Codes of Practice


Hygiene is not so much a set of rules as an attitude of mind and common sense. The stricter the rules, the less risk there is of error causing complications.

In the Beauty Industry we are working in a close body contact situation where the risk of cross infection exists between the client and the therapist, as well as between the clients. Clients have a right to expect that in all such personal treatments there will be a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness of surfaces and instruments, and the washing of hands prior to treatment should become second nature. Remember that there are many infections that afflict client’s, which may not just be of AIDS proportions, but are nonetheless avoidable.

Hands; The therapist should always ensure that waterproof plasters cover any obvious cuts or abrasions on their hands. In addition, any obvious cuts or abrasions on the client in areas to be treated must be similarly covered or additional care taken in cleaning and disinfecting. The therapist should wash their hands before and after treatment.

The Appearance of the Therapist; A beauty therapist should be an example to her trade. A client will look to her therapist as a professional and this will be reflected not only in how she looks, but also her attitude and deportment.

A therapist is a reflection on the company in which she works. If a client does not feel satisfied with the hygiene of either the therapist or the salon, she is not likely to return.

Overall or uniform:

  • Should be worn at all times during working hours.
  • Should be clean and smell fresh, ideally a clean uniform should be worn each day.
  • Should not be decorated with anything other than a name badge or that of a professional organization to which the therapist is a member.
  • A disposable apron should be worn for each client to help reduce cross contamination and keep your uniform clean.


  • Should be clean and secured off the face.


  • Should be of a workable length.
  • If nail extensions are worn, these should be cleaned underneath every time you wash your hands and they should be of a decent length and shape so as not to piece your gloves.


  • No high heels to be worn for health and safety and comfort reasons.
  • You should have closed in back and no peep toes.
  • Should be clean. It is good practice to keep a pair of shoes in work and travel to and from work in outdoor shoes.

Personal Hygiene:

  • Deodorant should be worn at all times.
  • No heavy perfumes should be worn.
  • Smokers must take extra care with their personal hygiene. The smell of cigarette smoke clings to fingers, clothes and hair. Clients may find this offensive.
  • Be aware of fresh smelling breath. If having close contact with a client, avoid garlic and excessively spicy food the previous night. Face masks also help mask smells and allow you to work at close contact with your client.

Ergonomics (working environment)

  • Posture is important, whether you are sitting or standing up to do a treatment. Try to find a working position that is comfortable for you and reduces the need to lean over to just one side.
  • Using height adjustable treatment couches and chairs. Choose a height that reduces your need for bending over the client. Ideally your back should be at a 90-degree angle. Your chair should be comfortable to avoid pressure point sores or injury.
  • Try to avoid twisting the neck, keep your head upright and keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Never ignore pain, look at ways to alleviate the symptoms. If you cannot take a break during a treatment, then you can adopt gentle stretching techniques.
  • Repetitive strain injuries can be caused by using the same movements over and over again. Try to avoid repetitive flexing of the wrist and instead alternate by bending elbows or shoulders instead. Equipment should feel comfortable in your hand and have as minimal vibration as possible.

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) At Work Regulations (2002)
This requires employers to identify activities which require special protective clothing, which must then be made available.

Protective clothing being;

  • Uniform
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Disposable Polythene apron
  • Disposable face masks
  • Disposable hair net
  • Glasses (laser treatments)