Skin Penetration, Beauty and Hairdressing

The Public Health Act 2010 (PHA) and Public Health Regulation 2012 (PHR) regulates body decorating and grooming practices that may penetrate the skin of a person in a skin penetration procedure and are carried out by non-registered health practitioners, including but not limited to, the following skin penetration procedures:

  • Needle therapy/Dry needling
  • Waxing
  • Electrolysis
  • Body, nose and ear piercing
  • Colonic lavage
  • Injectables
  • Tattooing (Body art and Cosmetic)
  • Nail treatments
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Derma-roller
  • Wet Cupping

 The PHR specifies procedures to prevent disease transmission, requires operators to be registered with the local council and empowers Environmental Health Officers to carry out inspections.

 Procedures carried out by Registered Medical Practitioners & Acupuncturists are regulated by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and not by Council.

Strict infection control practices are essential for all skin penetration service providers. Infection control and training information can be found via NSW Health Infection Control Videos.

Skin penetration premises require a Complying Development Certificate or Development Consent prior to commencement.

Fit-out requirements;

Skin Penetration Premises fit-out requirements can be found in the link below;

PUBLIC HEALTH REGULATION 2012 - REG 23 - Premises must be properly equipped

Hairdressing and Non-Skin Penetration Businesses

Hairdressing and other body decorating and grooming practices which do not pierce the skin are regulated under the Local Government Act 1993 and the Local Government General Regulation 2005. These businesses include:

  • Hairdressing/barbers;
  • Laser hair/tattoo removal.
  • Threading

Hairdressing/barber services and other non-skin penetration beauty premises in commercial areas require a Complying Development Certificate or Development Consent prior to commencement.

Fit-out requirements;

Hairdressing and non-skin penetration premises fit-out requirements can be found in the link below;


Home Skin Penetration, Beauty and Hairdressing Businesses

Hairdressing/barber services, beauty and skin penetration businesses operating from home have the same responsibilities as those businesses in commercial premises.

Skin penetration home businesses require Development Consent from Council before they can operate.


You can notify Council of the following: 

  • New businesses 
  • Change of ownership
  • Update of business details 
  • Change of services 

Using Councils Notification Form.

An inspection by Council’s Environmental Health Officers should also be undertaken prior to the commencement of business.



Council has an educational and regulatory role in ensuring public health safety. Council’s Environmental Health Officers undertake inspections of Skin penetration, hairdressing and beauty premises to ensure compliance with the public health standards and to protect the health and safety of the public.

Frequency of inspections depends on the risk classification of the premises which can be determined by a number of factors including type of procedures carried out and equipment used.

Whilst carrying out inspections, Council’s Environmental Health Officers focus on a wide range of issues including;

  • Cleanliness and effective sterilisation;
  • Correct use of equipment
  • Good hygiene procedures by staff;
  • Skills and knowledge of staff;
  • Maintenance of premises and equipment.

A fee is charged for inspections in accordance with Council’s fees and charges schedule on Council’s fees and charges webpage.

Council’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy outlines regulatory action Council can take including issue of written warnings, Improvement Notices, Prohibition Orders, Penalty Notices and Prosecution.

Sterilisation of Reusable Equipment

The PHR provides details on the re-use of equipment used in a skin penetration procedure (excluding needles as these must be treated as single use only), including sterilisation between each use in a bench top steam steriliser (autoclave) and appropriate records being kept;


(1) All reusable articles used to penetrate a person's skin for skin penetration procedures must be sterilised, whether at the premises or off-site.

(2) If reusable articles are sterilised at the premises--

     (a) a bench top autoclave, maintained in accordance with AS 2182-1998Sterilizers--Steam--Benchtop , must be used, and

     (b) there must be at least one person present at the time the autoclave is used who is adequately trained in the operation of the autoclave, and

     (c) the sterilisation must be carried out in accordance with AS/NZS 4815:2006Office-based health care facilities--Reprocessing of reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, and maintenance of the associated environment .

(3) If reusable articles are sterilised at the premises, the occupier of the premises must make, and keep for at least 12 months, a record of--

     (a) the time and date when each article was sterilised, and

     (b) the length of time that the article was autoclaved and the temperature and pressure levels of the autoclave.

 Council has developed a sterilisation record keeping book to assist businesses with their record keeping requirements.

A template has been provided below so that you can print copies and ensure that you maintain appropriate records at all times. Sterilisation Record Keeping Book 

Use of Needles

The PHR provides details on the use of needles including single use requirement and immediate disposal after use.


(1) A person who carries out a skin penetration procedure must not use a needle that has previously been used in a skin penetration procedure.

(2) A person who uses a needle in a skin penetration procedure must dispose of the needle in the appropriate sharps container immediately after completing the procedure.

Clinical and Sharps Waste Requirements

The definition of 'clinical and related waste' under Schedule 1 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 includes clinical waste, cytotoxic waste, pharmaceutical, drug or medicine waste, and sharps waste.

"Clinical waste" means any waste resulting from medical, nursing, dental, pharmaceutical, skin penetration or other related clinical activity, being waste that has the potential to cause injury, infection or offence, and includes waste containing any of the following--

     (a) human tissue (other than hair, teeth and nails),

     (b) bulk body fluids or blood,

     (c) visibly blood-stained body fluids, materials or equipment,

     (d) laboratory specimens or cultures,

     (e) animal tissue, carcasses or other waste from animals used for medical research,

but does not include any such waste that has been treated by a method approved in writing by the Director-General of the Department of Health.

"Sharps waste" means any waste collected from designated sharps waste containers used in the course of business, commercial or community service activities, being waste resulting from the use of sharps for any of the following purposes--

     (a) human health care by health professionals and other health care providers,

     (b) medical research or work on cadavers,

     (c) veterinary care or veterinary research,

     (d) skin penetration or the injection of drugs or other substances for medical or non-medical reasons,

but does not include waste that has been treated on the site where it was generated (and to a standard specified in an EPA Gazettal notice) or waste that has been treated by a method approved in writing by NSW Health.

Clinical waste must be disposed into a clinical waste bin.

Clinical and sharps waste must be collected by a licensed waste contractor.


Complaints relating to unhygienic practices and an unclean premises can be made to Council on  02 4654 7777.

Complaints regarding the standards of care and treatment provided to patients, and/or the professional conduct of health practitioners can be made to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) who can be contacted on 02 9219 7444  or via email at The Commission considers complaints about health services and health practitioners in NSW.

Useful Links

NSW Health Website factsheet and video links

For more information regarding the beauty and skin penetration industries, the South Western Sydney Local Health District Public Health Unit can provide further assistance on 8738 3000 or you can contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 02 4654 7777.

Should you require further information in relation to Planning matters, including Development Application (DA) or Complying Development Application (CDA) you can contact Council’s Duty Planner on 02 4654 7777.