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What is a Histamine Reaction After Waxing?

Histamine Reactions from waxing

Histamine Reaction After Waxing

Hey, Starpil Fam! We’re back with another discussion on a primary key in an esthetician’s life—a histamine reaction or an allergic reaction to waxing. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on how to spot, treat, care for, and prevent them. We’ll also cover the proper protocol if your client has a histamine allergic reaction on the face or body.


What is Histamine? 

Histamine is a compound of the immune and neurological systems and is found in cells throughout the body. Histamines induce swelling and produce a red color on the skin. When the skin is affected by trauma (in our case, waxing is a superficial trauma), allergies, or infection, histamines boost blood flow to the sensitive area. This is inflammation in action.Having something be inflamed for a minute or two is no big deal, but a strong histamine reaction after waxing needs to be dealt with ASAP!

what is histamine?


What is a Histamine Reaction to Waxing? 

Histamine reaction symptoms after waxing can look different for everyone. Since waxing (especially for first-timers) can shock the hair follicle, it may cause a histamine reaction. There are several types of histamine reactions. A histamine reaction to waxing could materialize as the following:

  • Prolonged redness after waxing 
  • Hives
  • Sneezing (very common for eyebrow and facial waxing)
  • Red bumps after waxing


READ: 5 Tips for How to Wax Sensitive Skin


How long does a histamine reaction last?

Histamine reaction symptoms like redness, hives, or blotchy red spots after waxing are par for the course. Skin can start to soothe as soon as you apply beneficial post-wax care products. But generally, skin sensitivities, spots, or redness after waxing should subside in between 24 to 48 hours. 

How to handle a histamine reaction on the body

If the histamine reaction is particularly strong, recommend anti-histamines like Benadryl or hydrocortisone cream, down quicker. If your clients want something more natural, lavender and calendula essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce redness and sensitivity. We recommend using either Original Post-Wax Lotion for common symptoms after waxing or, for more sensitive skin, Starsoft Post-Wax Lotion or Calendula Post-Wax Care Mousse. These products are specially formulated to speed up skin’s PH level recovery after waxing. If you see hives after a Brazilian wax, you could soothe it with a Brazilian Waxing Mask.

The difference between a histamine reaction and a bacterial or allergic reaction to waxing

histamine vs bacterial reaction

As mentioned above, common histamine reaction symptoms can be a minor irritation compared to a histamine allergic reaction or a bacterial one. When experiencing a bacterial or allergic reaction to waxing, your client may experience sensitivity, itchiness, hives or welts, and have raised white, puss-filled bumps. Post-wax acne can be commonplace, especially when the client doesn’t follow proper post-wax care procedures. Still, if the acne is cystic or redness lasts longer than a couple of days, these are anything but run-of-the-mill histamine reaction symptoms. It’s up to the client if they wish to seek further medical attention or stop waxing altogether.



How do you treat an allergic reaction to waxing?

Since there are varying degrees of histamine reactions,  the level of discomfort caused by waxing vs. the hair removal benefits is up to the client. If a client has an allergic reaction to eyebrow wax or leg wax, for example, follow treatments like Benadryl and recommend a cold compress. Apply cooling cucumber and stay away from skincare until the reaction subsides. If the allergic reaction contains blisters, the client should seek medical care.

If you know that a client has a history of intense allergic reactions from hair removal, it wouldn’t be prudent to keep seeing them. 


How to stop a histamine reaction before it starts

When learning how to stop a histamine reaction, start at the beginning. Your awareness of when the skin is particularly dry or sensitive before waxing is essential. Does the client’s skin turn red quickly when you’re just touching them? Does hair feel brittle? Both dryness and redness factors are indicators that this person has skin sensitivities. Use the best pre and post-wax care according to their skin type. Start with a post-wax care oil before using a pre-cleansing gel to soften hair and revive dry skin. Always discussing these things and using the best pre and post-waxing care to help relieve an allergic reaction to waxing with your clients is very important.


READ: Waxing and Dry Skin


Relieving the Reaction and At Home Care 

Starpil waxes are formulated with the highest ingredients to be gentle on the skin and cause minimal redness and irritation. But a big win toward avoiding hives or a histamine reaction to waxing before waxing is through directing the client to practice proper at-home skincare routines and for you to bolster skin’s support as much as possible when the client is in your care.



The Final Verdict

A histamine reaction after waxing is normal! At the end of the day, waxing means pulling a pretty good amount of hair from the root all at once, multiple times—skin has every right to protest and protect itself with these responses. 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 caused the issue. The next day everything should be back to normal! 


Please let us know how Starpil can help you with your post-wax care needs!



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