Just three months after the big change in WA laser laws, Australia’s biggest skincare clinics are heading west.

In July WA introduced legislation allowing people other than medical practitioners to use medical-grade lasers for cosmetic treatments.

Prior to the change, only medical practitioners who held a licence under WA’s Radiation Safety Act, and medical practitioners working under the direction and personal supervision of a licensee, could operate lasers for medical purposes.

This meant that people wanting to undergo cosmetic laser treatments in WA had to go to a doctor’s surgery and pay significantly more than their counterparts in other states. For example a person in WA would have to pay $600-$800 for laser hair removal on their legs compared to around $200 a person in NSW would pay for the same treatment in a salon/clinic.

Under the new WA law, nurses and people holding a Diploma or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy who attend a recognised laser safety course and undertake 25 hours practical training will be able to perform laser hair removal treatments.

Nurses and people holding a Diploma or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy who attend a recognised laser safety course and undertake 100 hours practical training will be able to perform superficial cosmetic procedures (pigment and vascular treatments only).

A medical practitioner will however be required to be involved with setting up the protocols and procedures for the laser treatments.

The change in legislation obviously presents major opportunities to salons and clinics offering cosmetic laser treatments.

Therefore, not surprisingly, many established skin clinics from around Australia (including Silk Laser, Australian Skin Clinics and Laser Clinics Australia) have already begun moving into the new market.

Anthea Muir, CEO of Laser Clinics Australia (which now has 105 clinics around Australia including six in WA), told Professional Beauty the company had always planned to have a presence in WA but could not make the move before the change in legislation.

“It was important to us that we were able to stay true to our brand values and offer both affordable and accessible laser, skin treatments and cosmetic injectables to West Australians,” she said.

“The recent changes to legislation in WA, which allow beauty therapists and nurses to use Class 4, state-of-the art laser hair removal technology, mean that we are able to open in region and offer West Australians the same affordable, accessible, reliable and safe cosmetic treatments that are available to the rest of Australia.

“Our growing, loyal fan base in the region after only a few months of trading is proof that what we’re doing has been well-received and was worth the wait.”

Muir believes the new legislation will lead to healthy competition and market growth in WA as it changes the landscape of laser hair removal.

“Prior to the changes laser hair removal was a costly procedure and done with IPL devices with an inferior outcome.

“However thanks to the new laws, Laser Clinics are now in a position to offer affordable and effective treatments, such as $10 for an underarm treatment, to our clients.”

Laser Clinics Australia has “an accelerated growth plan in place for WA” and is “looking to open a further five to 10 clinics across the state within the next 12 months”.