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Skin penetration procedures

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Skin penetration procedures are defined under the Public Health Act 2010 to mean any procedure that penetrates the skin or declared by the Public Health Regulation 2022 as being a skin penetration procedure which can include, but not limited to:

  • body and ear piercing,
  • colonic lavage,
  • Any waxing,
  • cuticle cutting in manicures or pedicures,
  • body modifications e.g., scarification,
  • Tattooing,
  • Acupuncture or Dry Needling, and
  • Any treatments which involve deliberate penetration or removal of the skin, such as microdermabrasion, micro-needling (e.g., derma rolling) and extractions during facials.

Note: this does not include any procedure carried out by a health practitioner registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, or by a person acting under the direction or supervision of a registered health practitioner, while providing a health service.

Development Consent is required for the operation of a business that will be providing skin penetration procedures. If you’re thinking of an opening a beauty salon or skin penetration business Councils planning team can assist you with any queries regarding the development application process or requirements.

Commercial Premises

All beauty salons and other premises where skin penetration activities will be carried out have a legal obligation to notify Council and are routinely inspected to ensure their compliance with the Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2022. You can notify Council by completing a Public Health Registration Form and forwarding to or dropping it to your nearest office.

Home Business

If you are proposing to operate a skin penetration business from home, the same requirements will apply. You will need to notify Council of your business by completing and returning a Public Health Registration Form. Please check with Council if you are carrying out any works or alterations to your home to verify if a development application is necessary for the proposed building works or alterations in addition to the proposed use as skin penetration business.

Routine Inspections

Councils qualified environmental health officers conduct routine inspections of beauty services that carry out Skin Penetration procedures to ensure they comply with current legislative requirements. They will be inspecting the following;

  • Cleanliness of the premises,
  • Fit-out and construction of the premises
  • Provision of facilities and equipment for cleaning, sterilising, hand washing, and storage
  • Waste storage and disposal including sharps and contaminated waste,
  • Current skin penetration procedures being provided ,
  • Hygiene standards,
  • Practices including cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of reusable equipment, and
  • Records for autoclave if required.

Public Health Requirements

Division 2 of the Public Health Regulation 2022 details the minimum requirements for premises where skin penetration procedures are carried out. Please see Councils factsheet Opening a Beauty Salon or Skin Penetration Premises available here to see the minimum construction and fit out requirements for a skin penetration premises.

Any equipment at premises where skin penetration procedures are carried out must be in good working order, be cleaned and dried after use and be kept in a clean and dry condition. All reusable articles used to penetrate a person’s skin for skin penetration procedures must be sterilized before each use, whether at the premises or off-site.


In addition to routine health inspections, our Environmental Health Officers are able to investigate consumer complaints where there is concern for public health and safety.

Complaints may be of the nature of unhygienic practices, uncleanliness, unsterile equipment being used or pest activity. Complaints can be made by contacting our Customer Service team on 1300 HILLTOPS or

Please be aware that our role is to ensure compliance with the regulations. Council does not provide any legal advice and does not seek compensation on behalf of customers.

Further Information

Please contact our Environmental Health Team at Council for further information call 1300 HILLTOPS or email

Useful Links

NSW Health fact sheets detailing beauty and skin penetration procedures may be found here.