Microneedling is one of the most common and popular procedures and is revered by beauticians and estheticians alike.
If you’re booked in for treatment or are thinking of forking out for the procedure then you may be wondering what the etiquette is for tipping your esthetician at the end of your session.
With that in mind, we’ve done some research to put you in the picture as to where you stand after a micro-needling treatment at your local medspa.
We’ve looked at what the etiquette is for tipping after a micro-needling treatment, who will perform the treatment and their salary, how much you should tip (if you are required to), and the costs of a micro-needling treatment.
Keep reading to find out…
Do You Tip For Micro-Needling? The Short Answer
Whether you tip for micro-needling very much depends on the professional who completes the procedure. If it’s a medical doctor like a dermatologist or a nurse then you wouldn’t normally tip. If it’s a non-medical practitioner like an esthetician then you might consider tipping.
When To Tip After Micro-Needling?
As we’ve touched on above, whether you tip will much depend on who performs your treatment.
The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t tip a medical doctor or nurse practitioner as this is widely considered unethical and tips are usually rejected in any event.
This is generally the case when it comes to tipping for botox procedures where generally in the US, the practitioner needs to be medically trained and licensed.
However, if your treatment is done by an esthetician, who isn’t a trained medical professional, then you can consider tipping.
If you’re wondering about whether to tip then it’s worth asking the medspa who is performing your micro-needling treatment. They will usually tell you and it’s your right to know this information.
In some states, microneedling can only be done by a trained medical professional, in which case tipping isn’t required.
In other states, estheticians are allowed to do the treatment but only if the needle is less than 0.3mm.
So in other words, whether you’ll be expected to tip will depend on the state you’re in and whether that state permits estheticians to do the procedure, and whether an esthetician is performing your treatment when you have it done.
How Much Do Estheticians Earn?
A key factor when deciding to tip is the salary of the professional in question.
What about estheticians?
We’ve taken a look at the various employment websites and note that estheticians earn around $27,406 per annum according to Glassdoor, whereas the Beauty Schools Directory puts that at $34,090 on average.
It’s clear to see that esthetician salaries vary by state and location and also by experience and expertise. If they have medical training as well then expect them to earn more.
On the basis of the above figures, given the average yearly salary according to Jobted is $53,490 in the US in 2022, estheticians tend to earn well below that mark.
On that basis, you may feel a tip is warranted, although estheticians don’t generally expect a tip and it isn’t required to supplement their income.
How Much Will a Micro-Needling Treatment Cost?
According to Healthline, expect to pay anything between $200 – $700 per session and between $600 – $4000 in total for 3-6 sessions.
Tipping in the US is generally paid at a rate of 10-20% of the price of the goods or services, meaning the grand total of your tip is likely to be around $60 on the low side but on the high side up to $800 on the basis of the above figures.
Obviously, you can decide to pay a fixed amount if you wish and this is unlikely to be frowned upon.
We’d recommend $10 – $20 as a baseline.
Gratuity and Service Charges
It’s important to note that some medspas will automatically add on a gratuity or service charge at the end of your session and they should inform you of this if you offer a tip.
This should appear on your invoice/receipt but if you’re in doubt about this, then simply ask the staff at the medspa.
If there is a service charge or gratuity added then you do not usually need to tip, although a service charge is not always utilized as a tip so it’s important to ask if you’re wondering where your money is going.
When Should and Shouldn’t You Tip for Microneedling: Summary
There will of course be times when you definitely should tip and also times when you should not.
Here are a few examples of when to tip:
- If the service performed surpassed your expectations
- If the results were excellent
- If the esthetician was professional and courteous
- If you’ve received a good deal
- During the holidays
When you shouldn’t tip:
- If the practitioner is clearly a professional like a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or even a qualified nurse (as above)
- If the service was truly terrible
- If the procedure was done poorly, or worse still, negligently
- If it’s clear the tip is not going to go to the esthetician
- If a service charge or gratuity is included
If your tip is turned down or rejected, then don’t be offended. Many medspas make it a matter of company policy not to accept tips.
Moreover, if you’re being treated by a medical professional then they may find it unethical to take your tip and it may in fact be outlawed by their professional code of conduct.
Final Thoughts On Tipping After Micro Needling
As we also found out when looking at whether to tip for IPL treatments, tipping is not generally required or expected within the microneedling industry and you certainly shouldn’t tip if you’re receiving treatment from a trained medical professional.
The lines are blurred slightly as micro-needling can be done by estheticians in some states and they earn below-average salaries and you may decide it’s in good conscience to tip them, especially if they’ve done an excellent job.
If you are to tip then we see no reason to depart from the standard 10-20% rate, although micro-needling isn’t cheap and if money is tight, you may decide that you can’t afford a tip. No one is going to lift an eyelid if this is so, at least not in this industry.
Be sure to check your receipt or invoice to make sure that a tip isn’t already included in the price, otherwise, you may find yourself tipping twice – great for the esthetician but not so great for your wallet.