(Proudly providing Cosmetic Tattoo services within the bayside region, Melbourne, Victoria Australia)


Put some color in your life!

Standards & Hygiene

Share/Save/Bookmark Bookmark This Page

Clients will sometimes ask how some service providers are able to offer treatments at a price that is noticeably cheaper than the industry average, my answer is that the majority of the clients that I see who request corrective work, have had their initial cosmetic tattooing done cheaply.

Having cheap substandard cosmetic tattooing is of course of great concern to a client particularly if the result is aesthetically unpleasant, but equally due concern should be given to the standards & hygiene provided during your procedure.

The first thing that you should know is that for convenience the government regulations and guidelines in Victoria which apply to Cosmetic Tattooing are predominantly the same as those that apply to the Body Art Tattooing industry. My belief is that performing cosmetic tattooing on the delicate structures of the face, such as the eyelid during an eyeliner procedure, is significantly different to, for example, tattooing a flower onto a persons upper arm. In my opinion the standard of care and hygiene for Cosmetic Tattooing should be more akin to a clinical procedure provided by your local doctor or registered nurse. For this reason the government regulations should be considered the minimum standard rather than the only required standard.

Within any salon environment objects that are touched by the client or Cosmetic Tattooist are potential sources of cross infection from one client to the next, for this reason great care must be taken with hygiene to minimise the risk of cross infection.

To assist my clients I have listed below a small sample of just a few areas where corners may be cut by some service providers in an attempt to reduce time and costs, and by comparison my own approach.

If you decide to opt for a cheap procedure it is important that you know where the cost savings may come from; using clinical grade supplies is more expensive for the tattooist but there are very good reasons for doing so.


My Practice


Versus Corner Cutting to Save Costs

I use clinical grade barrier wrap, the same wrap as would be used by your dentist.

With clinical barrier wrap no soak through was evident even after 5 days.

Magnifying lamps are commonly used by Cosmetic Tattooists during the procedure to check their tattooing.

In addition to cleaning and disinfecting the lamp body before and after each procedure a barrier wrap should be used to prevent the lamp from being contaminated when the tattooist touches the lamp during the procedure.

Clinical barrier wrap is much thicker and far less permeable to micro-organisms compared to kitchen cling wrap.

Kitchen cling wrap is permeable and therefore does not provide a good micro-organism barrier.

NB. Beware of cheap imitations of clinical grade wrap sourced from some Asian manufacturers as they may not comply with local standards for infection prevention due to permeability of the plastic.


You may find that kitchen grade cling wrap being used by some service providers to provide a contamination barrier to try and prevent cross infection.


In the demonstration above, water with red food colouring easily soaked through kitchen cling wrap suspended over a glass tumbler.

I use foot switches in all procedures.

During your procedure the Cosmetic Tattooist will need to turn the tattoo machine and the Mag lamp on and off several times. Touching switches with contaminated gloves is an obvious potential source of cross infection between clients.

Foot switches are a far more hygienic alternative.

Using hand switches for lamps and tattoo machines is quick and cheap, but also increases the risk of cross infection.

I use sterile surgical gloves during all procedures.

Health guidelines insist that a new pair of clean gloves are used for each Cosmetic Tattooing procedure, but they also recommend the use of sterile gloves over clean gloves.

Using sterile gloves during a procedure reduces the risk of post procedure infections in the tattooed skin.

Using clean gloves instead of sterile gloves during a procedure saves money but also increases the risk of infection.


I use single use sterile clinical dressing packs and aseptic technique during all procedures.


During a Cosmetic Tattooing procedure the Tattooist will need somewhere to place their procedure equipment.

Correct aseptic technique and using sterile working fields will reduce the risk of infections.

Many cosmetic tattooists do not have ready access to an autoclave so reuse of direct procedural items carries a risk to the client.

Using reusable containers such as kidney dishes instead of sterile disposables saves money but also increases the risk of infections.


I switched to Digital & Creatips

Click Here to read more!

After conducting a detailed comparative analysis I decided to switch to the most advanced Digital Machine available & Creatips Modules (needle chambers).

Manufactured in Germany by the worlds market leader in digital Cosmetic Tattoo technology it provides the highest quality and hygiene of any system available and is a technological leap above a standard Rotary Pen.

Click Here to read more

Of course a brand new sterile needle should be used for each procedure but other parts of the tattoo machine also provide a potential source of cross infection.

Some parts of the tattoo machine are difficult to sterilise and therefore some service providers may be tempted to wash, clean, and reuse disposable components such as transmission shafts.

Brand new sterile components are always individually wrapped.

I use a Digital Linelle Supreme and Creatips, the most advanced cosmetic tattoo system available.

Click Here to read more

Any Rotary Pen Machine should be stripped right down to the motor assembly and brand new sterile components should be used for every procedure. According to health guidelines these new packets should be opened in front of the client.

Reusing parts of the tattoo machine assembly may save money but it also increases the risk of cross infection between clients.

I use individually wrapped packs of clinical grade sterile gauze during every procedure.

During a procedure a Cosmetic Tattooist will need to wipe the tattooed area frequently, gauze is the best material for this purpose because it does not tend to leave strands sticking to the tattooed skin the way that for example cotton wool or other materials can.

Using sterile gauze to wipe over tattooed (punctured skin) surfaces will reduce the risk of infections.


Using un-sterile gauze, tissues or makeup wipes to clean punctured skin surfaces may save money but it also increases the risk of infections.


I use single use medical grade sterile saline sachets in all procedures.

During a procedure a Cosmetic Tattooist will need to moisten skin wipes with water to assist with cleaning the punctured skin surface and to reduce skin irritation that may be caused by using dry gauze. 

Saline solution is ubiquitously used by clinical staff worldwide due to it having isotonic harmony with bodily interstitial fluids and tissue.

Using sterile saline reduces the risk of infections and decreases the potential for damage to punctured skin which in turn increases the speed of healing.

Using tap water to clean a clients punctured skin may save money but it also increases the risk of infections and may delay the healing process especially if damage to deeper skin layers is caused by using a hypotonic solution that contains a range of contaminants.

I use a regulation clinical waste bin.

Cosmetic Tattooists will dispose of their used needles (sharps) into a regulation sharps container for correct disposal. All other procedural disposables should be discarded into a clinical waste bin for disposal by an approved service.

Correct waste disposal provides protection against cross infection for all clients and for others.

Disposal of clinical waste into the general rubbish may save money but it increases the risk of cross infections for both the client and others. It is also a breach of health regulations.

I carry the full range of Amiea German Manufactured Pigments that are subjected to rigorous DERMA TEST® testing for allergy prevention and safety.

You can be assured of a great range of colours to choose from to compliment your skin and hair colouring.

NB. If you want the ultimate in hygiene ask about our single use Amiea Monodose pigments.

The pigments used by a Cosmetic Tattooist are by design different to the pigments used by a body art tattooist. Products such as, henna, food dyes, inks and body art pigments should not be used for cosmetic tattooing.

In some countries there are very few if any regulations regarding the manufacture and supply of tattoo pigments, and at times lead has even been used by some pigment manufacturers.

It is important to ensure that your Cosmetic Tattooist is using appropriate pigments from reputable suppliers.

High quality cosmetic tattoo pigments can be expensive so there may be a temptation to use cheaper alternatives.

Costs may also be cut by only carrying a small range of colours which narrows your choice and may result in an unsuitable colour compromise.

Cheap pigments can be purchased via eBay for as little as $1 but who would want them tattooed into their skin?


Every procedure is tailored to the client for their particular requirements this includes adapting for their individual sensitivity to discomfort.

There are a variety of non medicating pain management techniques that I use to make a procedure more comfortable for my clients during any procedures and extra care is taken with clients who have low pain thresholds.

Topical anaesthetics are sometimes used by Cosmetic Tattooists to make a tattoo procedure more comfortable for clients and they can be very expensive.

To ensure the safety of a client it is important that any topical anaesthetics are used legally and appropriately.

For example Emla cream is inappropriate for use prior to cosmetic tattooing, it is alkaline and should never be used near the eyes because it could cause caustic burns and permanent damage to the eye.

Always make sure that safe topical anaesthetics used and obtained legally from a pharmacist.

Using too much topical anaesthetic can be harmful, using too little can cause excessive discomfort, using the wrong type can cause permanent damage.

Using occlusive wraps, external heating and ultrasonic stimulators to enhance the effect of poor quality anaesthetics can be very dangerous, if a cosmetic tattooist is using these methods they have not usig of anaesthetics safely.

Using topical anaesthetics manufactured overseas may not comply with Australian standards. Purchasing anaesthetics from an under the counter or unlicensed source is illegal and potentially dangerous.

Standard Pigment Cup Holder

My procedures have been audited by a highly experienced health practitioner to ensure that I am complying with "Best Practice" for infection prevention.

Every Cosmetic Tattooist has a responsibility to ensure that their procedural methodology is designed to minimise the risk of transmission of blood borne communicable diseases (BBCD).

Unfortunately bad practices can find their way into training courses and ultimately into the procedures that a technician adopts.

For example using a pigment ring instead of a standard pigment cup holder exposes the tattooist to a much higher risk of needle stick injury which could lead to transmission of a blood borne communicable disease.

Currently it is unknown how many practicing tattooists are carriers of BBCD's

It only takes one needle stick injury!

Pigment Rings Should Not Be Used

If a cosmetic tattooist is using a pigment ring its a fair indication that their procedures have not been adequately audited by an infection control expert. If risks are being taken in one area they may be taken in other areas too.

Taking unnecessary risks during a procedure demonstrates a lack of due care and it is just foolish when some sensible modifications to procedures can reduce risks substantially.

All my clients are required to complete a short medical disclosure questionnaire and a consultation is conducted to identify if what the client would like to achieve is feasible.

In some circumstances I will ask the client to seek medical approval from their doctor or specialist prior to providing a treatment.

Occasionally I will tell a client that I will not be able to provide a Cosmetic Tattooing service because of certain preclusions.

There are circumstances where it is inappropriate to provide a Cosmetic Tattooing service either because of the clients health status, or because of the law (e.g. under 18), or because the tattooist has reason to believe that the client is highly likely to suffer significant regret because they are requesting a very extreme type of tattooing service.

Providing a Cosmetic Tattooing service without due regard for contraindications and absolute preclusions is unethical.

All linen is changed after each client and strict cleaning & disinfecting procedures are followed after each client and at the end of each day.

If you want to know about my cleaning procedures just ask me.

Cleaning standards within a salon are often the part of hygiene that a client does not get to see. Correct cleaning of a salon has a substantial impact on reducing the risk of cross infections between clients.

A cosmetic tattooist should be able to clearly tell a client what their cleaning procedures are and the rationale for their procedures.


Cutting corners on salon cleaning can save time and money but it also increases the risk of cross infections. Even simple hygiene errors such as using a cleaning or disinfecting wipe across several surfaces can spread micro-organisms around a salon.

Asking how a salon is cleaned is your right.

A salons local health authority certificate of registration for Skin Penetration & or Tattooing Procedures and their most recent inspection report should always be available for you to view.

Here are the comments from my salons most recent health inspections, don't accept anything less!



Ever since we first developed, introduced to practice, and began teaching our superior procedural methodology for Cosmetic Tattooing within Australia there have been those who make flawed attempts to copy our methods and pass them off as their own,
don't be fooled. Our procedural doctrines and methodology are our own unique intellectual property.

My procedural doctrine was developed in conjunction with and audited a Registered Health Practitioner, any changes to equipment or procedures are supervised by, and formally re-audited by my health advisor who has 30 years of formal qualification and extensive experience in Clinical Procedures, Accident & Emergency, Occupational Health & Safety, Health Education, Infection Prevention and is a former St Johns Ambulance Honorary Lecturer.

Many of the Cosmetic Tattoo training service providers in Australia have no formal qualifications in any health discipline nor do they have any in house or any on site direct supervision by a Registered Health Practitioner and yet they may claim the capacity to teach students about anatomy and physiology, health preclusions & contraindications and infection control. Some are even illegally suppling scheduled anaesthetics in contravention of the therapeutic goods act and with little or no comprehension of the safe usage of those products. Some of the students of those service providers in turn branch out offering new training services by copying bits and pieces of information cherry picked in a piecemeal fashion from a variety of sources without the direct supervision and coordination by an on site qualified Registered Health Practitioner.

If you suspect that you are being misled simply ask for the registration number of the Cosmetic Tattooists supervising Registered Health Practitioner, if they are not 'on site' then no direct and immediate health supervision exists. I can provide you this peace of mind for no additional cost, just ask.

Don't be fooled no other Cosmetic Tattoo training service is authorised to teach our procedural methods or provide access to any of our copyrighted course materials unless they are a 'currently' licensed CT-AIVEP™ trainer. We take this matter so seriously that we offer a $10,000.00 reward to anyone who provides verifiable information about breaches of our course copyright or procedural doctrines by any other training provider that leads to their prosecution for copyright or trademark infringement. If you think our course material or doctrines are being taught elsewhere without our authorisation contact us and register for your reward.

Look for CT-AIVEP™ on your Cosmetic Tattooists certificate of qualification, that is your confirmation that the tattooist has been provided comprehensive training using procedural doctrines that were Audited by our on site Registered Health Practitioner.

I regularly receive questions from people considering Cosmetic Tattooing or requesting advice on corrective Cosmetic Tattooing from countries all over the globe, people frequently ask me:

Q: Andrea what do you look for when getting your own Permanent Makeup done?
This is a sensible question because nobody is going to be as cautious and particular as a ParaMedical Tattooist is.

My answer is;
 I would not book anywhere unless they were offering Cosmetic Tattooing with an Amiea Linelle Supreme and Amiea Derma Safe pigments, because quite simply I only want the best. If the Cosmetic Tattooist cares about the finished result of my Permanent Makeup then they will use the best equipment, pigments, hygiene & standards for my procedure.  I would also ensure that their topical anaesthetics were obtained from a legal source (a pharmacist).

Cosmetic Tattooists
If you are a qualified Cosmetic Tattooist and you would like to improve your standard of procedural hygiene I offer 1/2 day and full day certificated training courses that can be tailored to your needs.

If you have more questions or would like further information please contact me.

Kind Regards                       


Andrea Darby - Cosmetic Tattoo Specialist

For an Appointment Phone: 0423 230 740




email webmaster

Copyright: 2007 © everything contained within this site is under copyright to unless otherwise indicated, all rights reserved.
Contact Information: Our contact details including email, telephone, address and all other personal information is provided solely for the use of our clients and is not to be used for unsolicited commercial offers or any other purpose without our prior written consent.
Disclaimer: The entire content of this site should be regarded as general information & is provided solely for the use of clients of & is not intended to replace medical advice in any instance, no liability of any kind is accepted for any errors, omissions, inaccuracies, or adverse outcomes & consequences whatsoever. gives no assurances as to the accuracy, reliability, appropriateness or validity of information on external websites, & has no control over their content. Any external links are provided purely for convenience and without liability or assurances of any kind. If you have any questions or concerns over the content of external sites please contact the site owner direct.
Privacy: takes the privacy of our clients seriously, contact us if you would like further information on our privacy policy.