Some beauty salons in NSW are failing to follow safe hygiene practices resulting in disastrous skin infections.
A number of beauty salon customers have recently presented to their GPs with a range of skin infections, including staph, after undergoing routine procedures such as manicures, pedicures, waxing and lip injections.
Channel 9’s A Current Affair highlighted the issue in a recent episode that featured three clients, including Brooke McCartney (pictured), who were left with various infections after visiting a Western Sydney salon.
Julie Cant, a business owner from Pennant Hills, told The Newsroom she was left with significant skin burns after receiving a lip and eyebrow wax from her local beauty salon a day before departing on a holiday.
A newly-trained beautician left the wax on Mrs Cant’s skin for “way too long” causing the skin to be “red, burnt and a browny purplish colour after a few days”.
“I went up to Byron Bay quite swollen and burnt and I thought, ‘This is great, I’m on holidays’,” she said.
“I couldn’t hide it and even when I got home you could still see the scarring of it.”
Mrs Cant returned to the beauty salon after her holiday and informed the salon owner of the incident. She received an apology but no compensation.
“It was a genuine mistake on her part but I still, as a business owner, would have offered something, particularly for a long-standing client if an accident did happen.”
Mrs Cant said she would not be returning to the beauty salon.
Sydney beauty therapist Dezi Nico told The Newsroom that despite Australia’s “strict standards” many salons “cut corners”.
“People go there to save $5 and come out paying a bigger bill at their doctors and their pharmacy,” she said.
Complaints about beauty salon hygiene and unsafe practices is nothing new, with The Australian Professional Fingernail Association receiving about 15 complaints per month.
Most complaints relate to the salons’ inability to meet the requirements of the Public Health Regulation, which can result in skin infections including, in more serious cases, Hepatitis C.
In order to maintain hygiene standards, beauty professionals must abide by the Public Health Regulation, 2012 when carrying out routine procedures.
The regulation states that the equipment used must be in “good working order” and the area should be sterilised and clean at all times to prevent contamination of liquids and powders.
Beauticians should also wash their hands before and after each client and change gloves between clients.
The Association of Professional Aestheticians of Australia (APAA) aims to educate beauty therapists about the regulations associated with beauty therapy and promote high standards.
The APAA also provides an education program that highlights key aspects of personal and professional integrity.
Michaela Roberts, an experienced beauty therapist from Western Sydney, said most beauticians would be aware of these standards.
“There have been protocols put in place for a very long time,” she said.
Ms Roberts said stand-alone salons should provide a clientele consultation form that works as a waiver for the beauty salon if an incident does occur.
“We have inspectors come through our salon twice a year and they go over us with a fine-tooth comb to make sure that we are doing everything safely,” Ms Roberts said.
“If you’re doing everything right and following the correct procedures and asking questions before you perform treatments you shouldn’t have any problems.” – Story by Madeleine Wilson and Vivien Wickham, video by Lisa Solinareos
Photo of Brooke McCartney from Facebook.