What is Histamine Intolerance? - Waxing

Hey, Starpil fam! 

We’re back with another discussion on a major key in the life of an esthetician. Today we’re going to address one of the more scary topics - histamine reactions! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on how to treat, care and prevent them in the future! 

Now, let’s get into it. 

There are several things that can make it feel a bit nerve-wracking when dealing with a wax induced histamine intolerance. The number one reason is usually that you, the esthetician, have the knowledge regarding this reaction that your clients do not. So the way your client perceives it is usually much different than what’s actually happening. 

Waxing (especially for the first time) is different for everybody. Everybody's skin is different. We have to remember that when we are waxing we are shocking the hair follicle, and for first-timers especially, it is likely they may experience a histamine reaction. There are several types of histamine reactions, and discussing skincare with your client, pre and post waxing, is very important.

What is histamine? 

So, what is histamine intolerance caused by waxing?

Histamine is a compound of the immune and neurological systems, it’s found in cells throughout the body. Histamines induce swelling and produce a red color on the skin. When the skin is affected by trauma, allergy, or infection (in this case it’s superficial trauma from waxing) histamines boost blood flow to the sensitive area as an inflammatory response.

Histamine vs Allergic/Bacterial Reaction


Post-waxing redness can be either smooth or bumpy. However, both are normal. So how can you tell the difference between a histamine reaction and an allergic or bacterial reaction? When experiencing a histamine reaction your client may feel sensitivity or mild itchiness on their skin. The reaction should only last between 24-48hrs at most.

When experiencing an allergic or bacterial reaction, your client may experience sensitivity, itchiness and have raised white pus-filled bumps. If you see this, you can be sure it’s not a simple histamine reaction and should seek further medical attention.

Relieving the Reaction + At Home Care 

Starpil waxes are formulated with the highest quality polymers and rosins to be gentle on the skin and cause minimal redness and irritation. After waxing your clients, we recommend using either Starpil’s Post Emulsion lotion or for more sensitive skin - Starpil’s Post Epil Acid Cream which is specially formulated to speed up skin PH level recovery after waxing. Oat extracts help restore skin moisture levels while relieving potential irritation caused by waxing.

For at-home care, recommend anti-histamines like Benadryl or hydrocortisone cream, which help bring the reaction down quicker after a waxing service. If your clients would like to opt for something more natural, lavender essential oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce redness and sensitivity. 

The Big Idea

The big idea is — histamine reactions are normal! At the end of the day, waxing means pulling a pretty good amount of hair from the root all at once, multiple times. 

That’s shocking for ANYONE’S skin. Your skin is doing its job by saying “what the heck is going on?” 

It’s important to share this knowledge with all of your clients, especially those with sensitive skin. If they can understand what’s going on with their skin, they can trust that they are in good hands - and most importantly that it wasn’t your method or wax itself that harmed them. The next day everything should be back to normal!




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