Beauty treatments can hide a mine field of potentially damaging problems to the unsuspecting client, it’s the Beauty Therapist’s responsibility to protect the client by ensuring the treatment booked is suitable.

We use record cards in salon treatments for several reasons such as keeping clients’ address and phone details and record of past treatments. The most important reason for these record cards is the attachment of a medical questionnaire that they have filled in prior to any treatments commencing, no matter how small those treatments are.

This questionnaire should be re-visited whenever a client books a different treatment.

Here is a brief overview of some of the more common contraindications to treatments that you may come across on a weekly basis in a busy salon or spa.

This list could be in a book form as there are so many variations depending on products used or the client’s individual needs.

Skin infections

Referring to your college training and recognising skin infections is a required skill every Beauty Therapist must master. Treatment will not be allowed to continue if a skin infection or problematic condition is noticed in salon and your client should be asked to seek medical advice.

Blood pressure problems
Care must be taken in performing any treatments which involve stimulation of the blood system, such as massage, unless the client is undergoing treatment for the high or low blood pressure.

Certain medications
Some prescription drugs can react to different treatments. For example, some acne medication can make the skin on the face very sensitive so facials would not be suitable.


It’s so important to make sure before any form of beauty treatment that your client will not be likely to suffer an allergic reaction to the products used such as nut oils or some aromatherapy blends

Back problems

For some clients having a back condition will mean they won’t be able to sit for long treatments such as manicures or lie flat on the treatment couch.

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
Currently, palliative care Therapists are performing more and more treatments on clients who are going through treatment for cancer.

We must be very careful not to perform any therapy which may have a detrimental effect on the treatment they are already receiving.

Many Beauty salons offer treatments tailored to suit pregnant ladies using suitable products which will not enter the bloodstream (such as certain contraindicated aromatherapy oils).

Pregnant ladies can safely have most treatments available in salons, but care must be taken if they have oedema of the limbs etc as this is a contraindication to massage.

This is a big no when it comes to most beauty treatments, especially waxing. Also, going on a sunbed the same day as a wax is also a major mistake allowed by many salons trying to keep their treatment columns full.

Basically, you are applying a heated wax onto the already “cooked” skin’s surface. This can easily remove a layer of epidermis and cause a scab to form which results in a deep pigmented scar.

How long should my hair be for waxing?
hot wax can grab hairs as short as 1mm in length. Strip wax can remove hair as short as 2mm. Everyone has different growth cycles, but you are generally able to wax areas that have been shaved 7-10 days earlier.

I’m pregnant but I want a bikini wax, what do you recommend?
Waxing during pregnancy is very popular especially now that people know that hot wax is less painful then strip waxing. Anything past 12 weeks is fine.

Waxing is not recommended on clients taking Accutane and is not recommended for clients taking Retin A, Renova, Differin or other types of skin thinning acne medications. Individuals do react differently to these medications and sometimes waxing can be done if proper patch testing is completed.

• Accutane (Acne medication) – You must be off this medication treatment course a minimum of one (1) year prior to waxing.

These products can make the skin more sensitive. Thin, sensitive skin is more vulnerable to lifting and sensitivity during waxing.

• Other Acne medications not listed above
• Bleaching agents for hair (used mostly for upper lip)
• Bleaching agents for pigmentation of skin (Hydraquinone, Trilumena)
• Previous chemical depilatories such as Nair
• Benzoyl Peroxide (ProActive)
• Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic, Lactic)
• Oral Antibiotics
• Topical Antibiotics
• Retinol
• Salicylic Acid
• Other exfoliants