Why Sterilization Matters

Real talk: permanent makeup gets under the skin. PMU artists are responsible for preventing infections, protecting themselves and others from bloodborne pathogens and being cautious of allergic reactions. Because of this, proper safety, sanitation and sterilization is a MUST for your beauty practice.


Without proper sterilization, permanent makeup procedures run into risks of infections, diseases and allergic reactions. 

The best way to minimize these risks is to follow the rules. Avoiding infections and keeping your studio in TOP shape are all part of taking care of your client. 


PMU, tattoos and piercings all fall under the umbrella of body art. They all require sterilization certificates (see California Safe Body Art Act.)

To be a body art practitioner, you need:

  • Proof of completion of Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Exposure Control Training
  • An Infection Prevention and Control Plan
  • Properly labeled sharps containers and a contract for removing sharps waste

Your Studio

The procedure area needs to be equipped with adequate lighting, a handwashing sink with hot (110°F) and cold running water, liquid soap and single-use towels in a touchless dispenser. Sanitize the work tables and chairs with an antibacterial solution after each client.

The decontamination area needs to be separated from the procedure area by at least 5 feet. Any product that comes in contact with the client’s skin and blood has to be single-use. This includes stencils and markers for mapping. 

Sterilization practices

Safety practices for the procedure: Use barrier wrap on any surfaces you touch. Follow strict hand hygiene protocols before and after a procedure. Wear personal protective gear including gloves, masks and gowns. 

Get a baseline health assessment from the artist and the client, including immunizations. Complete a BBP training every year and make sure you’re in the clear with your local health department. 


Are your certificates up to date? With the new year approaching, make sure your sterilization practices are up to spec. Need sterilization certificates for your needles? Request them here

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