By the Division of Professional Licensure

The Board of Registration of Cosmetology ("Board") voted at its meeting on September 12, 2006 (Latest Amendment August 11, 2009) to adopt the following policy guidelines. These policy guidelines are intended as a recommended protocol for the profession to follow. The Board utilizes these and other guidelines as an internal management tool in formulating decisions that relate to the cosmetology industry.

Policy No. 06-03


To advise licensees that certain practices/services cannot be performed within a licensed salon or under the scope of a cosmetology, aesthetic, or manicuring license.



1. Botox, Collagen or any form of injection
2. Any Medical procedures
3. Tattooing (including permanent make-up)
4. Eyelash tinting, dyeing, or "perming"
5. Tanning
6. Saunas
7. Body or Ear piercing
8. Massage
9. Microdermabrasion techniques that remove cells beyond the stratum corneum, or the outermost layer of the epidermis/skin, are prohibited. Any techniques which affect the living layers of facial skin/dermis constitute the practice of medicine and should not be performed in a salon. (Board approved education required)
10. Chemical peels that do not fall under the following guidelines. For cosmetic use Alpha Hydroxy Acid Exfoliation preparations, or AHAs, (glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids, BHAs (salicyclic acid), and Jessner modification solutions that do not exceed a 30% concentration with a pH value of no lower than pH 3.0 is acceptable use. Strictly prohibited is the use of, but not limited to, Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA), Carbolic Acid (phenol) or combinations thereof and further excludes all adulterated chemical exfoliating/peeling substances. (Board approved education required)
11. Ear Candeling or any procedure designed to remove wax from the ears.
12. Teeth Whitening
13. Acupuncture
14. Electrology
15. "Credo" blades or any blade or cutting tool used to remove corns and calluses from an individual's feet
16. The use of animals or fish in any cosmetology/manicuring/aesthetic procedure due to the impossibility of the use of sterilization.
17. Any other service that falls outside the scope of a cosmetology, manicuring or aesthetic license. Any licensee that performs any of the above services will face disciplinary action. * Exception - The Board acknowledges that in certain circumstances, licensees may want to provide the services referenced above in an environment other than space licensed by the Board. Certain of these services are non-invasive and serve beautification purposes, others are clearly medical in nature and could not be performed safely in a cosmetology salon. In addition, the Board acknowledges that doctor's offices and other medical establishments may wish to hire cosmetology professionals to perform services within the scope of their licenses. Therefore, to avoid public confusion, to ensure the public is properly protected, and to ensure licensees do not misrepresent their qualifications, the Board will allow an exception to the legal requirement that licensees not provide services outside the scope of licensure as follows:

  1. Medical services represent a strong risk of infection and consumer injury, thus they should not be performed outside of facilities under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Board of Registration of Medicine or the Department of Public Health. Therefore, such services cannot occur under Cosmetology licenses.

  2. Certain procedures which may pierce the stratum corneum and thus also have a risk of infection (permanent makeup, electrology, tattooing, acupuncture), but are not medical in nature and are under the specific licensed jurisdiction of other authorities may be performed in cosmetology salons subject to the following provisions

    1. The floor-plan submitted to the Board must provide a dedicated, separate, and distinct room clearly marking the services to be performed therein. Such services may not be performed outside of this room. All price lists, including brochures, must distinguish between cosmetology and these non-cosmetology procedures.|

    2. All individuals performing such services must have the required local or state license to perform these services and all such services must abide by all laws, rules, and regulations applicable.

    3. The licensee clearly understands that the provision of these services is at his/her own risk and may subject their license to disciplinary action should the services not be provided in a safe and sanitary way.

  3. Certain procedures not regulated by the Board are non-invasive, but also have separate licensure (massage, tanning). These services may be performed in a cosmetology salon so long as all individuals have the required licenses and such services are clearly identified in a separate room in the floor plan.

  4. In environments under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Board of Registration of Medicine and/or the Department of Public Health, cosmetology licensure is still required for Board issued licensees performing work under the scope of their licenses. Such services may only be authorized subject to the following procedures:

  1. A duly licensed cosmetologist, aesthetician (type 6), or manicurist must obtain a Board issued salon license for a separate and distinct room in the facility. This license will not be issued with a medical name as, for purposes of the Board, this room is a separate business.

  2. The licensee issued the salon license is solely responsible for ensuring that the cosmetology procedures in that room are safe and sanitary and will be subject to random inspections in the same fashion as any other cosmetology salon.

  3. Certain other professions allow their licensees to delegate their practice to unlicensed individuals. However, the law does not permit unlicensed individuals to practice any branch of cosmetology. Licensees in an unlicensed facility who perform cosmetology/aesthetic/manicuring services or otherwise hold themselves out (e.g. advertising) as performing services under their Board issued licenses are engaging in unlicensed practice and may be subject to disciplinary action.

  4. If a Cosmetology Board licensee wishes to perform a non-cosmetology service in a non-cosmetology licensed space based on a delegation from someone in another licensed profession:

  1. The licensee should be aware that the delegation they are performing under has no affiliation with the cosmetology profession and is in no way sanctioned by the Board; and

  2. The licensee shall not hold him or herself out as operating under their cosmetology/aesthetic/ manicuring license (or utilize a deceptive hybrid of said license such as "medical aesthetician" as such a designation does not exist under the law).

Discussion: Massachusetts General Laws c. 112, § 61 prohibits individuals holding licenses issued by the Board from performing any service that falls outside the authorized scope of that license. The terms "aesthetician," cosmetologist" and "manicurist" are defined in G.L. c. 112, § 87T. The services listed above do not fit within the definitions of "aesthetics," "cosmetology" or "manicuring" as defined in the statute. Accordingly, those services, and any other services outside the scope of a cosmetology, aesthetic or manicuring license, shall not be performed by any of the Board's licensees or within any licensed salon. The Board recognizes that some services outside the scope of cosmetology licensure which are not medical in nature, provide beautification or relaxation only, and are not invasive. These services, which are explicitly referred to in this policy, have been determined to not cause confusion to consumers as to the type of services provided in a cosmetology salon, thus the Board has made a policy decision to allow those specific services which have a minimal likelihood of impacting the public's health, safety, and welfare. If a licensee has a question concerning their appropriate scope of practice, he or she may contact the Board at 617-727-3067.