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Personal appearance services like hairdressers, nail salons, beauty therapists and tattooists are regulated by the Public Health (Infection Control For Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003 (the Act).

The Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Regulation 2016 prescribes the infection control qualification required by the Act.

The Infection Control Guidelines for Personal Appearance Services 2012 to help minimise the risk of infection.

Read guidelines that have been prepared to help businesses and local government officers understand their respective responsibilities.

Higher risk personal appearance service businesses

Businesses that offer higher risk services, need to have a ‘higher risk personal appearance service’ licence, and operators need to have the following designated qualification to provide these services:

A higher risk personal appearance service involves any of the following skin penetration procedures, in which the release of blood or other body fluid is an expected result:

  • body piercing, other than closed ear or nose piercing
  • implanting natural or synthetic substances into a person’s skin (e.g. hair or beads)
  • scarring or cutting a person’s skin using a sharp instrument to make a permanent mark, pattern or design
  • tattooing (including cosmetic tattooing or semipermanent make-up)
  • tattoo removal (from 1 July 2016).

Non-higher risk personal appearance service businesses

Examples of non–higher risk personal appearance services include:

  • hairdressing
  • beauty therapy
  • closed ear or nose piercing.

Non-higher risk services still need to comply with the Act and the Regulation, they just do not need the additional licence.

Regulation of medicines and poisons

Cosmetic injections and pain relieving gels are scheduled medicines and require suitably qualified health practitioners to prescribe and administer them. Ensure that you are meeting the legislative requirements for any product you purchase or use in your business.

Products obtained over the internet that are not registered or listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods may not meet Australian quality and safety standards. If they contain ingredients that are scheduled medicines, then they are subject to the same laws as registered or listed medicines with regard to who is authorised to possess and use them.

Read more about Medicines and poisons legislation and information

Last updated: 8 February 2016