​Waxing is a procedure that penetrates the skin, so infection control practices need to be in place to prevent infections spreading from one person to another.

Last updated: 01 September 2022
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About this fact sheet

Waxing is a procedure that is used to temporarily remove hair from a person’s body. Body hair accumulates microorganisms (germs) and removing the hair with wax also removes these microorganisms, upper skin layers, blood and wound scabs.

Wax used in the hair removal procedure is contaminated and if the wax is reused or cross contamination occurs, it can lead to bacterial infections such as staphylococcal, streptococcal and folliculitis.

Businesses can find rules for skin penetration procedures in the Public Health Regulation 2022 (the Regulation).

Equipment

  • All equipment needs to be in good working order, be cleaned and dried after use and kept in a clean and dry condition.
  • There must be enough single-use spatulas available for use to prevent double dipping.
  • Clean towels and linen must be used for each new client. Linen should be washed in detergent and hot water. If an impervious cover is used (such as plastic), it must be cleaned and disinfected before it is used for each new client.

Business hygiene

  • The business is to be kept in a clean and hygienic condition.
  • Treatment areas such as benches should be cleaned between each client and/or a clean covering placed over the treatment surface.
  • The business should have documented cleaning and maintenance procedures for the fixtures, fittings and equipment, and staff are trained in these procedures.
  • All waste should be tightly bagged and disposed of daily.
  • To prevent cross contamination, all liquids, and creams need to be decanted into single-use containers, and a new single-use applicator used for each person.
  • The wax and any instrument used to apply the wax (spatula, roller or cartridge) must be immediately disposed of after completing the procedure (no double dipping).
  • Do not apply wax to broken skin or over an area where blood has been drawn.
  • Melting down, reheating and filtering wax does not destroy or remove bacteria and viruses which may be present on a client's skin. Wax must not be reused on another client.

Personal hygiene for beauticians

  • If the person performing the waxing procedure thinks that they could be exposed to blood or other bodily substances, they must wear a clean gown or apron and single-use gloves.
  • Cuts or wounds should be covered with sealed waterproof bandages.
  • Hands should be washed:
    • before and after attending to a client
    • before and after a procedure
    • after exposure to a body substance
    • after touching a client’s surroundings
    • after the removal of gloves.
  • See the Hand Hygiene Australia website for information on how to wash your hands.

Other requirements

  • The business must be registered with the local council, meet all necessary planning and building standards, and have all necessary approvals before opening.
  • The business should be designed and constructed so that it can be easily and correctly cleaned (see fact sheet Skin penetration business design and construction). Contact the local council to ensure all local rules have been met.
  • When waxing the eyebrows, single-use eye pads may be used to protect the eyes.
  • If warm or hot waxing is used, the operator should ensure that the wax will not cause burns to the client.

Fees and penalties

Further action may be taken if a business fails to comply with the Regulation. This may include:

  • An Improvement Notice or Prohibition Order accompanied by an administration fee ranging from $285 to $295.
  • Penalty notices ranging from $110 to $1100 for an individual and $220 to $2200 for a corporation. Maximum penalties are higher for prosecutions and may include a daily penalty.
  • If a Prohibition order is issued, the business must display a copy at or near the entrance to the business where it is clearly visible to customers.
  • Prohibition Order reinspections attract a fee of $255 per hour with a minimum charge of 30 minutes and a maximum charge of 2 hours.

Further advice

Current as at: Thursday 1 September 2022
Contact page owner: Environmental Health