Unit of competency details

SHBBSSC001 - Incorporate knowledge of skin structure and functions into beauty therapy (Release 1)


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ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 16/Dec/2021


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Unit Of competency

Modification History

No equivalent unit.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to use a knowledge and understanding of skin structure, functions, systems and their interrelationships in order to identify and analyse client needs, design and perform beauty therapy treatments and provide post-treatment service.

It requires the ability to use an understanding of skin and hair anatomy and physiology to select the best treatment routine and products and promote skin health and appearance to clients.

This unit applies to beauty therapists who work in beauty salons and spas. In this environment they work as part of a team but make independent treatment decisions.

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State or Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.

No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field

Skin Science

Unit Sector


Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Use knowledge of the skin structure and systems to determine client needs.

1.1. Discuss presenting conditions and requirements with client and identify treatment priorities.

1.2. Identify client skin treatment requirements, contraindications, and possible adverse reactions and discuss with client.

1.3. Based on knowledge and understanding of skin conditions, refer client to appropriate professional where required.

1.4. Review client medical history, medications and obtain medical approval prior to treatment as required.

2. Use knowledge of the skin structure and systems to design treatment.

2.1. Integrate knowledge of skin systems, functions and interrelationships to assess treatment options and suitability for clients.

2.2. Integrate knowledge of the skin systems and functions into design of proposed therapy for a single or series of treatments.

2.3. Integrate knowledge of the skin systems and functions to develop treatment plans. 

3. Advise clients.

3.1. Discuss benefits and potential adverse effects of planned treatment with clients using correct anatomical and physiological terminology.

3.2. Selectively use skin anatomy and physiology terminology to provide clear, accurate post treatment service.

4. Record relevant data.

4.1. Integrate information related to skin anatomy and physiology to record and update accurate information in treatment plans and records.

4.2. Use accurate anatomy and physiology terminology in relation to skin, skin conditions, functions and treatment effects.

4.3. Integrate knowledge and understanding of skin anatomy and physiology to communicate accurately with colleagues and medical practitioners.

5. Maintain knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

5.1. Identify and use opportunities to source, update and expand knowledge of skin anatomy and physiology.

5.2. Share current information about skin anatomy and physiology with clients and colleagues as required.

5.3. Compile and maintain credible sources of information about skin anatomy and physiology to enable rapid access for work activities as required.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • source, interpret and apply information from:
  • anatomy, physiology and skin science publications
  • anatomical charts and models.

Writing skills to:

  • document information for instructions and reports.

Oral communication skills to:

  • clearly explain to client the physiological processes of skin damage and how beauty therapy treatments will impact on its appearance
  • selectively use anatomy and physiology terminology in conversations with clients and team members.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • determine scope of own practice and where referral to professional is required
  • decide on most appropriate treatment to meet client requirements and objectives.

Technology skills to:

  • access credible on-line publications and internet resources that build knowledge for providing skin services to clients.

Unit Mapping Information

No equivalent unit.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=255d312b-db07-48f2-b6d6-1b0b06c42898


Assessment requirements

Modification History

No equivalent unit.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • compile a list of credible sources of information about skin anatomy and physiology for workplace access
  • research three conditions that could benefit through facial or body massage and design a treatment routine for three different client needs, that demonstrates how these treatments are relevant to the specified skin or body anatomy and structure
  • use correct terminology relating to skin anatomy and physiology when developing the above treatment routines.

Knowledge Evidence

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • skin anatomy:
  • gross and microscopic
  • layers of epidermis, dermis and hypodermis (subcutaneous)
  • differences depending on body location
  • function and role of skin:
  • integumentary system
  • epidermal cells
  • epidermal appendages and dermal structures
  • role in skin of tissues:
  • connective
  • nervous
  • vascular
  • protection
  • temperature control
  • vitamin D production
  • sensation
  • homeostasis
  • barrier
  • thermoregulation structure, function and distribution of glands of the skin that include:
  • production, composition and functions of sebum production
  • composition and functions of eccrine and apocrine sweat fluids
  • control of sweat and sebaceous glands activity
  • appearance and characteristics of skin types:
  • dry, alipid and lipid
  • oily and lipid
  • diffused red
  • pigmented
  • couperose
  • mature
  • normal body flora
  • skin colours and reactions to light that include:
  • factors that contribute to skin colour – physiological basis of skin colour
  • structure and location of melanocytes and keratinocytes
  • optical properties of skin that include:
  • absorption
  • reflection
  • transmission
  • scattering
  • relationship between skin type, minimal erythemal dose, skin protection factor and sunscreen use:
  • electromagnetic spectrum and effect of light on skin
  • responses of keratinocytes to ultraviolet radiation
  • responses of melanocytes to ultraviolet radiation
  • Fitzpatrick skin types scale
  • skin as a sense organ:
  • process of nerve conduction
  • stimuli and skin receptors
  • systems and pathways of sensory and motor neuronal conduction
  • types of receptors
  • variations in sensory perception and their significance to beauty treatments
  • age related changes:
  • effect of hormones on skin
  • hair growth and loss
  • menstrual cycle skin changes
  • pigmentation
  • sebaceous and sweat gland secretion
  • function, formation and behaviour of major skin chemicals:
  • complex fatty acids
  • complex lipids:
  • phospholipids
  • sphingolipids
  • glycosaminoglycans
  • lipids:
  • saponifiable
  • non-saponifiable
  • proteins:
  • soluble
  • insoluble
  • collagen
  • elastin
  • keratin
  • growth, development, ageing and healing of human skin:
  • cell division and differentiation
  • factors affecting epidermal mitosis
  • growth of epidermis
  • normal process of skin ageing and structural change
  • normal ageing and photo-ageing
  • theories about ageing
  • stages in wound healing
  • phases of skin growth, cell renewal, wound healing
  • origin and evolution of scars:
  • hypertrophic
  • keloid
  • abnormal scar tissue
  • normal skin responses to irritation and trauma
  • appearance, genetic factors, possible medical treatments and limitations of facial treatments on skin conditions, diseases and disorders
  • genetics of skin disorders
  • skin conditions:
  • acne
  • eczema and atopic dermatitis
  • hair disorders
  • pigmentation disorders
  • vascular disorders
  • seborrheic dermatitis
  • trans-epidermal water loss
  • basic nutrition and relationship between nutrition and healthy skin.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in a beauty treatments area; that can be:

  • an industry workplace
  • a simulated industry environment.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • skin biology information resources including - charts, electronic resources, texts, three-dimensional models and videos
  • clients with different physical characteristics and beauty therapy treatment requirements. These can be:
  • paying clients in an industry workplace or
  • individuals who participate in role plays or simulated activities, set up for the purpose of assessment, in a simulated industry environment operated within a training organisation.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations’ requirements for assessors.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=255d312b-db07-48f2-b6d6-1b0b06c42898