When it comes to receiving excellent service from a facialist or esthetician, tipping is an important way to show your appreciation.

You should tip an esthetician or facialist 15-20% of the total service cost.

To help you understand why folks generally tip that amount for a facial, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about tipping your esthetician. 👇

What to Consider When Tipping an Esthetician

Tipping is a great way to show appreciation for exceptional service and help support the livelihoods of beauty service professionals. 

Most facialists and estheticians are independent (meaning, they don’t work in beauty salons or spas), and they rely on tips as a significant portion of their income.

Your generosity can make a substantial difference to them. Here’s what to consider when tipping an esthetician after a facial:

Quality of Service 

Estheticians are part of the beauty industry. They’re service providers, like hair stylists and massage therapists

Which means the quality of service matters most. 

You should tip your esthetician or facialist if you received exceptional service, which means:

  • You enjoyed the gentle, luxurious experience of getting a facial
  • They provide a relaxing spa environment 
  • Your skin looks and feels amazing 
  • The results are long-lasting
  • You have a quality client-esthetician relationship
  • You’d rebook a follow-up appointment with this esthetician

Type of Skincare Treatment 

There are tons of facial treatment types in the skincare industry. 

Some treatments take longer than others. 

Some require special equipment or training from your esthetician. 

If you feel that your facial appointment was extra special (or took a bit longer than usual), it’s normal to tip your esthetician extra to say thank you. 

Here are the most common types of facials booked with estheticians:

  • A classic facial includes cleansing, exfoliation, steam, massage, and a face mask. It deeply cleanses pores, removes dead skin cells, improves blood circulation, and boosts skin hydration. 
  • A deep pore cleansing facial – ideal for oily or acne-prone skin – deeply cleanses your pores and eliminates dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. This facial reduces the appearance of large pores and enhances skin texture. It also reduces blackheads, through a combination of exfoliation and extraction.
  • A microdermabrasion facial is a non-invasive and mechanical exfoliation procedure that removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells, revealing a smoother, brighter complexion.
  • An LED light therapy facial uses different colored LED lights to penetrate the skin and target acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Client-Esthetician Relationship

If you have a long-term relationship with a facialist or esthetician, it’s customary to show your appreciation by tipping slightly more. 

This gratuitous gesture acknowledges the trust and rapport that has been built over many, many appointments.

Tipping & Payment Policies 

No tipping policies are becoming more and more popular in the beauty industry. 

“I feel tipping can be really stressful for many people,” Naomi Kurata, a licensed esthetician and acne specialist in St, Lawrence, KS, posted on Instagram.

“Do I [tip]? How much [do I tip]? Cash or…card? 

What if I don’t have enough cash? Will the amount I leave be insulting?

I want my guests to feel as stress-free as possible when they come in. 

My job’s main focus is on creating a stress-free, relaxing environment,” she said.

Estheticians, like Kurata, are simply including an average tip in the full amount for the service.

This way, they don’t have to rely on tips to make a decent income. Their revenue is solely dependent on being a great esthetician and skincare specialist.

“I simply charge a fair fee, and that’s that,” Kurata said. “I also feel that coming in for services or referring others is a show of appreciation and gratitude for my work.”

Other beauty providers automatically include a fixed amount for tip at the end of the service. 

This eliminates the option for clients to bypass the tip screen, and it protects the provider’s finances. 

Ask your esthetician what their tipping policy is before adding 15-20% to the bill. 

They might not accept tips, or they might have included it already.

The standard tipping etiquette for facialists and estheticians is between 15% to 20% of the treatment cost. 

If you received exceptional service or want to go the extra mile, you can consider tipping even more.

Quick Tip Calculator for Service Appointments

If calculating the tip in your head feels overwhelming, you can use the following quick tip calculator:

Multiply the treatment cost by the desired tip percentage in decimal form. 

(A 15% tip would be .15)

For example, if the skincare treatment was $200 and you want to tip 15%…

You’d multiply 200 x .15 = 30. 

That means you’d tip the esthetician $30. 

And your total cost for treatment would be $230.

To tip 20%, the calculation would be 200 x .20 = 40. 

Which means you’d give the facialist an extra $40 for excellent service.

And the total cost of that facial would be $240. 

How to Tip an Esthetician 


Tipping in cash is the traditional method – and the best way to tip any service provider. 

When you tip in cash, the entire tip goes to the esthetician. 

Credit or Debit Card

Tipping via credit or debit card is also normal. 

It’s easy to add a tip onto the final receipt, or tap to pay and add a tip on the screen. 

However, this tip must be included in end-of-year income reports, so it may be taxed. 

That means not all of your tip goes directly to the esthetician. 

It’s also subject to payment processing fees.

Peer-to-peer payment apps 

Many estheticians take tips (and sometimes, full payment for services) via Venmo, Cash App, or Zelle. 

While it’s super convenient for everyone, it’s also a bit sketchy. 

These peer-to-peer payment apps weren’t originally meant for business transactions, and developers are cracking down on payment fees and taxes. 

Here’s why you should stop tipping on these payment apps, especially Venmo. 

Should You Tip for Facials at a Medical Spa?

You might go to a medical spa to receive facials that require medical-grade technology or advanced skills. 

For example: Chemical peels or the Vampire facial (a platelet-rich plasma PRP facial), which uses your blood to rejuvenate the skin’s appearance.

But, they’re still facials…

So, should you tip for facials at a medspa?

Here’s the deal:

Medical spas are a hybrid medical clinic and day spa. They do offer more common beauty services like facials, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. 

But they also offer more invasive beauty treatments, like CoolSculpting, Botox, fat reduction, and hair restoration.

That’s because, despite offering similar services as an esthetician, medical spas are often owned and operated by medical professionals.

So, if you get a facial at a medspa, it’s likely being done by a nurse or doctor, like a dermatologist. 

It could even be a medical-trained esthetician.

Either way, it’s not proper etiquette to tip a medical professional, even at a medspa for a facial.

“When it comes to medical aesthetic treatments, such as Botox and fillers, there’s no need for tips,” Trinity Esthetics, a holistic medical spa in Evergreen, CO, posted in an Instagram caption.

“We don’t expect them, and most [of] the time, we don’t feel good about taking them. 

We are providing a medical treatment, and we know they are expensive, so no need to tip.”

Tipping might not even be accepted at some medspa clinics. 

If you receive a facial from a medical professional, like a dermatologist or nurse, do not tip them.

Final Thoughts on Tipping for a Facial

Tipping your facialist or esthetician is a thoughtful gesture that acknowledges their expertise, hard work, and dedication. 

By considering the quality of the facial, treatment type, and client-esthetician relationship, you can determine an appropriate tip amount. 

Remember, tipping is just one way to show appreciation, so always offer your gratitude and compliments as well.

You’ll find hundreds of incredible estheticians and facialists on Schedulicity.

Click below to find a beauty professional near you!