-level wavelengths of red light to treat various skin conditions and promote overall skin health. The technology behind these devices is based on photobiomodulation, wherein certain wavelengths of light can stimulate cellular activity, leading to beneficial physiological changes. They aid in boosting collagen production, reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and rejuvenating damaged or aging skin cells. This results in reduced wrinkles and fine lines, lessened age spots and hyperpigmentation, improved acne scars, and a healthier complexion.

Red light therapy devices come in various forms, from handheld units for targeted treatment to full-face masks for comprehensive facial therapy. Receiving treatment from a dermatologist or medical aesthetician avoids potential side effects like eye strain or burns from overuse. 

Laser hair removal tools

Laser hair removal uses a handheld device to emit intense light pulses to target and destroy hair follicles, inhibiting future growth. It's designed to provide precise, relatively painless treatment with adjustable settings for varying skin types and hair densities.

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5 Factors to consider when buying medical spa equipment and supplies

Quality, consistency, and cost-effectiveness are the three main pillars of effective med spa sourcing. When evaluating suppliers, consider a potential procurement partner's service standards and reputation. 

Safety standards: All equipment should meet safety standards to ensure client well-being. Look for devices approved by regulatory bodies such as the FDA.

Cost-effectiveness: While quality should never be compromised, consider if the chosen equipment falls within purchase budgeting. With costs to open a medical spa averaging just under $20,000 depending on services and equipment choices, preserving revenue through strategic vendor sourcing is key to long-term success. Consider total value, including delivery and logistics costs when selecting med spa equipment. 

Supply chain resilience: Med spas rely on product consistency and availability to provide a reliable experience for guests. Look for strategic sourcing options that ensure a stable supply of high-quality products. Also, consider ways to build redundancy and strong category management practices into ordering in case of out-of-stock items or price fluctuations.

User reviews and ratings: Research user reviews and ratings for an unbiased product performance perspective. Product reviews can help buyers balance cost of goods against the expected performance of the product. 

Vendor reputation: Buy from reputable suppliers who have been in the business long enough to establish a track record of reliability and customer satisfaction. A procurement platform with supplier information management features can help identify high-quality suppliers and maintain supplier relationships without concerns about vendor risk management

Centralize your med spa supply procurement with Order.co

Order.co offers robust procurement software designed to meet the needs of service businesses like med spas searching for consistent and high-quality supplies. The procure-to-pay solution simplifies purchasing with vendor-agnostic ordering, purchase order processing, automatic substitution suggestions for out-of-stock items, automation, and spend analysis tools to reduce costly cash leaks.

Learn how Order.co helps companies optimize spending and reduce waste. Check out a free ebook for detailed advice on eliminating the 5 biggest cash leaks that prevent business growth. 

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