Join cosmetic tattoo expert Rebecca Cody each week as she explores how to build your business from the start by positioning yourself as a specialist in cosmetic tattooing.


Rebecca has over 12 years of experience in starting, building, selling, and beauty. She’s a makeup artist, beauty therapist, trainer & assessor, cosmetic tattooist, laser tattoo removalist, and business coach.

Cosmetic Tattoo Talk Podcast

Key Points

  • NICNAS Pigment Guide. Find it here
  • Fines associated with banned pigments
  • Why the Australian government did a backflip with enforcing these changes
Australia Pigment Laws 2023

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Show Transcription 

Let's get into today's episode where we are talking about the cosmetic tattoo pigment laws. And what's been happening recently in the UK, as well as here in Australia.

So thanks for tuning in with me today. Today's a little bit of a funny episode. In terms of no structure, I really just wanted to talk to you about what's been happening in terms of permanent makeup laws and ingredients that could potentially be made illegal in the industry.

So the EU, recently as of well, semi-recently, as of February last year, has just lowered some ingredients in tattoo inks such as isopropyl alcohol, but has completely banned up to 25 pigments due to the potential risk to human health.

Now, most of these banned pigments, vibrant pigments such as reds, orange, and yellows. And this is due to the percentages of ingredients, specific ingredients that are in each of these, which make them so vibrant. And so you know, color-locking in the skin. So, in early 2020. With the move of the EU to do this in the industry in the UK, Australia was going to follow suit.

And there was a big uproar essentially from the Australian government to implement this because of the risk that it puts on the healthcare system, as well as you know the public health because so many people have tattoos now.

So what happened in 2020 was, these articles were coming out saying you know, these ingredients are going to be banned, we're going to follow suit of the EU, we're all going to pretty much limit our cosmetic tattoo and tattoo pigment ingredients, due to most of them being banned.

And there were hefty fines being put in place upwards of $6,000 If you were using them and upwards of $15,000 If you were selling them now 2021 rocking around, and the government has done a little bit of a backstep due to the huge backlash that came from the not so much the permanent makeup industry, but the body tattoo industry here in Australia.

So what has happened now is the AI CIS is doing work to monitor to monitor the ingredients in tattoos and permanent makeup inks. Now they have released characteristics or PDF of tattoo inks on their site as well as the investigation that they did of the composition and use of permanent makeup inks in Australia and tattoo inks. So, the AI C I S does ongoing investigations to the body ink and the permanent makeup ink chemicals used. And they require that all businesses that import or manufacture the permanent makeup or manufacture the ingredients or the inks are registered with them so that they can keep an eye on the chemicals that are used.

Now if you are buying pigments from eBay, that is of course a huge No, because they may not have expiry dates, and they may not have any sort of manufacturing process that is sterile.

So please, I hope to Dear God that you are not purchasing anything off eBay for your pigments, make sure that you're purchasing them from reputable suppliers that would have an association with the AICIS. Now as for the hefty fines for using or selling the pigment ranges, they are null and void. They no longer exist. And I think it's really interesting that Queensland that the Australian government has stopped this because they kind of came at it full force and then took it back step.

So it is something to watch. And you might see some changes in the industry happening. And if you are worried or you do need the certificates from your supplier, you can ask them for the certificates for the ingredients that they've purchased because they wouldn't be able to supply them for you. Now, this is a really interesting topic. And if you've done your own research, you'll know that a lot of the information is hard to find.

So I hope that I have enlightened you on this a little bit in this lesson. And if you have anything to add, please jump on our site and leave it on our blog post comments, or, you know, leave it in the comments on our blog or send us a DM or send us an email.

I would love to hear your thoughts and love to hear what you think about the whole health behind the chemical composition makeup of permanent makeup inks. That's me for today. And I will see you in the next episode.