Madonna, Katie Price and most of the cast of TOWIE are said to be fans of it.
And, as semi-permanent make-up continues across Rhondda Cynon Taf, those hoping to build a business on the back of the trend are urged to make sure they operate legally.
The warning from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Environmental Health Team follows the successful prosecution of a Mountain Ash resident who failed to register her semi-permanent, skin-colouring activities.
Officers from the team received information in November last year that Jade Kemp of Harcourt Terrace, Penrhiwceiber, was operating as a semi-permanent make-up artist, using tattoo methods to create eyebrows, lip liner and other beauty treatments.
Checks made by officers confirmed Ms Kemp was not licensed with the local authority to undertake such activity, but had been visiting people in their homes to carry out the treatments between November 6 and 22 last year, advertising the service on social media.
As a result, the 24-year-old was charged with two offences – failure to obtain personal registration to carry out the business of semi-permanent skin-colouring and failure to register a premises in which to carry out the business of semi-permanent skin-colouring.
She has since gone on to secure the necessary registration needed to operate her own, successful beauty treatment business.
The case was heard at Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court this week (June 6) where Ms Kemp admitted the offences. As a result, she was fined £800 and ordered to pay costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £80.
The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (as amended) requires that semi-permanent skin-colouring practitioners and tattooists are registered with the local authority in whose area they operate. The practitioners must register both themselves and the premises at which they practice.
Unregistered semi-permanent skin-colouring practitioners and tattooists are usually referred to as ‘scratchers’ by the industry and generally try to avoid contact with the local authority by operating in secrecy.
With their limited knowledge and lack of intervention from the local authority these ‘scratchers’ pose an increased risk of their clients developing serious and potentially life threatening infections, as well as less serious skin infections, which still require medical intervention.
Semi-permanent skin-colouring, like tattooing, is a procedure that involves puncturing the outer layers of the skin with a pigment-loaded needle and colour is inserted in to the dermal layer of the skin. During this procedure infection control is paramount because blood and body fluids are released posing a risk of blood borne virus transmission.
There is a presumption by the public that businesses offering invasive treatments such as tattooing are regulated, safe to use and pose little risk to their health. Unfortunately, as this example shows, this is not always the case.
David Jones Head of Community Protection at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said: “There is a growing trend, as a result of celebrity endorsement, for semi-permanent make up, which is literally the tattooing on of features such as eyebrows or lipliners.
“As such, this practice is identical to “traditional” tattooing and those who operate such businesses must ensure they protect themselves and their customers by meeting the necessary standards and levels of expertise expected. This is why we have statutory registration.
“The nature of this work means it has to be carried out to the highest standards and in the safest environments. An amateur job could leave you scarred for life, but it could also lead to life-threatening infections such as hepatitis and HIV”.
“We continue to urge those wishing to set up such businesses to check the law and secure compliance – we have expert officers on hand who are more than happy to share guidance and advice, free of charge.
“We also continue to remind the public who want to have such work carried out to ensure they do use a reputable and registered premises or practitioner.
“It is vital our officers continue this work, to protect not only the public but also the many premises and practitioners that do work hard to maintain standards and operate within the law.
“This case should serve as a strong reminder of the work we carry out and also highlight that we do have the power to act swiftly and effectively to deal with such issues.”
Our advice to all residents remains that they should use only registered premises and suspicious activity can be reported to our Food and Health and Safety Team on 01443 425001. Those who are operating as tattoo artists, or thinking of starting such a business, are also urged to make contact with us if they are unsure of their legal obligations.