In the beauty industry we are dealing 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. For the safety of the therapists and clients, the salon should be kept as hygienic as possible at all times to avoid cross infection. To achieve this, having clean work surfaces, clean and sterilized equipment and good personal hygiene is essential and must be maintained at a high standard at all times.

Most infections can be avoided with good hygiene and this will also boost the reputation of the therapist, the salon and avoid any unwanted infections.

The therapist should be familiar with the following hygiene principles:
Clean Hands –

The therapist should wash their hands thoroughly in-between clients and
ensure that waterproof plasters cover any obvious cuts or abrasions on the hands. In addition, any obvious cuts or abrasions on the client in areas that may be treated must be similarly covered. The therapist should wash their hands before and after the treatment.

Continuous Hygiene –
Surgical spirit is useful for cleaning skin, instruments and surfaces to
remove grease and organic matter – a concentration of 70% alcohol should be considered minimal for most purposes. Items such as blankets, towels and headbands have been commonly used and cleansed by washing. A blanket used to wrap the beauty couch for the client should be separated from body contact by towelling or paper. Any headbands or couch covers are washed after single use, or paper to be thrown away and replaced for the next client.

Ventilation –

Appropriate ventilation is necessary at all times in the salon environment to ensure client comfort and safety, as well as lengthened exposure to the glue fumes for the therapist. A balance must be struck between the desirable head and humidity levels and sufficient ventilation for maximum client comfort. Minor infections, such as the common cold can be greatly reduced in effect when there is adequate ventilation.

Appropriate Footwear –
The therapist should never remove his or her shoes. Likewise, clients should wear
foot coverings at all times in order to minimalist the risk of infections from undiagnosed athletes foot to verrucae. Clients with these infections should not present themselves for where there is a risk of cross contamination, so it is very important to cover the couch entirely in paper from top to bottom and replace for every client.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) –
A new pair of disposable gloves should be put on immediately before each client
if required, and a disposable apron is advisable to protect clothing. Both should be disposed of directly after the treatment. Hands must be washed before you put on the gloves and immediately after you have removed and disposed of the gloves.

How to hygienically remove disposable gloves after use:

  1. Hold your right hand out with the palm facing up.
  2. Pinch a portion of the glove that covers the inside of your wrist on your right hand. Use the thumb and index finger of your left hand.
  3. Gently pull the glove down about half way over your palm, revealing the inside of the glove. Do not completely remove the glove. Let go of the glove after you pull it down over the palm.
  4. Use your right thumb and index finger to repeat these steps on your left hand. This time, you will pinch the outside of the glove above the inner portion of your left wrist and completely remove the glove on the left hand. Continue holding the left glove with your right thumb and index finger.
  5. Pull up a portion of the right glove with your bare left thumb and index finger. Touch only the inside portion of the glove that has already been revealed.
  6. Remove the right glove by pulling down with your left thumb and index finger. As you pull down, the left glove that has already been removed should fold up inside the right hand glove.
  7. Dispose of the rubber gloves in a proper container. Gloves that were in contact with certain substances, e.g. chemicals and bodily fluids, cannot be thrown away in public trash receptacles.