Beauty Industry Hygiene Practices

DisclaimerPlease Read

This training is a general guide to salon and clinic workplace hygiene. This guide does not take into account your specific state or country requirements nor does it consider any legal or regulatory requirements your business must uphold. This guide also does not take into consideration COVID-19 infection control practices.

Beauty salon/clinic owners and employees have a responsible to implement and maintain exceptional hygiene standards at their premises and during the delivery of treatments. To avoid any concerns relating to items such as cross-infection, salon/clinic staff must ensure that all tools, equipment, premises and materials that are being used during treatments are not only kept immaculately clean but germ-free too. Also, establish sanitary principles and follow them at all times. A hygienic and sanitary salon/clinic ensures clients are confident in the services being offered and the premises. 

Why is hygiene crucial in the successful operation of a beauty clinic/salon?

Hygiene is a collection of practices that are in place to prevent infection and, at the same time, preserve the health and wellbeing of your clients, you and your staff. This series of actions include personal, communal and environmental hygiene practices. By developing these practices and therefore creating a hygienic environment in the beauty salon/clinic has a direct influence on the welfare of workers and clients’ alike.

To protect the wellbeing of your clients, your staff, yourself and the public in general, you should apprise yourself on all relevant standard hygiene practices that are to be enforced in a salon/clinic environment. Keep in mind that in creating and maintaining a hygienic, safe and germ-free salon/clinic you add to the success of your business.

General Workplace Hygiene Procedures

  • Premises are to be kept clean and in a hygienic condition at all times.
  • All treatment areas must be cleaned after each client.
  • To stop cross-contamination, all liquids such as creams and inks must be placed into single-use containers. Also, a single-use applicator must be used for each client receiving the treatment.
  • If wax is used for a treatment, the wax and any applicator (such as a spatula) must be disposed of immediately after the treatment.
  • Any sterile packaging must be opened just prior to commencement of the treatment.
  • Sterile equipment that penetrates the skin should not be touched. (If handling is necessary, all necessary precautions should be taken e.g. a sterile alcohol swab or sterile single-use gloves should be used).

What do I need to consider when providing hygiene facilities?

You must ensure there are adequate and accessible facilities to achieve good hygiene and that they are in good working order, are clean and are otherwise safe.  

You may need to provide additional washing facilities, change rooms, and food facilities. You must also assess whether there are a enough number of handwashing and drying stations in handy places to sustain the growth in personnel practising good hygiene.

If hand washing facilities are limited, you may need to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer in strategic locations such as entry and exits.

Toilet paper, soap, water, and drying facilities must be adequately stocked in restrooms (preferably single-use paper towels). They must also be kept clean and in good functioning order.

Personal hygiene for beauticians

  • During a skin penetration procedure or any treatment that may result in contact with bodily fluids, the treating theripist must wear a clean gown or apron and single use gloves.
    Hands should be washed before and after touching a client when leaving and entering the premises.
    • prior to and following a treatment/procedure
    • following contact with a bodily fluid
    • after making contact with a client and surfaces
    • after the gloves have been removed
    • for more information on how to wash your hands, see Hand Hygiene.
  • Cuts and wounds should be completely covered with a waterproof bandage or strips.
  • Gloves should be worn over bandages when there are cuts or wounds on the hands.

Typical Systems to Avoid Cross Infection

Cross-contamination occurs either by a person to person contact or through indirect contact via a contaminated object. To prevent the occurrence of cross-infection, here are rules you must follow at your salon/clinic:

  • Have a clear understanding to recognise signs of infection
  • Avoid contact with an infected person that may put clients at risk.
  • Regular sanitisation of treatment areas and work stations is essential. 
  • Present clients with a fresh clean towel and/or gown during treatments. 
  • Always wash hands before, during, and after treatments with each client. 
  • Clean and sterilise tools, equipment, surfaces and machines in between each client. 
  • Wear protective items during treatments such as gloves, apron, gown and mask where required. 
  • Correct disposal of waste is a necessity. Dispose of all wastes in a lined trash bin during treatment. 
  • Drinking and eating should be prohibited inside the salon. 

The Difference Between Sanitation and Sterilisation?

Sanitation refers to actions that clean and eliminate dirt in order to reduce contamination. Sanitation practises promote cleanliness but do not completely eliminate microorganisms.

Sterilisation, on the other hand, refers to measures that successfully eradicate microorganisms in order to create a sterile environment.

What precautions should be taken and followed in the salon/clinic?

In a clinic/salon, to enforce sanitation and sterilisation practises.


  • Hands should be washed with antibacterial or disinfectant soap.
  • Disinfect and antiseptic products should be used on equipment and workstations.


  • For proper operation, immerse tools in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • An auto-clave is a device that functions similarly to a pressure cooker. It is a piece of equipment that is commonly used in salons to sterilise metal and glass tools. The entire autoclave process takes approximately 11 to 15 minutes.

Hand Washing and Personal Hygiene

Throughout the day, the hands come into direct contact with a variety of objects. Other parts of the body come into contact with external items, either directly or indirectly. Hands, on the other hand, pose the greatest health risk if not frequently sanitised.

Everyone should wash their hands with soap and water at least once a day for at least 20 seconds and dry them completely, preferably with clean, single-use paper towels. If paper towels are not available, other methods such as electric hand dryers can be used; however, hands must still be completely dried.

Everyone is required to wash and dry their hands:

  • before and after eating
  • coughing or sneezing
  • going to the toilet
  • changing tasks and touching potentially contaminated surfaces

When it is not possible to wash hands, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Day-to-day activities in a salon entail coming into contact with potentially contaminated people and objects. Cross-contamination is a risk if your hands aren’t clean. As a result, it is critical to clean your hands frequently throughout the shift, especially when leaving and returning to the salon and, most importantly, in between clients. Remember to keep the wash area clean and sanitary.

It is critical to use an anti-bacterial product that contains skin moisturising agents so that your hands are not irritated or dehydrated as a result of regular washing.

If your treatment involves direct skin contact, especially with the hands or feet, make sure the clients thoroughly wash or are washed before treatment. After washing, wipe the hands and feet with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Sanitisers provide additional protection not only for employees but also for customers.

Everyone in the workplace must practise good hygiene at all times:

  • Coughs and sneezes should be covered with an elbow or a clean tissue (and no spitting).
  • Keep your hands away from their face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Tissues and cigarette butts should be disposed of in a sanitary manner, such as in closed bins.
  • Before and after smoking a cigarette, they should thoroughly wash and dry their hands.
  • After each use, clean and disinfect shared equipment and plant, including client service stations and seating.
  • Every day, thoroughly wash your body, hair (including facial hair), and clothes.
  • Shaking hands and patting backs are examples of intentional physical contact. Workers should tie back their hair to keep it from touching the client.

Keep work surfaces hygienic

To avoid cross-infection, it is critical that work surfaces in the salon be cleaned on a regular basis. Keeping work surfaces clean, organised, and tidy improves the appearance of a salon or clinic.

Invest in high-quality cleaning products to ensure the highest level of hygiene effectiveness. Professional-grade cleaning products designed to clean and disinfect specific types of work surfaces. Disinfectant wipes are a must-have in your salon cleaning arsenal because they remove small particles like dust and allergens. Spray disinfectants or refillable spray bottles for cleaning products can also be used for a more practical cleaning solution in areas that require them.

Phones and keyboards, which are commonly used by all personnel and clients, are excellent hosts for microorganisms. It is also critical to clean these items with disinfectants.

How do you clean salon chairs and beds?

Salon chairs and beds are typically made of PVC or vinyl. These surfaces are popular in salons and clinics because they are long-lasting and easy to clean. It is critical to use a cleaning product that can safely clean PVC and vinyl. Alcohol-based cleaning agents should not be used on these materials because they can damage the material and cause cracking. Cracked surfaces cannot be disinfected properly and become breeding grounds for bacteria. To protect your clients’ health and safety, any chairs with cracked surfaces should be replaced or recovered.

Chairs and couches must be cleaned on a regular basis. When bacteria or infection from one client is not thoroughly removed from surfaces between clients, it can spread to the next. To prevent cross-infection, thorough cleaning practises should be implemented in the salon.

How to sanitise and sterilize beauty instruments and tools

All beauty instruments and tools should be sanitised on a regular basis and between clients. It is a legal requirement to sterilise tools that come into direct contact with the skin every time they are used.

When it comes to hygiene and sterilisation, it is critical that you do not cut corners. On cleaning equipment and tools, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and regulations.

It is not difficult to establish and implement first-rate hygiene practises in a salon, but it is critical to your business and the safety of your employees and clients. Not only will your salon look better, but it will also be a safer place for both staff and customers.

It is important you do not cut corners when it comes to hygiene and sterilisation. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and regulations on cleaning equipment and tools. 

Establishing and implementing first-rate hygiene practices in a salon is not difficult but it is essential to your business and the safety of your staff and clients. Not only will your salon look more attractive, but it will also be a safer place for staff and clients.

Any equipment on the premises must be in good working order, clean and dry after use, and kept clean and dry.

  • If reusable items are sterilised on-site, they must be sterilised using a bench-top steriliser that meets your state or country’s regulations. Benchtop sterilisers – steam (At least one person who is adequately trained in the operation of the bench-top steriliser must be present when the steriliser is used.)
  • Sterilisation must be performed in accordance with your state or country’s regulations – reprocessing of reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, as well as the maintenance of the associated environment.
  • In accordance with your state or country’s regulations, equipment must be thoroughly cleaned (e.g., by scrubbing, using an instrument washer, and/or ultrasonic cleaner) before being processed through a bench-top steriliser.
  • Before using a bench-top steriliser, all instruments should be wrapped and packaged. This will keep the pack sterile and allow for aseptic removal of the contents at the time of use. This requirement is waived if items are used immediately after passing through a bench-top steriliser.
  • Equipment that is difficult to clean and sterilise should be used only once and then discarded (single-use only).
  • If needles are used in any skin penetration procedure, they must be single-use and disposed of in a sharps container that meets your state or country’s regulations. Reusable containers for sharps collection in human and animal medical applications, or AS 4031 – 1992 Containers that cannot be reused for the collection of sharp medical items used in health care settings.
  • Articles used in a skin penetration procedure but which do not penetrate the skin must be thoroughly cleaned and kept clean.
  • Towels or other types of linen used for covering or protection during the procedure must be clean at the start of each treatment and not used for more than one client before being sanitised. Linen should be washed in hot water and detergent.

Hygiene and Your Clients

The behaviours of your clients will also have an impact on your workplace’s ability to control infection.

When scheduling appointments, inform clients of your expectations. If clients book over the phone, prepare a template for workers to read to the client. If your company offers beauty services in the comfort of your own home, you can use our phone and email scripts to help you communicate with clients. If you book online, include additional text in the booking confirmation outlining your expectations.

You could also send clients a text message a few days before the appointment asking them to reschedule if they or a close contact is ill.

You should also post signs in your shop front window (or other appropriate locations) informing customers of your expectations and instructing them not to enter the workplace if they or a close contact is ill.

Inform clients of the expected workplace hygiene standards when they arrive for their appointment.

This could include:

  • Before or upon arrival, they should wash and completely dry their hands.
  • When leaving or returning to the salon, they should wash their hands and completely dry them.
  • When you arrive, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • They are advised to limit the number of times they touch their phone and other personal items because they may unintentionally transfer germs to the workplace.
  • Only sit in the chairs and beds that have been assigned to you.
  • Avoid greetings that involve touching other clients or staff.
  • They only touch retail items that they want to buy.