As society strives to look younger and cosmetic procedures become more mainstream, this raises a question which asks “What is the minimum age for beauty treatments and services?”
You might think to yourself – “Well, there isn’t”.
But given that some beauty services can be quite invasive, there lies the question of what is socially and morally responsible.
Let’s digress for a moment. There was recently the case where Kmart was selling G strings and padded bras for ten-year-old girls. Socially and morally this didn’t align with society’s expectations and Kmart soon withdrew the line.
Some services like Body Piercing are regulated throughout Australia.
In Western Australia, you have to be at least 18 years of age. In the rest of the states of Australia, you have to be at least 16 years of age. In addition, there are strict guidelines on photo identification and salons have to keep accurate records to demonstrate that they have done all they can to not pierce minors. Download your piercing consent form here.
Salons like Essential Beauty that have been piercing for over 20 years have had to shift the way they pierce young people because of this new legislation. 20 years ago, there was no legislation.
So what about Beauty services in general? There is no minimum age requirement, but again what is morally and socially responsible?
Some services like XXX Brazilian waxing are quite invasive involving waxing of the labia and in between the bottom.
However, for a young girl where hair can be quite an embarrassing problem, then why can’t she have this service?
At the same time however, more permanent solutions like IPL / laser do need regulation/parental consent because of a number of reasons.
Firstly being a more permanent option with regards to hair removal, a minor should and must have parental consent. Further, a minor may not have fully developed and so therefore the treatment is not as effective as it could be if the minor was a young adult. We have a responsibility to protect these young people and it starts at home.
At the time of writing this blog, the medical board of Australia which has supreme power to register and deregister medical practitioners in Australia, was considering options with respect to “cooling off periods” for people under the age of 18 before undertaking cosmetic procedures even with parental consent. Submissions were asked to be received by the board with a closing date of late June 2015. The submissions also called for opinions on the administering of S4 drugs like Botox via internet consultations like Skype.
Some Beauty services like IPL / laser fall under this umbrella also, so beauty services and treatments will be affected.
So what’s happening in the meantime?
In the meantime responsible salons like Essential Beauty mentioned earlier are using their discretion and “What is the right thing to do”. A minor who is present with their parent who wants an invasive beauty procedure done and who can furnish identification, is generally allowed to have the service.
But watch this space.
It is a rapidly changing world and as we yearn to look and feel our very best, we realise that some beauty salon procedures are actually permanent and can’t be reversed. We will see greater regulation of laws associated with cosmetic procedures and beauty treatment and services in the future.